1 + 1 = 1

Gifted nature photographer John Shaw once quipped “I was sitting on my sofa at home and said to my camera, ‘Go out and take some good photographs.’  And nothing happened.”  This quote insightfully illustrates the two “legs” upon which nature photographers stand: knowledge and execution.

Let’s say that I have the most expensive camera body and the finest lenses available.  (My equipment doesn’t even come close to this measure, but let’s pretend for a moment.)  However, I never take the time to become familiar with my equipment, or aperture, or shutter speed, or dynamic range.  The result is likely to be that very few of my images will be worth looking at.

On the other hand, I might know everything there is to know about light, optics, composition, and camera equipment.  (Of course, I don’t.  But, once again, just assume for the moment that is the case.)  If I never do anything with that knowledge, it’s not really worth a whole lot, is it?


In a similar manner, the two “legs” upon which a Christian must walk are faith and works.  In his epistle, James provides this example and  question:

“Suppose a Christian knows someone who doesn’t have adequate clothing or is malnourished. And, rather than providing some assistance to that person, the Christian says, ‘Well, I hope things get better for you.  Have a nice day.’  What good has that Christian done? Faith, if not accompanied by action, is not worth a whole lot.”

(my paraphrase of James 2:17)



When I’m outdoors with my camera, I’m always looking for potential images.  When I see a possible shot, I’m already thinking about lighting, where to position the camera, what lens to use, and a half-dozen or so other variables.  During these moments, knowledge and execution are so intertwined that it would be difficult for me to distinguish between them.

As a Christian, I should always be seeking God’s will and ways to serve and honor Him.  I believe that what God wants me to see in my Christian walk is faith and works blended together such that it is difficult to tell where one stops and the other begins.