As a child I had polio and have used crutches and a long leg brace for mobility all my life. Even though I am lucky enough to not have any pain I use photography to help escape the realities of life. Photography also allows me to share my love of nature.
Being outdoors and observing animals has always been a favorite activity of mine.
Photography allows me to observe better and keep an image to remind me of the moment. A car works well as a blind most places. It can be used to observe the animal’s natural behavior without disturbing the animals. By setting quiet and using a long lens it is possible to photograph animals in their natural setting. I forget all about my limitations and enjoy the moment while taking these photographs. Finding a good location and then waiting for action that will produce a good photograph has devoured hours of my life. If the photo is a scene with no animals there is no waiting for the action but often time is spent waiting for just the right light. Since photography is just capturing light it is important to get it right. In my opinion the photos I take compare quite well with others, so instead of being the disabled photographer I am a photographer with a disability. That is a small but important distinction.
Looking at the photos later I am able to see details that were not apparent when observing live action. Detail in the feathers or fur are able to be seen and enjoyed. Lots of times the faces of the animals seem to have an expression. You can almost see anger, curiosity or joy in their eyes and faces. Using the computer to help make the photos reach their potential brings me joy and satisfaction.
It also keeps my mind occupied so the cares of the day are forgotten for a while.
Many hours have been spent both trying to capture an image and then editing it on the computer. The time seems to fly by and the worries and hassles of daily living seem to vanish. Photography may not be the only activity that would achieve those results but it is the one I am doing now and would recommend it for anyone that has an interest. An added plus is sharing your photos with others can be a social activity. Just don’t show your bad photos or too many of the good ones or the people won’t want to return.
Note from Greg: Special thanks to JP Bruce for sharing his photos and story. I had the pleasure of meeting JP at a recent workshop on how to best utilize Adobe Lightroom photo-editing software. I was amazed at the number of people who attended the session who, like both JP and me, walked with the aid of a crutch or cane. There were even some who came in wheelchairs. For me, it helped validate what we are trying to do with Photoremedy. JP is obviously a very talented writer and photographer. I encourage you to check out more of his work at: www.jpbruce.com (his website) or www.jpbruce.wordpress.com (his blog).