Focus and Zoom

Think of our attention and focus like the lens of a camera, we are able to zoom in to take a closer look at the detail of particular area and we are also able to zoom out in order to see the big picture. Developing the habit of mentally adjusting our lens is a powerful tool that allows us to make minor changes and improvements to specific areas while not ensuring we are also keeping the entire landscape of the various focal points of our lives in the frame.

If I were to say to you, “that was a Kodak moment”, would you know what I was talking about? For anyone under 20 years old, film photography was pretty much obsolete upon your arrival, and it’s likely all those first-year memories (Kodak moments!) were captured digitally. I’m an avid photographer and continue to marvel at how fast and far technology has advanced in recent years. It’s safe to say that the camera technology most of us carry around as an added feature on our cell phones would surpass many of the top-selling, big-dollar cameras on the market not that long ago. It’s truly a fantastic time to be a photography enthusiast, and it will be interesting to see what exciting developments, images, and art are brought forth in the coming years. Think about it for a second; this is the first generation of virtually every kid being a ‘camera native’, where they grow up as a junior photographer owning high-end photo technology at a young age and no limitation in the form of running out of film.

As Kodak knows painfully well, most of the millions of cellphone pics taken every day will only have a digital existence.

Compared to the Kodak 110 I had at 12 years old, my daughter’s iPhone has the firepower of a pro-level photo studio. As often the case with technology, the many conveniences and ease of use sometimes comes at the expense of skillsets that become automated. For example, focus and zoom are not something most of us need to worry about when taking a shot with our cell phones. Hit the button, and the settings become automatically optimized for the best image, whatever subject you’re aiming at, and in any environment and lighting you happen to be in.

Besides my interest in photography, I bring the topic up as I see the focus and zoom automation with our cameras as analogous to much of our daily lives in 2021. Specifically, unless we are actively and consciously involved with the ‘camera settings’ (our daily habits), we may not focus on what we consider our true priorities. Let’s look at what ‘focus’ means. In photography and life, it’s essentially the same: Providing clear visual definition to the subject of attention and interest.

This is the point where it’s easy to drift off course, we tend to be very busy multitasking every day, and we often don’t give proper focus to the things we consider to be the most critical areas. Essentially, we tend to scan the whole panorama of our to-do list each day and end up reacting to whatever seems most urgent at the moment.