Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Light and Shadows


The first thing any photographer learns is that taking pictures is all about capturing light. To the youngest child with his first camera it quickly becomes obvious that without light, you can't take a picture. George Eastman once said, "Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."

There are many things to know about light and the shadows created by its angle and intensity, and I feel like I'll always have more to learn. One thing you discover early is that light changes constantly. From one moment to the next the scene in front of you can change dramatically and is affected by many variables. If you aren't ready to capture that moment when it happens, it may never look exactly like that again.


We are living in an extremely changeable time in history. It feels as though nothing is as it appears; what we think we see turns out frequently to be an optical illusion. Leaders aren't what they proclaim, relied-upon institutions disappear in the fog, and the lives we once had can seem like a fading sunset. Life on earth is constantly shifting and we seem ever compelled to try to lock it in, pin it down, make it stay, to take the picture of the moment when it looks and feels the way we want it.


I am so thankful that in contrast to the variableness of life and light on planet earth, there is a kind of Light that never changes, never wanes, never goes out--the Father of lights Himself! Nothing ever casts a shadow on Him. His light is not the harsh glare of the noon sun directly overhead, (although it is even brighter than that), but it is the magical "golden hour" light that photographers so love to capture--it is warm, golden, and makes everything more beautiful. He is always the most brilliantly promising moment of a pastel sunrise and the most achingly beautiful nanosecond of the most gloriously intense sunset earth ever saw! Words just aren't enough!!


"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 NIV

Look for the ways He lights your way, look for the "good and perfect" gifts He gives and capture them with the camera of your spirit--notice and save them, seeing Him expressed in them and look through your photo album often to remind yourself of the nature of Light! Remember George Eastman's words as you think about HIS light: "Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth . . ."

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