Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There's Wonder All Around!

Everywhere I look, I see things that fill me with awe. For example, one mid-February afternoon, I went out into the yard to photograph. I had no idea what I’d find that would make a good subject for a photograph, but I felt confident I’d find something, even though the landscape was composed mainly of shades of brown, gray, and black.

With pleasure, I noticed that the tender daffodil shoots had survived the snow that had blanketed them a few days before.

Normally, I could find lots of beautiful camellia blooms to photograph, since we have several bushes, each producing a different kind of bloom, but all the blooms and buds had been “burned” by the bitterly cold temperatures.

“Maybe I can find one that looks good,” I said to myself. Sure enough, I found one in a sheltered spot near the bottom and center of the bush. So, I picked it and then placed it in a spot on the bush where I could photograph it more easily. It looked very natural there, so I set to work.

The 12 mm extension tube I’d added to my 50 mm lens before placing it on my camera greatly magnified what I was seeing through the viewfinder. So, I literally caught my breath as I noticed, as if for the first time, not only the beautiful pale pink color of the petals but their gently curving edges and the way they fit so perfectly together, layer upon layer. Amazing! A true work of art!

Enthralled by its loveliness, I lingered there, capturing thirty or more images of that one bloom, from various angles. Finally, I forced myself to leave and walked around the house to the holly tree that was loaded with red berries. I sprayed some of them with water, watching eagerly for a single drop that would form at the bottom of a berry or leaf. As soon as I spotted one, I set to work, hoping to capture the surrounding colors reflected in that tiny drop.

Once again, I gasped with wonder at the image in the viewfinder. Such perfection. Such beauty in the bright red berries and in the deep green of the leaves themselves and also in the tiny droplet.

I felt a similar sense of awe as I photographed nandina berries in the front yard and a tightly encased bud on the Japanese Magnolia tree.

When the cold compelled me to go inside, I didn’t want to lose the sense of wonder I’d felt. So, I moved a 6-inch pot of tulips into better light and began to photograph their centers. With window light lighting them from behind and “fill flash” from my camera lighting them from the front, I captured amazing details that I would have missed if I hadn’t slowed down to take a long look.

Experiences such as these remind me that wonder is, indeed, all around. Whenever I see it, it leads me to worship the One who created such wondrous details. I’m thankful I can do that. According to Romans 1:25, some folks worship the things God has made but stop short of worshipping Him. How sad to miss the joy and blessing of worship! But far more importantly, how unfair to deprive Him of the praise rightfully due Him!!

(c) 2010 by Johnnie Ann Gaskill. These photos as well as others on this blog are for sale. To purchase, please contact Johnnie.

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