I got my first camera when I was about six. It looked a bit like the one in the picture to the left. It took crappy pictures (though admittedly being used by a six-year-old may have had something to do with that) and it used a kind of film that you can’t find anymore, but it did something for me that had nothing to do with photography.
As soon as I looked through the tiny plastic viewfinder, I began to see the world differently.
Suddenly, the leaves in the puddle by the sidewalk were interesting. The way the light hit the bricks on the buildings was interesting. The chipping blue paint on my parents’ Ford Pinto was interesting.
I began to notice details. And while this never made me a great photographer, it did help make me the kind of person who notices details. And that helped me become a critical thinker.
Not sure if you’ve noticed this, but humanity is severely lacking in critical thinkers.
If you know anyone who doesn’t have a camera, now you know what to give them for their birthday.
(Not me. I have nine cameras. But I do need a scanner, now that you mention it.)