Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams

For me, photography is largely a matter of focus.  Of the millions of images that flash across our line of sight every day, we select the person or thing to focus on, frame it, and capture it.  Our focus determines whether our image is memorable or disposable.   Equally important is focusing on the light, which is essential both in photography….and in life.

Here is one of my favorite shots taken on our last trip to Italy shot in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.  This bowl of light and stunning architecture teams with people soaking up the power and grandeur of the Church at its epicenter.  The light here was intense.  It was difficult to focus on just one aspect of this immense place, so we shot a series of panoramas.  This one shows the difference in light moving from east to west.

360 View in St. Peter's Square, Rome

180 Degree View in St. Peter’s Square, Rome

The same is true in the next panorama taken from the terrace of the Trump Hotel in Chicago by my son, Alex.  You can see the shift in the light’s intensity from left to right.  In both these panoramas, we’ve used a deeper depth of field to keep most of the scene in focus.


We both like experimenting with panoramas because they convey the majesty and immensity of a scene and allow the viewer to share a sweeping vista, rather than limiting or cropping our visual field.

In the next few weeks, I have a personal challenge which will require a great deal of focus and energy.  I leave today for Boston and will start medical treatment for breast cancer.   The diagnosis came out of the blue and set me spinning for the last few weeks.  But we’ve sorted through the medical options and came up with a treatment plan and a surgeon who fills me with hope and confidence.  And so, the journey begins!  Through it, I am determined to focus on the positive–to look at healing as an opportunity to grow and gain wisdom.  To begin this journey, I’ll quote the great writer and psychologist, Victor Frankel who said:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Viktor E. Frankl

I invite you to join me on this journey!  Through it, I’ll be searching for the light as a source of healing, illumination and creative inspiration.  As always, many thanks for your comments and encouragement.

To see great posts on this week’s theme, click on the links below:


25 replies »

  1. Your focus on changing light is spot on yet seldom noticed. I only have my little piece of ‘flat earth’ to roam about yet noticed natural light is the most ignored and least expensive piece of equipment photographer’s have at hand. One reason I love other photographer’s work is the opportunity to see different temperatures and hues of light available in other countries. And I talk too much … thank you stopping by my very first Weekly Photo Challenge and thinking enough of it to include it in your list. I very much appreciate it. I’ll be thinking of you as move into your next challenge.


    • Thanks too, Charly! I love how the light is different too from place to place. The golden light in Tuscany is amazing–for example. And thanks too for your kind thoughts as I start treatment this week.


  2. First of all, congratulations for your blog, the photos are really beautiful. Both photos on this post are amazing, I just can choose my favourite! About your new challenge, keep thinking positive, do your treatmet, keep looking to light and I’m sure you’re gonna be alright! By the way, thanks for the pingback! Best wishes!


  3. Thanks for some other great post. Where else could anyone get
    that type of info in such a perfect manner of writing?
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