Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

Top 10 Reasons Photographers Live Longer Healthier Lives

June 19, 2012

http://fitnessphotocourse.com Shoot More Live Longer Each and every day we come in contact with hundreds if not thousands of photographs. We see them on billboards, magazines, newspapers, in our mailbox, and in the family photos that adorn our walls. We barely give a second thought to most. And the more familiar ones we tend to take for granted.

Imagine how that might change if you knew for a fact that taking those photos could actually help you live a longer, healthier life.

My research has shown that taking photos actually can produce enormous physical and mental benefits. Photography’s therapeutic benefits are a scientific reality and here’s why:

1. Activity: there is always some new photo we need to take and somewhere we need to go to take it. It’s really hard to just sit on the couch and take a prize winning photo. We keep moving.

2. Positive Mental Attitude: we just can’t wait to capture an image of the next amazing thing. We know for a fact that the world is full of wonder and it is our mission, our passion to show it off in our photographs.

3. Sharing: while some minute percentage may take photos strictly for their own personal pleasure, most of us take photos so we can share them with others. We are eager to share our sense of wonder with others. And the compliments they bring sure make us feel good.

4. Connection: through photography we gain a strong sense of connection to this world as a whole and especially to our local community.

5. Fun: we have fun! Each photo outing is a new adventure, a treasure hunt for visual splendor. One never knows what visual prize lies in wait around the next corner. We spend our leisure hours in an activity that we find enjoyable and has no end.

6. Mind Stimulating: each new photo opportunity presents a different challenge. We must always be evaluating the ambient light and surroundings and adjusting our camera settings accordingly. Our minds stay fresh and open because we are in a constant state of learning.

7. New Friends: through taking our photos and sharing them we are constantly surrounded by opportunities for human interaction. Mankind was never built for solitude.

8. Sense of Purpose: we always have a mission, a reason for being. It’s even fun to travel alone when your mission is to come back with great photos to share of the places you explored. In Earl Nightingale’s famous talk, “The Strangest Secret” he observed, “The people who live the longest are the people with something to do.” You’re never too old to take a great photo.

9. Exercise: walking has been heralded as one of the most universally beneficial exercises and we photographers sure do walk a lot. Add in some squats to get that unique angle, some uphill climbs, a little forest terrain and you’ve got some powerful ingredients for healthy living.

10. Freedom from Worry: we concentrate on the excitement of tomorrow, rather than the problems of yesterday. After all, with digital photography, we can always fix yesterday’s shot today with a little Photoshop! We keep our eyes focused on the future, the next shot. Hope for the future is the ultimate Fountain of Youth.

For more information on the therapeutic physical and mental benefits of photography, and some great photo tips, be sure to check out my new book, “Photo Fitness Phenomenon” now available at Amazon.com

Have a happy, safe and healthy summer season!

Robert Schwarztrauber

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New Years Resolution…Divorce!

January 4, 2012

Bitter cold winds whip across the lawn as I drag out the remnants of Christmas past. This magnificent, beautiful tree that once caught my fancy over all the others looks dry and limp now.

Every year I wrestle over when to get rid of it. Too soon and you risk incurring the wrath of those still reeling over the brevity of the Kardashian “marriage”. Wait too long and you become rather attached to the memory of the holiday magic and it’s harder to let go.

The New Year, for most of us, ushers in little change, despite our ritual resolutions. But for some, the stress of the holidays proves to be the breaking point. The tree becomes a metaphor for their spouse. They resolve to radically change their life this year by breaking from the family.

Save for a few celebrities, divorce is a process surrounded by challenges. Challenges that are new to us.
One is wise to look for assistance, as early as possible, from competent folks who are trained in such matters.

Lawyers, accountants, therapists and clergy can all help guide you through this difficult process.

“How does THIS relate to photography?” you might ask.

Good question!

And I have an equally good answer.

Late last year I was contacted by several photographers who shared stories of how photography had helped them to heal and get their life back on track after divorce. It helped them get past feelings of loneliness and restore their confidence. It gave them a sense of purpose and opportunities to meet and interact with fun new people. Exactly the results you would expect if you’d read my survey results.

Not willing to settle for hearsay evidence, I went to an expert on matters of divorce and had a wonderful conversation with Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds, therapist and author of the new book, “Parenting Through Divorce – Helping Your Children Thrive During and After the Split”.

You can listen to the full interview at the bottom of the article here:

http://robertsphotonews.com/archives/158

Listen to this enlightening interview with Dr. Reynolds on Photography and Divorce now.

Even if you’re happily married, or long past your divorce, you’ll find great tips on using photography to keep your life happy and healthy…or maybe help someone you know get through this difficult time.

*** Listen all the way through to discover how even smart phone cameras are getting in on the action!

(This article was reprinted courtesy of RobertsPhotoNews.com)

Photo Tips and Feel Good Tricks

June 26, 2011
healthy photographer newsletter by FitnessPhotoCourse.com

Now Available!

It stuck me this week, just how much my regard for the mailman has changed over the years.

I can still remember as a kid, the extreme pleasure of anticipation I felt as my birthday drew near. Everyday I would rush to the mailbox to see if my birthday cards had begun to arrive. The hope and excitement went on for days until I knew the very last of the cards had arrived.

And don’t even get me started on how great it felt to wait for a package to arrive! Days seem like weeks when you’re a kid, which only served to amplify the excitement.

No matter how much my beloved dog Dusty barked, I still loved a visit from the mailman.

These days, not so much.

He brings mostly bills and junk mail. And it seems all too frequently.

With email and Facebook and Twitter it seems we’ve all taken most of our contact and conversation online. Truth be told, while it tends to create more interaction, I find the quality of that contact a bit less memorable than physical contact. I may read thousands of words each day on the internet, but quite frankly, remember little the next day. Including some information that I made note to remember, but now can’t locate a link for, even to save my life.

What I do enjoy, is the few magazines and newsletters the mailman brings once a month. I can enjoy reading the article in my most comfortable chair, or out by the pool now that summer is here. I can start now, put it down as I drift off to sleep, and then come back to the very same page later, without having to remember the “link”. There’s something wonderful still about the physical page that no amount of internet hype or Kindle Reader will ever replace.

