My experience with cameras started when I was about 10 years old, a square brown plastic film camera with a mediocre lens. About 40 years ago I graduated to a rangefinder then moved to an SLR. I then stopped fighting technology and accepted autofocus with automatic exposure. Now I’ve graduated fully to digital. My photography interest is wildlife and nature, and I semi-patiently waited for vacations and business trips to practice my craft. Over the years I slowly acquired top-level equipment and I had big plans for when I reached retirement.
Fast forward 9 years . . . I’m finally retired but all those plans have run into a big hitch: they never included arthritis. So, left with two choices, sit in a chair and look at everybody else’s images or, as I chose, borrowing a phrase from a Clint Eastwood movie, “adapt and overcome.” I want to share some results of these efforts and I hope they inspire you to get out and make more photographs too.
I’ve discovered that no matter what your outdoor photography interest, you don’t need to hike a mountain or camp out in back country to find great locations. There are unlimited opportunities for photography, a great many not more than 50 feet off the side of a road. How to start? Here are some of the methods, places and tools that can be used by anybody with mobility limitations.
The National Parks offer a great training ground to practice roadside photography. One of the best and easiest places to find almost unlimited roadside photo-ops is Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming and Montana. Wildlife, geysers, mountains and more all coexist in these two parks. The parks are open spring, summer and fall and some parts are open in the winter. For citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are age 62 or older the best news is the $10 Golden Age Passport. It’s a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee. For all you youngsters, there is the National Park Pass for $50, valid for one year from the date of purchase.