Thursday, March 14, 2013

Consider the Lilies of the Field.....and Magpies!

On the Brink of Beyond
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin..."
Matthew 6 : 28

    Yesterday I said I would, in future, consider the lilies of the field but what exactly can a contemplative photographer learn from them?  Well, for starters, stop working so hard for the "perfect" photograph...stop fretting over things that you can't control, like the weather...stop obsessing over the latest Photoshop program or what expensive camera is used by the latest media darling in the photography world.  Consider the lilies in the field.  They have perfect faith that what they need will be provided.

    A contemplative photographer needs that sort of faith as well...that their internal GPS will lead them to be where they need to be...that the image is there if they just look deeply enough.  Take this photograph for instance.  It was the end of an exhausting day of hiking and image making but on my way back to the car I saw something in this view that I loved...I wasn't so thrilled at what I saw in my camera's display though.  Not quite right but I was too tired to continue with it so it became, for the time being, one of those "throw aways" image that didn't make the cut.

   Much later, when I was wading through old images I came across it again and I thought, well, maybe I can do something with it, after all, I saw something in the scene...isn't that enough reason to look a bit deeper?  So I played around with it in my (very, very old version) Photoshop program and I was finally able to get an image that approximated the experience. Truth is, if I'd truly and completely been like the lilies of the fields I wouldn't have pursued the changes. You see, while there is much we can learn from the lilies, I like to think of myself as a bit of a Magpie as well.  In fact, my dear Grandmother use to call me her little Magpie. Insatiably curious birds, Magpies seek out shinny things in nature to take back to their carefully constructed nests...they admire these things, rearrange them and, never completely satisfied, go out looking for more.

   So, I guess the moral to this little story is, by all means, consider the lilies of the field but be also like the Magpie...have faith but be curious and persistent and never completely satisfied.


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