Birthday cards now come too often and too fast. And seldom with the gifts inside that I’d received as a kid!

But I am grateful for the mailman, at least once a month, when he brings me my favorite reading material.

So I thought of you, my loyal readers, and wondered if you too would like to appreciate the dedicated mailman a little more? I wondered if you wouldn’t like to get your hands on – really get your hands on – some of the greatest information I’ve found on photography.

Tips on taking better photos. Tips on using Photoshop. Tips on the health and wellness benefits of photography. Tips on the best products to buy. Tips even, on where to get more tips! All in a wonderfully lite newsletter you can take anywhere  to enjoy.

This month (July 2011) there are tips on using the Photoshop CS5 Content Aware, there’s a research article by a notable doctor on how to use activities like photography to improve your health, there’s an article on the best way to capture Fireworks, and info on a great new audio program for changing your life through photography, and more.

Maybe if you’d like a little more happy mail, you’ll have a look at my new, “made-from-real-paper” newsletter!

Here’s a link to the website:

http://FitnessPhotoCourse.com/healthyPhotographerNews

There’s also a banner link on the right side of this page for your convenience.

Happy Summer!

Robert Schwarztrauber

P.S. While I may take issue with the content he brings, I have the utmost respect and regard for the tireless and dedicated postal workers. Six days a week, through the coldest, windiest and snowiest BUFFALO winters they bring the mail every day. Humid summer heat and rain, ooh the rain! The mail still comes. It’s an incredibly physical job and they do it without complaint. I have tremendous personal respect for the mailman. Especially, since I was one once. For a WEEK!

If only he’d quit bringing those darned BILLS! =)

Mothers Love This Gift Most

May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day Gift from TotalfinessPhotography.com

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

None of us would be here today without you!

And we’re grateful for every day you’re here to share your love, your kindness, and your wisdom.

Here’s some great news for you – and a great gift idea for those looking for something truly special to give.

I read a report today by Evangeline Lausier, MD, director of clinical services at Duke Integrative Medicine and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, both in Durham, North Carolina. She is an internist specializing in women’s health and complex multi-system illnesses, with an emphasis on preventive lifestyle.

In the Bottom Line Report, she listed several ways to boost your energy in 8 minutes or less:

“Take 800 steps. A moderately brisk walk — at a pace of about 100 steps per minute — is an excellent way to get blood flowing to your heart and brain. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that make you feel alert and energetic. If possible, walk outdoors — the sun’s rays activate the synthesis of mood-enhancing vitamin D.”

And what better way to get motivated and actually DO IT than to take your camera along to record some special sights along the way.

Here’s what else Dr. Lausier recommended:

“Express yourself to lower stress. Play the piano, pen a poem, paint a picture or just doodle. The purpose: Creative self-expression is stimulating — it alleviates energy-draining stress by helping you reconnect with your deep inner well of emotional well-being.”

While she didn’t expressly mention digital photography, we know that it is a great creative outlet. And it has one distinct advantage over those she did mention…we do it while in motion! We stand, we walk, we climb hills and we get fresh air and sunshine!

So if you’re looking for a perfect Mother’s Day gift to get your mom…get her a digital camera! That way she can have fun and get the exercise that will keep her healthy and with us for a long, long time.

If you’re a mom and didn’t get a camera (and you need one) go out and give yourself the best Mother’s Day gift ever!

Give the gift that moms love most…the one that just might help them be with us longer…give them a camera!

Happy Day Moms!

Robert Schwarztrauber

For more photography relate fun, check out my other sites at:

http://CreativePhotographyTricks.com

http://PhotoshopHouseOfCards.blogspot.com

http://photoshoptipcards.com

Feel 10 Years Younger Too!

April 26, 2011

Feel 10 years Younger at http://totalfitnessphotography.com

Yes…that really is me!

Here, for the second day in a row, because we got more great news from the scientific community.

More evidence that what we’re doing is the absolute best thing we could be doing.

We know it’s good for our physical health and fitness, and now Dr. Nose from Japan says (in a New York Times article)  it could make us feel up to 10 years younger!

“Dr. Hiroshi Nose, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of sports medical sciences at Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, who has enrolled thousands of older Japanese citizens in an innovative, five-month-long program of brisk, interval-style walking (three minutes of fast walking, followed by three minutes of slower walking, repeated 10 times). The results have been striking. “Physical fitness — maximal aerobic power and thigh muscle strength — increased by about 20 percent,” Dr. Nose wrote in an e-mail, “which is sure to make you feel about 10 years younger than before training.” The walkers’ “symptoms of lifestyle-related diseases (hypertension, hyperglycemia and obesity) decreased by about 20 percent,” he added, while their depression scores dropped by half.”

I know I feel 10 years younger!

While we’re not as wrapped in the formality and regimen, essentially we’re doing the same thing. We walk quickly in between photo locations, we walk slowly as we plot our best angles, we do a few leg squats to get the best view.  We shoot our photo… then away we go again.

We get big points for the interest that photography brings to the game too.

While those older Japanese subject had the program for motivation, we’re on our own. We have to motivate ourselves. Luckily, there’s a whole big, beautiful world out there begging to pose for our photograph!

The article also said,

“…the one indisputable aspect of the single best exercise is that it be sustainable. From there, though, the debate grows heated.”

That’s the great thing about photography as our motivator. It takes our mind off the “exercise” part and instead keeps our focus on the fun. On the hunt for great new photos! That motivation sustains us.

Additionally,in the NYT article  Michael Joyner, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a leading researcher in the field of endurance exercise said, “I personally think that brisk walking is far and away the single best exercise.”

The article also said we get the most benefits… in just the first 30 minutes!

Grab your camera folks!

The medical community is on board.

What a great way to start the week.

Robert Schwarztrauber

You ca read the entire NYT article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17exercise-t.html?

Accidental Weight Loss Key

April 25, 2011

Puppy at TotalFinessPhotography.comWhat if…

Instead of struggling to lose weight, you just did something fun and the weight just disappeared?

Instead of dreading those trips to the gym, where you have to parade your not-so-fit body around in front of all those super-thin, super-buff model types, you could just do your own thing, in private, and get the same results?

Instead of having to wait weeks or months to get any benefit from your “exercise”, you could find an immediate benefit…one that would inspire you to keep at it happily, day after day?

Well, I’ve got good news for you!

You can!

There was a story I read this morning about a lady who “accidentally” lost 11 pounds  because her husband gave her a puppy!

Really what he gave her was “A Powerful Reason Why”.

Because she got this puppy, she now had to take it for walks. And those regular walks got her started on a path to better fitness.

The more she walked and felt better, the more progress she made.

As she lost weight she was then inspired to start eating better. Ultimately, she lost 41 pounds and found her self living a much more healthy lifestyle.

All because her husband gave her a dog…a motivator…a reason to get up, get out and start moving.

I was so happy to read that story. There it was again. PROOF that the simple act of getting up, getting out and walking was a catalyst for good health. All you need is  a  motivator. A big enough REASON WHY. (with a built in distraction)

However, rather than endure the 24/7 responsibilities of raising a dog, I’ve found photography to be a much less demanding (if fact it’s more of a freedom finding) motivation.

Imagine if her husband had given her a camera and a few secrets about how to use photographs to connect with a group of supporting partners around the world?

In fact, that’s exactly what I do!

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can get “accidentally” fit with camera in hand, drop me an email at: robert@totalfitnessphotography.com

You can read more about the young lady and her dog at:

A puppy inspired Abby to walk off 41 pounds!

Whatever you do, I encourage you to spend a few moments thinking about your life. Which road will you choose…to stay on your current path…or to finally change your life and set off on the path to better health and fitness.

A positive life that brings you happiness, joy and true meaning can be yours. Discover your passion and take action now. Today!

Multiply Apple’s Benefit – Do This First

April 4, 2011
Robert Schwarztrauber Apple

Do This to Apples and Multiply Your Health Benefits

We’ve all heard the familiar chant,

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

I believe it has a great deal of truth to it. There certainly is plenty of evidence that eating more fruits (and vegetables) is good for our physical bodies.

So by all means, be sure to eat an apple (or pear, banana, pineapple, peach, orange, or pomegranate) every day.

But if you really want to get maximum, whole-body benefit from your fruit, I recommend you take a picture of it first.

Sounds crazy right? But wait. Let me tell you why this might not be as crazy as it sounds.

OK. Thanks for sticking with me, because I’m about to reveal the results of a recent survey which shows the amazing ability of photography to improve our health. Our physical health, and our mental health.

A recent survey*, conducted by TotalFitnessPhotography offers some interesting health benefits not normally associated with photography.

Photographers are More Active – 3 out of 4 people in the survey indicated that photography made them more active each week.

Photography is Mind Stimulating – All of the survey’s participants said that photography stimulates their mind. Half stated that it made them feel more focused, alive and creative.

Photography Improves Power of Concentration – 82% found the ability to sustain high levels of concentration while taking photos. (not an easy task in today’s hurry up era with rampant accounts of Attention Deficit Disorder and infinite media distractions)

Photography is Fun – Most study participants were involved just for fun, deriving no income from their photos.

Photography Boosts Self Esteem – a huge 93% of the people reported that participation in photography made them feel good about themselves.

Photography Lifts Spirits – 8 out of 10 said it lifts their mental state daily… it makes them feel good.

Photography’s Social Contribution – More than half the people surveyed felt more connected to the local community and the world.

Photography Ends Isolation – 8 out of 10 reported that their involvement in photography had increased their contact with other people.

Surprises! – The quality of the photos taken did not influence results. Even though half the people found others showed little or no interest in their photos, they still reported feeling all of photography’s positive benefits!

When asked to reveal, in their own words, the benefits they enjoyed from photography here are some of the replies:

“Connecting with nice people, relaxation, reduced stress, creativity, extra income, greater appreciation of the world, help people preserve memories, make people happy, get out of the house, meet new people, nostalgia, makes me feel better.”

Personally, I was not surprised by the results of this survey. I had already experienced all of these benefits myself. But I wanted proof that my experience was not unique. And I got it. So I am convinced, now more than ever, that nothing beats photography for  all-out, total-body fitness. A program that folks of ALL AGES can benefit from.

Getting started on something new is always the hardest part. What is it they say, that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, while an object in motion tends to stay in motion. I’d like to get you in motion.

And what could be simpler than taking a few photos of your favorite fruit before you eat it.

Some of the greatest photographs are also the simplest. And they don’t require the most expensive cameras or photo equipment. You can begin right where you are with what you’ve got. Then, as your interest and skills improve (because you’re in motion!) you can choose to buy whatever else you want to express even more creativity.

I encourage you to just get started. And I’ll be happy to help you if you’ll let me.

Why not pop on over to my website,

CreativePhotographyTricks.com

and get started right now.

*2010 Survey Conducted by TotalFitnessPhotography.com using SurveyMonkey, the free online source for targeted response research. Survey designed and results compiled by Robert Schwarztrauber, veteran photographer, leading expert on the health benefits of photography, and author of many books including, “Building Blocks of Prosperity”, “The Original Photoshop Recipe Cards” and his upcoming new program, “PhotoPlan 25 – Total Fitness Through Photography”


Robert Schwarztrauber

Photo Fitness Secret Revealed

March 1, 2011

It’s March now, we’re two months into the year.

If you made a resolution in January to shape up, get fit, or lose weight, how’s that going?

Maybe you decided you’d need help and bought one of the classic fitness machines or workout routines from a late night infomercial. How’s that going?

When you think fitness machine, it’s likely that CAMERA never comes to mind.

But upon closer examination, what do we expect from a “fitness machine”?

…A man-made object that helps us get moving

…Creates physical changes in our body

…It Makes us feel better after use

…Makes exercise more interesting

But most fitness machines fall short when it comes to the one thing that we really want…

INSTANT GRATIFICATION!!!

Typical exercise machines require weeks or months of regular use before we see any benefits.

A digital camera on the other hand has something for us as soon as we’re done… Pictures.

Let’s recap why the digital camera is such a great fitness machine:

…it gets us moving. There’s a whole world to see and a camera gives us a great reason to get up off our butts and go see it.

…since we’re moving, we are improving our health. In every publication you read, walking is ALWAYS listed as a great source of exercise. Both for the body AND the mind.

