Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Focus On You!

by Carol

Oh dear - I am a sucker for a doggy! (or any other animal for that matter!)

Janice Johnson honored our gallery this week with this heartfelt image of Lexi! I can feel the love - Janice's love for Lexi and Lexi's love for Janice. What better to translate through a photo than LOVE?

You can see more of Janice's work here in her Flickr photostream.

Thanks so much for contributing, Janice and keep up the inspiration!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Focus

by Leigh

Happy September to you!  Our focus for this month is diptychs. What are diptychs? Well…I'm so glad you asked! Diptychs are a powerful tool for storytelling in photography.  It's putting two images together to make one image. The photos can be similar in size, shape, color, form, etc… Or thy could be two opposites used to show a contrasting idea.  Or it could even be a single image divided into two frames.  Perhaps one shot is from far away matched with a closeup view.  Diptychs give us another way to express ourselves in photography.    

There are apps such as Pic Collage which make creating diptychs as easy as dropping in two images. Or you can use an action in Photoshop like this one from Coffee Shop Blog.  Have fun playing around with diptychs and be sure to add them to our flickr group!

Monday, August 31, 2015

The End of the Rainbow (and How It Led Me to Treasure)

(Or Why I DO This - Part II)

by Carol

In the doldrums  #white

These white-themed pictures represent the last of our August break postings. Tomorrow is September first, and FOL is back to our usual posting schedule. I am so happy to be here since this August taught me a few lessons.

Back in March, Judy asked herself a question - "Why do I do this?"  You can read her very thoughtful rumination on that subject right here.   In the past years, I have rarely asked myself that question. Maybe because I live alone, I have no one to complain to, or more quiet evenings to ponder things - who knows? But I have to admit that during this August break, my habits really changed.

I have to admit to feeling a bit "fenced in" #white

I read books without underlining quotes that might illustrate an idea. I listened to TED Talks lightly - not straining to remember the deeper thoughts more than enough to have a casual conversation that night with someone. I stopped making room in my life to write. I had a few fruitful get togethers with my photography friends and played with the resulting images long after, but I stopped photographing every day. I read photography blogs and articles with the only thought being - "hmmm, I will have to try that someday." 

My loafing attitude started to spread. I haven't exercised all summer - not even doing the laps of the pool that I look forward to all winter. I stopped working on my 'works in progress' -  ( still haven't finished the book I wanted to make of my trip to France last year.) At the same time, my original local photography group underwent some changes. One of the girls living close by moved a little further away and became a little more limited in her time (although certainly still willing and enthusiastic), and the one girl who was our planner - that would be the one who sent the emails that made our get-togethers actually happen - retired and moved far away. And I have been just plain lazy!

Having a bit of "the vapors." #white

I can't blame the heat - because most certainly, my FOL sisters in the midwest and west have me well beaten in that category! I was very busy at work this summer - but so are many of my creative friends. My son is home again for a bit and we have all kinds of wonderful and precious conversations, so I do have a bit less quiet time - but I love every minute with him. It might be that I haven't been on vacation yet - my vacations are coming up in October and November this year. But these are the doldrums for sure.

Then two weeks or so ago, things started to pop again. One of my local photography friends stepped up and invited a few people to join us for a get together filled with laughs and sharing, and followed immediately up with future calendar dates to note NOW, before we all fill up our time with other things. I spotted some good airfares and made my reservations for our FOL retreat in November, and started to get so excited to see my FOL sisters again! Mail started arriving about the workshop I will be doing with Kim Manley Ort in October, and it really sounds fascinating! (There's still room in the class  - won't you join us? All of the information is  here in Kim's newsletter. ) I will be attending that class with another local friend with an art background, and we started last week playing with our art supplies together.

Something is beginning to hatch! #white

Suddenly - I am awake again and I am feeling the same vibe from the others here. I guess it was just summer vacation after all. But for me, it has really highlighted the fact that you must carefully feed and water your creative garden with people and experiences and practice. Just as I have started walking again after work, I have started back into my photography projects. As Judy said in her conclusion, "My twice a month posting schedule keeps me thinking the rest of the month..." and my time with other creatives keeps me wanting to improve my skills. Judy said "I truly feel that my time here is an invaluable tool in my personal creative journey." I couldn't agree more! 





Here's to another year together at FOL!

© Focusing On Life