Thursday, December 1, 2011

focused on Glory

from Jennifer @ Poderings of an Elect Exile

A while back, an idea began brewing in the back of my mind. I love photography. But some days I love it more than others. There are days that I find myself rather frustrated at the lack of progress I'm making in the technical aspects. There are days that I'm actually going backward rather than forward. And there are days I think I just need to put my camera away and be done with it completely.

Those days don't happen all that often, but lately I've had a few more of them than usual. I've learned that the best antidote for those days is to take my camera out and shoot something I love to shoot...something I don't have to pose or direct...something that gets me back to the "why" I'm doing this photography thing in the first place.

The "something", more often than not, is the birds and squirrels in our yard. A session or two shooting our resident wildlife usually gets me back in a better frame of mind and reminds me of the "why"...why I love photography anyway, and what my goal is in walking around with this thing strapped around my neck all the time. :)

There are actually many reasons I love photography, and more than one goal in my shutter-clicking. But I've realized over the past year or so that the major "why" behind my photography is this...I want to be able to capture a little glimpse of God's glory through my lens. Whether photographing nature, people/relationships, or events, I want to show God's glory through my photos. Even in capturing our family memories in photos, I want to leave a heritage for our children to remind them of the work God has done and is doing in our family "from the first day until now".

So...back to my idea, and our announcement. :) After one of those, "I need to pack up my camera and be done with it" bouts recently, I thought about advice I'd seen from more than one photographer I admire. Over and over I have read that one of the best things you can do to improve your photography and prevent burnout is to get involved in a 365 or 52 project....a photograph every day or week for a year. I don't tend to do well with those things, and I didn't know of any groups starting soon, but I really liked the idea, and began to ponder starting a personal 365 or 52 project on my blog.

I worried, though, that I needed accountability. Unlike my "Oven-Free Friday" feature, which I'm still planning to continue, but which has been on hiatus for the last few weeks, I wanted to be consistent with this. I needed someone to prod me and motivate me a bit. And then during a chat session one night, the thought hit me that I needed a partner in this venture. And who better than my friend Tauna? She is an incredibly talented photographer. She is one of the most creative people I know. She has a really cool blog called Creative Confetti. AND...she has recently opened an Etsy shop, where you will find these adorable little doo-dads...(perfect for Christmas presents for the girls and ladies on your list! :))
To make a long story a tiny bit shorter, we are teaming up to bring you "focused on Glory", a weekly joint blog feature which will appear every Tuesday on both Creative Confetti and Ponderings of an Elect Exile. We will each share our favorite "glimpse of God's glory through the lens" from the week before, and perhaps share a bit of the story behind the photo.

So...visit us on Tuesday for our first "focused on Glory" post!

from Tauna

Aperture, ISO, white balance, metering, filters, actions- it’s easy to get bogged down in the mechanics of photography, especially if you are still learning. As much as I love photography, and learning how to make beautiful images, I often feel overwhelmed with trying to get everything just right- usually to little avail. Rarely does a shot come out with the crispness, or effect I hope for. That’s not to say I want to give up, I know I will get there someday.

But if my entire aim is on getting that just right, artsy, stunning shot, then maybe I need to take a breather. Perhaps I need to pay more attention to my focus. No, not the cross-hairs in my viewfinder, but the pinpoint of my attention.

My fabulous friend Jennifer proposed a 52 week project that hopefully will sharpen our focus. She and I are going to try to capture a hint of God’s glory through our lenses. We want to concentrate more on composure than exposure, wonder over white balance, and interest instead of ISO.

That’s not to say we are going to throw what bits we know out the window. And we aren’t going to set everything on AUTO. What it means is that we are hoping to find our shots through a God filter. We want to be focused on Glory.

To tell you the truth, Jennifer is a beautiful photographer. You can see the evidence on her blog Ponderings of an Elect Exile. I've told her a few times that her wildlife photos remind me of Thase Daniel. I love seeing what she is able to capture.

If you want to catch our glimpses of glory, join us each Tuesday on our individual blogs as we post our pictures for the week. I can’t wait to see what He shows us.

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