Photographers, look after your eyes

Aug 25, 2018

Kieran Stone

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Photographers, look after your eyes

Aug 25, 2018

Kieran Stone

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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Sight is very important to me. It’s one of my senses that I don’t think I could ever do without. A musician might fear going deaf, but I could live with that. I’d rather not have to but if it came down to losing my hearing or losing my vision, I’d take being deaf. That’s just me. As I’m getting older, I know that one of the inevitable symptoms of old age is a degradation of vision. This also scares me. So much of what I enjoy in life, such as photography, is dependant on having healthy eyes. That is why with all the time I spend processing photos or glued to social media on my phone, I make sure to exercise my eyes at least once every day. Here are some of the exercises I do to keep my eyes as healthy as possible.

Keep in mind that eye exercises, although beneficial, will not cure current eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia and others. They may however delay these conditions developing over time. Just like exercising any part of your body properly keeps it in good condition, so can exercising your eyes.

Varying Focus

When you spend hours staring at a screen at work or at home, your eyes are constantly focused at a fixed distance. To avoid this creating any issues, I put my finger in front of my eyes as close as I can focus, then I switch my focus to something in the distance. I do this about 10 times, holding to focus for a couple of seconds.

Up, down, left, right

Next, I’ll stretch out the muscles in all directions for 5 seconds. Keeping my head facing straight and still, I’ll look up as high as I can and pick something to focus on and hold it for 5 seconds, then rest for 2 seconds. Then I’ll do the same looking down, then left, then right. I’ve found that if I try too hard in any direction it can start to become sore, so I make sure I back off a little if I feel I’m over straining.

The Eye Roll

 After loosening the eyes with some directional stretching, I then move on to a moving stretch. I start with keeping my head still and looking straight up, then I’ll roll my eyes slowly in one direction 3 times. After resting them for a few seconds I’ll repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.

Hard Blink

To help cool down and relax I finish with a hard blink. Closing my eyes as tight as I can for 2 seconds, then opening them for 2 seconds. I’ll repeat this 10 times.

Additional Protection

As well as taking the time to do these simple eye exercises once a day, and especially after a lot of screen time, there are other things you can do to look after your eyes. Just remembering to blink can keep your eyes from drying out. When staring at something intently, you’d be surprised at how little you blink compared to normal. This is exactly the time you should be blinking. Try making a conscious effort to blink more.

Wearing sunglasses when you’re outside can protect your eyes in more than one way. As well as providing UV protection for your eyes, it can also keep dust and particles from irritating them. There’s nothing wrong with wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day.

There are other eye exercises out there and ways to protect them, but these were some that work for me and are easy to fit into my life. Since this is technically a medical topic, I should point out that I am not a health professional and if you have any problems with your eyes, seek proper medical attention.

I’d love to hear any ways that you look after your eyes or other senses to keep your body in the best condition possible. Leave a comment below.

About the Author

Kieran Stone is an Australian photographer and a half of the fantastic duo at Project RAWcast. You can follow their photography podcast on their website and YouTube channel, and keep up to date with their activities on their Facebook page.

As for Kieran’s work, you can see more on his websiteFacebook page, and Instagram. This article was also published here and shared with permission.

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5 responses to “Photographers, look after your eyes”

  1. stewart norton Avatar
    stewart norton

    Not sure how you can wear sunglasses and check exposures correctly.

  2. Rob Swackhamer Avatar
    Rob Swackhamer

    One thing I make sure to do if I’m doing a lengthy session in a dark venue/studio: take breaks and go outside. having my eyes readjust to natural daylight for a few minutes helps a lot and keeps them from getting tired.

  3. Aankhen Avatar
    Aankhen

    Really good tips.

  4. JarFil Avatar
    JarFil

    Even more important than all of that: BEWARE OF DIABETES.
    It’s very easy to start losing sight if you have uncontrolled diabetes, it’s pretty much the first serious symptom you may notice, and it’s very easy for partial sight loss to go beyond a point of no return, with no treatment available.

  5. Impylouwho Avatar
    Impylouwho

    I never gave a lot of thought to my eyes until I started doing industry photography. Particularly TIG welding shots. I use an old school cannon T3i and a lens with a mirror but I feel like I’m shooting blind a lot because I can’t look directly at what I’m shooting and I can’t stop using my view finder instead of the screen (I know I need to get with the times). My question is for ideas to protect my vision from the arc while shooting. I’ve considered welding glasses but that still would make it hard to use the old school viewfinder. Any creative ideas?