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Hooked on photography: a whole new world

I was an avid reader and a hard-core runner back in the day.

I read very little now. I run not at all. Instead, what I do is take pictures.

To explain: The day I got my Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, about 1950, I got hooked on photography. Trouble was I never could afford the price of film, the expense of developing and printing, or the cost of more sophisticated equipment.

So I took pictures frugally or not at all, and with lousy gear. Then came digital photography. Now, once you have the camera, there’s almost no cost to unlimited picture taking and display on the computer screen.

Click the shutter often enough, and you’re bound to come up with a winner. The quality of images for most purposes is excellent. And the camera, thanks to its built-in microcomputer, can set shutter speed, f-stop, focus and more without human intervention. If you give it permission.

All you have to do is push one or two buttons and get the picture. And to get the picture, all you have to do is pay attention. Look at the world around you – slowly, patiently, carefully. It’s something I’m learning to do only now, after too many years of moving quickly through the world.

As an example, here’s a small sampling of what you will see while walking slowly along the Northern Rail Trail in Andover (where I used to run sub-seven-minute miles and saw nothing). For me, it’s a whole new world, with layers of beauty and complexity, ever changing with the seasons, just waiting for the camera. And a small bit of intelligence behind it.

There’s much more where these came from.

(Larry Chase uses a “megazoom” Canon PowerShot SX50 HS point-and-shoot camera, which lists for $429.99 but can be purchased for about $100 less on the internet.)

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