Monday, July 3, 2017

Summer Break

For five and a half years, we have happily brought you Focusing on Life. We've loved every minute of it but this summer we decided we needed a creative break. We will do something we've never done - take off the months of July and August. 

We plan to use this time to relax, spend time with family and friends, catch up on personal projects and recharge our creative batteries. 

One of our stated objectives is to create a safe, welcoming community for creatives to share their art. We believe we've done this so we encourage you to continue to share your art with us on our Flickr page and Instagram feed (#focusingonlife) and we'll share ours there as well. We'd love to see what you're up to this summer!

Wishing us all a joy-filled summer!

The FOL Sisters

Friday, June 30, 2017

Focus on You

So many wonderful examples of backlighting in the Flickr gallery that you all made it very hard to choose one to focus on this week! But being partial to cats as well as the way the backlighting shows off the beautiful fur of this one made this image a favorite.  This was taken by Nikki Agnew of her mother's cat and I hope she frames it! You can see more of Nikki's beautiful images on her Photostream.  Thanks, Nikki, for sharing this with us!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Just Play

By Cathy

Summertime and playing go hand in hand. Summertime brings baseball, pool time, picnics, and vacations; lots of fun and lots of playing time. I can remember when I was a child looking forward to summer, because we could play all day. And play we did! I remember hours of sitting on a hot sidewalk playing Jacks. I even remember one summer my sister and I played a game of Monopoly all summer. That’s right, the game went on all summer. We just kept borrowing money from the bank!! I’m sure you have fond memories of playing as a child and even as an adult.

My goal this summer is to have fun and play with my camera. The idea of playing and having fun with my camera came as I was reading a photography book written by Kim Manley Ort, who is a contemplative photographer and author. There is a chapter in her book, Adventures In Seeing, where Kim reminds us to “never lose that sense of play, curiosity, exploration, and discovery.” On Kim's blog she has a very good article on The Value of Play in Photography.

I was flipping through a book about my camera while thinking of a way to play and discovered a feature that allows me to create photos with special effects provided by the camera processor; not in post-processing. The one I chose to play with first was Watercolor which creates a look with blurring and runny colors. I’ve been spending time outside creating watercolor pictures of everything I can think of. Did I get any breathtaking photos? No, but that wasn’t the purpose. The purpose was to have a little fun and I definitely did that. I’m even going to print some of them to remind me to play more often.

How long has it been since you just had fun and played with your camera? I’m not talking about taking pictures with it. I’m talking about having fun and playing! How long since you took a picture that made you laugh out loud because you were having so much fun? If you’re like me it’s probably been a while. One of the photos I took did make me laugh! I took a picture of a small piece of lichen floating in water. When I pulled it up on my computer it looked like the face of some a happy monster. Think Sesame Street Monsters!

To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve made a short list of photography projects that would be fun.
  • go on a scavenger hunt with a list of objects to find
  • photograph only one color
  • shoot only reflections
  • create abstract photos
  • shoot without looking into the viewfinder or the LCD screen
  • photograph children’s toys

Summertime is a great time to play a little with our cameras. Try it! You might just find yourself smiling or laughing at what you create or discover.

© Focusing On Life