Retirement, film photography, and travel

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by ozmoose, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    I recently hit 22, so am I welcome?
    I am having an unplanned indefinite vacation time right now, due to the difficulty of the Southern European job market. So I am living like a retiree at the moment.

    Your mention about studying more at uni does hit home –the whole post does–. Prior to the recession and as kids we often heard a phrase such "Study, so you can get a future", "Look at that person (point at some blue collar), you must study unless you want to be like that". So I am a business graduate, but that doesn't guarantee anything nowadays! –not even an MSc– The job market here is totally out of whack, and recalling the dissing towards blue collar jobs... They are honest and there are tons of underemployed people. I do have plans, having spent a semester in Scandinavia, to move up north. I also like its relaxed style and career framework much better than the Spanish. Plus with planes it's not that far. (sorry for the rant here)
    Spain is (in words of my dad) a nice place for rich and retirees. For the known reasons.

    I am very measured on spending and finances, my first ambition and expense is photography and travel. My father is 60 and wants to retire ASAP, recently he was indirectly told about extending a year. It is ironic that he's got to work more and I do not get a job yet. So there is a lot of retirement talk at home. He always talks about the subject and telling me to keep it in my head. With the low incomes at the moment it's hard to save, but I'm not an excessive expensive person and it slowly is.

    Tempus fugit indeed. A few days ago I read some meditations about the decade of 20s and how it should be profited.
    When I was in high school I recall listening do Led Zeppelin's 10 years gone while thinking about the 10 years before, about childhood... That was, 5 years gone ago!
     
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    ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    Prest_400, you are most welcome, many thanks for your comments, feel free to post more. I was impressed by how your views are so similar to mine when I was your age. Time passes, many things change, other things stay the same. The years pass so quickly, and free time, whether planned or not, is time to be cherished. There is a lot of time ahead for you, if you plan and use it wisely.

    Portugal was my preferred place in Europe, but I would have loved more time in Spain. The culture greatly appeals to me, and you are situated so close to many other places in Europe, most of them easily reached even by train, my favorite way to travel. Scandinavia for me would be too cold (as is Canada where I was born). Nowadays the relatively mild Tasmanian winters chill me to the bone. More good red wine is needed to warm me up, obviously...

    As for photography and travel, this has sustained me for the past 51 years (I did my first long trip by car across North America and into Mexico, aged 18), and with careful saving, good planning and knowing what your priorities are, you can easily make the best of your time, even on a very limited budget. I hope - travel in Europe was so cheap in the '60s and '70s, but may not be now. It has been a very long time since I last saw Barcelona and Madrid, too long.

    As time passes we learn to make do, at the start and at the end of our work lives. Good cameras can be expensive but last a long time. Roll film is now prohibitively expensive in many countries ($12.50 a roll for Acros 120 in Melbourne, last time I checked) but I bulk load 35mm for my Nikons and Contax G, home processing is easy and provides big plusses in cost and quality, and minimal is the way to go with accessories, especially lenses.

    Good gear lasts a lifetime. In the '60s I shot with a Yashica and then a Rolleiflex and easily sold almost everything I photographed, even in B&W. In those long ago days the world was my oyster bed - now things have changed, with the WWW and zillions of posters now most of us can't even give away our images. But still we go on shooting out of whatever strange bees in our bonnets compelling us to capture images on film or digitally. For many of us, photography has defined our lives, and I for one believe we are most fortunate for that. We walk our own way in life and see the world in odd and wonderful ways.

    Yes, Drew, the grass always seems greener on the other side - but let's not forget what makes that grass so green in the first place, especially in the 'paddock'.

    In my early 60s I did envy those who don't want to retire, and in fact had exactly those plans for myself, to work forever and eternally. A (small and fortunately temporary) health scare at 63 made me reassess and realize life was finite, I had so many beautiful cameras I wanted to play with and get to know again, and so many places I wanted to visit and revisit.

    So MartinP, it's never too late to start planning and above all else, to apply some lateral thinking about everything in your life. Where do you want to be and what do you want to do at 65? In my case finances (= lack of same) was a major factor in my own plans, so I quickly put together a hard and often harsh 18 month plan of diligently biting bullets, stuffing every spare dollar into my pension fund, and penny pinching (almost) every little thing at home. I sold a car, a motorcycle and a sailboat, had two garage sales to clear out surplus things, flogged off books, LPs and CDs on Ebay, and cashed in some old stocks I'd held on to for yonks in the hope that my banana boat would someday sail into port, which it never did), all of which helped to level out if not quite fill up the gravy boat. Like many others I've had yearly camera gear cleanouts and sales (on Ebay) and although it hurt to part with some cameras, when they had left home forever I quickly (and surprisingly easily) forgot about them.

