Shift, Subtract, See. Simple Math | Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

“The art of subtraction can frame life into a masterpiece.
Shift to really see.
I shift. Subtract. See.
“Whatever things are lovely… think on these things.”
I shift and subtract, see the things that are good and pure.
Step over wire fences.
The art of subtraction is the art of loving well.”

~ Ann Voskamp
~ Paul, the Apostle

What does this photo have to do with friendship? Please bear with me a bit as nature teaches a perfect lesson.

One of the mystery’s of photography is knowing when less is more. Sometimes you try your best to capture a shot when you realize if you shift, subtract a bit, you have a fresh perspective on the whole.

Isn’t that how friendship is? The give and take, ebb and flow—the forgiveness. Followed by fresh perspective.

The subtraction of the faults lend growth to the whole. This photo in no way captures the whole of the tree nor the sky that day. But shifting to capture less provided a rich perspective on the whole. And it’s kind of funny the way the eye still sees the whole. You see the rest of the tree. And you see the whole of the sky.

And that’s when subtraction becomes more than simple math. It becomes an art—the art of loving well.

“Unless you bear with the faults of a friend, you betray your own.”
~ Publilius Syrus

Another thing—the colors here are blue and orange—complimentary colors on the color wheel. And isn’t that how friendship is? The balance of strength and weakness. The result? The perfect blend of mutual love, laughter, and life—rich enduring friendship.


Leave a comment


  1. Barbara

     /  January 16, 2012

    This makes loads of sense…thanks a bunch

  2. I love your creative title and meaning thoughts. The colours coordinates beautifully. I read that some people compare friendship as buying and selling — trying to keep a balance and both sides are to be happy.

    • Janet,
      Isn’t all of life about balance? True friendship is when both keep each other in balance.
      Thanks for the visit and comments.

  3. Friendship is very complimentary. Love your analogy. Great photo!

    • Angelia,
      Yes, quite complementary. I think when we observe nature we can learn so much about all relationships.
      Thank you for your visit and compliments.

  4. Interesting take on the friendship challenge – nice, thoughtful post!

  5. Very profound. I love the photo and the idea that goes with it. Nice job!

    • I think we can all learn a lot from nature.
      Thanks so much for the visit and the comment. I’m glad you stopped by and enjoyed.

  6. Allan G. Smorra

     /  July 8, 2012

    Nicely done.


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