I haven’t used my monopod or tripod for a long time, a long time which started way before COVID-19. With the impacts of the virus now changing what and how I photograph, I am thinking harder about what I’ll be doing in the future.
My main problem is deciding on what the future will be like. I now believe that the virus is going to be stalking us for a long time, maybe forever in my lifetime depending upon when a successful vaccine is released. Considering that the flu vaccines are only partially successful and that the virus may keep evolving, we don’t know the longer term impacts.
I’m pretty confident that procedures will be worked out for dealing with the virus within the general public, but it probably will be a new normal with physical distancing, masks, vaccines, treatments, etc.
My big concern is for the future of senior centers, nursing homes, etc. They have very dense living arrangements. They are that way, and will likely continue that way, due to care needs and the costs to provide that care. Ideally they need to be rebuilt into larger, less dense facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and with additional staffing, but there isn’t money to do that.
Given that what we have is what we have, I’m trying to think about the independent living environments within the Continuous Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). I don’t expect things to go back to what we came to love as normal within them. They might need to make changes in entertainment, crafts, get-togethers, etc. of all forms. If so, how will that affect my event photography? Would I need even wider lenses as well as even longer telephoto lenses? Would I need better cameras with greater dynamic range for dealing with widely varying light levels within images? Or should I plan on not making event pictures for Homewood anymore?
Other unknowns are my physical health and my abilities to photograph a wide variety of situations. And then there are the economical impacts evolving from dealing with the virus, etc. and not knowing the impacts on my future income and living costs. Given all of these unknowns I have not sold any gear yet, but I’m seriously thinking about it.
Given all of the unknowns and uncertainties, I would like to end up with using one favorite camera for my personal photography. Question is, which camera? I have a few in mind, but I might not be able to afford some of them so I’ll just keep dreaming and twiddling my thumbs some more, for awhile, as I think and try different things with different focal lengths, etc. I must first make a decision relative to what I will photograph, or even if I will continue photographing, in the future. One thing that seems to be getting clearer is that the future will be different.