Mastering the technical aspects of your camera, on top of applying all of the creative and technical concepts, can make it a daunting pursuit for many. Now, with digital photography the norm for most photographers, there is also the added element of learning post-processing if you are really going to become successful as a photographic artist.
Learning Photography and Ageing
As you scratch your head trying to put all the pieces together, you may not have realized that you are exercising many aspects of your brain. Studies have found that digital photography keeps your brain sharp and your mind in good shape.
The Study Shows…
During the University of Texas study, six groups of individuals aged 60–90 were studied over a 10 week period. Each group was engrossed in a specific activity for 15 hours a week. The primary activities under observation included digital photography, digital quilting, and a variety of activities like playing cards and socializing. Only the groups doing quilting and photography improved their memory abilities when confronted with these continuous and prolonged mental challenges.
Benefits of learning digital photography
What were the benefits? The most significant improvement was found in their use of words and phrases as well as their recognition of conceptual and visual imagery. The reason digital photography came up so high in this cognitive study is that it uses many parts of the brain to be successful.
How it works
Here’s an example of some of the brain functions that are used when you create an image: When you are out on a photo shoot, and you want to create a compelling image, it takes some time to think about how to creatively compose the scene. Then, you need to choose the aperture and shutter speed settings based on the best creative application for the image, applying your memory of how the camera works.
Some of the high-end cameras these days will give you a decent point and shoot shot, but if you are intentionally going to create something of value, you need to put some technical thought into the image. At the same time, when you are setting up a shot, it helps to think through what you might do for post-processing the image once you get home.
What does all of this mean for you?
The process of creating a digital image is fun, creative and clinically proven to be good for your mind. Just like we need to keep our heart healthy with diet and exercise, we also need to keep our brain active as we age. It’s not just the activity, but learning new and mentally challenging subjects that is the important part of this puzzle.
If you continue to pursue and learn digital photography well into your later years, it will serve as a good way to keep your brain and memory functions sharp.
Does that sound like a good plan for you to continue practicing the craft of digital photography as you age?