Where is Your Focus?

A few weeks ago, I was visiting my sister and we spent a beautiful Saturday at a lake near her home. We had a wonderful morning swimming, watching the kids play, and talking.

I took advantage of some peaceful moments when my husband was hiking with some of the kids by taking out my camera and some of the lenses that I don’t get a chance to use very often. I love my Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens, and it had been a while since it had come out to play.

Near the sand where my little ones were playing were some pretty plants. I love taking pictures of pretty summer things and this day was no exception.

I got my settings where I wanted them, found my focus, and snapped.

I love that macro lenses (and a shallow depth of field) allow you the chance to focus specifically where you want, letting everything else fade into the background. Who knew little black seeds could be so pretty?

I wanted to snap another photo but had moved to answer a question for my sweet three-year-old. When I turned back, the pretty seeds I was so enamored with weren’t there. I looked up from my camera to see if I was in a different spot, but sure enough, the seeds were there. And yet my camera was focusing somewhere else. I snapped again.

Can you believe that was taken in the exact same spot? (Look at the long vertical stem about 2/3 of the way to the right to see how the photos line up).

Focus is everything.

I took another one, this time being intentional about staying in nearly the same spot (I am a little bit over to the right — again, look for the strong vertical stem, this time slightly to the left of center) and yet finding a new place to focus.

Same spot. Three different photos. Yes, focus is everything. In photography. In life.

As I scrolled through my photos on my camera, I kept coming back to these three. How much truth to life exists in such a small little photography shoot!

As memory keepers, we get to choose our focus. We choose the focus of our photos and we choose the focus of our memories, our stories. We can stand in the same place in life and choose to see different things. We can choose to focus on one thing over another, to see the good and beautiful.

I am all for scrapping the hard times, the real times. However, I also want to be intentional about the realization that I have the choice to view situations in different ways. It’s a matter of my focus.

As you start a new week, I want to encourage you to stop and think about your focus. From where you are standing and from what you see, ask yourself this: Could this be viewed another way? Can I stand here and see something different than what I am currently seeing?

These two questions will take your far…both in your photography and in your life.