Like A Rock

Technology has made creating photographs to be ubiquitous and easy. And whether you use a point-and-shoot camera, a phone, a pad, a tablet, or some future marvel, these devices all have at least one thing in common – they automatically set the shutter speed.

Typical shutter speeds with these types of equipment would be 1/125 of a second or even faster in some cases. However, a lot of the images that I shoot use much slower shutter speeds. Shutter speeds of 1/30 of a second and 1/15 of a second are not unusual for me. That may sound fast. But it is just about impossible to hold a camera steady for even that short amount of time.

Here’s an example:

This is rhododendron at Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 20 miles north of Asheville, North Carolina. And don’t worry about trying to clean your glasses or scheduling an appointment with your ophthalmologist. This shot is not in focus. The reason this image is blurred is because I hand-held my camera using a shutter speed of 1/3 of a second.

Now look at this image:

This is basically the same as the first one. These two photographs were shot just a few seconds apart. The same camera settings, including shutter speed were used for both shots. The only substantial difference between these two photographs is that the second one was shot with my camera on a tripod. In fact, the vast majority of the photographs I take are shot with my camera on a tripod. John Shaw is one of the best professional nature photographers in the world. He once said, “My camera came from Japan on a tripod.” This was just his way of emphasizing the importance of a reliable foundation for his life’s work.

When it comes to life, I also need a firm foundation. For me, that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 are these words of Jesus: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. And Jesus had this to say about the importance of having a stable base for our lives:

“ . . . everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man
who built his house on a rock.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house;
yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

– Matthew 7: 24-25 (NIV)

In my life, whether it is stormy or calm, overcast or bright sun, my foundation is my faith in Jesus Christ.