The unapologetic, raw, unedited interpretation of living life. Each of us is the artist of our own life, constantly remolding, reworking, and roughing out the details and applying what we've learned to the changing canvas. There are no do-overs, no take backs...just rough cuts that release what lies inside us.

I saw the angel in stone and I carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Aperture: Exposure to Vision

My junior year of college I made the "brilliant" decision to double major in Art and Psychology.  This meant my first two years of purely science classes were now "Elective credit" and I somehow needed to squash an entire year of language, studio classes, and some other odds and ends into my bulging schedule. I hit the ground running in the fall of my senior year with three studio classes, because they wouldn't let me take four.  One of those was a photography class.  This was before the dawn of the digital camera - yes I am that old, young grasshoppers.  I had to remove the film in a dark room, transfer it to a reel, and then begin the process of developing a roll of what I hoped would be masterful photographs.

One of the many terms I learned during those long nights of agitating stop baths and cutting photo sheets, was aperture. The term Aperture is the lens opening: The hole or opening formed by the metal leaf diaphragm inside the lens or the opening in a camera lens through which light passes to expose the film.  A large opening, combined with a slow shutter speed, allows more light to expose the film.  There are two instances when the picture risks over-exposure this happens and attention to each is vital to avoiding an overexposed picture:

During the photograph taken with a camera, this determines the amount of light exposed to the film inside the camera. Exposed portions of the film will be removed during the development process. Following the development of the film, the processed negative is then placed on an enlarger, through which light transfers the image to photographic paper.  The adjustment of the time the light is allowed to pass through the negative determines how light or dark the final image will be. A black image is the result of overexposure in one of these two steps.  A light image requires more exposure.  Underexposed negatives require more light exposure from the enlarger. It is much easier to fine tune exposure in the initial stages with the camera.

I find the concept of Aperture to be true when I think about people and how they respond to following a leader with vision (or lack of).  A leader understands the amount and time needed to expose his followers to his vision.  Too much too soon and he washes out the potential to lead convincingly.  Too little, too slowly and it is a dark, lonely road ahead.  People who have to wait for the vision will find their own light to follow.  Those who receive everything all at once get burnt out.

Have you dialed in your aperture?  If you pointed a lens at your team, your family, the people who look to you for leadership, would they need sun glasses or would you stare blankly into a black hole where humans once stood?

Dial in!  Get focused on what you are about and then take the time to build your masterpiece!


Laurel Ubele said...

Such good common sense! What a great reminder of the importance on the way we unveil our visions.

Cara said...

Thanks Laurel! Purposeful and steady works.