Photography: Age is no barrier

With modern cameras, age is no barrier to enjoyable photography.
With modern cameras, age is no barrier to enjoyable photography.

Today, age really is no barrier. In fact I received a letter from a reader, and I quote, “Up until quite recently I had no particular interest in photography, for many years I have had a camera of some sort ranging from a box which used a Selo or Kodak roll film and as regards pictures were concerned I just pointed the box in the direction of something that caught my eye and clicked.  After a few days I would collect my films from developing, look at them, show them around and then put them in a box and that was that.

“Your page in the Pattaya Mail gave me a tip which I had never considered, this being to use height in taking a picture of a marching parade, marvelous. My picture would have been a side view of a couple of people mixed in with a few heads standing in front of me.

“Thanks to you I have taken a really good view which I am proud to show. Thank you again, also I am able to tell people about, SLR and wysiwyg.

“Another reason to write is that the name Harry Flashman is not common but when I was 7 or 8 years old, I am 90 this year, I remember a boy of that exact name, could it be you or a descendant?”  Henry McCarthy.

Many thanks Henry, but I’m not your boy from all those years ago, but I am delighted that you have found photography at your age.

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 an ideal pastime for 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 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.

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 fears 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 you once 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 starting around Bt.10,000. There are plenty of choices in the marketplace – something from the major brands such as Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Samsung. A hint to the family around Xmas or birthday should suffice.