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After 57 years of taking pictures I suppose that I am nearing the end of my personal photographic journey and that has set me thinking about what the hobby has meant and done for me over the years.
Apart from the obvious joy that I still get from the hobby and the pleasure derived from producing a picture that I really like (I have only ever taken pictures for my own pleasure) the main benefits are that it has opened my eyes to the world in which I live and the knowledge that I have gained through it.
Whenever I see something new I now see much more than the obvious. I look at things from all angles and very often see something that the non photographer would fail to see. Sometimes it is just a part of something rather than the whole item that attracts me and at others it is an unusual angle or the possibility of a good composition that takes my attention.
I have learnt a great deal from my photography as I always want to know exactly what it is that I have photographed. For instance, I can now identify many species of birds that previously were just birds and I never knew what a reredos was until I photographed one.
The only downside that I can think of is that, perhaps, photography has been a little too invasive on my thoughts, especially when I was at work as my mind was often elsewhere, thinking about what I was going to do that evening or at the weekend rather than concentrating on the task at hand.
Have you ever considered what you have gained from the wonderful hobby/job that is photography? Perhaps you have a different take on things to me.
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Quote: Have you ever considered what you have gained from the wonderful hobby/job that is photography?
A divorce, almost.
I don't know what I'd do without photography. It's taken me to so many places I'd never have visited, I've met some lovely people and at times of trouble or boredom, it's always there. There's always something to do. It's given me insight into subjects I'd not have thought about otherwise, it's endlessly fascinating and frustrating in equal measure, and if I find I have too much dosh in my purse I know just what to do with it. Finding EPZ was one of the best discoveries though.
Quote: Finding EPZ was one of the best discoveries though.
.....I'll second that.
Photography always gave me a great deal of personal pleasure to be able to do something by me, for me. It allowed me the ability to enjoy something that I never needed anyone else for - and as a loner, it was the perfect hobby. It also ultimately made me a more sociable, outgoing and gregarious person as I shared my pics with others, and it lead me on the path to starting my own business.
Like JohnParminter, it has also nearly cost me a divorce on several occasions...
Quote: Like JohnParminter, it has also nearly cost me a divorce on several occasions.
My husband bought me my first "proper" camera. Perhaps he was hinting. Didn't work though - he's still stuck with me.
It gave me a "career" where I could be myself
Diversity is the biggest draw for me.
One day I could be driving through Swaledale looking for landscape shots, the next shooting the interior of a beautiful building, the next doing a bunch of staff at Manchester Uni then off to play with professional dancers - and the last 3 Saturdays I've been teaching Photoshop and before that HDR...
I'm incredibly easily bored so most other hobbies were short lived - Photography covers so much more than most
- made me lots of new friends though the camera club, craft fairs and galleries I attend (and made me a bit of money from that as well, which all gets spent on new photographic "Toys" )
- given me immense pleasure in discovering the joys of print making (its what my camera is for as far as I am concerned )
- kept me off street corners in my retirement (except when lurking trying to get a specific shot of course)
- got me closer to nature by making me look more carefully and understand the behaviour patterns of my subjects
- filled me with wonder at some of the amazing sights there are to see, if only one takes the time to stop and peer through the viewfinder (a downside to that is that I tend not to see things unless I look through the viewfinder these days )
- got my wife looking at things more closely too (she is my official "Shot-Spotter" )
and finally, got me to EPZ to enjoy the company of all the fine folks who visit here
Quote: it has also nearly cost me a divorce on several occasions...
I don't think you were trying hard enough...
Quote: After 57 years of taking pictures I suppose that I am nearing the end of my personal photographic journey
That's fantastic! Its not surprising you're philosophical about it, but I'm curious why you feel you're nearing the end?
In my youth I had an interest and have only recently picked it up again, about 5 years ago. Traditionally holidays were active in terms of outdoor pursuits but photography has taken me to places I wouldn't other wise have gone, primarily around the UK and I'm constantly blown away by how wonderful and diverse our landscape is.
I'm also in the fortunate position of having a partner who is nearly as keen but quite different in approach. We often turn up somewhere new and wander off in different directions! One of life's little treasures is sitting by an open fire with a bottle of wine and looking at the photos we've come away with from the days outing, in one respect its actually brought us closer together.
There's nothing better than sitting in the natural world, watching, looking and listening. In one respect photography has been a little reminder of ones place in the cosmos by escaping the humdrum of the modern world. It appears awe and wonder increases with age and photography has been a friendly medium in contributing
[quote] That's fantastic! Its not surprising you're philosophical about it, but I'm curious why you feel you're nearing the end?
I will still continue to take photographs in the hope that the occasional good one will still come along but age and failing health mean that I can no longer get about as much as I used to and my local area does not inspire me like it once did (been there, done that comes to mind). The digital age is a godsend to me as it is so much less hassle than setting up the darkroom and the ability to manipulate and adjust my images is great fun and goes a long way towards compensating for not being able to do everything that I used to.
I got involved in photography while in the process of researching digital cameras with the intent of getting our daughter one for Christmas 9 years ago. I got so tied up in reading photo mags that I ended up becoming hooked on it myself. At the time I had 3 years left to retirement at age 60, but as fate would have it, exactly one year later I ended up on medication that nullified my pilot's license, and I finished work 2 years early, and was very happy to do so, actually. That's when I went at my hobby with a vengeance. I haven't looked back really.
As far back in my life as I can remember I've been fascinated by nature. As a child I practically lived in the woods, couldn't get enough of it. There is one thing about that which seems to have been a big part of my life right up to present day; it is a solitary activity, I have never attended a club, been part of a group outing, etc.; I enjoy it as a loner. I'm not anti-social, but I don't go out of my way to be a part of gatherings of humans, so to speak. It's not that I don't like people, it's just that my photography is something I do alone, and enjoy it that way. What has it done for me - kept me active physically and mentally, and allowed me to get even more into my true love, which is nature.
I find I pick up on things quickly, I have tried many hobbies and they have been short lived, including building remote control helicopters and aeroplanes this hobby lasted 2 years before getting bored with it, after that I took up photography and after 6 years of doing different types of photography I have found the hobby I love.
I also found photography opened my eyes to the world around me and I have probably learnt more in 6 years of serious photography than i have in a very very long time.
Animals were just Animals and so were Birds until I took up photography then I was learning the names and habits of Birds, I also learnt about where I lived by taking Landscapes and seascapes.
Photography has been a wonderful learning tool in many many ways for me, and i am still learning and loving it.
Nature has always been part of my life, as a child i was lucky enough to live next to a huge woodland where I used it as my play ground, I have always been a Country boy at heart, never liked the City and never will.
Landscapes and wildlife I love the most in Photography, I do love taking portraits too though.
Creativity is the key word I suppose. Many of my works were only seen by close friends and family members. And I never bothered to publish them or think of them in terms of sale value. Just a quiet peaceful hobby, almost meditation- this is what many of us miss in this highly stressful rat race called job and career.
Not everyone gets lucky to earn some money from their pleasure ( I'd love to get paid for my fishing trips ), but the satisfaction from seeing some decent work done for no mercantile purpose - simply priceless!
It's been the most important aspect of my life and has been very powerful.
Gave me a career path
Let me see the world
Partly caused a divorce
Gave me the opportunity to write a book or two
Put me in connection with highly influential people in the industry
Let me meet many superb photographers
Helped me meet and form incredible friendships
Helped almost kill me
Allowed me to create this site and give millions of people enjoyment
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