Amsterdam/details

The first four images were shot in Rembrandt’s studio.  When I travel the moments that stay with me are the details.  I’ve trained my eye to look closer at things because looking too big can overwhelm my senses sometimes.  The photos taken in Rembrandt’s studio were so remarkable to me because of the quality of light.  No wonder he created the work he did, even on a grey day the north facing light was beyond stunning.

Rembrandt Museum Amsterdam

a subtle shift in perspective…

What we focus on can give us more clarity OR get us to hyper-focused, losing sight of the big picture. For me, I think this is a crucial distinction to understand right now. Take a look at the very subtle differences in the photos.  I focus on the fungus in front and the whole picture shifts.  I focus on the fungus in the back and everything changes…even the light a little bit.  Perspective.

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I feel this shift a lot when parenting teenagers.  What do I need to pay attention to right now?  Should I use a different lens here?  Why am I so focused on this right now?  Should I take a broader look OR get in there and really explore one singular issue, letting other things fall out of focus?

These are really hard questions for me to manage in a split second.  However, as a very visual learner, a subtle shift in perspective made more sense to me when I thought about it in terms of photography.  What we focus on grows and sometimes we need a ridiculously wide lens and sometimes we have to hyper-focus.

I chose to focus on these mushrooms and not focus on other thins for a few minutes.  Aren’t they magnificent? 

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I’m trying to slow down.

I’m increasingly finding myself annoyed with our “I’m so busy” culture.  It’s not the fact that people are busy, that I understand–it’s wearing “busy” like a badge of honor that I’m reacting to.  Why do we do this?

When I’m moving too fast I know I’m more reactive (ask my three teenagers). I don’t make great decisions (or I’m paralyzed to make them at all) and I don’t like the way I feel.  My skin just doesn’t fit.  I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

Last week I was at the grocery store and I was moving so fast that the cashier said, “You must be on your lunch hour, are you in a really big hurry?”  It really struck me that I was behaving that way.  I wasn’t in a hurry at all.  I was actually moving so quickly that I was making someone else uncomfortable.  This encounter has really stayed with me.

When I slow myself down—I like myself better and I can see things more clearly. 

There is always time to take a single breath, or close our eyes even for a second.

When I took this picture today in my studio I was moving frantically.  I then shot the same image after I took a breath and steadied myself.  These images tell very different stories, don’t they?  I’m not saying I’ll never move too quickly, of course I will. However, when I have the awareness I’ll try to slow myself down and see what happens.

I’m hardly a ZEN MASTER.  I’m just trying.

desk out of focus

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