Friday, May 26, 2017

Focus on You

With our theme this month of leading lines, I couldn't help but notice this beautiful image by Barbara Vautier. I love how the distinctive curves of this shell draw the eye right in. Plus the tones are so soft and just adds to the whole ethereal quality of her photo.

There is still another week of May to explore leading lines and we would love it if you would share them in our Flickr group!

As always, thank you all for continuing to share your beautiful art with all of us.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


by Linda

Here we are, getting ready to say good-bye to May. And-good news-a three day weekend is coming up! YAY!

Memorial Day is the official ushering in of summer. Around here anyway. There will be lots of boats on the road as people start breaking them out of winter storage and heading for the lake. That being said, the lakes will be full of boats, jet-skis, water-skiers and swimmers. (except Lady Bird Lake which usually bans jet skis on holiday weekends, but I digress)

The smells coming from backyard BBQ's will be everywhere! Neighborhood swimming pools will be a sight of noodles and beach balls!

Kids everywhere will be eagerly anticipating the end of school, unless they were lucky enough to get out before Memorial Day.

Summer vacations and trips to grandma's house will be on everyones mind.

Anticipation! It's great, isn't it! To be caught up in all the possibilities is fun! To plan serious down-time is almost as good as actually experiencing down-time! Kids, of course, look at summer as endless days of NOT going to school. Remember that feeling you had walking out of school on the last day? Best feeling ever!

Around here, Memorial Day is usually rainy and this year looks to be no different. It takes more than a little rain to ruin a perfectly good weekend.

Our family has begun summer vacation planning. How about you? Where will you go? What will you do?

We will go to the beach, it's a summer tradition. The grands have already started asking when we are going. Better get planning! I know how short summer really is!


sidebar-taking pictures of fireworks is hard. I obviously need practice.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Thing About Lines Part 2

by Deanna

Our monthly theme for the month of May is leading lines. I think we all know what that means, but in case you need a little reminder I am pulling back into my archives and editing and re-publishing a blog post I wrote back in 2015. The principles that applied in 2015, are still applicable today. 

Lou Nettlehorst was the speaker at our monthly meeting of our MAPS (Morton Arboretum Photography Society) a couple of years ago.  Lou is very well known photography and loved all over the Chicagoland area because of his tremendous knowledge of photography, his amazing skills of teaching, and his terrific personality. I went to the Smokey Mountains with Lou and a group of photographers about 3 years ago and plan on attending another of his workshops to Colorado in September.  

He began by saying that you must have good design to create an image that:
  • evokes feelings
  • expresses ideas clearly, or
  • records scenes, objects or events effectively
Then he went on to discuss the building blocks of visual design:
Light - Line - Shape - Texture - Perspective

I am certainly not going to go into each of these building blocks but I decided to focus on one. Lines have always intrigued me in their shape, form, and design.  Lines are certainly the most prevalent design element. They can easily be seen because of their tonal or color contrast. Lines easily define shapes and clarify spaces between areas and they can lead us to places.

I decided to look back into my archives plus add a few from my recent trip to Michigan and find some images that fall into this design element.

Straight lines 1) have a sense of purpose  2) define shapes  3) can take us to & from areas in a scene

Whereas curving lines 1) may create a more relaxed trip through the photograph  2) may be sensual or tranquil.  The 3 photos above fits into both of these categories, the straight lines provide structure, whereas the curving lines take us to an unknown space.

When making a scene with lines as the prevalent design element consider:
  • they carry visual weight - thin less impact than thick
  • straight ones may convey rigidity and structure
  • horizontal may impart calm or a stable feeling
  • vertical may convey stiffness and formality, strength or growth
  • oblique or angled may convey a sense of motion
"Line is a rich metaphor for the artist. It denotes not only boundary, edge or contour, but is an agent for location, energy, and growth. It is literally movement and change - life itself." ~  Lance Epsland

© Focusing On Life