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Photography for Seniors

If you’re looking to start a new hobby, creative endeavour, or way to express yourself to the world, now is never an easier time to get into photography. Advances in digital cameras and much lower barriers to entry in photo editing software have long since replaced the days of manual film cameras, dark rooms full of developer chemicals, and complicated processes of manually altering photos with airbrushing, colored gels, or cutting and pasting. With a few purchases, learning some simple tricks and tools, and a little bit of prep work, you could be well on your way to becoming the next Ansel Adams.

The first step on your journey would be to learn or refresh yourself with the basics of photography. There are many resources you can use to brush up, from seeking out reference books at the library, looking up tutorials online, or even taking an introduction class at an adult learning center or a local community college. While the internet has made a wealth of knowledge freely available with just a few words typed into a search engine, in person instruction or joining a club for hobbyists gives you the advantage of incremental lessons with real time feedback.

Regardless of your exact approach, there are many technical concerns to fully brief yourself on, such as aperture size, focal length, white balance, or depth of field. Additionally, there are artistic considerations for composing and creating each photograph, like the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, or the golden hour and other lighting effects. This may seem like an intimidating amount of things to keep track of, but finessing and balancing all the various considerations and components to create your perfect shot is what makes photography such a fun and exciting creative pursuit.

One thing that can seem especially daunting for beginning photographers is the amount of equipment available. While it may be tempting to go out and buy the camera with the most features and a set of lenses for every distance and light level possible on the planet, slowly and steadily acquiring the gear is a much more sensible route. While the camera on your cellphone most likely does not compare to a professional grade DSLR camera, you might find yourself quite surprised with the results you can achieve. And you can always purchase a cheap or used entry level digital camera if you’d rather have something a little more traditional, with a viewfinder. The most important thing is to be taking pictures before anything else. Find subjects that speak to you, whether it’s nature, landscapes, sports shots, or portraits, and acquire new gear as the need arises. For example, if you find yourself often frustrated by distances, get a long lens. If you find yourself needing to take wider shots, get an angle lens, and so forth.

But the most important idea for photography, or any hobby for that matter, is to have fun. Photography can be a fun and enriching artistic pursuit, and if you can stick with it and enjoy developing your skill and finding a style, then you’ll find that every day brings opportunity for expressing yourself with the world as your canvas.