Photography as Healer

For the past six or seven years, I’ve driven 125 miles nearly every Sunday to visit my aged parents. For most of those years, I felt honored to be able to help, managing their finances and assisting my sister and brother-in-law with chores around the folk’s house. This year has been a little bit tougher; we moved dad to an Alzheimer’s facility, and mom has become increasingly immobile.We spend a fair amount of our time with mom explaining where dad is, and a fair amount of time with dad explaining where his shoes are.

I’m no spring chicken myself, so the visits have been increasingly draining. I return to Ojai exhausted and depressed.

The last two weeks, however, I chose to visit Bolsa Chica wetlands after spending time with my parents, and found a great sense of renewal in the zen-like stillness required to stalk and photograph birds. Even when I don’t get the photograph, watching the birds rekindles joy in my heart. Here are some examples of the medicine I absorb through my eyes.









I’m still thinking about upgrading to a full-frame camera for greater dynamic range, less noise, and more shallow depth of field. I wonder if I can deduct it as a medical expense?  Nikon D7000, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8, Nikon TC17eII teleconverter.


Filed under Nature Photography, Personal

4 responses to “Photography as Healer

  1. Caption for the first pic: Where did I leave my cufflinks?

  2. Mike Kichaven

    Beautiful photography.

    I appreciate the difficulties of dealing with aging parents. Hang in there, pal.

  3. Conroy Judith

    Beautiful, just beautiful…..the soul renewal shows in the beauty you capture.

  4. Dean I just showed my parents, who are big birders, your post. They love your photos, so if my mom friends you on facebook, you’ll know why. This is a wonderful post, and I enjoy your photographs so much. Thank you…

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