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I just got back from a photo shoot at a place called “Little Rocky Glen”.  I’ve been there perhaps a dozen times over the years.  I’ve always liked it in the winter because it gets some wonderful ice formations.  On one side of the stream, down near the water, are these wonderfully formed circular cuts in the stone.  Under the right conditions they for wonderful ice formations.  On the other side directly above them is a large jutting stone that we’ve coined “photographer’s ledge”.  It reminds me some of the “Lion King” pride rock.  Where Simba was presented to the kingdom.

Up there high above the subject of the day was an ice path that leads down to the precipice.  As any responsible person would do, I stopped and put my cleats on.  It was slick, no two ways about it.  But the feeling of hesitation and fear was paralyzing.   It’s only a moderately steep path, but one I’ve done in these conditions many times.

Questions!  Is it my age?  I’m only 55 but my back and knees aren’t what they used to be.    Is it my physical condition?  I’m heavier now then I’ve ever been.  That too can contribute to the back and knee problems.  How about my mental health?  Could it be that as I’ve gotten older, I’m just wiser, have had slid in such conditions and not gotten hurt.  Am I just warning myself?  Lastly, is it my thoughts, that spur this fear?  The thoughts of not being able to do something I’ve always done.  I find myself becoming more forgetful and in less control of my mind.

Is it time to embrace old age, and usher it in gracefully?  I’ve seen family members and friend that have done just that.  Embrace it and make the most of it.  I’ve also seen family members that spend their time resentful and trying to make up for lost opportunities.  Yet others who became bitter, resentful, and outright hostile.  I don’t want to be like that, at any point in my life.

So, the questions arise then, what to do?  And how?  I need to figure out if this is physical or not.  That means losing the weight and seeing if that makes a difference or not in the physical problems.  It also means that I might have to embrace more of a roadside photography style for a while.  The studio will also offer many opportunities for creativity and learning.  Destinations of landmarks, historical villages, reenactments, museums, and the likes will offer lots of perspective images to work on.

Back to today’s shoot.  I found some ice patterns and textures to shoot.  Easier terrain to navigate. I also shot the stream from the roadside and stopped at an old silo that I’ve passed many times and photographed it.  So, overall, while I might not be able to photograph what I wanted, I was able to finish the day feeling productive and creative.

Moving forward I think I’m going to need to be more selective and patient with what and where I go to shoot.   I need to find the self-control and discipline to get serious about maintaining my body.   And not only my body but, mind and spirit.  Perhaps more on that next time.

To see the pictures from the shoot at “Little Rocky Glen” click here.