…since we’re moving, we naturally feel better. The human body wasn’t designed for prolonged periods of inactivity.

…it keeps us interested, motivated to capture the next great photograph to share with our friends. Boredom, as in walking nowhere on a treadmill, is the biggest reason folks lose interest in an exercise routine. In fact, the word ROUTINE just screams BORING!

…the camera gives us instant gratification. When we’re done for the day… an easy hour of walking that passed quickly, with occasional squats to take the low photo, and hill climbs thrown in to reach some interesting object in our path…we have photographs! Something tangible. A reason to do it all again tomorrow or the next day. And just like all the other fitness machines, over time we will get the results we ultimately desire…the better, fitter body.

But we will have had fun along the way!

And maybe faster results because we never quit.

The digital camera…it just might be the finest piece of fitness equipment ever designed.

If you’d like details on a Photo Fitness plan, just send an email to me at:

robert@totalfitnessphotography.com

Robert Schwarztrauber

Time for a New and Exciting View

December 18, 2010

Niagara Falls Best ViewMaybe this has happened to you too…

The other night I was watching “Build It Bigger” on The Discovery Channel. They were showing how the Hoover Dam was built. I’ve always been fascinated by how some of these giant structures come to be.

In fact, I was so wrapped up in the program that I didn’t hear my daughter ask me a question. “Dad, didn’t you hear me?” she asked.

“No, I was hypnotized by the TV,” I said.

Truth be told, I was not really hypnotized by the  tube, but the results were the same as if I had been. In reality, I was simply experiencing the effects of tremendous focus. Concentration. In that state we block out unrelated sights and sounds until they suddenly startle us from our trance.

It is a known fact that most of the world’s greatest success stories are born of this great concentration. Someone with great vision and persistence (often called FOCUS) was able to accomplish in one lifetime what the millions who came before him or her never could.

Some people say it’s hard to concentrate, hard to stay focused. And yet everyday millions of people will sit hypnotized for hours in front of the TV. Concentrating on the plethora of nonsense borne of viewer polls and advertising statistics. If it’s loud and changes views every 7 seconds, we’ll watch it – good, bad, or ugly. Especially bad or ugly.

But there is a better view available. One that lets you choose the best scenes in the world. Surprisingly, some of them can be found right in your own backyard. (Like Niagara Falls is to me. See photo above).One that lets you get your body moving, one that lets you meet new people, one that lets you feel better about yourself instead of worse.

There is a view that will train your mind to concentrate, to focus as you’ve never done before.

Let’s recap.

Better concentration. More fun, more physical activity. More people meeting. More praise. A heightened sense of self-respect and a general overall good feeling about one’s self.

“Sounds pretty good,” you say. “How can I get that view?”

Well, it is as near as the back of your camera. It’s called, oddly enough, a viewfinder.

Ironic, the simplicity. We all walk around hoping for something new and exciting to appear in our life, but though we want another view, how many of us actually go to the VIEW FINDER?

Millions of photographers do worldwide. But all those extra benefits I mentioned in the recap are often kept quiet, and discussed infrequently, and just amongst ourselves. You can join us if you like! We’ve got a great view on life because everyday we get up and look for what’s beautiful in this world. Studies have shown that what we look for, what we think about most in our life, comes to be. We create our own reality – which is merely a reflection of our thoughts.

This year is about to close. I can promise that if you do nothing to change the view, the view will still be the same next year. And the year after that. You’ll sleepwalk  through life, hypnotized by the folks who do have a better view.

Why not get a little serious about photography now?

The physical, mental and even economic rewards can be great. But as they say…you’ve got to participate.

Robert Schwarztrauber

P.S. If you’re interested in using your viewfinder (your camera) to really improve your health, wealth and wisdom in the coming year, send me an email and I’ll be sure to put you on my pre-publication list for my soon-to-be-released home-study photography program. Unlike other programs, this one’s not designed to push you toward achieving worldly artistic greatness, but is focused instead on a simple,  fun way to achieve your own personal satisfaction, and better physical and mental health through digital photography.

Send your emails to: robert@totalfitnessphotography.com

Zig Ziglar’s Take on Your Autumn Path

October 27, 2010

"Fall Path"

Our senior years are often referred to as “The Autumn of Our Life”.

We’ve weathered the seasons. Grown strong. Brought forth new fruit. We’ve matured.

But Autumn doesn’t mean “the end”. It’s likely we’ll slow down a bit, but we’re far from through!

Many new studies show that our chronological age does not have to be reflected in our physical or mental states. There is a great deal we can do to control the condition of our bodies and our minds.

Studies also show that one thing is key. Exercise.

Just last night I read two reports from totally unrelated sources that came to the exact same conclusion…exercise (something as simple as walking) can slow or reverse the effects of aging on our bodies and our minds.

Adding an element of interest, challenge, or interconnection with other people  (like photography!)  intensifies the effect.

In a recent article, Zig Ziglar, America’s famed sales and motivational speaker sited research indicating that exercise is the factor that seems most likely to benefit the brainpower of the healthy, sick, young and old alike. He recommended 9 ways to stay fresh. Remarkably,  8 out of the 9 can be accomplished with your camera in hand.

1) Be flexible.  2) Find peace.  3) Eat right.  4) Get lots of stimulation.  5) Stay in school.  6) Seek new horizons.  7) Engage the world.  8)  Take a daily walk.  9) Finally, keep control.

In the second unrelated article University of Pittsburgh psychologist Kirk Erickson told Yahoo:

“In fact, there’’s only one practice that’’s been proven, without question, to preserve your memory: exercise. Aerobic activities tend to show larger effects than non-aerobic activities.”

Working up a sweat helps your mind stay fit better than any crossword puzzle–unless you’re doing that crossword on a treadmill.

The good news is that you don’’t need to run a marathon. Just walking six miles a week can ward off memory disorders caused by aging, according to Erickson’s research published this month in the medical journal Neurology. “It appears that if people start exercising their memory may improve and if you continue to exercise, that might delay, or offset, the age-related decline in memory,” he explains.

