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Golf and Photography Are Both Hobbies

And there’s where the resemblance ends.

Still in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, my wife Cheryl and I find other ways of exercising. Our fitness clubs are still closed in Sun City Ctr., Florida. Not exactly loving it, we do our early morning walks on the nearby golf course in our over-55 community. Lately I’ve been noticing golfers emerging to play their nine holes. I generally give them a wide berth, but one day I ran into one as I traipsed along the fairways by myself.

He too was alone, with his set of fancy clubs and golf cart. I asked what it was like, not being able to play golf with his buddies because of social distancing. “Thought I’d hate it,” he said, “but now I’m beginning to like it. Nobody to razz me when I slice, nobody to keep score, nobody to compete with. Maybe I’ll just keep it this way when the pandemic is all over.”

I used to think photography could be done that way too, alone, and a lot of times I did it like that in Massachusetts. But last year I visited an oriental market in Tampa with my friend Marty Jukovsky, who was visiting. We’re both photographers, but I’d left my Canon Powershot in the car (no idea where his camera was). While I was perusing the rice noodle selection, Marty came over and said, “You gotta see this.”

The young boy lying on the bags of rice seems to blend perfectly with his environment. Perhaps it’s fitting, since the store was probably owned by a relative, like his grandfather, and he may inherit it. “You should get this shot,” Marty said. “I left my camera at your house.”

I agreed and returned with the camera. I was so glad Marty noticed this shot. I would’ve missed it entirely. It was his gift and I’ll probably always have it. It won’t ever break, wear out, or get lost. And I’m pretty sure, even now, that I won’t get tired of it.

Most of all, it proved to me that photography is a hobby best done with others.

Peter Bates

Peter Bates is a writer and photographer living in Florida. He is the administrator of this blog and runs the blog Stylus.

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  1. Anonymous Anonymous

    Enjoyed reading this perspective but I am the polar opposite when it comes to photography.
    If I see something I want to photograph but lighting is not quite right or I am waiting for the perfect subject to walk into the frame,
    I can wait patiently as long as I am solo. If I am with someone, I would be considerate of their thoughts on waiting.
    Another reason is that I am cognizant of not wanting to take same image as another photographer, so I will walk away from
    a scene if someone else is already working it. Of course I know that two photogs might capture it in a different way, but
    I would still walk away and let the first photog work the scene.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Thanks for your perspective.

  2. Jean Koulack-Young Jean Koulack-Young

    I love this shot! So typical of the times with the phone. Glad your camera was available.

  3. Sandee Sandee

    Fabulous shot and fabulous story to go with it. How about writing? Please explore that “hobby” in a future post.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Thank you. Would you like to do a guest column on your suggested topic for

  4. Cheryl Cheryl

    Beautiful shot. I .remember that day.

  5. I vividly remember this. I didn’t care who took the shot, it was too perfect to let it slip by. Everything conspired to make this a great photo.


    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Thanks once again.

  6. Janice Williams Janice Williams

    Great story and of course photo!

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Thanks Janice!

  7. Philip L. McAlary Philip L. McAlary

    Good story and photography. Thank you, Peter.

  8. Wendy Drexler Wendy Drexler

    Wonderful shot, Peter. Love how the writing on the boy’s sweatsuit is like the writing on the bags of rice.


  9. Really enjoyed your comparison of golf and photography as hobbies! 📸 Your personal anecdotes beautifully illustrate how solitary activities can also foster connections and unexpected moments of creativity. Great read!

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