As I have mentioned in other articles, photography is almost synonymous with traveling. Many of us, including myself, got really into photography after we started traveling and wanted pictures to help us remember the wonderful things we experienced. As we got older and traveled less due to medications, physical ailments or lack of funds, some of us, myself included, have wondered whether it was the end of photography for us. The answer is … it doesn’t have to be.
The solution is to find new opportunities to practice your photography. Often, before we started taking lots of pictures of our travels, we took pictures of our kids as they grew up. We recorded events when they were young and growing. Why not go back to recording the events of our lives as we grow older? That is just one opportunity that we have, but there are others.
One approach that I am trying is to just photograph smaller things close to home. I am finding that it takes a totally different perspective on life to start noticing the “little things”. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. I walk the same paths over and over and try to find new things to photograph. Often this means taking my walks at different times of the day as well as different times of the year as well as looking from a different perspective. The above picture is an example of this. Instead of looking for a “grand landscape” to photograph, find a detail or two to photograph.
Another approach is to photograph your own neighborhood. Walk the streets and pretend that you are traveling. Look at everything as if it were your first and only time to see it. You might be surprised with the results, especially if you combine this approach with the above approach of looking for the small things.
If you are still looking for things to photograph, you can go even closer and look for even smaller things. Try macro-photography. Buy a macro lens and take pictures of flowers and insects. I haven’t tried this yet but it is on “my list.”
Another way of expanding your photography is to take your pictures in raw format (if you aren’t already) and work with them in LR4. With a good camera, you can also make multiple pictures out of one shot with a little cropping and a different development style. I hope to make better photographs even though they might be fewer in number and of different subjects by learning different styles and learning to better use LR4, and maybe eventually also get Adobe Photoshop CS6.
One result from changing what you photograph is that it might mean that you need a different camera or lens. Before you go down that route try photographing different things from different perspectives with the cameras you have and then decide if you need a different camera. I’ll address the most likely changes in cameras suitable for aging photographers in a later article.