Seldom talked about topic

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Dagwood56, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How do you go out and photograph if you have physical limitations due to age or illness or both?

    For those of you who don't have any problems - use your imagination and try your best to put yourself into that situation. You never had to worry before, but suddenly find yourself at the mercy of others to get where you want to go and can't always accomplish what you'd like once you get there. Maybe you had an accident and suddenly find yourself in a wheelchair, or maybe you have back problems that limit the gear you can carry and how far you can hike till you come across that one in a million shot. Perhaps you have a chronic knee or arm injury, bad arthiritis, or like me suffer from peripheral neuropathy[numbness of fingertips and feet] a prolonged and sometimes permanent side effect of chemo therapy. And suppose your mobility is so limited that where you can go to photograph becomes limited - say your own overgrown yard? Do you continue to shoot the same stuff over and over in different ways? And how many ways could you find to re-shoot the same things?

    Until this past year, I didn't give much thought to this myself, since I had few physical limitations other than cranky knees, but How do you go out and photograph, expecially nature, if you have physical issues that limit how low you can go to get the proper perspective for the shot you want? That limit where you can walk or climb to, to get the right vantage point for the shot? Do you pass it up altogether, or accept a higher angle of perspective for the shot? What if there isn't another angle for a good shot?

    I'm just curious how you all would overcome these types of issues if you had to, or how you have overcome them.

    For me, my hands are clearing up and as long as I don't go out to shoot in the cold [anything below 40f] I'm okay with handling the camera and changing its settings and lenses. Plus I invested in several of the handwarmers which I keep in my camera bag.
    My feet however prevent me from going out alone so I must wait till my husband is off from work to take me out to shoot - this limits me to one day a week. We usually go somewhere that is a flat gravel\sand\dirt path but at times I see things off the path I'd like to shoot. If the incline to get there is to steep, I must passup the shot. If its a matter of climbing over logs or tree roots, my husband assists me in getting there, but I can't always get that low angle shot of something that I'd really like.

    So I'm just curious as to how others would deal or have dealt with issues like this and how many of you might actually say that you'd find another hobby.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    An interesting and tricky topic - certainly I know that there are a few disabled photography groups online - google them up and see what you find - they might have some inventive ideas for people with limited mobility.

    As for the situation you describe it would depend - firstly where you live could be a key factor - birds can be attracted to almost any garden with feeders - even in towns. IF your are in the countryside or on the edge of a smaller down you might also have luck attracting other animals to you garden - that would let you have the abilty to setup hides and such or just shoot from the warm indoors during the colder parts of the year.

    Also I would look up some local photography clubs - might be that you can find others who are willing to help you on your trips - whilst its certainly good to be out with your other half sometimes photographers are bad company for others (since we are like to be looking for shots rather than anything else ;)) course if its his hobby to then all is good :).

    Also have you considered using hides? That might let you have time to shoot the wildlife whilst your other half is away somewhere else. Of course this depends on the situation with your feet and I really can't make a judgement call on if this method would suit you or not.

    Certianly keep at it - remaining active and interested in things keeps people going, don't let it defeat you!
    There are always ways round things so just keep going and shooting :)

    edit - just a thought but if low angles are a problem then there are few things you can look at (especailly if you have your sherper with you ;)) a tripod, solid head (a really good ballhead for versatility or a geared head if your shots are mostly macro and flowers - static things) focusing rail and using that to get a low shot - you can pass directions to him to change the angle of things and you could review using a laptop with tethered shooting. Ok this might be getting a bit technical and overkitting things a bit, but its a possiblity if your camera has a video out port (most that have liveview do)
    You can even use a remote release and a portable DVD player for viewing the images (advantage is that they are cheaper, quicker to use, smaller and lighter)
     
  3. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You change what you take pictures of.

    There are many photographers that only shoot still life (notice the number of Light Box posts), or other subjects like that ... architectural / structural.
    Portrait's do not require a lot of moving around ... the subject does most of the movement.

    I spent a lot of time taking pictures of simple subjects that were found around my house. I had many interesting photo's from that time, and I continue to take pictures of them.

    You can spend all your photographic time taking Macro shots in the backyard.

    If you really are passionate about photography ... you will find things to take pictures of that around your physical limitations.
     
  4. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Overread :
    I actually did look into the disabled group sites several months ago and found them to be a bit too far on the disabled side for me, but thanks for the suggestion. Your idea of having my husband adjust the tripod and using a cable release for low shots is a possibility I had not really thought of so thanks for that also as it would work out with stationary shots like flowers. You had lots of really good suggestions!

    I have actually found ways around most of my issues now. I was just curious as to what others might do.

