Isaac Gadsden, left, shows off his photography to fellow residents of The Merion. (Photo courtesy of The Merion)

Isaac Gadsden has been taking photos for more than 30 years but until recently, the hobby had fallen to the wayside. Today, The Merion resident is back behind the camera and has discovered some positive new developments since he last started shooting.

“If I had to go back to taking photographs the way that I did 30 years ago, I probably wouldn’t do it because it was too much of a pain,” Gadsden said. “But with the new equipment, the new technology, it’s pretty easy, and it’s fun to do.” 

Gadsden recently showcased his work — a collection of 50 photographs of residents’ hands — at the Evanston, IL, senior living community he calls home. He decided to use hands as his subject because they tell stories that often can be overlooked. 

“For the age of the people that I was taking pictures of, it’s probably the best feature that one could use,” Gadsden said. “It’s also very non-threatening, so people are not afraid to show their hands. They would be much more afraid to show their face. But in general, [hands] show aging in different ways.”

Maintaining a hobby such as photography also can be an easy way for senior living residents to improve their health and longevity, studies have shown. For Gadsden, it’s a way to reconnect with his past life. His hands may have changed over the years, but it’s clear his love of photography hasn’t faded. 

“It’s kind of fun as long as it’s not overwhelming. It’s easy to do — that’s the key,” he said. “It keeps me active, and it keeps me doing something that I used to do many years ago. It lets me get back at it, and that’s what makes it fun.”

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