Capturing Beauty With a Cheap Point-and-Shoot

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Someone asked me recently how I became interested in photography.

First of all, I want to just say that I am not a photographer. True photographers have studied apertures and light and other words that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about when I say them. And real photographers are willing to make serious investments in their craft. For example, they usually have nice cameras and some pretty amazing lenses.

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When I was about thirteen, I bought my first camera. I think it was like $30. Still, I felt important, you know, because this was back before everybody had a cell phone or an ipad or even a lap-top. So, to have a little device that worked on batteries and had its own film cartridge and could capture images of life felt pretty significant.

So, I’d walk around the yard and see what I could see. I remember stooping down and leaning in to take pictures of the daffodils and the dandelions. And this satisfied me, because here I had been mourning the loss of the daffodils that would all too soon wither up. And I knew my Pa was sure to mow down the healthy crop of dandelions growing up in the front yard, so before this catastrophe occurred, I took comfort in preserving their glory somehow, by just a click of the shutter.

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Of course, later, when I printed the pictures out, it was flat out obvious that they paled in comparison to the real things themselves. I remember thinking, “Well, that didn’t at all capture the beauty of what I remember actually seeing,” but still, I had the memory of them, right there in full color and so I was happy.

The neat thing is, I don’t think you have to be a photographer (though I greatly admire them) in order to enjoy the beauty hunt.

I’ve always just had this cheap little point and shoot, access to a couple free editing sites (here and here) and an insatiable hunger to find.

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The camera has been an incredible tool in my pursuit of finding beauty. I’ve always been motivated to go looking for little bits of glory. I’m not sure entirely why that is, but in my book, Finding God at the Kitchen Sink, I explore the longing,

Could it be I was always meant to be a beauty-hunter? A glory-gazer? That perhaps the God who made me and all this I see somehow tucked into me this longing? So maybe, just maybe I’d go looking…and searching…and pursuing…until I found the source that would satisfy all this beauty-hunger…Him.

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I’ve discovered, on all these beauty seeking adventures, that tucked down deep in my heart somewhere is an ache for more than just beauty. It’s a quest to find the Source of where it all comes from. I think what I’m really longing for, and perhaps what we’re all longing for is to see glimpses of the One who made the world and everything in it.

When I’m stooped down, peering into a wildflower or capturing a moment with my kids at the table, bathed in light, I’m admiring my Maker.

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He made this. What a gift that I get to witness it. And then click the shutter and make some art out of it, to share somewhere for others to see.

“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him.

Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ (Acts 17:24-28 The Message)

 

1 Comment

  1. by Laurie on April 17, 2015  4:44 pm Reply

    Beauty Maggie....the words interlaced with the photos.... Like the vines of a morning glory leading up to the glorious bloom... How you see and experience life points us to the creator.... Thank you.

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