Saturday, January 28, 2012

Photography as therapy

Last summer, the photography bug hit me in a way that it hadn't since before my kids were born. A number of my online friends were sharing their photos, and I felt the stirring of something that was once very strong.

Oh, I had been taking pictures over the years with my succession of point and shoot cameras - mostly in Disney World - and I had many of those. I also was taking lots of pictures of the grandtwins.

What I hadn't been doing is going out and taking pictures for the sake of the inherent art of photography. I was missing that. Two factors clinched it for me. I needed to get back to photography. First, since being retired, I often stayed in the house during the day, waiting for my wife to return home. Second, my daughter's wedding was approaching and what better excuse for getting a digital SLR (DSLR) than that?

Back in the days before the kids were born, I took the pictures and then worked on them in my kitchen darkroom. Today, like with the camera itself, the darkroom is digital. I had been using Photoshop professionally for two decades, now I would be using it for my own art, and there is still so much I have to learn.

As I detailed in a previous post, it took a bit longer that I had expected to bring my knowledge of using a film SLR into the digital age, but now I am comfortable with my DSLR - though always learning new tricks - and find that I look forward to my next photo outing. That's where the therapy aspect comes in.

These days, I find that I can always find a reason to get out of the house - looking for something to photograph. That doesn't mean that I am out of the house every day ... it's winter now and just this past week we have had snow and a few days of rain. Yet, even on those days I do stay indoors I find myself drawn to my "darkroom" which is my computer these days, rather than a darkened kitchen filled with the aroma of chemicals.

I have something exciting that I can look forward to every day now, without the deadlines that came with my career in publishing. I have even had the chance to meet a fellow photographer from halfway around the world and got to spend a day out taking pictures with her. I have been able to try new techniques which I had always wanted to try. And there is still so much to do, to learn, to try.

If you want to have a look at some of what I have been doing, check out my photo blog, Gathered Images.


  1. I loved the day we spent out with our cameras, indeed my camera has saved my sanity. As a result, also opened up a new path which I'd never thought possible.

    Really touching post.

  2. I know just what you mean. It's like therapy for me too! I've only just discovered it, as you know, and I'm loving the mentors I have online. You're right, I need to get off auto...but I'm not sure where to start....