Years ago, I never went anywhere without my camera. I walked or drove my boys to school with it, stopped a dozen times wherever I went, whenever I saw anything that caught my eye. It was with me in the kitchen, in the garden, on bike rides, on camping trips, absolutely everywhere.
When I was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis a few years ago, that started to change. Today carrying a camera everywhere and all the time has become complicated. I use a cane when walking outside, to help me keep my balance and avoid falls when I trip on the lovely uneven sidewalks of Toronto, and carrying a heavy camera (I still shoot with a Canon 5D mark II when shooting digital) results in additional muscle spasms and pain. There are also the days when extreme cold or extreme heat render my body unable to function normally and the dark days when I just don’t feel like shooting.
It’s been hard to adapt, but I have had to. I still take cameras along on day trips and longer trips, to the farmers’ markets, or to just shoot around the neighbourhood, just not as often as I once did. I am very grateful for all the help I get from my partner who carries the heaviest cameras. I am also grateful that photography is not on the list of things I have had to give up on. I can’t even imagine that.
Here are a few of my most recent photos, taken on a walk through Cabbagetown, just East of downtown Toronto. Cabbagetown is the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian houses in North America.