    DWThomas, I've had an occasional look at your web site (which I greatly enjoy), and to your comment that you "may admit to time management difficulties!", I can only say, you must be joking!?! I will happily recommend your web site to everyone as ample proof that your life is busy, complete, varied and, I'm sure, extremely satisfying. How on earth do you find the time to do it all? If I'm ever in your area, can I drop in to sample some of the beaut bread - I'll bring along the wine and one or two of our superb Tasmanian cheeses.

    Jim Jones, was the author of that book Harry Browne? I recall having read it in, I think, 1976 when I was in Malaysia. The author (I had the pleasure of meeting him socially once in the '90s, moved to Vancouver and lived happily on a house boat in the harbor. He was a keen photographer (Canons) and didn't seem quite as rich by then as I thought he was in the '70s, but he certainly was one happy guy who knew how to enjoy life. Harry passed away a few years ago. His books now seem to be out of print. I would greatly enjoy rereading it.

    Alan9940 would do well to write a similar book, and I mean this seriously and with the utmost respect. How I wish I had followed his good example and advice over the years.

    Anyway, this is supposed to be (more or less) about photography, and there is one area I would like to explore. How many of you have either taken up or returned to using more basic cameras after you retired? Weight and carrying same will be a future problem for me - I now find even a Nikon and one or two lenses weigh more than I feel comfortable with in my Asian travels. I have a large store of 120 B&W films at home and I've thought of using one of my folding cameras - my two favorites of the moment are a Zeiss Nettar 6x9 and a Voigtlander Perkeo I, both from the same vintage - with lens hoods, one filter and a Weston meter. And of course film.

    Has anyone traveled with such a simple kit, and how did you find it? Part of me fears missing out on that shot of a lifetime by not having THE lens I need for it, but the rest of me points out that I usually go out with one Nikon and a 28mm 2.8 and an 85mm 1.8 and I use the '28 for 90% of my shots).

    Again, everyone, thank you! I hope we can keep this thread going, so much of interest and good and valuable information is coming out of it.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I am have a heck of a good time with TLR cameras and B&W film. Toss in a Luna Pro SBC, cable release and small tripod and one is good to go! The pod needs not be tall when looking down at the GG of a TLR!

    At this point in life -- seeing once-in-a-lifetime shots is the important thing -- recording them on film is pure bonus time!
     
  4. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    Yes, one of the things I'm doing is simplifying my photography. And it's starting to look like using just the three Rollei B35's I have. One loaded with HP5, and set at 1600, the other also with HP5, and set at 400, with a 2X ND filter in pocket, I have an ISO range from 100 to 1600, and the whole works is compact, light, and has a 40mm lens, which suits me well.
    The third B35 is a backup, these ain't exactly the newest things in the world!
     
  5. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Hmm- I've fallen behind in tracking this interesting thread (must be that time management stuff rearing its head!) By all means if you find yourself headed my way -- "Man does not live by bread alone -- wine and cheese is important!" Thanks for the compliments on the website, it has also fallen to pretty low priority -- a case of AAADD (Aging Adult Attention Deficit Disorder!
    I've not so far cut myself down to only such a camera, except on some typically local small project, but I have a Perkeo II and an Ercona II which I have used with some satisfaction in conjunction with other gear. Lately my go-to camera when I am trying to be serious but not over the top (as in 15 pounds of Bronica gear) is my Yashica Mat 124g. There is an assortment of shots from all of those in my gallery here. And probably more than you wanted to see out in my PBase empire. :cool:

    As to those missing shots and THE lens, I am of the philosophy that no matter what gear one has, there will always be one of those "if only I had ..." moments. Best to just accept in advance that such things will happen and march forward. The other problem with lots of gear (besides back and shoulder problems) can be not having the right combination ready. Load a roll of 400TX or HP5 in one of those folders and head out! Take whatever limitations as a challenge to find what fits and works within that format and focal length. I find more and more I move toward little abstract details to shoot, if I have an unanticipated need for a documentary shot, my latest iPhone is 12 Mpixels (and surprisingly good -- for a phone)!

    Life is short, eat dessert first,
     
  6. blockend

    blockend Member

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    A couple of guys I know retired from the RAF with full pension at 42! Young enough to begin a second career, and the government paid for retraining. I enjoyed my job but inept management and the reality of donating five days out of seven to voluntary incarceration meant I jumped at the first opportunity. Now I live modestly and do as I please, some of which I'm paid for. No complaints.
     
