Breaking my $400 Camera Gave Me a Positive Outlook on Life

camera photography travel self improvement

In June 2015, I decided to quit my job and go off on the adventure of a lifetime. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I decided that come what may – I would write about it, so someone else could learn from my mistakes, or become inspired to chase their dreams.

I knew I would need pictures to really tell my story, and recognising that the camera built into my budget smartphone wouldn’t do me any favours, I bought a $400 camera on Amazon for a steal.

I was a little nervous about getting a white camera – especially for outdoorsy treks, but when I laid hands on it I knew it was the one. Since then, I’ve rarely left home without it. I brought it when I went travelling in Pennsylvania, and then New York.

It was a handy little thing!

The Praise

At first, my friends with professional cameras of more traditional makes frowned upon my smaller, Android-powered device. They pointed out its limitations and told me a hundred times that I should have spent my money more wisely.

I didn’t listen. One by one they all became converted by the amazing quality of pictures it was able to take, in spite of my amateur skill.

Not only was it great at taking pictures, but the white never registered my dirty hands from hiking, and the camera continued to work even after I took it hiking in the pouring rain in Illinois

The Problem

So you can imagine my utter dismay when I took it hiking last weekend and the shutter refused to work.


See that black shadow at the top of the picture? That’s the shutter refusing to open all the way, even after I nudged it open as far as I dared with my fingers. No doubt I smudged the hell out of my lens while doing it – an amateur mistake.

All day, I worried about it, though I continued to take pictures as best as I could. I never hike the same location twice, so I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity to capture the trail then and there – not just for my blog, but for me.

Many people want to look back at old pictures of themselves to see how they’ve grown. Me? I want to look at all the places I’ve been to. To me, that’s far more important.

So I decided to keep struggling with the camera for 45 seconds before every picture I took – smudging the lens more and more as I went along. It wasn’t the best-case scenario, but truth be told: it wasn’t the worst either.

The Resolution

When I got home, I decided I had bigger fish to fry so I set it down and left it alone. I would tackle it some other time; closer to when I would actually need it again.

After a few days went by, I spent an hour poring over articles online about how to fix shutter problems and the cost of having it done professionally. Finally, I picked up the camera and turned it on.

To my amazement, the shutter snapped open without a problem. I turned it on and off again a few times and each time it snapped open and shut with no issues. Just to be on the safe side, I still went ahead and cleaned it. It’s been working great since.

The Lesson

I’m never one to ignore a problem or sweep it under the rug. In fact, if I hadn’t had pressing matters which required my immediate attention, I wouldn’t have put off fixing the shutter.

But in this one instance, it worked to my benefit to leave it alone. It sprinkled some optimism my way at a time when I needed it; that positive reminder that:

Sometimes things DO work themselves out

– if you give them the chance.

At times, we do need to leave well enough alone and come back to it at a better time. It doesn’t always mean sweeping things under the rug, blowing it off, or procrastinating. It just means not picking at the wound, while expecting it to heal.

We all need to keep this in mind when it comes to school, work, our creative projects, and even our relationships. Often times, things and people and our brains need time to heal before dealing with problems we’ve gotten ourselves worked up about. Tackling them right away might often seem like the best and wisest decision – except when it isn’t.

It won’t always be easy to decide when to work on problems immediately and when to give it time. But at least remain open to the possibility of those rare occasions when doing nothing at all – at least for a little bit – might be the best move you can make.

Check out the pictures below to see what photographs I managed to take even with a glitching camera and smudged lens.


Have an amazing week guys!

*Disclaimer: The camera I own is not the one included in the featured image for this post.

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7 thoughts on “Breaking my $400 Camera Gave Me a Positive Outlook on Life

    1. Hi, thank you. It certainly didn’t feel “interesting” while it was happening but I learned a valuable lesson. Thank you so much for dropping by!

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