Monday, March 9, 2015

The Creativity Project: Soft Focus


This year I am still doing Photo 52 on Facebook, one theme per week. We have a great group, lots of new people, and a new leader, which is awesome (because it's not me!).  Instead of calling the last week of February's theme Photographer's Choice (meaning your favorite photo of the month, regardless of theme), she called it Photographer's Dilemma. Some of the new people missed the cue for posting their favorite photo, and instead posted a photo of a dilemma--which turned out to be incredibly creative and entertaining!  I immediately thought of the photographer's dilemma I depicted above: time can be such a blur.  


It was perfect for this month's "Soft Focus" theme for the Creativity Project.  My focus on photography (well, specifically on TAKING photos) is soft right now because I am focused on something else that I'm excited about, and it's taking up most of my time.  Sometimes, having a soft focus--or, an intentional SHIFT in focus--can be a really good thing.  So I give you, in no particular order, a bunch of photos from the archives with soft focus.  I love how peaceful they are.  






This one was just a little over a year ago.
Soon. Very soon.
Our first walk of the year outdoors yesterday was very hopeful.
Can't wait for all this beauty to come into focus.
I should have my camera back out by then!

Have you ever tried shooting out of focus intentionally?
It's pretty counter-intuitive.  But I love the results.
The Creativity Project has a different theme each month.
You can post your own "Soft Focus" shot 
We would love it!

Visit our circle of photographers for some inspiration--starting with the lovely Stephanie.
Her blog is filled with beautiful slices of life, and you will surely smile.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Black and white and gray all over


Today I walked around my house for a few minutes literally asking the question, "What does the light want to show me?"  I know, it's a little weird. I get that, but I need the discipline of this little exercise. I see subjects where I need to learn to see sources.

So here was today's answer. My boys were playing chess last night, as is often the case, and they left the board like this on the floor in front of the window. So backlight. And patterns. And contrast.

I've noticed that as I age, where I used to see black and white, I now see way more gray. At the same time, it seems, we live in an increasingly polarized society, where grayness is precarious.

Yesterday, I stuck my neck out on Facebook. People are asking questions in the aftermath of the ISIS killings of Egyptian Christians, wondering if Islam is really as peaceful as it claims, citing evidence to the contrary.  The question was asked by a truly kind-hearted soul. I said I thought the same could be asked about Christianity (and in fact that is also the case on my newsfeed), with evidence cited. I said we can ask the question of the other and look for evidence in our favor--but that for me it's a 24/7 job just trying to BE the evidence in favor of my faith. A couple of people were bothered by my lack of concern for our "security". I decided not to stir the pot there, but I find myself wondering, "What difference does it make?" Not in a rhetorical way. Not in a fatalistic way. In a practical way.

If, indeed, "they" are warlike, where "we" are peaceful, how should we then live? Does vigilance help us want to go to the places down the road where our Muslim sisters in this family of humanity live and learn what Sharia Law means to them? Because if not, I am trying to figure out how it's helpful.

As I looked at the chess pieces, I thought of this quote from the apostle Peter's first letter to believers suffering persecution for their faith:

"For Christ died for sins, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body, but made alive by the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18)

There is only the righteous (God) and the unrighteous (humans--ALL humans) in this equation. The Him and the We. And God's once and for all response was to build a bridge.  "To bring you to God." Period.

I love how The Message renders Peter's words a little earlier in the passage:

"Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless--that's your job, to bless.  You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing."