Blurring out the Background

I just bit the bullet on a purchase I’ve coveted for ages.

While I’m no pro, I love to take pictures.

Capturing just the right expression, highlighting the smallest detail, zeroing in on particular aspects of every day that highlight beauty or even make you think.

I love the perspective you can find behind the camera lens and the way photography gives you a renewed appreciation for treasures all around you. Especially those you’d never notice sans camera.

The whole process is addictive. It’s a ball to try to see the world in a new way, focusing only on those things you want to capture for memory, the beauty you can frame and glimpse daily.

You don’t rush to photograph the uninspired, the chaos or the mundane.

You focus in on the special, the joy and the most important.

Back to my recent purchase…

Years ago, I saw a series of photographs posted in the back room of Anthropologie, where I worked part time. {Entirely worth it for the discount alone}.

The best word I can use to describe the pictures is “arresting.”

The quality of the photos was incredible. They grabbed your attention and brought you close.

I sought out the photographer and learned the secret of her touch… a fixed 50 mm-f/1.4 lens.

Dynamite for portraiture.

While I couldn’t immediately put my finger on what made the photos shine, that distinctive quality eventually came into FOCUS.

And that was it… the razor-sharp focus.

The subject of the photos took center stage.

And the blurred, distracting background framed the most important element of the shot.

I didn’t know the correct term {“bokeh” for you non-photogs reading…}, but I KNEW that I loved it!

bokeh: {boh-kuh}


a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image.

Here are some bokeh-beauties I found on Pinterest…


Blond model crown

Child Valentine

Forever Friend - BW

Camera Girl

Bringing it into focus

Crouching Down

Couple Walking


Yellow Dress

Aren’t they gorgeous?



What a great concept to carry along – camera in hand or not.

How lovely to always look through the lens of the most important, most worthy, most beautiful?


Grasping at Shadows

The sun finally came out in Houston last weekend, and I got to experiment with my own bokeh.

A special visit by my sweet cousin and her darling children {little cherub Jane, to be precise} made the perfect subjects – and a very worthy center of focus…

Fav Jane

Standing in Doorframe

Classic Jane

Sweet Expression

Nathan, Jane, Pats

BW - Jane up Close

BW - Jane

BW - Center Stage Jane

Thanks to Katherine and her cuties for indulging my camera habit.

Bokeh {out-of-focus tendencies} creates super ambiance in photos, but crowds out our attention in real life.

While focus looks different for everyone, here are a few center-stage subjects I want to master:

  • Daily Bible study / prayer
  • Being a good friend
  • Regular exercise {self care}
  • Clearing the clutter {organization!}
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify
  • Cultivating {and maintaining} inner peace

By actively working to blur the background {stress-inducers, pettiness, fears}, I’m hoping these non-negotiables become crystal clear.

Anyone else up for a “blur the background” challenge?

To a center-stage priority kind of week….

Claire Signature

One comment on “Blurring out the Background

  1. WOW! I am a new follower/fan and I am smitten. I am here thanks to your “So this is 39” which ironically (or not) I read, completely LOVED, and shared more than once…on my 39th birthday!!! God-wink? I wanted to offer a suggestion that goes along with a couple of the center-stage subjects you mentioned above and includes several all at the same time. If you haven’t yet, you might want to try Pilates. It’s a laser focus amongst a busy blurry background, it provides that self care you mention and can dramatically and positively impact longevity. It also goes along with the simplify and inner peace–think focus on breath, small movements to impact the body and the mind. I’ll look forward to your next post and let me know if you decide to give Pilates a try.

    Liked by 1 person

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