Sep 24, 2012

Restoring Wonder

Portrait, capturing the essence - Ty, deAnn's son 2008
[Below is the Restoring Wonder handout from last week at The Studio]
sept 19, 2012
[ Restoring Wonder ]

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
Albert Einstein
Truly, I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
Portrait, capturing the essence - Evan, deAnn's son 2008
 X  Wonder       X
Verb       1. To think or speculate curiously.
              2. To be filled with admiration, amazement, awe, marvel. 
An attitude of wonder is essential if we are truly to experience the creation and the Creator. — Howard Zehr
Imagine what we’d see in this world, in others, in ourselves, in Jesus, if we looked as with new eyes, with childlike curiosity. 
X  Mystery       X
Noun   1. Anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown
          2. Any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation.
We are called to openness, and sin is the closing off of ourselves from mystery. Closing ourselves to mystery is closing ourselves to God.  — Pat Koehler 
As a culture, we love movies and books that lead us in an experience of a mystery. Music and lyrics are often mysterious leaving us to wonder what the artist is really saying. Visual arts can take us on a mysterious venture as well.   
However, the grandest cause of mystery that we will ever encounter is our glorious God. Everything about Him is mysterious. He’s the Trinity—Triune God—Three-in-One, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Doesn’t that cause you to wonder? Doesn’t that sense of mystery invite you to explore more of Him? It should, He’s marvelous.  
What would it be like to consider approaching our spiritual journey as a passionate curious mystery in which to engage...instead of an obligation or something to check off a daily to-do list?
 X  Creating Mystery       X
How can we create mystery though the medium of photography? 
As photographers, we see things that draw us in, therefore we capture the image to savor and to share. By framing, cropping, editing the images through the eyes of curiosity we can arrive at mystery.  
My favorite tool for creating mystery in photography is a macro lens or close-up kit. Every photographer should have one or the other and use it often.
For example,
· Portrait—instead of a full frontal facial shot (that’s a tongue twister!), compose your photos to capture the essence of the person, such as the two examples above of my sons. Use a macro lens or close up kit to take ethereal images of their eyelashes or texture of skin.
· Nature—use a macro lens or close-up kit to take extreme close up images of a leaf, flower, clod of dirt, tree bark.  
I even go so far as cropping my close up images to create even more mystery. 
Creating mystery is easy. Seeing mystery is the challenging part.   
In our daily lives we don’t think much about the mystery of things; a bird in flight, a ship floating, the sound of crickets at dusk, a path leading you, God’s unending, never changing love for you despite your flaws.
To keep both wonder and vision alive, we must learn, once again, to be like children. —Steven J. Meyers
 X  Homework        
As with any creative endeavor—always ask God to be present with you and that He would make His presence known to you.
Enlist a close friend, spouse, child, grandchild, etc. to help with this exercise. In the knowledge you have of this person, create a series of images that capture the essence of their character, of who they are, what they like. You may choose to use color. But in the process of editing, convert a copy into black and white. Does that change what you are trying to capture?
Print 1-3 of your favorite photos from this series and bring them to The Studio next week, 9/26.
Also, I encourage you to pour over your photo library seeking images you have taken that are mysterious in nature or create a sense of wonder. In what ways do these images excite you? How can learning to see everyday things and situations through childlike eyes of curiosity and mystery help you to see your amazing God?
As you look over your photos from this homework series, what surprises you? What have you discovered about this person that you didn’t know before? What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you through this exercise?
Grace & peace ~
deAnn Roe

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