Picking up Andrew at Tampa International Airport, cell-phone photo taken at 7:29 PM.
I continue to learn interesting lessons from my photographs. I’m not a photographer in the same sense that I’m a writer. I like to take pictures, and I’ve sold enough over the years to encourage me in the process, but I don’t have the same skill or the patience with the art as I bring to my writing.
That said, I’ve learned that photography (like golf) is not so much about the equipment as what you do with it. I have a good friend (you know who you are!) who spent over $2,500 on a set of irons – no woods, just the irons – and it didn’t take a stroke off his score. Some of the best images I’ve captured this summer were taken with my cell-phone camera. I have a brand-new Nikon D3100 that shoots a 14.2 megapixel picture. But photography is more about how you look than what you look with.
Then the other truth here is that the Nikon D3100 isn’t going to do me much good when it’s packed away in the car or the house, whereas I usually have my phone in my pocket. I have to be ready, too.
The cousins sharing a moment at the Lake Marion
Being ready and being patient are not the same thing, and they almost sound like opposites; but being ready and being patient turn out to be very closely related, and they comprise two important elements of picture-taking.
Because, unless we are willing to be patient, we’ll never actually be completely ready.
Some people say they’re patient because they hang around a long time. But, meanwhile, they ride right through the “patient” part of the equation by snapping pictures non-stop. I understand the temptation (in fact I subscribe to the “it’s better to throw some away than miss the one you want” school of photography) but patience requires eyes wide open and a sense of awareness, while limiting your view to the one you can see through the lens is too restrictive by far.
As I’m writing this new book (and, NB to my editor, this manuscript is – simultaneously – more difficult than I imagined and better than I had dreamed) I am learning a lot from these cell-phone images.
I’m learning to be patient in terms of not typing frenetically even though the deadline is looming.
And I’m learning to be ready in terms of grabbing hold of a thought, some insight or wisdom if and when it floats by.
This morning, for example, I left my study to cut the grass. I let some of the ideas I’ve been working on sit on the desk and stew, but then I carried a few along with me for the walk, chewing on them gently to the crisp, swish-swishing sound of the sharp blade trimming high grass. Then, two-thirds of the way through the long swath up against the golf course, I left the mower and ran helter-skelter into the house, grass clippings transferred to carpet, to work on a concept that had suddenly moved into clarity.
Patience made me ready.
Rebekah writing scripture into the floor at the entrance of our new discipleship center
The final cell-phone image in this post is of Rebekah, writing scripture into the floor at the entrance of the new building that represents both patience and being ready. When we dedicate the space in October the project will have covered (from conception to completion) the second 7.5 years of Rebekah’s 15 year ministry in Brandon….
Faith metaphor? Spirituality tie-in? Moral lesson? Devotional twist? Come on, people. Do I have to paint you a picture…