10 March 2010

Just a Little Off Balance

Hey, Friends!

This week we're talking about perspective. I've learned a lot about this through my new hobby, photography. It started simply enough--just taking pictures. I have some favorites I took over the years with my film cameras and point-and-shoot digital cameras. Then January 2009, while in India, I took a photo I couldn't stop staring at. Something about it drew me but I didn't know why. There was a girl on my team who had a "serious" camera so I asked her.

This girl explained that the perspective grabbed my attention. It was a photo of a leper woman up close, in the first third of the shot. Despite the empty space on the right, somehow it worked. The lines in her face were so clear, while the colors behind her were just a blur. Sarah explained to me the "Rule of Thirds", which has to do with capturing a subject. She explained how our eyes naturally travel to certain places and if there's a void, we pass over it. But if there's detail instead of empty space, like this photo:



... we find that sweet spot.

Until that day, I tried to center my subjects in the view finder. I'm big on balance and on symmetry, especially in art. But Sarah's simple lesson changed everything for me. She gave me permission to be off-balance. And when I started doing that--allowing possible imperfections--I started taking shots like this with my rinky dink point-and-shoot:



This year I've learned to be a little off balance. When decorating my new room everytime I encountered a decision I tried to think out-of-the-box... or at least, out of the box for me. I have a tendency to do what I did before simply because it worked. I'm learning to be "off balance" in my schedule, meaning trying something during a certain time of day I wouldn't normally do that--like working out later instead of during the morning. You know what? It worked.

I've really tried it in writing as well. Whenever given a suggestion on how to strengthen my novel, I tried it. I figured that even if it didn't work, I wouldn't know unless I put on those lenses. And you know what? Each new thing I tried made the story better. More three dimensional. It provided more room for conflict, tension, and to play with my prose. Those problem areas I knew weren't right but wasn't sure how to fix? It took care of that too.

Sometimes all we need is to be willing to be a little off balance.

See y'all Friday!



**Photos by Kristen Torres-Toro 2009**

21 comments:

  1. Very cool analogy.
    Your photos are great! I would LOVE to take up photography. It's amazing what those little differences do to a picture. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not the best photographer. I took lots of pictures of the Loch Ness monster on our honeymoon (aka a walrus). You have a gift and I love how you tied it into writing. I am way off balance. :D
    ~ Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really like the picture of the lady. Good shot! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love these photos and the whole idea of having it be okay to be off-balance. Since I feel like I am navigating quicksand right now, this post was just what I needed. Thanks.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the idea that being a little off balance is okay, and in fact can be a good thing. Not just in writing, but in life too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great photos and photo tips! Also, dare to be a little "off." I like it. A change in perspective, no?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes I'm trying new things too! I'm still relying on my internal editor though. Gut editing is best. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the photos and the reminder that being off-balance is good for us.

    ReplyDelete
  9. And who gets to judge "balance" anyway? Only God is always on balance.

    LOVED this wise post.

    And the photos. Especially the first one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL! I always feel bad when I cut off part of people's heads or my pictures are lopsided. Thanks for giving me a different perspective.

    When writing my first manuscript, I would learn something at a workshop, run home, and make changes. No wonder it took so long to finish. :)

    Blessings,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  11. Being off balance is my new stance. Everything flows at a different pace each day. I can never tell what time of day writing will jump in the driver's seat, I'm just glad it does. Eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, yes. Sometimes being off balance is the key to finding purpose. Your photos are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brilliant photos! You know what? I LOVE off-balance pictures, which my daughter specializes in. Just tilt the camera a bit, make things look off-kilter. Cool angles.Cool perspective. You're right!!!!

    Patti

    ReplyDelete
  14. I learn so much from you. This week...I'm going to try to be a bit unbalanced. Ok friends would say I already am but that's not what I mean....☺ Doing things a bit different..trying new ways and hey..I love these pictures. Captures so much of the human spirit...Have a great week...Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  15. So true! Sometimes we have to be willing to do something different, off balance before we know if it works or not. Great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those are beautiful pictures, Kristen. I love to live balanced, but I think it's during the times of imbalance that we grow the most.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Such a great post! Thanks for sharing. I absolutely love those pictures. You've inspired me now to work at my home photos following the Law of Thirds. And my writing too--take it off balance a little, out of my comfort zone.

    Thanks, Kristen! You really are an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Interesting post. I've never heard of the rule of thirds but I think I have instinctively used it in my photography. Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post! I learned about this in my art class. Those pics are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. You are such an amazing photographer. I know nothing about it but always admire those who can take a brilliant picture! This is an excellent post and a great analogy that I will be thinking about for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wonderful analogy. I, however, feel off balance all the time! I need balance! HA! Funny, isn't it? I don't mind the off balance in somethings. It's the day to day, in and out that needs straightening.

    LOVE the photos. I so hope I can go back to India and work at the leper colony. I hated that I missed them. And that little face...oh how I would still love to bring her home :)

    Jen

    ReplyDelete