I am sure that there are those who get the same feeling when they talk to or work with an experienced genealogist. I have an extensive background in genealogy and a lot of other subjects, but I frequently talk to other genealogists who know far more than I do on a multitude of subjects. I had an opportunity to look at some church records from the Netherlands (more about this later), such as this one:
I have to admit that it is going to take me a while to be able to adequately read this particular style of writing. Just when you might start believing you know something, this comes along and shows you how really far you have to go.
So twice in a week or so, I was shown how far I had to go in photography and again in genealogy.
So, was I serious when I said real genealogists use cameras? Yes, I was as a matter of fact. A camera is an indispensable tool for anyone, at any level of family history, genealogy or whatever you want to call it. I still see people laboriously copying entries in books and other records by hand into notes, when all they have to do is pull out their cell phone and take a photo of the entire page in a few seconds.
I went to a Brigham Young University surplus equipment sale this week. We visited the electronics department and the had floor to ceiling shelves overflowing with electronic junk. When I say junk, I mean junk. You could buy a relatively recently manufactured computer in working condition for $5.00. No, this is not a mistake. You could buy a more recent one loaded with Windows 7 with a 1 Terabyte hard drive for $77. I saw one lady pick up an older camera, 2.3 Megapixels, and look at it for a while and then throw it back on the pile. My older iPhone has an 8 MP camera.
Really, I am serious. You can buy a Sony 20.1 MP digital camera on Amazon.com for $88. See
Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Black). By the way, that camera is marked down from $89.99. You could also walk into any Walmart store and buy any number of similar cameras for under a $100.
These are mostly point and shoot cameras. The recent popularity of Instagram illustrates the pervasiveness of cameras in our society today. The key here is to always, always, always, carry your camera around with you. Then when you think, oh, I could take a photo of that, you can.