Pensioner and photography both start with P!


The popular notion of being retired is that the retiree has an idyllic life, doing what he (or she) pleases and all day to do it in. Unfortunately, if you ask a pensioner about life, you will get a different perspective. Being a pensioner is all about getting old.

Clinical psychologists have found that one of the quickest ways to get old is to retire and have nothing to do. There is a limit to how many times you can sit on the beach, or play golf. No matter how much of a beach fanatic you are, or an avid golfer, there can certainly be too much of a good thing. This is why I ask you to consider photography.

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As one gets older, physical activity is important – just getting out of the house or condo is an enjoyment in itself. This is where photography is so good. Give yourself a small photo project and out you go and illustrate it.

Photography is also an ideal pastime for our seniors, because it is something that can be picked up and put down at will, it is not too physically demanding, and modern cameras can assist in the areas where age has taken some toll. And the end result is something that can give you great joy, be that award winning sunsets or just pictures of the grandchildren.

To play golf you need golf clubs. To play photography you need a camera. Get one with autofocus (AF). There are many reasons for this, but since sharp focus is necessary for a good final print, let the camera do it for you, when sharpness in vision is something that becomes very problematical as you get older. Provided you can point the camera in the right direction, the camera will do the rest.

Most AF ones are a little more expensive, and work by moving the lens in and out electronically to focus on the subject in the middle of the viewfinder, just as if you were doing it yourself. They do this quickly and accurately and will usually give an audible ‘beep’, or a green light in the viewfinder to let you know the focus has been set. Do not be afraid to try the new advanced cameras, they make life easier, so just use them to your advantage.

Stiff fingers? Today’s digital cameras do away with film and any of the problems associated with it. Forget about threading film through rollers. Nothing could be simpler or more fool proof than digital.

Zoom lenses also save you having to go the distance. Is it just too much of a hassle these days to walk up to distant objects to get close-up details? Then a zoom lens will do it for you. With a zoom lens it is no problem at all to get a close-up, a wide angle and a distant shot from the same camera position. Maybe an autofocus digital compact camera with an inbuilt zoom lens is just the camera for you. Just push a button to make the zoom bring the subject closer or farther away.


As we get older, we are also more prone to the shakes. Today’s digital cameras can even compensate for the tremor, with anti-shake technology. This makes photography for seniors even easier.

Today’s camera manufacturers have taken the tears out of flash too. Most new cameras have their own in-built flash which comes on when the light levels are too low, will set their own flash power and give you perfectly lit indoor night shots every time.

So there you have it, retirees. There are cameras available now which can get you into photography! If once you had the ‘photographic eye’, then that ability is still there. All you have to do is get the equipment to let you use and enjoy it again. Look for suitable AF digital compacts with built in zoom, anti-shake technology and auto flash.

Pricewise you are looking at spending something over B. 10,000. There are plenty of choices in the marketplace. Something from the major brands such as Nikon, Canon, Olympus. A hint to the family around birthday should suffice.