Friday, July 3, 2015

Born on the 4th of July

by Dotti

Okay, I wasn’t really born on the 4th of July but I like the title! But I do want to have a little fun with this national holiday with another trivia challenge. {Sorry. I’m a history geek.} Hold down your enthusiasm, please. There are ten questions in the first half of this post and you’ll find the answers ‘below the fold’, as they say in the blogging world.

1. What are the first words of the Declaration of Independence?

2. How many stars were in the first United States flag?

3. Which two former Presidents both died on July 4, 1826?

4. Another former President died on July 4 in another year. Do you know who that was?

5. One President was born on the 4th of July. Do you know which one?

6. Whose signature is the largest on the Declaration of Independence?

7. How many people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July , 1776?

8. What day did most signers actually sign the Declaration?

9. What other countries celebrate the 4th of July?

10. In what year did the 4th of July become a legal holiday?

1. When in the course of human events …

2. There were 13 stars and 13 stripes. The flag still has only 13 stripes for the original 13 colonies.

3. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the fiftieth anniversary of the 4th of July. These two founders became estranged during their respective terms in office but years later were reconciled and carried on a prolific written correspondence with one another until their deaths.

4. James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

5. Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.

6. John Hancock who wrote large so he wouldn’t have to put his spectacles on.

7. Two. John Hancock and Charles Thomson

8. August 2, 1776

9. Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and England reportedly because so many people immigrated to the United States in the early 1900’s.

10. 1938

Happy 4th of July to each and every one of you and even if you live in another country, we wish you a happy day!

Thursday, July 2, 2015


by Judy

Happy July everyone! It's a new month, and with that comes a new theme.  This month we are focusing on silhouette photography.

Silhouettes add drama and intrigue to a photo. By taking away the details of an image, we focus on the shape and lighting in the photo. Although silhouette photography is fairly easy to learn, there are a few tips that will make your silhouette photos really beautiful. 

First and foremost, your subject must be backlit.  The lighting can be indoor light, or natural light, but the background light must be brighter than your subject.

Set your camera to spot metering.  Meter the lighting of the sky, or whatever light source you are using, then compose your shot. (In addition, I use either shutter priority or aperture priority, which helps ensure a crisp silhouette.)

When photographing silhouettes, make sure there is separation between your subjects, like the shot above. If there is no separation, your silhouette will look like a large black blob.

Do not use your flash, or any fill lighting when shooting silhouettes.  

When shooting landscapes, or seascapes, in silhouette, I choose an aperture of f8 or larger to ensure the background is in focus too.

Silhouette photography can be of anything - people, objects, buildings, nature, animals, trees, etc. Any subject that has a pronounced shape will look great in silhouette.  It's easy, so grab your camera and capture some silhouettes!

Post your silhouette photos on our flickr page and/or on our instagram feed (@focusing_on_life), with the hashtag #focusingonlife. 

Happy shooting everyone! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wednesday Focus On You

by Judy

I know we've all said it before - but what a difficult job it is to choose a photo to be featured here! There is so much beauty, and so much talent, in our Focusing On Life flickr page. 

Today I chose this wonderful black and white image from Larraine Zungolo.  I am naturally drawn to photos of windows and doors, but this one is fantastic!  There is texture everywhere, giving this photo real interest- on the peeling paint, the stone wall, and the ironwork on the window.  The black and white processing really brings out the play of light and shadow too.  Such a beauty Larraine.  Thank you for sharing this with us. 

© Focusing On Life