Tag Archives: Photography

Zoom Out, Then Zoom In To See Life’s Details

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Not all of the details of life are pretty.

Certainly we know people whose lives fray with messy edges. Sometimes, we are those people. (Tweet that)

With time and perspective we notice things that we were unaware of at the time. Details are impossible to see all at once.

I know that sometimes I want to cut out the stuff that isn’t pretty, flattering, or seemingly useful. But I risk cutting out things that make up a vivid life upon closer inspection.

I’ll share an example: I came across this photo from a long ago family Christmas. Just an average snapshot of life for a regular family.

Certainly life was not all rosy for them.

And yet…yet, there is so much beauty that was certainly missed the first time this picture was viewed.

Christmas orange

This picture hides many layers that seem to make an average shot, but there is more…

-I notice my grandma’s beauty. Shes about my current age here, all festive in red

-I see my aunt Kathy, only 11 years older than me. Just my daughter’s current age and I wonder how that could be! I remember how much care she gave to me as a child. Responsibility for me

-My grandparent’s three-legged Siamese cat Sammy lounges under the table, and I recall how I would rub that silky fur

-The tree in the corner, placed on a tiered stand my carpenter grandpa built

-Shiny little girl hair, once mine crowns a happy child’s head

-A high chair in the back would have held my younger cousins. I smile as I remember our antics and adventures

-Grandpa leans back in his chair, always the same chair…head of the table. In his everyday white t-shirt. He loved to watch the festivities on holidays

Unseen? I know the layout of this house, though I haven’t seen it in a few decades. I see the black doorknobs and remember how the paint gathered near the old locks. The craftsman style built-in behind Grandpa. There was a pantry behind that wall. I remember the feel of the huge vent on the floor just to the left out of sight. How I would stand over it and watch it blow my clothing with delight. Behind us there would be a coffee table with delights only out at Christmas. A bowl of nuts, walnuts were my favorite. Ribbon candy.

There is so much unseen. An average home, a regular family. All playing parts in the fabric of my family tapestry.

There were frayed threads. Ugly spills.

Oh, but the final product. What beauty, what texture!

Don’t crop out the small things. They are building upon each other to capture something that isn’t finished yet.

Share this article with a friend. Let’s look closer, together.

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Shiny Brite

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I am sucker for old things, retro items that made it through decades in one piece despite their fragility.

I love to wonder who used them. What the story is behind them. Of course, the story.

Chatting with my daughter today, I remarked it was odd a radio announcer was listing off things about the early 1970’s as if that was “that” old.

She looked at me, in the way that only a 17 year can muster, “Mom, that was like FORTY years ago.”

And….?

These ornaments remind me of a parallel. To my daughter I am becoming somewhat of a faded cardboard box. Sure, there are beautiful shiny things inside. But, they are still housed in something somewhat old.

The irony is that like these bulbs the memories become brighter, the story more interesting as the box ages. I am becoming retro. Imagine when I become vintage! Thankfully retro is the new hip. I wonder if my teens know that?

Mom, the cutting edge of modern

Choose Your Focus

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What we see is not always accurate.

Our view can be obstructed by the physical. Our focus hindered by ideas and feelings.

It is easy to get caught up in seeing what is ahead of us. Forward motion and thinking are part of how we function.

We miss beauty when we live in perpetual motion.  The compositions of our surroundings.

Obstructed focus must be challenged, for the great things of life are not always the most obvious. We need to look a little harder, mine those hidden gems of living that give us pause.  Look up. May we never assume that the road in front of us holds the entire picture.

Training our eyes recognize the obstructions and refuse to accept them, that is the intersection of ordinary and superb. The daily grind and jaw dropping awesomeness.  We get to choose.

Choose the focus.