The Hobby of Nature photography as an alternative to synthetic medicine can help those who suffer from anxiety and depression, experience the peaceful beauty of creation. Specifically, nature photography can help separate mankind from common modern day thoughts, helping to focus and meditate on the peaceful harmony that exists in flowers, wildlife, waterfalls, mountains, trees and the sky. Although it is nice to just visit a park or other recreational area, nature photography forces an individual to narrow his or her thoughts on a specific subject while blocking all else out.
Studies suggest that "contact with nature seems to be good for health" (American Journal of Public Health [AJPH], 2003) and that "there is evidence that nature views speed recovery among postoperative patients." According to Frumkin (2003), some of the benefits which have been documented state that children with ADD improve their attention, troubled city girls self-discipline improves, there is a lower death rate in elderly, and children in general have stronger emotional stability from mid-childhood to teenage years. These studies prove what God's word has revealed to man for thousands of years "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (King James Bible [KJV], 1611), King Solomon wrote several scriptures regarding the affect a merry heart can have on health.
Nature Photography subjects and methods
Various subjects exist in nature photography and some may bring more stress relief than others. Flowers for example, have a natural aesthetically pleasing look and can bring to memory wonderfully peaceful scriptures from the Bible.
Jesus taught at the Sermon on the Mount (30 A.D.) Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30)
Thoughts of provision for our needs, even when we are incapable of helping ourselves seem impossible, where there is little or no faith. However, through considering the flowers, their beauty, and their care from the Heavenly Father it is possible to understand and realize that mankind is made in his image and that he will take better care of man than even the most beautiful rose, through faith.
When listening to the sounds of rushing water, and watching the magnificent display of power and unyielding strength as it cascades over a precipice; many will experience a peaceful and tranquil feeling. Waterfalls are very beautiful and help to drown out the noise of talking, telephones, music and television. Long exposure waterfall photography (5-30 seconds) adds a surreal effect to the scenic beauty of a waterfall. The results from this type of nature photography are rewarding, very artistic and are highly prized among nature photographers. This advanced nature photography technique requires practice with various settings, and will generate a sense of fun and playing that brings back childhood feelings of happiness and joy.
Birds and Wildlife
If still subjects and static photography seem uninteresting, then focus can be shifted to wildlife nature photography. Birding for instance, is a very popular area of nature photography that can utilize a new technique called Digiscoping. This technique typically uses an inexpensive point and shoot camera, combined with a tripod mounted spotting or telescope. Amazing results have been produced with this popular area of wildlife nature photography. Whenever pleasing results are produced after experimenting and testing techniques, confidence and encouragement tend to dispel anxiety and fear.
Viewfinders opposed to LCD preview screens, reduce external distractions by limiting the area of view that can be seen. Many details cannot be clearly viewed or perceived through an LCD screen although they do work well in situations when it is not possible to use the viewfinder. Whether paying attention to the macro details of a flower petal; or adjusting focus and aperture to capture the clarity of the surround landscape in a waterfall scene, nature photography requires one to clear all other thoughts from their mind.
Reasonable excuses, why not?
Yes, there are a lot of reasons that one may not want to consider nature photography; however, there are just as many answers as to why not? It does not hurt to try a remedy to worries, anxiety and depression, but the effects from not trying will certainly not be any better.
- I do not live near nature - Even in the most populated metropolitan areas, there are parks and recreation areas where one can begin to experience nature. The possibility to interact with nature is all around, even as close as in the backyards and neighborhoods or the busiest towns and cities.
- I am allergic to flowers - Most floral photography is accomplished with a telephoto lens or a lens that is zoomed to a telephoto range in order to allow macro photography settings. This would keep a distance from high exposures of pollen. In addition, it is easy to find a particle mask to cover your mouth and nose when in areas you may be exposed.
- It is too expensive - Many point and shoot cameras can easily reach resolutions of 8 to 12 mega pixels and can cost as less as $75. It is certainly feasible for anyone to become involved in nature photography.
Natural remedies to health problems have existed for thousands of years, just as long as time itself. Often our society tries to find the answer in deeply founded research and technology, when the answers are already plain and obvious. This natural form of meditation helps to bring a peace within and a rewarded feeling of capturing these moments; allowing reflection at a later time to spark fond memories when times of trouble and worry rise again. Very few hobbies exist that are so rewarding, and actually bring man and woman back into the perspective that was originally intended in The Garden of Eden.