Friday, August 3, 2012

Lens Cap

I am have too many interests. Bethany says I had a major in college, but I have a lifetime minor in curiosity. Too many things in this world are fascinating! One thing I really love is photography. It's an exercise in perspective. You are either trying to capture the beauty of every day objects, or distill an experience into a single frame.

The thing about photography is there are so many details to remember. You can miss one tiny setting and there will be something wrong with your photo. And the settings are different for each condition. The camera can be perfectly set for one circumstance, and then conditions change and your photo is too dark, too light or completely out of focus. There is a lot to think about. The one thing that is consistent is the lens cap. It doesn't matter how expensive your camera is, if your lens cap is on the lens, you're not capturing anything! Every time you want to take a picture, you have to pull off the lens cap. It is the most basic and obvious step of any photographic adventure.

Today I was watching the Olympics in London. There are always a thousand photographers in the background. It is cool to see them snapping away and capturing those moments. In the background of one of the shots, I noticed a professional photographer checking his camera and trying to figure out why it wasn't working. From my vantage point, I could see that his lens cap was still on his camera. In a minute or so, he figured out the issue and got to work.

This half a second on camera got me thinking for two reasons. First, if professionals can make this mistake, I don't feel bad at all for making the mistake myself and accidentally leaving my lens cap on sometimes. Second, I think we always want to make things more complicated than they really need to be. In photography, sometimes it's as simple as taking the lens cap off to fix the problem. In life, we look for some mystical secret behind having a relationship with God. Really it can be very simple...He is the one seeking intimacy with us. I think there are times when we sit there fiddling with the settings on "our camera" and wondering why it doesn't work. But we aren't practicing the basic spiritual disciplines. We don't seek community with others and have real conversations that really challenge us and challenge others. Often, we get stuck with our lens cap on.


Photo credit: rollingroscoe from morguefile.com