  7. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Retirement?? One week, one day to go. But I'm not touching my pension until the age it's legally mandated, cause it's one account that is earning well at the moment. But I already invested in a stash of sheet film when it was considerably cheaper than now, and have it in the freezer. As for
    living expenses, at a certain point, the Social Security Administration sends you regular tip sheets, such as: "By the time you turn 65, we strongly
    advise you to acquire a taste for roots, grubs, ants, and worms".
     
  8. OP
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    ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    Drew, you may find (as I did) the first month "off the job"will be the most difficult. I coped by varying all my routines, dumping many, changing my scheduled tasks, and planning my first Asian escape - I "unofficially" retired in August, 2012, four months early, and finally hit the road in February, 2013, so I had six months to sit at home and basically examine myself and everything in my life. Many hoarded possessions (the ones I hadn't been able to bring myself to sell until then) were sorted out and dumped (sold, given to friends, of off to local charities), the garden was redone, I did all the cooking at home, did volunteer work for a local charity in need of having its secondhand bookshelves reorganised, and in general worked my way through the initial euphoria of freedom 24/7 (I was self employed, so no 9-5 for me), the inevitable feeling sorry for myself, the "I want to stay in bed with the blankets over my head" crisis, the "where is the damn key to the wine cellar?" mood, and finally, the euphoria, anticipation and freedom when I finally hit the road to Southeast Asia.

    It's only now, after four years, that I can return home and not feel useless or as if some aspects of my life - the "validation through work" ideas so deeply ingrained in most of us - are lacking. So it takes time.

    Retirement, like the rest of life, is something we must all work through. Think of yourself as ever so fortunate to have made it to retirement age while you are still able to lug a bellowed behemoth, film holders, assorted gadgetry and the tripod to go with it all, up those hills on rainy or snowy days to come. Or yours truly setting up his next shot with the Fuji GA645 in 40 degree tropical scorch. Same difference.

    The heaviest camera I've ever owned was a Hasselblad (kit) with four lenses, film backs and other gadgets, which impressed clients when I took it out but my Nikkormats usually shot the projects and nobody knew or cared. I sold that 'blad two months ago and haven't missed it or even thought much about it. Rolleis, a Fuji GA and a Voigtlander Perkeo I or a Zeiss Nettar 6x9 more than fill my need for larger negatives. Most of my printing is 6.5x8.5" anyway and I haven't done an 8x10" this year.

    TLRs are fun to use and easy to carry. I have always considered the Rolleiflex to be the ideal minimalist kit. Camera, lens hood, maybe one filter, an exposure meter. Film. There you are!

    Over the holiday break I want to relearn to use my (recently repaired) Fuji GA645i - autofocus isn't my preferred shooting mode, but the GAs focus so well, without the "quirkiness" of my Contax G1. I now like simpler cameras more. Those of us who learned our basic photography in the '50s and '60s know nifty tricks like hyperfocal distance focusing and the good old 'Sunny 16' rule.My first "guru" book was the now very scarce 1945 edition of 'This Is Photography' By Thomas H. Miller and Wyatt Brummitt, borrowed from my local public library as a 14 year old school kid, which taught me all the basics I have ever needed for my lifetime of photography. Recently I picked up an almost new copy in a bookshop in Kuhcing, Sarawak, for A$5, a true find. I can now shoot my last two rolls of 120 Verichrome Pan in the Perkeo and soup them in Kodak DK60a, as a nostalgic treat. Back to the darkroom, circa 1962!

    As I see it (and as so many of you seem to agree), we are truly blessed to have made it to the good and "mature" age we are now, at a time when good film cameras have never been cheaper.
     
  9. frank

    frank Member

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    +10
     
  10. jamesaz

    jamesaz Member

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    I'm coming from a different perspective. I spent my adult working life (since 1975) in the photography business. Custom printing labs, assisting, crap shooting jobs (houses for realtors etc.) grip work in tv commercials and other stuff till I got a good corporate staff photographer job.
    Now retired, all the ideas I had for projects while working and learning the craft seem to have become.... Well, I should have written some of them down.
    So, my questions are: what happens when one retires from photography? Not that I'm ever going to be camera less, I got into it, because, (among other reasons) I never saw myself retired, taking cruises and playing golf, and, more importantly, to me at least, now that I'm not involved in daily idea exchange with coworkers and assignment completion is that it seems as if my idea skills are becoming atrophied.
    If anyone is still reading this thread, I'd welcome your thoughts.
     
