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I had the opportunity at the end of last month to attend a photography workshop with the Adirondack Photography Institute. I was not looking forward to the warm weather knowing I would be hiking up and down a mountain and I had to face feelings of intimidation. I was the only person not using a digital SLR camera, but I got some great shots and great feedback from the group. There were lessons learned in the field and in the classroom. Some of the things I heard were not new, but we often learn through repetition. Here are some of the lessons I learned that can be applied to other areas of life:

Slow Down – There were times during the weekend a shot was lined up, but we waited for the right light. Over the last several years I have focused (no pun intended) on macro or up close photography. This has forced me to slow down and look more closely at things. What blessings have I missed in the perceived rush of life? It reminds me of the poem by Wilfred A. Peterson, Slow Me Down, Lord. Consider these lines:

Teach me the art of taking MINUTE vacations,
Of slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with a friend,
to pat a dog,
to read a few lines of a good book.

Use Different Angles – Think of looking at the scene from a different perspective – higher, lower, from a different location. Zoom in on a particular area that stands out to you. At the end of the workshop each participant shared 3-4 photos from the weekend. It was interesting to see the various views of the same waterfalls. Two people even ventured behind one of the waterfalls for a unique shot. Often the difficulties in our lives need to be looked at from a fresh perspective. Share with others what is happening and find out how they see it.

Multiple views of Cayuga Fallls

Multiple views of Cayuga Fallls

Adjust the Focus – It’s often referred to as depth of field. Am I focusing on what’s closest to me or something out in the distance? Sometimes you want to have it all in focus and that may require taking to photos and combining them later in software.

Macro focus at waterfall

Macro focus at waterfall

Adjusting the focus is where I am at with The Smile Diaries. I realize I don’t write because I am unable to compose 300-400 words on the subject and come up with a creative title. So there may be some changes with upcoming blog entries. It may be just a line or two but something that made me smile and I hope makes you smile too.

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