I recently had to have surgery on my left shoulder and now my arm is in a sling for the next 6-8 weeks (hopefully 6). Being right handed I guess I am a little lucky. It would be a much harder recovery if I was stuck using my non-dominant hand. You don’t really pay attention to how much you use both your hands and being able to use only one makes everything a little bit harder; this includes shooting photos. I took my camera out to Lincoln Park last weekend for the first time since my surgery, and it was definitely more challenging than I thought it was going to be. Originally, I was going to go shooting with just my iPhone thinking it might be too much trouble to bring my camera, but at the last minute decided to try it anyways. I shoot with an Olympus OMD EM5 (I love this camera) it’s a mirrorless camera and thus much smaller than a typical DSLR. It’s fairly easy to to hold with one hand so I figured I would be fine. The first challenge I encountered was that I couldn’t bring my normal camera case with me. I usually carry a messenger back type camera case that slings over one shoulder, it’s perfect for holding my camera, an extra lens, batteries, and a few diabetic supplies in case my sugar drops while shooting. This was out of the question however as I couldn’t sling it over my bad shoulder and sling in it over my good shoulder would be uncomfortable and too difficult. I had to end up bringing a much smaller case that basically can only fit a camera and a spare battery. It’s small and triangular shaped and can be attached to your belt, which was what I did. It’s goofy looking and for sure makes you look like a tourist but hey, it worked.
Shooting was difficult as well. I had lost the eye piece that came with my camera, a little rubber part that goes around the viewfinder to block out exterior light. The piece easily falls off when I take my camera out of the bag and I got tired of replacing it so I got in the habit of cupping my left hand around the view find to help keep it dark. This was impossible now, and because it was a bright sunny day it was much harder to see through the viewfinder. After a while I started getting used to things, and I was snapping away like normal. I did notice I had to pay a lot more attention to how I framed my shots or how I positioned myself. Because I couldn’t shoot with my left hand at all there were some angles I couldn’t get. It was it a little more exhausting shooting with only one hand, I guess carrying a camera on one hip and having a sling on the other side was a little more uncomfortable then I imagined and I ran out of energy rather quickly after about an hour or so. Still I was able to go out and do it which was worth it, I don’t think I could have given up shooting for the next 2 months.