    I am lucky in that I also love to shoot barns and we have plenty of those in my area and I can usually get most right from the car. It makes for some pretty tricky driving for my husband as they are back country roads and narrow with no shoulder to park on, but it can be done. I'm also looking forward to warm weather when I can have the opportunity to shoot butterflies and other interesting bugs on our butterfly bushes in the yard and I had already suggested to him the possibility of setting up a type of bird blind near our bird feeders. I have also been lucky that we are near two lakes so I can often get photos of waterfowl when we go out, [but i do get tired of the same scenery] though not on their eye level as I'd like; I'm hopeful that by summer I will be able to get down to their level.

    dxqcanada:

    Thanks for your thoughts on the subject. I for one hate to do still life shots - so much so that I'd give up photography if that was ALL I could do. But I have stocked up on books about macro photography and Do plan to get the bugs and butterflies this summer in the back yard - and we always have planty of spiders and webs in this area too. For macro practice - during the cold of winter, I have been shooting in a light box, using things my husband finds and brings home from his long hikes with our dog.
     
  5. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You should start looking into getting a good macro lens.

    I recommend at least 100mm. I have a 50mm Macro ... but it requires you to get very close to the subject.

    Sony: 100mm Macro
    Sigma: 105mm, and a 180mm Macro.
    Tamron: 90mm, and a 180mm Macro.
     
  6. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My husband has a 105mm macro that I'm looking forward to using....not sure, but i think it is a Sigma.
    :DThanks
     
  7. Chiller

    Chiller Mental case

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    Interesting topic. A few weeks back, I ended up in a cast, and crutches. I was amazed at how much I could not do. Even tho I tried to get out with the camera, and all, that mobility was not there. Trying to hold the camera, and balance on one leg, or crutch was a challange. Ya think my horizons were off before...gheesh...you should have seen some of them. :lol::lol: Seems we take for granted what we can do in our every day life but when something like that happens, I realized how much I appreciate what I have the ability to do.

    Now that I have the cast off, Im still walking like a Nintendo Generation Graffitt Scribbling Rapper:lol::lol::lol:

    Carol your signature says a lot and I agree. :D
     
  8. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for your response. I can imagine the trouble you must have had trying to photograph while on crutches. I had trouble when I was still using a walker in September. Letting go of the walker with one hand to hold the camera up, which at that time was just my canon P&S and trying to maintain my balance was very difficult. :confused: Been walking on my own since mid October and still look like someone walking in swim fins!:lol: Yes, it is amazing how much we all take for granted in life till its gone. Thanks again for your response.:D
     
  9. Chiller

    Chiller Mental case

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    It was simple things too Carol. Like making a tea. I made the tea, and went to watch a movie, but had no way of getting the tea from the kitchen to the living room. My dog has not grasped carrying the cup yet. :lol::lol:. But I found myself getting angry with me, over the simple things I could do, but now could not cause of the cast, or crutches. Showering with a green garbage bag on my leg was the freakiest thing.

    The fun of taking pictures as a hobby, became more of a frustrating challenge.

    People that show any disrespect to others that have a disability are now on my %hit list. :grumpy:
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You adapt or push yourself.

    If you're interested check out ABC News: Man Without Legs Harnesses Public Gaze the story of a photographer born without legs and who travels the world without a wheel chair.

    On the flip side of things I typically push myself to the point of collapse for my hobby. I had an injured knee while in Canada, but I had to get a shot from the Mt Seemore? summit. After 9km of snowshoeing I am now STILL in rehab with a brace on my knee 3 months later :( But the view I saw was worth every second of what I can not do now.
    Grandpa's wisdom: Don't be the only healthy person in the graveyard.
     
  11. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    If you're not disabled, look at it this way: take a room in your house - can be any room, I chose my bedroom. Now, while just in that room, go and shoot. The thing about photography is that since there's literally an infinite number of possible shots out there, there's an infinite number of great shots to be found, anywhere and from any perspective. Your only excuse is bad lighting - in which you should just wait for it to change naturally until it's nice again.
     
  12. NucleaRR

    NucleaRR TPF Noob!

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    This subject is ecspecially important to me because I have a partial disability. In 2006 I was involved in a motorcycle accident that caused damage to my shoulder. I tore my Brachial Plexus, a bundle of nerves, when I broke my clavicle. I could no longer control the muscles in my shoulder but was still able to use my lower arm and hand. For the first few months even using my hand was hard. About six months after my accident I had a nerve graft and luckily fifteen months later I was able to raise my hand above my head. :cheer: It was a long struggle that I do not wish to go through again.

    With that said, it was during this time that I started to get into photography and I will say it was very hard to do even the easiest of things. Like hold the camera up to take a shot. I essentially had to use my left arm to hold the weight. And before I lifted the camera I had to make sure that I grabbed it with my right hand so it could ride up. Needless to say I had bad camera shake in alot of my pictures. Luckily though tripods have existed for a long time and I started to use one regularly. It was the only way that I was able to take pictures. I am lucky though that my injury is one that can be 'fixed'. I still struggle with other things in my life but it is not as bad as it has been.

    One thing I truly miss was rock climbing. I would get some great pictures if I was able to do this still. But such is life. I know that photo opportunities are missed because of my limitations but I try not to worry to much about it. I look for a perspective I know that I can accomplish. If I really want to get a shot I will find some other means of getting there. Like someone else said you have to change what you shoot. So for me instead of climbing those rocks to get beautiful photos of the landscape I could instead take perspective shot of those rocks and cliff to show the viewer how technical it can be to get to the top. Which in turn shows the rewards of doing so, the views and self empowerment.
     

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