Depth of Field – What Baby Owls Taught Me

“Life is like photography, we develop from the negatives”

When it comes to photography, I still have a lot to learn. And when it comes to life, the lessons just keep on coming. Every now and then there’s an “aha moment” when the two converge and bring an insight, like the anonymous quote above. Last Sunday, a few owls taught me another:

Sometimes you have to step back to get a sharper picture.

Burrowing owlets at Brian Piccolo Park

Burrowing owlets at Brian Piccolo Park

It has to do with Depth of Field.

You photographers know all about this, but simply put, it’s the distance between the nearest and farthest objects that are in focus.

Take the photo above.

Yes, the two baby owls are cute, but what you can’t tell from looking at this picture is that there was another owl standing slightly in front of them. I had to crop it out because it was out of focus. Why? My camera was set on the wrong F-stop, which meant my depth of field was out of whack. And I was standing too close.

Which made me think –

The same is true of problems – you have to step back for a clearer perspective.

Let your emotions cool off, stop making it personal, and look at the challenge from a different angle.

It’s not always easy – in fact, it never is! You might have to pray, journal, go into meditation, or – if you’re in a 12-step program – take a 5th step inventory. As your mind becomes calm and sharp, ideas will emerge and solutions will appear – seemingly out of the blue.

So remember to step back – it’s worth it. Just look at this cute guy I almost missed!

Burrowing owl

6 responses to “Depth of Field – What Baby Owls Taught Me

  1. Absolutely fantastic photography ! And equally so how you are using these adventures with nature/birds to become a teaching and life lesson. One only gets those answers from listening in and hearing with a clear heart. Thank you for sharing your photography and your insights.

  2. Reen – What a fabulous blog, and the photos are so sweet. just what I needed to hear. Thanks

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