Are there those who don't use their cameras as often?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by RaymondC, Feb 24, 2022.

  1. On social media and on the Internet one hears around all their exciting shoots. Maybe with a model, maybe heading somewhere exciting, maybe doing auroras etc.

    With covid it has made me stop and think about my hobby and going back to the past revisiting some books and videos and to look at my peers I know in person what they do and why. Do you use your gear often? I have used my gear more often in the past, I would do a drive out just for a sunset or at a time I would go and shoot a sunrise before I head to work or I took my camera to work and shoot during my lunch hour but not now .....

    FWIW. I have been with a camera club for over 15yrs. Not sure if that is a closer representation to the overall camera purchaser re: pleasure hobby photography. Those who shoot a bit more might live near a beach which they go for their walk exercises. Mostly shot in daytime rather than golden hour. Those like myself who live in typical suburbia heads out less frequent. You do hear about the 1 or 2 that carry their camera to work and goes shooting after work to shoot streets, grabs dinner somewhere before heading home. The club membership varies from ages of 20s to retirement ages over 70. I'm in New Zealand. The vast majority might only use their cameras with their trips away, summer holidays, or overseas trips like if they are from the UK and they head back to visit friends and family and they do a stopover in Dubai or Singapore for example, plus their own important family events. Equally they might have family in Australia or Asia and they head there. Often thou they might just use their phones and are on vacation mode and still don't use them much. Some our female members likes to go away with their own personal non photography friends to vineyards. With the club, I belong to a small group of 8 people and we establish monthly theme topics that we shoot 6 images to share monthly and we vote and select the better 3 and talk about them. It act as reasons for me to get out with my camera that I might not otherwise do, I probably only use my camera maybe twice a month. Because it's just every other day, every other week, doing errands and life goes on .......

    We do have field trips and sometimes overnight with lodging but of the 100 members prob only 12 do those. Your typical beach location sunsets, botanic garden visits, Civic Square meetups, maybe a milky way late night event, maybe if there is a cycle race held in the CBD or a street market fair carnival being held.

    Like to hear your thoughts :)
    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. I'm 77 so maybe that makes a difference. I don't shoot that much anymore. I shoot film, now 4x5 and before medium format. Like many things in life, we get bored and jaded. Shooting less maybe is better actually as it will keep you more engaged when you do it. Sometimes I feel like I'm not shooting enough. But I feel the same way when I go on vacation or on a cruise and don't use all the facilities available like I'm missing out, not doing "my job". It's kind of silly when you think about it. Just relax about it. Shooting a camera isn't a race. There's no finish line.
  3. There is only so much time.
    What else do you have to do?
    • Kids will gobble up a LOT of your time, and when the kids are in bed, all you want to do is collapse and rest.
    • If you have a time consuming job, it is like kids, you don't have much if any time for yourself. Been there, done that.
      • Worked 6 days a week, woke up, breakfast, then off to work. Came home and went to bed.
        Day 7 was doing laundry, grocery shopping, and everything else that could not get done during the week.
        What spare time?
    • If you have hobby X, do you have any time for photography? Sometimes you can combine the two, like take a camera when you go fishing or camping.
    • I have many hobbies, but can only do maybe two at the same time. The other hobbies go into hibernation, until I pull one out of hibernation and send another one into hibernation.
    IF you want to stay in photography, you will try to squeeze in some camera time, if you can.
    It may be in conjunction with something else, so not a dedicated photo outing. And not for as long as you may otherwise want.
    Something is better than nothing.

    You make time for what you WANT to do.
    The rest fall behind, and go into hibernation.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  4. I am 72 and have some serious health issues. As a result, I rarely get the opportunity to use my gear, but I am eager to get back out as soon as possible. I have plans to add new lenses and a mirrorless body. I also have been working on selecting subjects and locations that stretch my photographic past.

    Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Allen Sanders, 1957
    ericphelps and ajkocu like this.
  5. Covid hit and a few months later I hurt my foot and can't walk much. So I gave up on street photography and put most of my effort into archival material and cine' film. I use the scanner a lot and do lots of copy stand photography. I also do a lot of screenshot shooting off the internet.

