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Monday, July 19, 2010

capturing the beauty of adventure

Travel and photography are two of my greatest passions. I don't have (or make) enough time for either, but still, I love them.

For me, travel is both an adventure and a chance to experience God in another part of his creation. This is true whether I am following a stream through a secluded slot canyon or purposefully getting lost in the backstreets of Beijing. The mere act of exploration of the unfamiliar provides the adventure; and my mere presence in the unfamiliar allows me to see and hear God in new ways.

In the book Blue Like Jazz, author Donald Miller talks about reaching the point when he felt stale, tired. He needed to rediscover himself and have a fresh encounter with God. So he set out to explore what he refers to as "the green lumpy places," those places he'd never experienced. Not surprisingly, stepping into those places created the space to achieve both. Similarly, I find that I need the experience of "the green lumpy places" for the same reasons. When I feel stale, time away provides clarity, growth, and much needed time with God.

Whereas travel provides some adventure, photography is a primary outlet for my creativity. I love the challenge of accurately capturing the beauty that I encounter in life, so that I might both remember the moment rightly and share that beauty with others. For me it isn't enough to aim the camera and push the release. I look closer, attempting to see the subject as no one else does, searching for the subtlety and nuance that make it beautiful. Most of the time, I fail to achieve the results I hope for. A large majority of the photographs I take remain unseen. But again, it is the challenge of this pursuit that I love. And from time to time, I do succeed.

The great thing about these two passions is that they flow together so seamlessly. When I travel, my camera is seldom out of reach. Not only do I get the adventure and a fresh encounter with God, but I also get the opportunity to capture those moments and share their beauty with others. 

Here are a few of my favorite photographs from my recent trip to Europe. I've decided not to add commentary or captions for any of them. Anything I write would fail to capture the moments, feelings, and beauty of each experience any better than the photographs themselves. 

I would like to know what you think of them, however. Feel free to write a comment. Let me know which you like best, what they stir up in you (if anything), and any other thoughts or feedback you care to offer.


Eric Vogt said...

These photos make me want to go to Europe! I live the color and the composition of the shot looking down the street of row houses.