And you don’t need to lift any heavy barbells either. Erickson and his team monitored 300 senior adults over a period of 13 years, and found that those who walked between 6 and 9 miles a week——whether to work or with the dog –had half the brain deterioration of those who didn’’t. “Exercise seems to enhance some of the more fundamental properties of our brain,” Erickson explains. “It increases the growth of new cells and improves cellular processes associated with learning and memory.”

To put it simply, walking keeps your gray matter from shrinking. And the more matter, the more mind.  >>>end article<<<

Substitute “CAMERA” for “dog” and you have a much more potent stimulant for fighting the effects of aging. Photography requires far more use of your brain cells and concentration than any dog will. Don’t get me wrong…I love dogs! They have a powerful effect on keeping us happy too. Maybe you can alternate days of walking the dog for exercise, with walking your camera for mind power!

More and more studies seem to be supporting my position that one of the best ways to keep your mind and body young is to pursue your photography with passion!

Get up. Get out and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.

And bring your camera to record and share that beauty. It might just save your life!

Or at least make your Autumn years that much more colorful.

If you haven’t already, please help me in my research on this topic by taking just 3 minutes to complete my survey on the effect photography has on those who take pictures, either casually or professionally. It’s completely anonymous, and just 10 multiple choice question.

Here’s the link to the study that’s posted on SurveyMonkey

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BMG3WNP

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Speaking of scary… one study also sited that people’s single biggest fear after 55 is Alzheimer’s disease. Take care of yourself…grab your camera and start walking!

by Robert Schwarztrauber

Killer Chairs: Fall Solution

September 14, 2010

Autumn Leaves Save LivesHere’s a shocker…Could your chair be killing you?

There is a ton of research to support the idea that inactivity can lead to an early death. Our bodies are a dynamic machine and long periods of idle sitting just aren’t good for us.

Studies have shown that Americans, on average, spend more than half their waking hours sitting.

Dr. James A. Levine, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and co-author of the book “Move a Little, Lose a Lot” thinks our simple sitting habit might just be killing us.

Doctors all over are becoming aware of the serious health consequences associated with prolonged sitting and inactivity. It’s not just the obvious obesity, but also high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.

As Dr. Levine states, “prolonged sitting stalls the metabolic machinery”. “Serious consequences result when the muscular body sits idle”.

The good news is, even just a little activity can accomplish a lot to raise your health levels.

What better way to get up and get moving than to grab your camera and catch a new view of this magnificent world we live in?

Here in WNY, there is a hint of Autumn in the air. Soon, the leaves will be putting on a show of fantastic color. Why not plan to
get out and see first hand the changing of the season? Choose a few favorite spots, or explore new ones. Take a drive out to the country or simply explore your local parks.

Whether you capture the beauty of a simple leaf up close or the cornucopia of color in the tree tops, each day bring a new view.
Get up. Get out. Move it or lose it.

Why sit idly by when there is so much beauty to capture with your camera?

Such a simple activity, packed with powerful result! One study even showed that just fidgeting while you sit increased energy expenditure by 10%.

One can see how photography can multiply our energy gains exponentially. You get up and move to take the photos then sit down and “fidget” with Photoshop to perfect them or create custom art. What a brilliant way to stay active, energized and ALIVE!

Photography might just be the perfect, all-around, every-age fitness solution!

Robert Schwarztrauber

“The Secret” of Photography

April 7, 2010
The Secret

The Secret Revealed

One of the most popular videos of late has been, “The Secret”. In this film, much is made of the Law of Attraction. Particular attention is placed on the premise that as you think, so shall you become. While I found the film to be motivational and informative in many ways, I found it came up short on something equally important to success.

Action.

You can think of great inspiring plans, and dream of the opulent treasures that await you, but until you actually DO SOMETHING, things may be attracted to you, but it is by doing that we prepare ourselves to receive what we have coming. Until you do, until you give, you can never begin to get. It is the results of your actions, that began with your thoughts, that ultimately brings you the things you desire.

And the things you fix your mind to getting.

One of the most prominent figures in the movie “The Secret,” Bob Proctor,  made an analogy to the Polariod camera in his famous book, “You Were Born Rich”.
He said that our conscious mind is like the shutter on the camera. It is responsible for snapping the picture. The conscious mind chooses what we see and what we focus on we permit through to the subconscious mind. He goes on to say the subconscious mind is like the rest of the camera. It is responsible for bringing forth the image captured by the conscious mind and producing it exactly the way it was seen. The final Polariod  photograph is our result.

Our conscious mind, our thoughts, envision the thing we want, our subconscious mind then gets to work to create that vision in a physical form which is then available for all the world to see – we call it our results. If our image of what we want is not clear, our results will not be clear either. if we can’t hold a steady thought in our head, if we’re flipping all around from one thing to another, our results will reflect that lack of focus.

To extract the maximum benefit from “The Secret” and the Law of Attraction we must first have a clear vision of what we want to attract. We must then hold steady and focus on that vision even while we go about our regular duties in life. We must let that vision work through our powerful subconscious mind to process it into the physical result (the doing) and only then can we expect our vision to be drawn to us in the form we intended.

The process for getting good results in photography holds true for life as well. Have a good vision to share. Hold steady while you compose your vision. Have a proper tool to process your image. Then share the vision that is produced to benefit those who see it too.

Rudyard Kipling: On Success in Photography and Life

March 28, 2010
Children of the Fire

Children of the Fire

If I’ve learned anything in my many years it is this:

“You succeed by learning a skill, applying what you know, failing, learning something more, trying again. You repeat the cycle, hopefully failing a bit less each time until finally, if you persist, you succeed. Learn, fail, learn more, try more, eventually succeed.

It’s THE process for becoming good. Even “The Best”.  True in photography, true in life.

I think Rudyard Kipling summed it up very well when he said:

“I keep six honest serving men,

they  taught me all I know,

their names are what, why and when,

and how and where, and who.”

If you want to be great in whatever you do, make use these six counselors to help you. Persistence and dedication are your allies. Most folks will never be great simply because they lack the will to do what others won’t, to have what others can.

Want to be great? Do what the majority won’t!

Let’s take Mr. Kipling’s six honest serving folks one at a time and see how they can help us become more successful photographers.

What: Do you take pictures of the same things everyone else does? Stop it! People crave variety, something with a “Wow!” factor.

