STOP...stop to observe the present

Every semester that I teach Photography 1, we have an assignment called S.T.O.P.  It is first and foremost to teach a student how to distinguish the difference in the F-stops/ Apertures in their cameras, and help to understand Depth of Field in a photograph.  I like to complete this project all in one class because it causes the students to focus on the task at hand and really try to understand a concept quickly.  I think younger students work a little better under the pressure of the clock as well.  I call it Stop To Observe the Present because they can only use the pictures that they take within the class time, and of course the play on learning the F-stops under the stop clock.  That is a lot of stops, lol.  I enjoy watching them learn under a deadline and be pleasantly surprised at the results they are able to get in just one class period!  Stopping to take time to focus on one thing for an hour does wonders in our world of multi-tasking.  This project actually has even more significance to me beyond just learning the camera.

Anyway, I find that in all of our lives, we do need to take time to STOP. Stop and observe what is going on around us.  I find myself doing this more and more, just for a few moments.  Even if I'm having a rough moment with the boys, I find myself stopping to record some of it so we can measure growth later.  Yes, I do have a 20 sec video of the 5 am wake up call that the babies gave me the other day; both trying to out do each other in cries to see who mama will respond to first.  Yes, I do record the crazy messes that they leave me to clean up during nap time and the sweet potatoes in their hair, eyelashes and all over the ground.  I know this will pass and more challenges will come, but how else can you truly remember in order to see the growth that happens in them and the growth that happens with myself?  That's one of the many reasons I love photography, to have a visual memory.  Photography let's us see into the past in order to examine the present and possibly change the future.

The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different outcome.  My challenge is to stop and record so I can remember how far I've come in the future.  Embracing mistakes, but not repeating them. Learning to try new things, learning to take life as it comes and not let it pass by so quickly, that is the challenge of my life right now. My challenge for you is to STOP and observe your life.  Sometimes we only want to record the good, but what would you record to measure growth later?  Isn't that what Throwback Thursdays are all about?

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