No, not really, I am still in my 50s, but the discomfort has started. I need to be careful how I move about when on location for photography. For example, recently I tried to jump over a fairly low fence; the result was that I landed on my backside, and suddenly it dawned on me, I am not 25 years young any more: I need to stop behaving as though I am.
So, what comes next and what are the best practices? Depending on how fit you are rather than how fit or young you feel, you need to adjust your body movements according to its threshold. You might feel fit enough for doing certain things but you should always listen to your body.
Observing my workshop participants adjusting their tripods, I find they often settle for the most uncomfortable position. I have no idea why this is happening, whether it is lack of knowledge on their part or for some other reason. The fact is, whenever I run a workshop, I always return home with a sore back from looking through their wrongly positioned viewfinders.
I always explain that, if possible, they should choose an angle that is comfortable enough for them. To create a beautiful image you need to spend time and, for this, you have to feel comfortable. If you can create the same image as you had envisaged at the outset by setting up your gear in a more comfortable position, then do not hesitate to do so.
However, sometimes we have to compromise, depending on the subject, and this time it was all about the subject and not my comfort.
Every little detail in this composition had to be thought through very carefully and the tripod had to be adjusted to suit the framing. All the pier lines had to lead the eye to the distant light beacon on the top right and the sky had to occupy enough space in the frame to fill the image with these glorious pink, purple and orange hues. On top of that, the bottom left corner had to start with one of the line of gaps in the wood. My obsession with attention to detail is becoming clear now.
If that was not enough, the top of the rails should end up matching the water line on the top right in the frame. As you will realise, all this meant the tripod had to be set at a most uncomfortable position, with painful consequences for my back. How long did I spend on the final composition? I think it was over twenty minutes and yet it seemed like hours; it is not surprising that landscape photographers suffer back and knee pains.
I recommend putting your tripod into a comfortable position whenever possible. It is not just the final result that counts when creating an image; it is also about how much misuse your body can take and for how long. I aim to photograph until I am quite old, and, for this, I need to listen to what my body tells me every now and again.