Why: Every great photograph answers this question. “Why am I looking at this?” If your photo doesn’t instantly offer your viewer the answer to this question, you’ve got to try harder, try again. Because the viewer shouldn’t have to, won’t think. “Why are you showing me this?”  If you can answer that question with your photo, then you’re miles ahead. Capture the emotion, the drama, capture a color, a light. Capture something special.

When: Do you shoot all your photos at the same time? Stop! Mix it up. Early morning and evening offer the best lighting for outdoor scenes. Cloudy days can be great too. Shooting on a sunny afternoon will put awful shadows in your work, so unless you’re going for a harsh look, avoid these times. Often it is helpful to add a “When” to your photos. Including weddings, birthdays, and other special events can add greatly to the interest of your photo.

How: How much do you study photography? Study proven and new methods? You should always be asking, “How is that done?” As long as you stay curious about your interest, and try new things, you will improve. Often before an assignment I’ll flip through 100’s and 100’s of photos on the internet to search for ideas and inspiration. Not to copy someone, but to see “How did they cover this subject?” I’ll look for an hour or so and then go to bed. Almost always,  the next day I’ll have dozens of ideas I’ll want to try based on images I saw from the day before. Look at the light in all the great photos you see and try to figure out how they achieved that look – so you can do it yourself. You can also physically change how you shoot. Shoot telephoto. Shoot wide angle. Shoot macro. Try fixing your aperture for a day and adjust around that. Try fixing your shutter speed so it forces you to learn to compensate with aperture. Change how you shoot your subjects, lie on the ground and shoot up, get a ladder and shoot down. Great photographers (designers and other artists) often have a signature “Look”. What’s yours?

Where: Where do you go to take photos? Go someplace different! Often we get in a rut, shooting the same things. Go somewhere different to find different subjects. If you normally shoot outdoors, shoot indoors. If you normally shoot pets, shoot kids. If you normally shoot kids, shoot teens. Shoot weddings. Shoot still lifes. Are your backgrounds always the same, change them. Change where you typically stand. Get closer! You can also change where you get your knowledge from. Hundreds of sites on the internet. Try a new one.

Who: Who are you learning from? If it’s not working, change that. If is is working, honor that pro by learning faster! Maybe you need to change who you shoot? Or maybe you need to join a club or forum so you can get feedback from some different “whos”? Anywho, changing your reference source can be a great way to change your results.

So there you have it. Six ways to shake up your habits and make great strides to becoming better at photography and everything you do.

Photography: What you need to learn in photography, you’ll need to learn to be successful in everything – so you might as well grab your camera and have some fun. Make photography part of your total fitness package. Mind, body and soul.

It’s total fitness photography.

Robert Schwarztrauber

Busting Through Your Fears

February 15, 2010

STained Glass

This past week one of my best and oldest friends came face to face with mankind’s ultimate fear…the fear of dying.

He had been very ill for several months. The doctors had a long talk with him about quality of life and encouraged him to disconnect the life sustaining equipment which had been his support for these many months. Encouraged by an optimistic and energetic therapist he committed to a removal date and followed through with great resolve.

On the morning of that critical day, surrounded by friends, the machine was removed and we waited. No one could be sure what would happen. Hour after hour past and all the fears that one could conger in one’s head failed to become reality. He breathed. He lived. In fact, with the passing of the fear, he grew ever stronger. His outlook brighter.

Sometimes in life, all we need is a little encouragement. Sometimes we must accept that no one is there to encourage us and we must dig deep with ourselves to summon the courage. Hope is a powerful weapon against the fears that often consume us.

Big fears and little fears can paralyze us. Thinking about them can waste years of our preciously short life. Worst of all, most often our fears are based on unfounded ideas. We create all sorts of scenarios based on speculation. Absent of any real facts, why do we waste time and drain ourselves emotionally on the negative  “what ifs” without giving equal time to the positive “what ifs”?

“Face the fear and the fear will disappear.” “Do it anyway.” “I’ve had a great many fears in my life, and most of them never happened.”

There are a zillion quotes that preach the value of facing up to your fears. Running from them is a bad addiction that only leaves you trapped – as if in a bubble you’ll bounce from fear to fear. Only when you bust through your fear will you be rid of it and free to move in a larger world.

What’s your greatest fear right now?

What would you have to believe – choose to believe – in order to bust through your fear today?

What could you do, right now, that would take you beyond your fear?

Many folks have long dreamed of turning there favorite hobby into a source of income, but were afraid to get started.

If that speaks to you, perhaps today is the day you should vow to put at least that one fear behind you. On the right margin of this page are many simple, proven options that you can take you from your fear into a profitable photography business. They have been proven to work by others who set aside their fears. And they’re all risk free to try. So ask yourself, “why won’t you try?”

Often times staying where we are – is the scariest thing of all.

Robert Schwarztrauber

Click To Change Your Life

January 25, 2010
Deer Tracks

Changing Perspectives

Nothing ever changes.

Did you ever have a day where you felt that way? Maybe you’ve had several days in a row, or weeks, maybe even years where it seemed like nothing ever changes for you.

Have you ever felt like you were like a train on the tracks, unable to break free to go your own way?

.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. You simply need a change of perspective.

Luckily, photography offers many opportunities that change your perspective instantly!

When you begin to explore this world through the camera lens you begin to see things you’ve never seen before. Changes in light, changes in angles, colors, and mood.

Even better, you begin to discover that you can control those events. Through your camera settings and body position relative to your subject you begin to see things differently. You begin to discover that things aren’t as “black and white” as you once imagined.

You begin to experience a sense of control returning to your life, as if your train had just jumped the tracks. You’re the driver now and you can control what the world will see. You will take the photograph “your way”.

Just this past weekend I had temporarily forgotten this. I was driving a bit hesitantly to one of my favorite photo spots. Hesitant because I had been shooting at that same spot for over a year now.  “Surely I must have seen everything by now,” I thought. But once I got out of my car and began to walk around, I was reminded that the world is constantly changing. I saw trees, statues, stained glass windows, and squirrels perching and playing as never before. And of course when you’re shooting outdoors the sky’s light is always changing.

Once again I had set out with my camera and gained a new perspective. And some great photos to share too.

Feeling down?

Feeling out of control?

