in which i learn the difference between ‘blur’ and ‘out of focus’

me with granddaughter alice, by jim hester

It is an undeniably sweet picture.  When I first saw it on my husband’s camera, I felt a small twinge that (it seems) manifested as a sigh, or catch of my breath; something easily (and apparently) interpreted as disappointment. 

In fact, it was surprise. I had not anticipated the image being so … out of focus. My husband is a masterful photographer, winner of awards and seller of his prints at art shows. He prides himself on his artistry, whether the subject be landscape, tight leaf shot or portrait. So I had some context for my initial, um, surprise.

This was a parting shot of myself with my newest grand-child, Alice. She and her family had spent the Thanksgiving holiday with us and our hosting daughter. At the time of this photo, her family was saying its goodbyes in preparation for their return drive to points south. A precious moment, captured.

When I expressed my surprise at the unfocused nature of this shot – especially in comparison with the quite clear pictures taken before and after – my husband patiently explained to me the intentional artistry involved in creating a ‘blurred’ shot in which the camera moves slowly to create a soft brush-stroke effect. If it were simply out of focus, he said, edges would be unclear and the whole would be unidentifiable.

As always, I am grateful for his artistic eye and for the intention with which he creates his chosen art form. It IS a beautifully watercolor-like image and one I shall cherish. In fact, the longer I look at it, the more it invokes two of my favorite mother-child artists: Mary Cassatt and Pablo Picasso … Yes, my husband is a figure artist with his lens.  And he has captured, in this BLURRED still life, the essence of a weekend filled with love and loving moments, each one crystal clear; though, in toto, they collage into something of a blur.

 

 

roots of gratitude

Credit: Rhonda Bobinski

In keeping with the season, I share a writing done during a young girls’ class. It seems fitting to acknowledge the one thing that feeds me, this and every time of year; and it is not turkey!!!  May your own roots bless and hold you.

My root is my family.
Long-lived connections to home
keep me stable, support and encourage me
even as I feed its branches through my children.

Long-lived connections to home
to make healthy choices and do the right thing
even as I feed its branches through my children.
I try to take care of them when they need it,

to make healthy choices and do the right thing —
each in a unique direction, giving shape to their dreams.
I try to take care of them when they need it,
imagining roots of a completely different nature.

Each in a unique direction, giving shape to their dreams
keeps me stable, supports and encourages me
imagining roots of a completely different nature.
My root is my family.

swb