  11. oldtimermetoo

    oldtimermetoo Subscriber

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    People who are bored or are afraid they will be bored when they retire have little or no imagination or broad areas of interest and that's sad. Like most of life, retirement is what you make of it......Regards!
     
  12. jamesaz

    jamesaz Member

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    Oh, I'm not bored. I do something every day. Built a pinhole, getting ready to explore diafine, been teaching my 16 y.o. Grand daughter film photography (she asked). It's the grand project that eludes me and I find it interesting, amusing, frustrating, ironic and not at all upsetting that all those ideas I had over the years are now gone. I have no intention of getting therapy for it, however. Thanks.
     
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    ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    James,

    How amazing, some APUGs are still reading this thread!

    As I see it, you nailed it well (#35, #37), and oldtimermetoo (#36) confirmed it - retirement, like all of life, is what we, the retirees, make of it. Many of your 'old' ideas may return if you sit down, relax, and let your brain wander to wherever your mental memory chips take you. The question is, tho, do you really want to?

    An example from my own life. In 2013 I cleaned out my home office (an architecture practice), and after disposing of the techno gear we used, I sorted out one (the first of three, two more to go) filing cabinets at home. After quickly reading thru the lot, I gave myself a week to 'contemplate', and then put my shredder to work. A dozen old manuscripts I had completed to first drafts during the years I was a journalist and editor, were reread, deemed not really fit to be left for posterity to do the dutiful task for me, and shredded. Ditto many file folders of scribbled notes I had kept over the decades. In the late '70s I had a period in my life when I drank too much (good Japanese sake and Polish vodka were so much cheaper then), and wrote well into the night, most nights. Eventually I sobered up somewhat and read what I had written and realised it was mostly garbage, thought What The (bad word, your choice)!! and disposed of the lot. Without regrets, ever. My words were just that, words. Three decades plus later, the same fate befell the manuscripts I so lovingly hoarded over the decades. To sum up, the important things matter, the rest is disposable. This said, filing cabinet two contains a massive pile of old negatives and color slides, mostly ignored since the '90s. Going thru this lot (I have brave plans to do this during our next Tasmanian winter, June to September) will be an even more difficult ultimate test of my endurance, and my fleeting disdain for immortality may undergo a lightning-speed sea change. Anyway, I'll see.(Those vodka binges are long past, BTW. )

    Briefly summed up, many of my old ideas seemed so important at the time, but now I realise they no longer matter. New ideas take their place. This process helps to keep us mentally refreshed and young in spirit.

    At nearly 70 I realise there is still enough time to do many things, if I manage it (my time) well. And if not, well, so what? What gets done, gets done. What doesn't, my time will be up and I will be beyond caring. My apologies if this sounds morbid. I vote for realistic. To me, reality is fine, if I remind myself to not take it too seriously...

    To return this thread to topics photographic, these days I'm shooting yes, architecture with a Fuji GA645wi (120 B&W), a Nikkormat EL or FT2 (35mm color neg and sometimes B&W) and also occasionally, one of those Nikon 'D' kits we aren't supposed to talk about here. Age has somewhat wearied me, and I no longer carry all three cameras, opting instead for one analogue, whichever suits my mood and subjects best on the particular day, and the 'other'. Film isn't getting any cheaper and we must all opt for common sense in the loads we carry. I no longer drive, so when I'm away I get around and about mostly by PT (bus or train) or taxis for short hops or by hired car and driver for longer jaunts or, if a river intrudes between me and my subjects as sometimes happens, by small charter boat.

    Life is fun and my photography keeps me mobile, moving and curious about things. I can't think of a better way to keep the rocking chair at bay.

    Gosh, I do go on. I've said enough for now. Hope others will join in and post. Let's try to keep this thread going as long as we can. There are so many of us out there, quietly doing our thing and making the effort to keep film and our darkrooms alive, and we matter. Let's not forget this, ever.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  15. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    But you have to put some gold in that pot while you work :wink:
     
  16. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I've been working for University of California for close to 20 years. It's a great career first working at the vet school in multimedia now I do IT and curricular support for program that teaches media production. UC has changed where it's more bureaucratic and top heavy. I still love my job, but the work environment has changed so there's less job security. The work environment has become more toxic and more ageism is happening. I'm the kid of person that gets bored easily and I'm too young to retire, but as soon as I turn 60, I'll be retiring from the university if I make. The bureaucrats see me as too expensive and UC plans to reduce expenses. There's news about UC outsourcing IT work. http://www.computerworld.com/articl...california-to-send-some-it-jobs-to-india.html

    My brother lost his job with Intel last April due to layoffs. He's in his 50s and having a hard time finding work. It's hard working and talented. He told me that he might just end up retiring since he has a nest egg that he can live off of. He's too young to retire and told him that he should work just to keep busy. Since he doesn't have to work for a living, he can work at what ever he wants to.

