Photography

Sharpen Your Saw


I’ve cut this plank three times already…and it’s still too short!

Habit #7 in Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is called “Sharpen the Saw.”  Covey uses the  story of a woodcutter who is furiously sawing trees. He wonders to himself why it is such hard work and why it is taking so long. An observer happens across the scene (noticing the exhausted woodcutter and the smoke coming from his blade from friction) and casually asks, “When was the last time your sharpened your saw?”, to which the woodcutter says, “I’m too busy cutting these darned trees to sharpen a dumb saw!” (more or less)

So what does this really mean?

If you are working your tail off and your productivity begins to drop off, you might think…time for a vacation! This is not sharpening the saw, it is putting down the dull saw to be picked up when you get back from your getaway. In order to sharpen your saw you should engage in a renewal activity such as exercise, healthy eating, education and seminars, learning a new skill, meditatation, maybe writing a journal or just having a long meaningful talk with someone. Are your blades (knowledge, body, mind, motivation, spirit) still honed to perfection? If not, find the ones that are dull and take some time to sharpen them!

This is from our favourite rusty haunt, Bernardo Winery. The blade here was used for ripping lumber and was attached to a series of gears and pulleys which were likely driven by a linkage to  tractor. Using a wide-angle lens and a low perspective, the scale of the blade is accentuated. Compositionally, the center mounting point is placed in the lower right third of the frame (Rule of Thirds). One can even get trickier and use the rules of Fibonacci Composition, which in itself is rather fascinating! Photographers, look up Fibonacci and sharpen up your compositions!

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2 responses

  1. Another great image, Erik. Love the low POV

    June 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

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