    Cine' film is an issue because I only have a silent film scanner and it is a pain to get the sound off the film without a sound scanner. It has been almost a year and foot has still not healed. So will see how it ends up. You never think much about feet until you hurt one.

    Right now I'm working on developing my technique for film scanning with a digital camera. I have a huge archive of material. So always busy. A good practice for shooting is shooting the the TV screen.
    ericphelps and mikemorrell like this.
  6. SCL


    At 78 and dealing with health issues, I don't want covid complications, and it is the middle of winter, so I've pretty much put my outdoor shooting on temporary hold. I'm keeping up my skills by shooting indoors and scenes from my windows, using different techniques and experimenting. Polishing up my film cameras for spring and using my digitals for instant feedback with my techniques. Also taking time to learn some photo editing programs I've never previously used bu which might be helpful in the future. My cats are getting tired of being models, but a few treats coaxes them back.:)
    ericphelps and mikemorrell like this.
  7. For the last couple of years, I've taken most of my photos as a voluntary photographer at events or at interviews for articles. My 'personal' photos are generally 'people photos' too, either street or at (musical) events. I occasionally go walkabout with my DSLR but less in the winter than in other seasons. If I see something photographically interesting while out and about, I now tend to use my cell phone camera.

    As @Gary Naka says, the time (and energy) available for photography also depends on what else you do. I do a lot of voluntary work and I combine most of my photography with this. I also play sax in two bands which takes time throughout the fall, winter, and spring. But they both have 'summer breaks' which is when I tend to do most of my 'personal photography).

    So the frequency of my photography varies. During the past 2 years, largely depending on which measures to limit the spread of Covid were in place at any one time. At the moment, Covid measures are gradually being relaxed and more 'events' are taking place.:)
  8. All things considered, including the suspension of most events, I took a lot of photos last year. Added over 300 to my gallery here. I had to quit the gym which meant much more walking and photography gave me a purpose to get out there.
    ericphelps likes this.
  9. My experience has been similar to some of the earlier posters. Age (73), health issues, and pandemic lockdowns have all taken their toll. Many of the events and venues I usually photograph have been closed.

    My photography has tended to reflect my lifestyle and family activities. In the early days holiday and family predominated. Then as my sons grew and took up various sports, I followed them with my camera. Later they took up music and I photographed them playing rock and heavy metal. Now they are adults and do their own things, removing a stimulus for me to get off my backside and take pictures.

    Another major stimulus was my taking two college courses over four years, and again loss of that stimulus resulted in lowered activity. Finally as a member of photography clubs, entering competition - but that's become something of a chore these days.

    My main activity more recently has been collecting, using and selling old cameras.
  10. Not just the age and health issues. Our club has a nice spread of ages. Not sure if online has a particular audience that engage on there and they are the ones that are more active in photography. The ones that are less active tend to be more passive readers / contributors online. Also not just covid. I've just used this time now to think back in time about what people did and what I did and how it's changed over the years ....

    Like Gary mentioned. Life gets in the way. Work, laundry and other chores, kids. Weekend kids commitments like sports. Then you have the other activities that people get into like visits to the beach, doing that picnic or that summer backyard BBQ with other family and friends over. The ones I know tend to share images of their trips away like driving away road trips or overseas if they have family there. Women tend to like going away with their girl friends visits vineyards and wineries. Beer and wine festivals and attending sport stadium games etc. Their personal family photos are prob not shared the odd one might thou if it represents a nice portraiture etc. ie a camera club with a photography topic theme in mind.
  11. I use my cameras a lot, but for video rather than fun. I had an acquaintance who was an avid bicyclist. He said, "If you like to ride, don't open a bicycle shop." I drive past the Chicago Botanic Garden almost weekly, but on my way to or from a gig. No time to stop :{
  12. Since the pandemic hit in early 2020 until now I think I shot less than 500 shots.
  13. I still shoot tens of thousands of photos a year...but with the screen recorder. I do lots of archival work off the internet.


    Scan of damaged 16mm Stag Film


    Last edited: May 27, 2022
  14. Fortunately (for me, not so much for you all) I built a a fairly large file of images back when it was easier, personally and socially.

    I do get out with the dog, but one hand for the leash, one hand for a cane, etc., leaves me short a hand somewhere along the line.