    I talked to my uncle this weekend and he told me after working for the city of Chicago for 27 years, he's retiring. He's fairly healthy and active, but there is a new city official that brought in cronies that are useless and my uncle is taking up the slack by doing double duty.

    I think my brother, my uncle and me are lucky enough to have pretty decent jobs with decent pay and pensions. But it's different not with the "Gig economy" where there's is no job security and no pension. It a tough work world now.

    Mexicans have a saying "May you have health, wealth and time to enjoy it".
     
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    ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    Agreed, Mainecoonmaniac. Sadly, we are likely the last generation to be able to enjoy the benefits - long term job security, good working conditions, decent pension plans, age 65 retirement, even government pensions for those who haven't managed to fill the golden pot with nuggets- we saw in our time, and now see steadily eroding as uncaring (= greedy) employers and stupid bureaucrats destroy the job market for their ego gratification and greater profits.

    We were also fortunate to have the best of the film era - wonderful cameras, films to die for (think Tri-X, Plus-X, Panatomic-X), an endless choice of photo gear and darkroom equipment, all of it eminently affordable. Now we are seeing photo stuff worth tens of thousands or even more in its time, sold off for pittances or dumped on the scrap heap as all the noobs rush to pay homage (and spend small fortunes on new gear) to The Great God D.

    Although self-employed, I had to deal with many economic upheavals in my private practice and it wasn't until 2009 or 2010 that I finally sat down, sighed "I want out of all this!" and set to assessing what I had and how much I would be retiring with. Fortunately I was sitting down. A stiff drink helped, and I then set up some "Bite The Bullet" Plans to improve my financial situation and home life before taking the big step to leaving the work force in mid 2012. I'm not at all rich, so I live and spend prudently, I travel as cheaply as I can, and it still amazes me that here in Sarawak, Malaysia, my living costs are somewhat less than those of my fellow Australian government OAPs who complain in their emails about the high cost of everything. I sold off many unnecessary things, saved and invested prudently, stuffed my pension plan with as much spare cash as I could, and in general learned to make do with less.

    With good health and the realisation that there is a LOT of life left after your last day at the office or lab, you will find retirement to be perhaps the most fulfilling and productive time of your life. And you can do it all to please YOU, which is, to me, by far the best part, and worth everything I had to do to to reach the goal post of becoming and being "retired".

    All this said, may I wish you the very best of luck in your planning for the future. You seem to have it under control. the future may not be what you had planned, but at least you will have a future. May you enjoy it as I'm now enjoying mine.
     
  18. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I am prepping for a solo two-week desert roadtrip. I can leave when I want to, move the day up or back. Nice. Spent most of yesterday going through my Sinar 5x7 that I have had for several years without ever getting it on a tripod. A mish-mash of cameras, I think, and a home-made 5x7 back. I can get two of the rails (12") to connect properrly (not the 5"), and was pleased to find a stash of Sinar lensboards so I could get three additional lenses set up for it (180/210/250/360mm) -- and I can use the lenses directly on the 8x10 (Zone VI). I'll go thru the 11x14 to see if I want to take it or not. Then load film tonight. Tomorrow; prep the van/camping gear. Sunday; buy food and leave. Retirement is a lot of work! The Norma with the 180mm:

    Norma.jpg
     
  19. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    May you live long and prosper as a retiree!

    To us oldsters, this might seem dismal. Millennials entering the work force, they have a different attitude towards work which I think it's a lot healthier. They don't identify with their work. Work is just a means of supporting a life style. With a gig economy, they won't stick with one career but will have many concurrently. It's doing what they have to in order to put food on the table. The good side of this is there will be less people stuck in soul crushing career for decades. . I hope instead, the new workforce will have work with a greater sense of purpose other than climb the career ladder.
     
  20. During this last trip, two weeks driving from Los Angeles to Banff, Lake Louise and Fairmont Hot Springs, and return, I bought my cameras. When I wanted to take photographs I stopped, got out of the car and took the photographs. Sometimes my girl friend took photographs too. At one point we saw thirteen Rocky Mountain big horn sheep feeding, and another time approximately forty elk walking in the snow single track on a trail.
     
