Selective Focus. A Skill for Scary Times.

This is a post I wrote deep in the 2008 financial crisis. This period, up until 2020, was the most anxiety-plagued time of my long life. I sought diversion then, the same way I seek diversion today, by photographing Morning Glories. What I’ve realized today is that selective focus is a fundamental survival skill.


out of focus morning glory flower

The image above was sandwiched between a series I was shooting on morning glories (the flower).  I didn’t see this through the viewfinder, but I did press the button.  I was in macro mode with my lens and the world is always unexpected when you are so close to an object.

I was going to delete it because it was in no way a recognizable morning glory.

Then, after the past few days of the world being a little too much in focus and recognizable, I decided to look at it again.  If for no other reason than beneath what I thought was a morning glory is a whole other mysterious world that hints at intelligence and whimsy and, most importantly, NOT panic.

I’m going to stay in this world for a while and delete the photographs in focus.

Here are a few more within my macro lens.  It is my survival skill in scary times.

©Pat Coakley 2008


12 Replies to “Selective Focus. A Skill for Scary Times.”

  1. As a collective, you’re brilliant to point out that we can see clear blue skies, one of us at a time.

    Let’s get scientific for a second ( to the extent that I can…)
    Even if the sky is falling, we exist in infinity, so there will be another sky behind that one to replace it.

    And it will be blue, with feathery swath of clouds.
    Not a morning glory- a glorious morning!

  2. Ah,Miss Bonnie, you are feeling better, with scientific talk of glorious mornings… I was worried after I read your last post!

  3. I like the philosophy.

    Please don’t hate me … but … when I saw this image I first thought of pregnancy test and feminine product boxes.

    But a second look reminded me of Lawrence of Arabia feeling depressed looking out at a desert.

  4. Hate you? It would take more than that, PR. In fact, I just spent a few moments looking at it as a pregnancy test and feminine product boxes…but, you know what?? It’s been a long time since I needed them so I forget. But, L of A? Now, we’re talkin’.

  5. S.Le: You know, now that you commented, water is ALL I see! The power of suggestion.

    L: I wonder if it began just like this, the firt abstract artist was going for X and saw Y and said, “hmmm…” I’m going with Y.”

    Nkgee: Aww…now, I hear Nina Simone which is never a bad thing!

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