    Typical dog-walking picture of my Siberian Retriever
    Dustin McAmera likes this.
  15. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire

    I'm so ashamed: I'm 58 and feeling my age...

    I found I was doing ever less with my (several dozen) film cameras, and in particular I had a backlog of developing and scanning. For good or ill, my solution was to draw a line under that and get, finally, a modern digital (I have a Fuji 'bridge' camera from about 1998 or '99, that I needed for work then, but I have never even been tempted to buy a DSLR: too big, too expensive). So now I have a little Canon mirrorless, and I have turned into mount-adapter guy, and it's all small enough that I take it out with me on trips that are not primarily about photographing, and I am photographing something several times a week.
    But... it's not the same activity as it used to be. So I have also let myself buy some large-format film holders, and a couple of lenses: I'm the couple having a child to save the marriage. I keep coming back to the idea of joining a club, but I think what I really need is just one collaborator, maybe two.
  16. rws


    Like many of you, I too have cut down on the number of photos I take in the past couple of years, whereas previously I would go out many hours a week. Covid has been one factor and advancing age and some medical issues have been another. I had a revelation halfway through all of that however: with all of the time spent taking photos in previous years, I had spent relatively time "finishing" my photos, turning them from raw files (or slides) into final (?) versions that were truly ready to display. I started printing more, but my Epson R3000 gave up the ghost, so for my 70th birthday I invested in two new Epson printers (a P700 and a P900) which I have used almost every day since then.

    I remember reading a quote from Elliott Erwitt (a favorite of mine) that essentially says that every photo contains two compositions: one formed in the viewfinder by confronting your subject, and one formed upon reflection in the final picture, in which you uncover the appealing dynamics of the competition (which may not inlcude all of what you originally saw in the viewfinder. This is a paraphrase, of course, but you get the idea. So for the past year I've mainly been taking older photos (digital and film) and discovering the interesting "dynamics' of their contents -- sometimes what I originally saw and sometimes something different.

    I'm now also preparing to do more actual camera work, though. Working to make a finished print of a picture does have its "ah ha" moments when your efforts all seem to come together. But I miss the "ah ha" moments that my various cameras have provided over the years via direct engagement with life/the world/the visual. I also miss the social dimension of photography, so also hope to pick my activities with local clubs and photography meeting places.
    David_Cavan likes this.
  17. I am soon to be 78 and in reasonably good health and after a lifetime interest in Photography I still get pleasure from the idea of something that I can imagine happening. Although reality is better, thoughts of future possibilities can still be inspiring, almost like looking at past photos on the wall and their associated memories does for past thoughts. I guess I am an optimist too.
  18. Love it. Photography discussions often emphasize the past, the memory of the moment, the memento aspect, historical or documentary record, nostalgia, etc. Seeing future possibilities is a way of moving forward, a motivating factor. Future possibilities are also something that photos themselves can convey.
    Glenn McCreery and rws like this.
  19. I don't know whether optimism is inherited or is a response to environmental issues. Like immunity to disease? Inherited from Mother's Milk as in my case and also as a child growing up in post WW2 UK, playing outside in the dirt, esp. in an area called the dump where the city created a giant landfill of refuse from streets and even hospital waste (we avoided touching those syringes etc). We looked for treasure in the trash, much fun.

    Now waiting to watch Liverpool play Real Madrid in a cup final. Football (soccer) the worlds sport. Great to watch in real time on CBS sports. Was a coach for little ones in the 1980's here in Jacksonville FL.
  20. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Being a mere 71 (overweight, with minor mobility and breathing issues), I consider myself fortunate to be able to go to a Nature Reserve twice a week on average, walking some 5-6 miles each time, carrying camera gear, binoculars and spotting scope on tripod. My doctor says lugging that lot around keeps me fitter than I have any right to be at my age ! I try to use the camera at least once a week, when I find something I feel is worth recording. As others have said, I think it is enthusiasm that is the driving factor - my 'serious' photography started when I was 18, and there have been times when it has been a lower priority - I was lucky enough to do shift work, so had opportunities on an almost daily basis. However, I have never had a great interest in photographing people - I prefer subjects that don't answer back or offer advice ! I also do not drive, using public transport, so I have to select photo gear I am able to carry for an outing (frequently all-day, but hopefully with a café somewhere !).

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