Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

F-4 Phantom

F-4 Phantom
F-4 Phantom

Friday, June 29, 2012

Turning 60....

A few days ago I had the pleasure of photographing four very delightful and very youthful models during a location shoot.  My self, along with several other photographers, spent the morning framing shot after shot and observing the energetic glow that flowed outwardly from our say they were delightful, I mean that in the nicest possible way I can express, for they were absolutely delightful young ladies...and for a brief few moments, I seemed to regain a measure of my own long lost youthfulness...and felt young again.

The previous day I had turned 60...seems I'm beginning to understand that this age thing is creeping up on me more and more.  Although I've tried to remain active over the years, my tolerance for vigorous activity seems to have faded with time.  Oddly enough, I can still do a lot of the things that I could do twenty...even thirty years ago...just that my ability to recover from it takes longer...and that is where I sometimes tend to over do it.

In my mind I still see that 17 year old 4 minute and 40 second mile runner from high school days...that 20 something who performed search and rescue operations off the Oregon coast...that 27 year old that first fell in love with a wonderful young lady...who has been my soul mate for 31 years now, and who has been my strength ever since.  In my heart I'm still that proud new daddy who held for the first time his first born son...then again a few years later when number two came along...I relished watching them grow up.

When I see the old bicycle hanging in the garage, I remember being that 30 something eager rider who would regularly bike 40...50...even 60 miles....just for fun...and who canoed and hiked his way through wilderness adventures.  When I turned 40...the world did not end like I thought it might...but my positive attitude took a hit and I went through an early...some would say...mild-case, middle-age crisis and jumped into the Triathlon craze that swept the country...back then.

When the 50's arrived...seems the time thing reversed itself...I slowed down, but time sped up and that decade passed far more quickly than the others...yet, somehow I rolled through them relatively unscathed. During that decade, career issues and broken or malfunctioning body parts caused me to slow down and I saw a lot of physical hair turned white, my waist grew softer and larger, my once better than 20/20 vision got blurrier, my mind's ability to absorb details rebelled and refused to do so at the same pace, aches and pains infiltrated into parts of my body I didn't realize could have aches and pains.  Yet somehow...way back in the recesses of my mind...that young, vibrant, youthful person I once was lingered still and called to me at times.  I tended to ignore those calls most of the time...but occasionally mustered enough energy to swim a few more laps, take another hike, hit the gym circuit for another round...and then spend a few extra days recovering from it.

Well, now I am finally 60...and my mind today says that it's okay...but, when I reflect back across time at all those missed opportunities and too many wasted efforts, my heart says...well...maybe that should be left really wouldn't change anything.  Even so, for a brief few moments that Saturday morning, those four delightful young ladies spurred within me an ability to revisit once least in my mind...what it was like to be young and strong and full of energy.  Yeah...they were delightful alright, in the best way a young person can demonstrate.

Before the morning ended, I told one of the girls as I struggled to rise from sitting on the ground , "Value your youth...for it will quickly fade before you realize its gone"...Yeah, I really enjoyed that morning of experiencing their energy and youthful certainly made turning 60 less of a disappointment...and you know it helped me to place a few things into their correct perspective...turning 60 ain't so bad...when it's all said and's more like an earned accomplishment.


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