News, Announcements & Members’ Articles

Are You Comfortable? [continued]

Photography has been described as fun, creative, challenging, enlightening and many other things, but, unlike the situations I’ve mentioned, I had never heard it called “uncomfortable.”  That is until one day while shopping in a camera store.  During a discussion about what equipment is the easiest to use and how some is more cumbersome than others, the salesperson casually remarked, “Well, you have to find what works best for you.  After all, photography is uncomfortable.”  That remark got me to thinking…

An old pair of jeans, slippers, or that raggedy worn-out sweatshirt with the faded school logo; now that’s comfortable.  Your beat up Lazy Boy recliner with the cracked leather on the front part of the seat…that’s comfortable.  However, climbing uphill while schlepping a camera bag loaded with two camera bodies, four lenses, and a ham and Swiss sandwich while also toting a tripod and a bottle of Poland Springs water, now that’s downright uncomfortable!  Bending down into some twisted yoga-like position so you can capture that ground-hugging flower at just the right angle only to have to keep shifting position as the wind keeps blowing the damn thing from left to right, then front to back while the petals go in and out of focus…uncomfortable to say the least.  Forcing your aging knees to lower you to the level of your grandkid so you can take a shot of his face and not the top of his head (the way most non-photographers do) then trying to stand back up…clearly u-n-c-o-m-f-o-r-t-a-b-l-e.  And let’s not forget the famous shot all travelers shoot of their favorite giant redwood tree.  You know, the one looking straight up so the branches recede toward the clouds giving us that over-photographed railroad track perspective.  Chiropractors love that shot, but your neck doesn’t.  Rather than seeking medical help, we rush home to smear on the Ben-Gay resulting in a searing, burning sensation accompanied by a smell which leaves us unable to enter a room with other human beings.  All of this as a result of our beloved hobby, photography.

Okay, so maybe photography is uncomfortable.  So what’s the solution?  Should we abandon our passion and sit on the couch binge-watching episodes of Seinfeld on Netflix?  I don’t think so.  I, for one, will continue seeking to produce earth-shattering, prize winning, cover of National Geographic type images while straining my back, fighting a crick in my neck and enduring painful knee joints.  I vow to continue to pursue this photo stuff, this beloved, wonderful hobby however uncomfortable it may be.