Bringing a passion into focus: Dr. Jim Bluhm’s journey with photography
If you’ve ever noticed the close-up photographs of flowers and other scenes from nature around our offices’ waiting rooms and exam rooms, you’ve been witness to one of Dr. Bluhm’s favorite past-times: photography. He began experimenting with photography while he was in college, finding the creative process an effective outlet for stress, and a good excuse to get outdoors. “For me, photography is part of a bigger picture. While I’m taking pictures, I’m outside in nature, where I like to be – on a hiking trail, or at the Japanese Garden – which are calming places for me.”
The advent of digital photography allowed Dr. Bluhm to more easily capture many images, and experiment, without concern about how much film he was using or how much it would cost to develop it. “Digital photography has definitely increased my interest in photography. Not only can I shoot more photos, but I can have fun with the images by editing them. And I can snap hundreds of shots if I want to.”
Dr. Bluhm’s favorite subjects are found in nature: specifically, landscapes and flowers. He finds the latter particularly challenging. He also enjoys urban scapes, and documenting his travels, especially when it comes to unique architecture or scenes that he doesn’t see every day. “One of my favorite photographs is an image of a Bavarian castle (Neuschwanstein) that I captured while riding a cable car down the mountain. Finding something interesting or creative is an important part of the process for me,” said Dr. Bluhm.
Finding something new in the very familiar also drives Dr. Bluhm’s interest in photography. He’s visited the Japanese Gardens “at least a hundred times” and has yet to see it the same way twice. In fact, he has more than 2000 images to show for it. The tranquility of the gardens and the way the lighting and landscapes change with the season make the spot one of his favorites.
Having an outlet – something that takes you out of your head and encourages you to be present with surroundings – is an important building block for fostering resilience. Dr. Bluhm encourages anyone who has an interest in photography to “just go out and snap lots of pictures! But understand that it takes time and practice to become better. Stick with it. It will happen. And, it’s a hobby you can take with you anywhere, throughout your life.”
We at Pediatric Associates of the Northwest are grateful for Dr. Bluhm’s willingness to share his hobby and talent with us. We enjoy the way his photographs contribute to our clinic’s peaceful atmosphere – and we hope you do, too. If you’re inspired to pick up a camera and learn photography yourself, or even if you’re compelled to take a tour of the Japanese Garden after seeing his photos, be sure to let us know.