Pick up your camera and just start clicking that shutter. Yes, even if you don’t want to.

When you’re finished you will have discovered, as I did, that changing your mood is as simple as changing your perspective. Happiness is just a click away.

Robert Schwarztrauber

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

January 8, 2010

Building Blocks of Prosperity Too cold to get out for your regular photowalk?

Don’t worry! We can find plenty to do indoors while we wait for warmer weather to come around again.

No need to put  your  camera away for the winter.  No need to feel those winter blues at all.

We only get to feeling low when we fail to keep our activity level high.

With that in mind, here are 5 great activities you can begin indoors to keep your body moving and build your brain power.

5 Photo-Smart Ways to Beat those Winter Blues

1. Learn and Practice Macro Photography.

Macro photography is essentially close-up or ultra-close-up photography.  It requires learning a few special techniques but most folks can get started right away with the equipment they already have or equipment that can be improvised from ordinary household items. It can really be a lot of fun and give you a whole new perspective on things. Exactly the cure when you’re feeling trapped indoors.

2. Create a Legacy – Publish your Own Photography Book

What better way to insure that your photo treasures are enjoyed for generations to come! Instead of stuffing your 4×6 prints in an ordinary photo album, why not grab 100 of your very best (or favorite) photographs and create your very own hardcover book? It’s easy now with many online printing sources to choose from. If you can drag and drop, you already have all the skills you need. I just finished a children’s book, “Building Blocks of Prosperity” using the Blurb.com online software. It’s super easy to use and you can add additional text and graphics. Plus, the quality of the finished hardcover book and the price can’t be beat. Avoid the cheap paperback version. If you’ve always wanted to be published, do it yourself this winter. Imagine how proud you’ll be!

3. Hone Your Photography Skills

Practice, practice, practice! Get out your camera’s manual and discover what it can really do. Get online and search photography techniques on Google, then practice them. You’ll learn all sorts of new things to become a more versatile photographer come springtime. If you use Photoshop, there’s no end to the things you can learn and practice.

4. Practice Studio Photography

Ever wanted to start your own small business? Taking portraits of folks from babies, to teens, to families, and pets can be a great new way to bring in some added income. New income plus new skills can really give you a warm and fuzzy feeling to get you through the winter.

5. Start Your Own Blog

Everyone knows something. Share your special knowledge with folks online. Even if no one ever comes to visit your blog (unlikely) you’ll still be amazed at how much you learn (and have to keep learning) when you commit to sharing your knowledge and  helping others. Plus,  feedback and comments from your readers can really lift your spirits.

There’s 5 simple starters for you. Fell free to mix and match, or use the inspiration to come up with your own unique plan. Just get busy!

Action! That’s the key to beating those winter blues. And for us photography lovers, there’s never an end to the activities and skills that we can pursue.

Robert Schwarztrauber

PS: If you’d like more information on my book, “Building Blocks of Prosperity” you can visit:

http://buildingblockbooks.blogspot.com

http://helpbobhelpkids.com

A Photo Fitness Walk

November 20, 2009
Photo Fitness Scene

Photo Fitness Scene

I was reminded today of a quote by a successful business man.

“If you settle for less, that’s all you’ll get.”    by J.F. (Jim) Straw.

Allow me tell you what unusual circumstance prompted that quote to enter into my head.

I was driving by a local YMCA. On the side of their building is a little oval walking track, I would guess about 400 yards around. Nothing could be more plain. It’s a corner lot, tall hedge of green on one side, brick building on the other, and street; that’s it. Nothing to see here, as they say. It looks more like an after-thought.

And on the track this day is one woman, dressed in a style that let’s me assume she’s out for a fitness walk. Round and round she goes in an environment that is totally lacking in stimulus.

To me, she’s only getting half a workout.

Just the day before I took my own fitness walk, as usual, with camera in hand. Here’s a photo of what I saw.

Beautiful autumn trees sharing their colors over a quite lake. A gorgeous statue, “3 Sisters,” spraying a wonderful mist of water that reverberated off the lake’s surface like music to my ears.

There were trails that went uphill and trails that went down. Families, and couples, and joggers of one.There were geese resting in the sun and squirrels frantically preparing for winter. This place was alive with everything a body needs to be truly fit – body, mind and soul.

And it was only a ten minute drive from that desolate track where she walked round and round.

Little changes can often  make a big difference. “But if you settle for less, that’s all you ‘ll get.”

Going for a walk with my camera in hand, almost forces me to find someplace to walk that offers additional stimulus for my body, mind and soul. And every excursion is successful. I see something I have never seen before. And because I have my camera I can share it with others. How much better my experience becomes for making that one simple change – bring your camera. Don’t you settle for less.

Photography and Health

August 5, 2009
PhotobyLadonaTornabene

PhotobyLadonaTornabene

This morning I saw them…after the long, record-cold setting winter, they emerged. The ones I had waited for all year —the ones that send my heart to race and calm my mind simultaneously.
In my neighbor’s garden the first tulips sang to the sunshine today. I reckon the sunshine was deeply moved as tears began to flow unobstructed onto my gear, yet I was not deterred. I spread out my cushy mat that allows me to lie on sharp stones without too many bruises and perched myself upon my elbows in anticipation of the magic that would begin within as I indulged in immortalizing spring. After placing my body into more positions than in playing a Twister game, I emerged with a soul that had been truly refreshed by the radiance of new beginnings. I am grateful for the lung capacity to inhale deeply spring’s celebration so that I may slowly exhale its vivacity throughout the year.

EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHOTOGRAPHY & HEALTH
As a professor in health education at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, and as a prolific photographer, I am intrigued by the relationship between our health and how it empowers us to capture the images that compel us to immortalize them. Our health is the platform from which every photo is taken. Mostly when I speak of health, people think of the physical dimension, which is tremendously important; however, health also encompasses the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social dimensions of our lives. With that said, below are my reflections on what health means to me and it is my hope that throughout our convention and health fair, you will reflect on what health means to you.

