It seems ironic to me, sometimes, that I am picking up the hobby of photography as my vision is deteriorating. I loved photography in high school and college, but put away my camera in the midst of the busyness of grown-up life. Now that I have difficulty seeing, I am re-learning this visual activity. Why did I stop taking photos for so long? I think that there were a few roadblocks that I had to overcome. They were not about my vision. They were barriers that could hinder any would-be photographer. I have put together a few rules that I follow to break through my own barriers to photography.
1. Take your camera everywhere. There is nothing worse than seeing a great shot and realizing that my camera is at home. I carry my little digital point-and-shoot camera almost all the time. I try to keep it accessible, so that I can grab it and use it at a moment’s notice. The other day, I was in the car and was stopped by a passing funeral motorcade. I was very interested in the officer directing traffic, so I took out my camera and got this shot
2. Do not be intimidated. This rule is really important for me as a beginner and as a low vision person with a “little” camera. The other day, I visited a park to take some pictures for a list I am trying to complete. As I entered the park, I saw a man with a huge, impressive, expensive-looking camera set up on a nice tripod. I felt embarrassed to be taking pictures at the same time and almost left the park (really). How silly! For me, photography is not about the equipment or even the level of skill, it is about using this medium to help me learn to see and to bring the world into focus once I get my pictures uploaded at home. I stayed and took my photos in that park. I don’t know what the guy with the big camera got, but I am really happy with my photos
3. Move around. I have had to learn this one the hard way. I tend to look at an object from one viewpoint and photograph it from this one angle. Many times, when I upload my photos, I ask myself why I didn’t move to a different angle. I remembered this recently when I was photographing a sculpture. I walked all around, taking photos from many angles. This is my favorite
There you have it. Three simple rules from a “blind” beginning photographer. Now, grab your camera and go have fun!