I recently joined the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). PPA offers education, insurance and a multitude of other advantages, through a community of professional photographers. When I joined, there was the extra little perk of receiving an inexpensive Lensbaby Spark Tilt-Shift Lens.
I had been carrying it around for a while. This past weekend, while out with my boys at Getzendaner Park in Waxahachie, TX, I decided it was time to try it out. It was a fun change. I primarily shoot with a 50mm 1.4 lens, so I enjoyed the challenge and novelty of trying something new. A traditional lens allows me to easily control my focus through the push of a button, or through manually turning the barrel of the lens. I can even choose my exact point of focus. Like it’s name implies, the tilt-shift lens feels much more haphazard. When you look through the lens, the world is a blur. It isn’t until you start adjusting the accordion like folds of the lens, through a pushing and tilting motion, that anything comes into focus. It was a very different experience. I found myself fumbling to keep my focus where I intended it to be. I had to slow down and be extremely purposeful. I had to invest more effort. I had to be more attentive. With the slightest shift in a different direction, my focus would be lost. It was analogous to life.
Unfortunately in life, I can’t easily push a button to bring the important things into focus for me. It usually takes work. To keep clear priority on Faith and family, I have to purposely set my attention there. I have to put my time and attention where it matters most. I have to let the distractions of life around me blur, so that I can focus with purpose on what truly matters. Even then, sometimes things will get hazy, but with a little tilting and shifting of my priorities and perspective, the important things can become crystal clear again.