Seeing the Light

For the longest time, I have struggled with capturing light in my photography. Too harsh, too dim, too much, not enough. I’ve taken pictures since high school, serving as the annual photographer my senior year. I took photography courses in college as I worked towards my degree in broadcast journalism, learning darkroom techniques, journalistic composition… and yet always, I kept my camera on automatic. I was afraid to step outside of the boundaries drawn for me by whoever determined those settings.

IMG_0773 sooc wm

When I was 30, I got a nice Nikon SLR, and it was always. on. auto. ALWAYS. In 2004, I got my first digital camera, a Fuji FinePix. Not a DSLR, but definitely a high end point and shoot. And once again.. auto all the way. Throughout all of those years, I liked my photos, but other than the lucky shot here and there, I didn’t LOVE them. They were good but not great. The auto function tends to average everything out, and when it comes to light, a lot gets lost in the translation.

IMG_0774 sooc wm

Finally, in 2009, I got a Canon Rebel XTi. I finally had a real camera; I couldn’t wait to start producing awesome, breathtaking images. Of course, on auto. Over time, as I hung out at I Heart Faces and other photographic communities, I began to move from that little green box to P, then TV and AV, and finally, to M. I started reading the manual, instead of just accepting someone else’s version or vision or “box”. And bit by bit, the light has become more and more a part of my photos. I took both of these shots today, and they are SOOC (straight out of camera–no editing other than resizing and watermark). As I looked at them, I realized that my walk with God has evolved the same way. After living a long time on autopilot, I finally began to read THE manual, instead of accepting someone else’s version of how things should be. And bit by bit, the light has become a part of my life.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” John 1:4-9

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46


6 responses to this post.

  1. The images are absolutely lovely, Pam. Sometimes when the situation is too important and I’m afraid I’ll mess up the shot, I still turn it to auto. But I do that less than I used to.
    Loved how you compared your photography journey to your Christian walk. That Light is a beautiful thing!


  2. What a beautiful message and photos to go right along with it, Pam! Did you fare alright in those storms that moved through the area last night? You were on my mind and in my prayers.


  3. I am so glad you found the light : ) Beautiful.


  4. I remember seeing your images come to life… and I love how you’ve described how our walk with Christ is!

    Beautiful PamD, just beautiful


  5. Posted by Dana on April 29, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Oh, I am speechless….and teary-eyed! I so understand this! The images are BEAUTIFUL! Breathtaking! So, could that be how He is seeing you? Oh I love this so much…I have to figure out how to share it….


  6. I can’t even tell you how much I love this post Pam. Just beautiful!


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