Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Importance of Working with Your Hands

Again, I know this is a photography blog but I have to write every once and a while about things that are important to me (expect this more often as time goes on and I post more).

Today's topic is about the importance of building/fixing things with your own two hands. Now, I don't get enough time to do this as of now but I plan on making a concerted effort in to doing it more in the coming year (wanna see what else I wanna do? Check out yesterday's post here).

Working with your hands has been sort of written off in the last several years with more and more people sitting behind their desks at work all day long and then coming home to their disposable goods. After a full day's "work" of staring at a computer screen, let's face, we don't want to fix things that break or bother to craft something new. It's easier to plop down in front of the soft glow of the LCD and let the tube pander to us with the soft hum of Dancing With The Stars while we eat Ben and Jerry's. Now I know this isn't how everyone is but it has reached a startling level.

How do we fix this? Well, my first step was to start fixing things that broke. Like a lot of my compatriots, I grew up in a disposable society where if something broke it was easier to go down to Wal-Mart and buy a new one than it was to bother to fix it yourself (and let's face it, they just don't make products to last like they used to). But my thoughts on this have changed and now if something breaks, I fix it. If something doesn't do what I want, I work to make it better. Thankfully, I'm not the only one out there apparently that feels like this and that has put even more wind in my newly repaired sails.

Websites like Instructables and Make have made working with your hands a group activity. There are forums and project ideas that make it all too easy to get all sorts of things done (some more MacGyver than others...) as well as fun and rewarding. Got a great story about something you created? You can post on the forums and even upload directions so people can utilize the knowledge you have gained. Not only do you benefit but so does everyone else on the site.

Looking for something with a slightly stronger photography bent? Check out Larry Becker's Cheap Shots for cheap DIY tips that any photographer can use to save money and do some pretty cool tricks. Larry Becker does this spot on DTown TV a Kelby Media podcast and it is incredibly popular and beneficial to photographers.

My next project is going to come from a piece I saw on the Make website about restoring an old toolbox to its former glory (details available in a downloadable pdf off of the Make website). The restorer bought an old rusted toolbox for 13 dollars and restored it to its original state so that he could have a well made toolbox, not one of the cheap plastic ones they sell in stores these days. I think I'd like to do a similar project so its off to the flea markets for me!

No matter what it is, photography or not, just get out there this year and fix something, make something no matter what just get your hands dirty in 2011 and you'll feel better for it!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Check Out The Flickr!


Tallmadge, Ohio, United States
I'm Mike and I'm The Perpetual Hobbyist! I'm an avid home brewer, tinkerer, and traveler. Even though I work a 9-5, I always find time to indulge in my passions - even with a tight schedule. Join me as I make the most of my free time - learning and doing as many things as I can