In Inspiration
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One of the things that I strive to teach anyone interested in photography is the concept of noticing. We get busy, we’re in our own heads, we’re talking to a friend and we pass right by things that are worth seeing. As photographers, we’ve trained ourselves to notice things that others sometimes miss which can be both a blessing and a curse. Remember my post about my unlikely super power of finding screws and nails on the road? I would definitely say that’s a blessing. But you can’t turn off that noticing power selectively. Like when I see the crushed expression on a student’s face when they overhear a mean whisper. Or when I spy the marker in the hand of the vandal that just defaced the locker. I can’t not see the butt of the cigarette dropped from the hand of the person in front of me on the street. Once you start noticing, it’s difficult to stop.

I’ve been trying to practice intentionally noticing the good things using my photography as a guide. Instead of focusing on all the weeds invading my yard and our surrounding area, I tried spending time getting closer to them and really paying attention to the details. I had my lens set to an aperture of 1.8 so that my object of focus was obvious. Well, at least I thought it was.

At that shallow depth of field, it was really tricky to get the right spot to stand out in my frame. I enjoyed the extra challenge of trying to capture the small detail that I’d noticed when I looked closer. Here are a few of my favorites from the exercise:

For some of my photo subjects, it was difficult to decide what small detail I wanted to focus on. For this photo, it took me several failed attempts to get the fine fringe of the dandelion in the proper focus.

I think there’s a quote somewhere about finding what you look for. If you’re looking for the bad, you’ll find it – and if you’re looking for the good, you’ll find that, too. I guess I’ll keep practicing noticing the good. Both with my photography and with my everyday life.

Still noticing~ Angie

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