  21. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Do the work you love...love the work you do. I have worked either seasonally or part time my whole life in jobs I loved (or were just short-time affairs) -- and photography has been the thread, weaving through it all for the last 40 years. Life is too short to work just to live.
     
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    ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    Mainecoonmaniac (#43) and Vaughn (#45), truer words were never spoken - even by me!

    And talking about life aspirations, I am determined to get this thread to #100 and beyond... So much relevant and useful info to be shared between us.
     
  23. CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber

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    Well. i am Retired/Disabled. I spent 25 + years in The Painters Union and it exacerbated my Arthritis.
    I have had:
    5 surgery on right wrist
    1 on left wrist
    3 on my back
    2 on right knee
    1 on left knee
    My right wrist is fused and so is my lower back.
    My biggest complaint (other than the pain :smile:) is that i have more passion for photography NOW than i did 30 years ago when i was healthy and walked all over San Francisco with a Canon AE-1.
    Man...talk about Regrets. I really dig "Street Photography".....and i truly wish i still had the body for it.
    But, the passion is a reward all in itself, even if i sometimes (mostly) cannot be the physical photographer that i once was. :smile:
     
  24. I am tired of the piece part body replacement. Next time I will go in for a complete full body replacement with a 18 to 21 year old male hard body. One recovery, one rehabilitation.
     
  25. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,792
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
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    8x10 Format
    Just got back from a couple weeks carrying an 8x10 in the desert. Sweet -- but the old body ain't like it use to be! But I pushed myself some physically and photographically -- I need to plan other trip soon to keep building on the progress. Perhaps a waterfall tour of Oregon in April?

    Found out that 20-something and 30-something year old 'kids' have some serious camping ethics to learn, and that there are a lot of grouchy old farts out there, too!!
     
  26. Brian Schmidt

    Brian Schmidt Subscriber

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Location:
    Iowa
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    I've done an internship at a certain typical factory-office place for the past three years. There are other kids there my age and I can't decide exactly what makes them tick. As you would imagine if you were to see some of my things in the gallery I keep quite busy either making things or visiting people, or just roaming around on the bicycle. I would ask the other interns what they had going on tonight or over the weekend hoping to get some interesting conversation. The response was just about universally, simply stated "Mmm probably get drunk" with a crappy little grin. And that was it. Maybe go to the cabin and get drunk.

    I worry for them, not a lot but I should say I've learned an extra lesson from them. Office people seem to start young like them and then kind of blast away, working long hours and drinking their sorrows of working away. Every dime is wasted on something or other, the thing that will complete them they believe. Then they hit this terrible midlife crisis. They're just middle age people who've never done anything all that impressive but worked to make their boss rich. Their aspiration of one day being CEO has evidently been extinguished. They realize they're old and unhealthy, etc. Thankfully I now know the 'life cycle' of such types so hopefully I can avoid many of their mistakes. Of course, not everybody can really be their own person. Few can, actually. I hate the idea of spending much time around such people. I don't want to burn out like them or even risk it.

    Then on the other hand there are the folks up to UNI in the philosophy and humanities-based majors who I greatly enjoy. I am an an Industrial Tech major but have been attending the Philosophy club and another for discussion of religion and politics. These are the real hard thinkers, the people I like. Some have the attitude mentioned in comments above of the imminent mortality and the live life to it's fullest. The attitude of not bothering to climb the ladder as you'll end up six feet below the lowest rung soon enough regardless. Of course recklessness is never a good idea but there are plenty of other ways to be happy.

    Honestly the realistic and applicable method lies some place in the middle. I don't want to be the next Sam Walton but I don't want to be like Cheech and Chong either. I might have another 80 years to live but 60 is more realistic. That's an awfully long time so I've been thinking hard about using it in a way that is most fulfilling. Looking at others mistakes has taught me a lot on how to conduct myself, it seems to have well added to my power to think things through. As one would imagine in such a consumer-y society money seems to cause many problems, primarily wasting it. I'm good enough at resisting temptation that I think I'll be fine. Really I'm quite happy with who and where I've become in a short 21 years.

    I would just like to work on getting a few spare Compur shutters and maybe a few 10.5 CM lenses to keep the old Avus working for another 80-some years. I could make anything else but such a fancy shutter or a usable piece of glass... Well...

    I'm quite grateful for threads such as these as they provide so much honest insight that is often difficult to get in person.

    Have a good day,

    Brian