Gaining Life Focus Through Photography
Since this is my first blog for Garden State Woman, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michelle Arpin Begina and I'm a financial services executive, wife, mother of two active, young boys and a photographer. I rekindled my childhood passion for photography after my first son was born. Originally, I intended to capture great photos of my boys, but the photography has turned into so much more! I heard the phrase "career oxygen" recently and that sums it up for me. It's my outlet to live in the here and now, which draws out my creativity, and I don't just mean in my photographs.
I've noticed the thought process behind taking pictures, being in the moment (even if it's just 1/1000 of a second) and pressing that shutter opens my mind to new ideas and sometimes brief glimpses into solutions to stuff I'm working on. It's almost like getting a full night of sleep and waking up with an answer to a question that was challenging.
Like you, I'm juggling work, home, family and squeezing in some "me time." Balance is a fluid concept for me, but focus is not. The difference between a good and an outstanding day at the office for me is walking out knowing I finished important work and/or more the ball forward on a meaningful project or task. Focus.
We've all taken a picture and wished it were in better focus because then it would be great. Well, one of the easiest techniques to learn and use in photography is Focus – focusing on the subject and making sure the photo is "tack sharp." It can be the difference between good and awesome!
When photographing people, make sure the eyes are razor sharp. The eyes truly are the window to the soul and you'll see that reflected in your photos when they are in focus. Decide what you want to focus on and what you want to be blurry. The sharp part of the photo will draw the eye. (In future blogs I'll talk about techniques to create blurry backgrounds.) Like business, focus in photography is emphasizing all the right stuff and downplaying the rest.
Try these ideas for better focus:
Use the viewfinder on your camera. We're all used to holding the camera up to the scene and looking into the LCD screen to take a photo. Don't do it! Instead, grip your camera tightly, look through the viewfinder and then snap.
Try holding your breath. (Hey, it's only 1/1000 or 1/100th of a second -- you won't pass out!) We all naturally shake and that can come through in photos. Look through your eyepiece, hold your breath and snap the shutter.
Watch your shutter speed. Taking sports shots (moving subject)? Make your shutter speed faster. Taking a still life (non-moving subject)? Your shutter may not need to be so fast, but you may want to use a tripod. Don't have a tripod? Prop yourself up with your elbows or lean against a wall to take the photo. It's all about steadying yourself to reduce shake and focusing in on what you want to emphasize. Now there's a metaphor for life and business.
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