Being in nature is relaxing but in our goal driven modern mindset, few can truly just simply relax. We typically need a goal, a purpose, a job. This is where hobbies come in.
I see fishing, photography, extreme fitness, skiing and in some ways golf as excuses to get outside and just be in the natural world.
Golf is kind of a baby step towards being out in “nature” if you idea of nature is a man made, highly manicured lawn.
Did you know? The quote “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” is generally attributed to mark Twain although it first appeared in 1903 in a book by H S Scrivener
Extreme fitness like running marathons or free climbing up a rock face seems regard nature simply as an gym outside. Skiing gets you outdoors in the winter but typically the attraction is snow conditions, slope and village nightlife.
Fishing is probably the closest thing to experiencing the outdoors like a photographer. You head out with a lot of specialized equipment and don’t ever really know what you will come back with.
Photography for many is a good excuse for getting outside and planning exotic vacations in the natural world.
I was at a dinner recently for a retiring hospital president and sat next to a nice lady whose passion was going exotic photo workshop trips. She had been on safari in Africa, shot penguins in Antarctica and bears in Alaska. These are serious trips and expensive trips. She was telling me about the trip to Alaska where the group of 12 or so photographers were shooting grizzles bears in a meadow as they ate berries.
Her next trip is to Churchill, Canada where she board a portable hotel on the turdra to photograph polar bears.
Of course, I’m jealous as hell during this discussion. As a small business person concerned with expenses and payback period on every piece of equipment, I’m thinking, how many prints would I have to sell in order to make back the investment of $10K on such a trip. Are there that many people in the market for a polar bear photo? And of course there is no guarantee that you will even bring back a great photo, my still life photos which are carefully planned out certainly have a better chance of success.
So I ask her, what do you do with these photos? “Nothing” she says, “I just do it to relax”
See the camera might as well be a fishing pole. It’s an excuse for this stressed out hospital executive to take a trip and be in nature.
Surely the camera manufacturer’s understand this market. No doubt for every professional level camera sold to an actual professional photographer, there are 10 sold to doctors, dentists and attorneys who use them once or twice a year on vacation.
It’s like this retired dentist I know. He has the most amazing collection of gear. High end printers, top of the line computer, every red banded lens Canon makes and he travels the world. Photography is his expensive hobby but he can afford it. And its his excuse to get out in nature.
The Benefits of Nature
Whatever your excuse, there are plenty of great reasons to get out in nature. And it typically costs nothing to go for a walk or a hike. Spending time in the great outdoors has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels, help you find clarity, and rejuvenate your mind and body.