Ode to My Underwater Camera (circa 2000)

Dear Damsels photographer Libby Earland praises the camera that got her into photography. #Canon

I am Libby, I like short sentences, the colour blue and I really like taking pictures.

I started making pictures when I was 10, when I was given my first camera. It was this camera:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 20.41.52This camera is a Canon, it is an underwater 35mm film camera. Perfect for a 10-year-old, and perfect for a 20-plus-year-old. It is sturdy and hardy and it is the reason I like creating pictures.

You can take it into the sea, rivers, out in the rain, you can drop it on a rock, a tree or your pet dog and it bounces, floats and bobs its way back to you. You can even drop it in the street and  accidentally step on it because you didn’t realise you dropped it, and it will still be fine.


From the coast of Kent to the Dordogne, my little Canon took lots of pictures of my brother, of every holiday we went on and so many blue skies. We climbed hay bales together, went in the sea together and went to uni together. It came on trips to the Norfolk coast, the Broads and even abroad.

My friends used to laugh at my Canon when digital cameras became a ‘thing’ back in the early noughties. ‘Oh Lib, that camera looks like it would shoot water, like a joke camera.’

‘Whatever idiots my pictures still come out nicer than yours anyway, so WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?!’

Me, that’s who.

On its last trip to France the camera lost its waterproof seal. I only found out when, entering an ice-cold lake to snap some sweet lake pics, I saw the viewfinder fill with water.

That was the day this lovely camera could no longer be used. All those drops, bounces, nights out and submerges became too much. But I still like taking pictures and when I use my less sturdy iPhone I try and frame a picture as if I was using my favourite film camera, but this time it will be uploaded to Instagram.


Oh thanks little Canon, what a joy you were.

Libby Earland | Instagram

Libby Earland is Dear Damsels’ picture maker and curator. She also likes Babybels.