Friday, May 31, 2019

Changes in our travel photography

Age, my stroke and advances in technology have changed travel photography for both Hubby and me. My spouse has considerable photo skills and used to think nothing of carrying a Nikon camera and several heavy lenses on a hike. 

Whether urban “hiking” in San Francisco or taking on a challenging trail in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee or North Carolina, he was prepared to capture images of our experiences. He especially liked documenting landscapes, cityscapes, moving water and living creatures, including Homo sapiens

Age and his determination to help me keep on enjoying travel post-stroke had eroded his inclination to carry heavy photography equipment. 

Then we purchased an iPhone 8 for me. He fell in love. Or more accurately, in awe. 

First he was surprised at the quality and versatility, not to mention the attraction of not carrying a lot of gear while having to shepherd me around.

He also voiced regret that we had not taken “selfies” of ourselves to remind ourselves we really were in St. Petersburg, Paris, Rome, Jerusalem, Cairo, etc. 

He now borrows my phone frequently, and I have no complaints. He is quite willing to fill my requests for snapshots, even when it was of elk on the side of a mountain highway while he was driving. 

Elk in the Smoky Mountains (Photo by Hubby)

Or even a "selfie"in our campsite in the Smokies where he had just fixed hot tea for me and coffee for himself and was ready to sit down in front of the campfire.

Hubby and Linda join the 'selfie' snappers (Photo by Hubby)

I think I may need to encourage Hubby to don his readers for the occasional selfie, though. Then, hopefully, he won’t have to squint to see if he actually has us in the frame.


Monday, May 27, 2019

Photo trials

I have gone about three years without a camera that I could operate one-handed. 

But the few hours that it wasn’t raining on a recent April trip to the Smoky Mountains offered just the encouragement I needed to start experimenting with my still new-to-me iPhone. 

The first attempt was while I was seated in my camping chair. I held the phone in my good (right) hand. I touched the screen. My target was a cup of hot tea on the little foldout shelf on my chair.

Missed cup

Oops! Even with that little PopSocket gizmo on the back of my phone, I had difficulty.

A bit better!

Second trial: I stood with my rollator beside me.  I locked the wheels just in case I lost my balance. I bent over as close as I could get to snap a photo of a small cluster of violets in our campsite.

Whoa! I realized I needed a lot more practice for succeeding at that maneuver. 

Campsite violets

Issues with balance, stiffness and vision have resulted from age and the effects of a hemorrhagic stroke. My photo efforts were only a few days before the eighth anniversary of that stroke that zapped motor and sensory brain cells for my left side.

Those richly colored little flowers offered an unexpected jolt of encouragement. They were blooming in the inhospitable environment of a well-used national park campsite. 

How wonderful that the simplest things can encourage one to “bloom where you are planted” and to live fully and joyfully in the moment!

The image below captured another joyful moment for me when we were back home in our coastal environment. I snapped away. I was firmly "planted" in the front seat of our van with Hubby giving me helpful photo tips.

 Heron perched on coastal Mississippi fishing pier

May unexpected and abundant joys come your way, too.