Photography Challenge 2018 | Week 2 of 52

WEEK 2 – Composition – Color Harmony. Winter coziness. A cup of hot tea and a good book. Nothing else is needed.

Advertisements

How Much I’d Miss

A lot is sacrificed for the sake of convenience. And certain conveniences, I’m more than happy to enjoy. For instance, a vehicle that runs and actually has heat in the winter (no air conditioning in the summer, I’m afraid) is a convenience I enjoy. And having a piano in my house rather than in the Miner’s Cabin, that’s a convenience I enjoy. Having quick access to hiking trails, that’s a convenience I enjoy. But I’m afraid that living close to town is not a convenience I enjoy. It isn’t a convenience I want to enjoy. And I am so thankful to God for having gifted me this opportunity to live in the place I love the most. This was my drive to Custer yesterday to teach piano. Highway 244 is scenic already, but with clouds and fog drifting in and out of the spires and trees, shrouding and uncovering the landscape, it had a feeling of mystery. It is a 45-minute drive that is never a chore. In moments like these, with views like these, with winding highways and granite spires lost in the fog and soaring views of valleys and further peaks, that I am drawn in thankfulness to the reality of God’s goodness. He created all of this beauty! He didn’t need to, there was no requirement that he do so, and yet he did. And I am so thankful for inconvenience. It would be convenient to live closer to a town, no doubt about it. It would be convenient if I tried to fit myself into a normal 9-5 job routine, rather than doing multiple things on a part-time basis. It would be convenient if I didn’t have to drive a minimum of 35 minutes one way to get to church or work or Bible study or the store. But how much I’d miss. How much I’d terribly miss.

Photography Challenge 2018 | Week 1 of 52

WEEK 1 – Vision – Look Ahead.IMG_0347eeI look ahead at the beginning of this year, and I see a stretch of my road clearly, complete with all the challenges and hazards and beauty, and then the road disappears out of sight. It is intimidating on the one hand, but that is where the adventure starts. What happens next? I also look back at the old year and see things I want to fix, heart attitudes, habits, and disciplines that I want to mend, establish, or strengthen. So with optimism and faith, I turn my eyes back to the New Year, with trust in God’s grace to teach me what I need to be taught and to strengthen me for whatever trials He allows, and with confidence that God will work all things for my good and for His glory.

52 Week Photo Challenge

One of my goals for this year is to be more intentional with my photography. Oh, I’m intentional in some regards, but as far as actually developing my craft or, when things get busy, staying committed to my personal photography, I tend to be a bit weak. This year, I want to be pushing myself to create better photography, and with a purpose. To that end, I’ve found a weekly photo challenge by Dogwood Photography which I intend to use as the basis for some of my personal photography this year. I may stray from the topics they present, but my goal isn’t so much to do the entire 52 weeks of the challenge rigidly, but to be striving to take beautiful photos every week. I’m excited to be able to look back at the end of this year and see what memories I have! And feel free to join in! If you do, be sure to share links to your images in the comments section!

Resilience

An early morning drive to enjoy the dawn and to photograph the sunrise in the Park didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but no drive with a camera in hand and eyes to see God’s goodness is ever really wasted. Towards Hermosa, I drove into a large fog bank, completely obscuring the sunrise, and the fog slowly moved west, coming to a stop against the rim of the Hills. The Wildlife Loop was bright and clear, though banks of fog could be seen hanging in the trees towards the east. The beautiful Wolf Moon, waning now, hung in the western sky like a pearl. IMG_0272IMG_0407eThere was an element of sadness driving through the Park and seeing the destruction left in the wake of the Legion Lake Fire. The snow whitewashed over much of the evidence of the fire, but the blackened hillsides, the charred or browned trees, and the smell of ash gave it away. I have to admit, it was worse than I thought it would be. Parts of the Park will look very different, with the standing dead, charred and blackened, scarring the landscape. Once the needles fall off the dead trees, it will be even more striking. The torched trees, blackened from root to crown and completely denuded, were grotesque against the snow, with yellowed trees on this side and that, somehow having escaped being torched. In places, the fire had eaten through fence rails like acid, though other stretches of fenceline were untouched. Lots of manpower will go into repairing those fences.IMG_0288eIMG_0398eIMG_0381eIMG_0354eeHow amazing: fire, while destructive on the one hand, is one of the means of renewal that God has put in place for the maintaining and flourishing of this world. Change is just a part of life. While everyone is fond of Custer State Park and we’re used to it looking a certain way, that just isn’t how nature works. It isn’t meant to stay the same. Change is one of the ways in which equilibrium is maintained. There is a natural ebb and flow, a cycle of life and death and life again, a cycle of destruction and renewal, which occurs on the micro scale, as well as with large-scale natural disasters. I know that the forest will renew itself or will change, and life will go on. I also know that come springtime the Park is going to be greener and more vibrant than it has been in years, with all the old grass and underbrush burned away. It will be a sight to behold!IMG_0415eAnd even now, in the meantime, life goes on. The buffalo were mostly in the corrals, feeding on hay, since their food supply was drastically affected and they will require hay for the rest of the season. A handful of youngsters frisked and played, chasing one another, though the solemn buffalo look never left their faces. Buffalo are such serious-looking critters. A few prairie dogs popped out of their little holes in the ground, and a sassy squirrel raced up and down a dead tree. The tiniest of creatures, happily going about their little lives in the wake of a deadly fire. IMG_0469eDon’t under estimate the sheer resilience of God’s Creation. He has equipped it well.

Save

Save