I am immensely grateful for my sight so that I may be guided to that which—with one click of the shutter — will be preserved forever. I am extremely grateful for my emotions so that I can feel the joy involuntarily escalating within my soul as I photograph that which resonates between heartbeats. I am tremendously thankful for my intellect, as it contains the knowledge to render the images that are dancing before my lens. I am deeply appreciative of my body that empowers me to get into position so I can look until I really see. I am thankful, ever so thankful for my spirit, which gives my photography a purpose that transcends words as I experience moments of which I am certain, nudge the very gates of Heaven.

And I am thankful for friends like you with whom I share a kindred spirit for photography and who make conventions like this even possible. All dimensions of our health impact the images we see and preserve. I invite you to be proactive in empowering your health so that you can have long exposure to life and truly focus on that which not only resonates between heartbeats, but develops them as well.

In the image of health,
Ladona Tornabene, Ph.D., CHES

My thanks to Dr. Tornabene, co-chairperson for the  N4C Duluth 2009 Convention. for allowing me to reprint this article, which was originally published in the brochure for this convention, who’s theme this year is “Photography and Health”. It’s reassuring to find others speaking out on the real benefits that photography brings to our health.
For more information on the upcoming 53 Annual North Central Camera Club Council (N4C) 2009 Convention, please visit their website,

http://n4cduluth2009.org

I encourage you to also view Dr. Tornabene’s wonderful artwork at

http://www.d.umn.edu/~ltornabe/photography
All proceeds from her fine art prints benefit the Professor As Photographer Scholarship Fund .
Dr. Tornabene’s mission in life is to inspire and empower people.  This Fund is designed to help nontraditional students return to school to study health education and help their current students to intern abroad.

Photography is Like Making Spaghetti

June 8, 2009
Making Spaghetti

Making Spaghetti

Your hand squeezes each plump, red tomato attempting to find just the perfect texture.

The bold, green color of bell pepper catches your eye next as you begin selecting the ingredients for a meal that’s sure to please. Each item must be chosen with most careful scrutiny in order for your creation to become a masterpiece of culinary delight.

But this is just the start.

Anticipation grows on the drive home with your precious cargo. You eagerly await the preparation which comes next. You imagine yourself carefully peeling away the parts that aren’t needed until just the very best remains. Each part must hold it’s own for the final feast to please. The kitchen is filled with excitement as the aromas begin to tease.

From all of your gathering of ingredients, preparation, and artful assembly a spaghetti dinner has been created! Friends and family can now enjoy.

So how in the world is photography like that?

Rather than just tell you outright, permit me to share a little story and see if you can find a similarity.

The park is filled with magnificent colors. The sweet scent of fragrant flowers is in the air. You can hear the shrill sound of the blue jay, off just a bit in the distance, near I expect to where the small but sparkling waterfall meets the pooling waters below.

You know you have found the perfect spot to gather photos. The beautiful flower colors beg to be taken home. The unique textures on the rock wall and the shadows they form would be great to show your friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a shot of the beautiful blue jay as he sweeps by in pursuit of his next meal. It’s like being in paradise, again.

I say again because at least once a week, I head out, camera in hand to gather the wonders of nature on film. It’s a great chance to look for, enjoy, and appreciate all the magical things that surround us every day, but often go unnotice in our hustle and bustle lives.

Each week I  gather the visual ingredients that will make for great photographs to share with friends and family…and everyone here at this blog. But the process of creating great photographs just begins in the camera. There are so many ways to prepare them later, just as there are hundreds of ways to prepare tomatoes. One outcome may be quite different from another.

On my journey home from the park, I begin to imagine just how I will use my digital photo editing software, in my case Photoshop, to careful craft the final images. Digital editing is the equivalent of cutting the veggies to make a fine spaghetti sauce. Only in photography we’re preparing pixels.

Once “cut and washed” until sparkling clean and clear, the final image you will see nears completion. Perhaps I’ll pick a nice frame just as you would settle your fine spaghetti into one of your best dishes for presentation.

You gather and you prepare, savoring each step as you go.

That is exactly how photography is like making spaghetti. A few hours spent immersed in the enjoyable adventure of creating something grand to share.

However there is one critical difference I should make you aware of. Photography will never put one pound on your body, no matter how often you partake.

In fact, when you follow the  program I suggest on this blog, you can actually find yourself losing weight! And having a great time doing it!

Spaghetti on the other hand?

…Hmmm?

Camera Cures aka Pictures of Health

June 1, 2009
Snow Geese Family

Snow Geese Family

It is widely accepted in psychological circles that colors can effect the mood of the people who view them. Blue is often described as a calming color while red is said to excite. Yellow is cheerful and black depressing.

A persons mood can also be effected by the subject portrayed in the scene. Certain landscape scenes have a calming effect while certain city-scapes tend to increase tension.

Hundreds of studies can be found that document a viewers reaction to pictures (paintings and photographs).  What surprised me however, was how little  documentation (almost none) could be found that gave evidence of the therapeutic effects of TAKING photographs.

I came across one clinical observation in my searching that really gave credible evidence to the benefits of taking photographs.

It was described in the book, “The Strengths Model” by Charles A. Rapp. In the section titled, “Talents and Skills” the author told of a hospitalized man with mental and physical abnormalities (pg.95). He descibed how when this man was directed to pursue his passion for photography (even though his photos never sold anywhere) he was released within 2 months from the hospital with a clean bill of health. Even more compelling was the fact that he never again returned to the hospital in the subsequent 20 years until his death from pneumonia.

Merely pursuing a hobby that interested him, photography in particular, was enough to set this man on a course to a long and healthy life.

Anyone interested in photography can tell you that there is a calming effect of searching for and always finding the beauty in this world. Any photographer will tell you of the zen-like focus of attention one comes to when consumed with creating an image. You block out all others problems and concerns in your life, you cannot consciously hear the sounds around you, you cannot see disrtactions beyond the viewfinder. You are at once consumed by the scene you hope to capture to the exclusion of all else.

So I am surprised not to find more accounts online which tell of the wonderful effects of photography on the human mind and body. I know it has effected me by increasing my fitness through walking to find great shots to share, it has increased my mental sharpness and focus, and it has increased my economic condition through the sale of photos.

Please share your stories with our readers in the comments below.

How has photography improved your mental or physical health?

How has it improved your economic standing during these difficult times?

I know informally from conversations with other photographers, but lets see if we can help more folks by sharing our results here in writing.

Your comments are welcomed below!