Relieving Holiday Stress Using the Camera – Patterns through a Glass

by Sheila Finkelstein on December 22, 2010

Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch with Kaitlyn, my college-freshman granddaughter, to celebrate my birthday. The camera was with me and, being involved in conversation as we ate, I stayed pretty much focused on our discussions.

Kaitlyn behind the glass. Wide view of the restaurant.Toward the end of lunch I decided to see if there was anything visually interesting that I might photograph.

I took some pictures of her above her glass and then decided to focus on the glass itself. (Photo on right is initial scene)

It was when I zoomed in on the imagery in the glass that the photographs became interesting. In the first photo below we see a wide variety of pleasing textures and soft colors. I’m moved to stay in it for a while and yet the dark line (her drinking straw) almost cuts the picture in half, falling outside the principles of good design.

patterns in glass - Kaitlyn is behind

As you see below, I thus cropped the larger photo with the straw repositioned in different places in each of the two other photos.

Working with principles of art and design is a small part of what we touch on in my Through and From The Lens Course, directed to the 4 C’s in taking and presenting a good photograph, Content, Composition, Color, and Content.

The bottom line of the course is for participants to start seeing more, finding the hidden beauty in the ordinary strengthening the mode for “shifting perspectives”.

Alternative Perspectives in Today’s photos

ripples and textures - Kaitlyn through glass

kaitlyn through the ripples and textures of liquid in a glass

Self-Reflecting Queries
For many, holidays present challenging times, especially when loved ones are absent or gone. From what I’ve experienced myself, and seen in others, we’ll often spend time a good amount of time dwelling on what’s missing and the sadness and loneliness of that.

What I’ve discovered is that ultimately staying in that state certainly does not make me feel any better. To make a conscious shift, I may start listing mentally, or on paper, that for which I am grateful. I will sometimes go further and directly express gratitude to another person if it fits and is feasible.

And, as you know if you’ve been a Picture to Ponder subscriber for a while, I often pull out the camera at such times. Once I start noticing and paying attention to what’s outside of myself I will experience a shift. Sometimes it’s immediate. At other times it may take up to 5 different “snapshots” for the mood alteration to occur.

So, you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with today’s photos?” I was in a great mood when I started photographing AND I had simply been feeling flat around using the camera. Yet I felt I “should” be taking pictures since it was my birthday and a special occasion

Once I set the intention, looked around, and then focused in on the glass, I began having even more energy. And when I worked with the photos on my computer a few days later, I was reenergized by the simple steps of working creatively.

After a much longer story than usual about me, here in the SRQs, I invite you to look into your own life.

Do you have tools and practices in place for elevating your mood, when you are down, assuming that undoubtedly that state does kick in at some point for you also? What are they?

Do you share your experiences with others?

Have you been taking time to notice what it is you are grateful for?

Lastly, are you expressing that gratitude to others.

I am most grateful for your being in my life as a subscriber to Picture to Ponder and for your “listening” to me, through my photographs and/or words. If you are celebrating a holiday in the next few days or week, you have my wishes for enjoying them to the fullest. May love abound.

As always remember to have fun with the queries and share on the blog what comes up for you.

(Note – If interested, you can see photos of Kaitlyn and me at the beach that day in one of my Facebook Albums. She took some great shots of me and she is a beautiful young woman to behold.)

Reminder – TFTL Telecourse

In the upcoming January Through and From The Lens telecourse we will be experiencing using photography to find the hidden beauty in your world, to discover and develop your own unique eye, and to connect with others, nature and your environment. You choose the subjects that most call to you, often discovering things in your life that you never knew were there.

In the telecourse participants learn how to develop their eyes by using the camera for Destressing, Communicating and Finding the Beauty in Their Lives, in addition to taking photos they love. It is set for Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings, starting January 11th – your choice of sessions.

Enrollment is limited to 10 participants in each session, so, if interested, check it out now. Details on TFTL – Jan 2011

If You are Developing an Internet Business
or if you are interested in developing one, there is an incredible opportunity coming up in January with the Niche Affiliate Marketing SystemNAMS. I’ve attended two (NAMS2 and NAMS3) in Atlanta and was scheduled to attend NAMS5 in January. It has turned into a Virtual Event, being held on the computer the weekend of Jan. 14-16, 2011, with continuing follow-up until NAMS6 in August.

David Perdew, the founder, has continued to assemble a varied group of top Internet Marketers, well-known, and extremely generous with their time and information they share. They will be leading the virtual workshops as well as the live ones in August.

You can find full details in a 9-minute video on NAMS5and6.

If You Would Appreciate Creative Alternatives to Camera and Writing for Shifting Perspectives
My friend Marney Makridakis is offering, as a gift, her Peace by Piece: Collage Your Way to Inner Peace and Harmony. It’s over 20 pages of ideas, including step-by-step instructions.

As described by Marney, “This workbook guides you through several collage projects, each one designed to bring you closer to your true self and your powerful ability for manifesting your dreams and desires.” Click on COLLAGE for the download page.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Deborah Lee December 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Another December baby – I seem to be running into a lot
of them this year. I had my birthday earlier in the month. This is a “zero” year for me, and I have to say that I finally feel comfortable with myself as an older woman. True, my mouth has gotten almost as big as my waistline, but I’m okay with that!! At this point, I feel acceptance with who and what I am. It’s about time!!


Sheila Finkelstein December 25, 2010 at 9:23 am

Thanks for the reply, Debii. I hit another “zero” year last year. I expect it’s ten or twenty more zeroes than yours. And, belated happy birthday to you.

I love your analogy of your mouth almost as big as your waistline. What freedom it shows! Awesome that you are able to fully accept yourself and probably quickly forgive yourself if/when there is a momentary slip!

To an wonderFULL year ahead.

With love and appreciation,


Kadira December 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Your posts always contain wonderful gems of wisdom Shelia. I love the idea of using the camera to get outside of ones self when all is imploding. And the other fascinating thing is how so often a better picture is found by focusing in on a smaller area of that broad view. I tend to love detailed closeups my self. Great shot of the figure of your daughter through the frosted glass – and Belated Happy Birthday!! 🙂


Sheila Finkelstein December 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Thanks so much for your comments, Kadira. It’s interesting, for some reason I misread your “so often a ‘better’ picture….” to “so often a ‘bigger’ picture is found by focusing in on a smaller area of that broad view.”

Ironically, I’m thinking it IS possible at times to see the “bigger” picture when we focus in on a smaller area of what is considered to be the “broad view”. Maybe it’s something totally different. Fun with words as well as pictures.

And thanks for noticing and commenting on the young woman, my granddaughter, (I have 2 sons), whom we see through the glass.

Lastly I appreciate the birthday greetings!


Kadira December 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I think you are right about seeing the bigger picture within the small – that was kind of encompassed in what I said, although not explained properly. It’s like the molecular universe we find within the body which in many ways parallels the one we see in the sky! Concentrated observation opens us to vistas we never dreamed of…..


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