Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photography Keeps Us Young, Fit and Healthy

If you are over 55 (as I am), you probably get notices from the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) to join the organization. I received one recently - although I feel like a kid.

That got me thinking: many of professional photographer friends who are over 55 are more active than ever - shooting more pictures, working and playing more in the digital darkroom, teaching more seminars, leading more workshops, learning new techniques, marketing their work, and so on. Not one even remotely considers retiring - and that includes me!

So I venture to say that photography keeps photographers (pros and amateurs) young, fit and healthy.

Young because making pictures and working on them in the digital darkroom energizes us. I think this is especially true with HDR images - because images like the one pictured here were never before possible without this relatively new technology. How exciting! (The bottom image is the average exposure of the scene, the top image is the HDR image - created in Photomatix and then enhanced in Photoshop with a touch of Topaz Adjust). What's more: HDR helps us see - and picture – the world in an entirely new and exciting way. Before HDR, I never would have taken this picture - because the contrast range was far too wide.

Fit because we burn off calories and build muscles when we lug around our camera bags and tripods and walk around the countryside and through the streets of a city - sometimes for hours a day. What a great way to work out!

Healthy because we are constantly learning - and as the old Chinese saying goes: "Learning is health."

Hey, maybe I should start, iARP: International Association of Rockin' Photographers. Wanna join? :-) Please share your thoughts here.

I know my photography-loving dad would join. He's 91!

Hey, you don't have to do this to join!

Speaking of being older (physically) and keeping young, stay tuned for my interviews with John Isaac and Harry Benson over at the Digital Photo Experience podcast. Lots of good how-to articles by our staff on the DPE site, too - which includes some potential AARP and iARP - members.

If you need some inspiration on feeling young, check out Real Magic by Dr. Wayne Dyer over on my books page. I have a few books there, too, for photo inspiration.

Explore the light,

P.S. You can get a discount on Photomatix (and other plug-ins) and learn about Topaz Adjust (which I think is one of the coolest new plug-ins) over at the Plug-in Experience.


Carolyn Fox said...

Not only does photography help to keep us young physically, although it sometimes is a challenge to lug around heavy gear, it also helps to keep us young mentally. That especially applies if we're constantly trying new software, such as Photomatix, Topax, etc. & exploring other new ways to enhance our photos in PhotoShop, Lightroom, etc. Those mental activities help keep our minds sharp as we grow older. BTW, I'm ready to join your new organization of photographers. :)

Rick Sammon said...

Great! You are a founding member! :-)

Jim said...

Hey Rick, sign me up to the IARP! See you at winter wings.

Samantha Decker said...

My parents are in their early 50s and are members of AARP...not even retirement age yet! I love the picture - this is why HDR was invented!

Francie said...

Great idea, please sign me up for IARP too! I retire from my day job this May. At 62 I will then be able to immerse myself full time in my passion for nature and all things DSLR and Adobe.
We spent the last two very chilly mornings waiting for one of the two groups of Whooping Cranes to fly over the Town of St. Marks, Florida on their way to winter grounds at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. We were rewarded this morning with a fabulous sight, as the ultra light circled the crowd and gave us the opportunity for some great shots!
Keeping up with this constantly changing technology is guaranteed to keep mind, body and spirit in great shape – while having terrific fun too!

PhotoJ said...

Sign me up for IARP, I'n not old yet and I don't plan on getting there. Photography is always pushing my life experiences. Lately it has taken me into concert photography and continues to pull me into wildlife work.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry I'm 26 and I get tons of AARP invitations.