This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better.
Want an enjoyable pastime that sparks creativity, stimulates your brain, and creates good memories? Pick up a camera!
Photography can be as simple or as challenging as you want to make it, and whether you try a creative slant or get practical about recording the people and events in your life, you’ll find it can become a fascinating pastime with myriad benefits for your well-being.
For Robin Kent, photography is a full-time endeavor, a community, and a second career of sorts. “The main thing I’m known for is Washington, D.C.’s federal area, because it’s close. My preferred landscape — such as country found in the Pacific Northwest — is not close,” he says. “But here, the buildings are my mountains, and the fountains are my waterfalls.”
Robin and his wife Laurie are planning to move to The Mather, a Life Plan Community for those 62 and better, when it opens in Tysons, Virginia, in 2024. “Once we move in, it seems it’s going to be a problem of what to choose to do there rather than finding something to do — there will be plenty of programs,” says Robin. “A lot of informal groups are starting already — Laurie is in a fiber arts group that meets monthly. I’ll probably coordinate with other artists there.”
The Mather will incorporate a focus on creativity as an integral part of Aging Well, and will have plenty of opportunities for residents to engage with art and creativity on-site through classes, collaborative Open Art Studios, and partnerships with local museums and galleries.
He grew up working in his family’s Florida photography store and learned “just about everything” about film, but opted to follow a different career path. “Then, after I retired, I went straight out to California to take a one-week workshop with a famous landscape photographer named Galen Rowell,” he says. “I still use what I learned in that workshop.”
Robin has developed a following, particularly for his stunning twilight shots of D.C. “At this point of my life, I want to shoot what I want to and when I want to,” he says. “I do sell some of my work; I’ve had agents and worked with an art consultant, and I exhibit. I belong to Great Falls Studios, a consortium of about 90 artists, and we hold an annual studio tour every October.”
Picture-Perfect Brain Benefits
Like other creative pursuits, photography offers many benefits for mood and general well-being, along with the potential to improve several areas of brain health:
- Cognition. Researchers have found that photography has “high-cognitive demand,” regularly stimulating the brain and providing long-term cognitive benefits. One study found that participants who used digital photography showed improvements in episodic memory and reasoning skills.
- Mindfulness. Viewing the world with a photographer’s eye offers moments to slow down and focus on the present. There is even a meditative practice called mindfulness photography, which includes a focus on emotions, gratitude, and sharing photos with others. “When you’re walking around with a camera, you look at things. You tend to notice more,” says Robin.
- Connection to others. Other research shows that photographers who share their work in person or online report improved self-care, interaction with a community, and the potential for reminiscence.
Robin adds, “There’s also a physical component to photography: I have to carry about 20 pounds of gear around, and there’s a lot of walking. And the main thing is, it gets you outdoors.”
The Mather in Tysons, VA, for those 62 and better, is a forward-thinking Life Plan Community that defies expectations of what senior living is supposed to be. It opens in 2024.
This past week saw 218 homes sold in Fairfax County. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $180,000 while the most expensive…
Today (Thursday) marks a decade of community service, youth leadership, political activism and civic engagement in Virginia by the Hamkae Center. Over the last 10 years, the local nonprofit has…
The Faith Baptist Church that has occupied 301 Center Street South in Vienna for about seven decades will officially be torn down. Faced with increasing maintenance costs, the Vienna Town…
Arrowbrook Centre, an anchoring mixed-use neighborhood near the Innovation Center Metro station, is moving one step forward to completion. Several pieces of the 54-acre development, which is bounded by the…
Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.
To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!
We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!
Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!
Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art
Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!
Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun
Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!
Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all
Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker
Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road