Big Sister is Moving in and Taking Over

Are you a big sister? Or were you a little sister?

Of the two girls in our family, I am the little sister. I don’t know how it is in other families, but in our family, my big sister and I were not friends growing up. She was the first-born and the perfect child. She was my mom’s best friend and confidant. I was the tag-along kid and my mom could never figure out why I would rather read a book than play a musical instrument. There were three years between Dana Jo and me, though there might as well have been ten. Dana was confident and born worldly-wise, athletic, artistic and musical. I was awkward and studious. In our teen years Dana was very popular, maturing early. Our driveway was lined with fast cars, and the house filled with boys, music and laughter when Dana was around. I was under a tree outside reading a book.

I adored my older sister, but I was jealous of her good looks and easy ways. I was also jealous of her always getting “her” way. Why could she borrow my clothes, but I couldn’t touch hers? Big sisters!

She always decided everything; we followed her. If she was interested in horses, the whole family got involved. If she was a majorette in high school, we all showed up at the football games. Not so for my brother and me. The family didn’t watch him play football or care that I was on the field twirling flags. It was all about Dana, the first-born. Dana got her drivers license the day she turned 16; I had to wait until I was 19. She seemed always to be in charge and a little bossy. Big sisters!

I have been happy for several years with my Olympus Stylus 1010 digital camera. She is a constant companion; slipping in my pocket easily whether I am hiking or dancing. But it’s well worn with a scratched LCD screen.

But big sister has moved in and I think she is taking over.

I recently bought a new SLR digital camera; a Canon EOS 60D, 18 megapixels. It is so big! I hardly know what to do with it. It doesn’t slip in a pocket; it is stored in a camera bag bigger than my purse. But, oh, does it take good pictures. Like my own big sister who could do everything so perfectly, this big sister camera is an excellent performer.

Canon camera bag compared to Olympus camera bag

Olympus on the left, Canon on the right.

I don’t know how this is all going to work out. I can’t imagine taking this large camera on a hike in the backcountry. A friend recently asked me to photograph her rose garden. I took both cameras. I am still more comfortable with the Olympus, but got the best pictures with the Canon. Will the Canon now be the controlling factor of my photography—what I will do and how I will do it—its superior optics vs. its size? Is this like a bossy big sister taking over?

My backyard rose taken with the Canon.

Same rose taken just seconds later with Olympus camera, same lighting, etc.

Comparing the same rose with the two cameras.

I am learning to use the Canon and will share my journey with you. There is a lot to learn! As if I wasn’t already confused enough with these two cameras and their roles, a new little sister has joined the family. Cute and adorable and so easy to be around, I have an I-phone 4S with a 5 Megapixel camera. This little jewel is so user-friendly. With two clicks I can share my photography and life with friends around the world via e-mail, text or Facebook. No need to rush home and download files to the computer first. Sharing is done on location.


I phone 4S, my other new BFF.

Will I be using three cameras simultaneously? Who will be put aside as not needed now? I have no idea . . . time will tell . . .  but I’m sure having fun with this optical dilemma. And in my real life, my big sister and I are now the best of friends. We are very different, but share the common thread of growing up together. We are family. We are sisters.

Me on the left, and my big sister Dana Jo Russ on the right. (taken September 2011)

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