Some time ago I bought myself a camera – an entry-level DSLR – because I wanted to do some photography. I wasn’t really wanting to do artsy or fancy photography or anything like that, but because I wanted a decent camera that would provide decent photos and that I could treat with some respect. Our family has a few of the old mechanical SLR’s, and about ten years ago my mother gave me one that ran without a need of a battery, and I was really impressed with this device. Its problem, as with most cameras before digital became common, was film – you had to think about what photos you would take, and spend the time and effort to compose the pictures you would take. I also didn’t really want to deal with the fuss of loading and reloading the film in this thing, because I was always terrified of accidentally wiping the film by accidentally exposing it. Anyway, this thing gave me some fun and I enjoyed using it, at least as long as my film lasted. It wasn’t the sort of thing where I could go out every day and take photos with it though.
Exploring the neighbourhood
So I got that DSLR. I spent months saving up for it but when I got it I was very happy. Two lenses, a decent memory stick, the body itself, and a bag as a bonus.
It was rather rainy around that time (which, as you might have gathered, makes me happy) but I wanted to give this camera a shot anyway, and so I did. It was in June, and here in Australia, it’s fairly cool around that time. So this morning about a day or two after I got the camera I went out just around my neighbourhood and took some photos. Being on a foot of a small mountain (or a very tall hill, depending on how you look at it) covered with trees, there were many birds around, and it being morning, they were out to play. And so I realized very quickly that I love taking pictures of birds.
It’s not so much that I like seeing them or looking at them; taking a still picture of them seems to capture their temperament and attitude almost better than seeing them in motion. But as with so many things, what I enjoyed even more was being there to take those pictures, being there in the slight breeze and drizzle, with the muted green and brown of the eucalypts and the grey sky, exploring my new gadget and these little birds’ lives. I thought it was amazing that one could get a picture of a flock of birds silhouetted against the grey sky, and I wondered about what it meant, to look at such a picture. I enjoyed walking around with that crow, searching along the ground for snacks, letting me record its life for a little while.
I loved seeing the little miner birds, as violent as they are, hopping around one branch and picking at little fruits, at the same time as thinking how cool it was that my lens got just the right depth of field on it to get the detail. And then there was that other crow, standing proudly, gazing off in the distance, looking for all the world as if he owned it.
How clear is God’s love, that these little creatures, in this verdant part of the world – which is yet so different to other green places – in this weather, could all lead their own little lives so happily, and all we would see is but a tiny fraction of their wonders! How clear is His power, to create such a diversity of creatures, so varied from the birds in the air to the vertebrates on the ground and the insects inside it, to the behemoths of the seas, and we would only ever see hints of it all. How clear His glory, that all this should appear on one tiny world orbiting a yellow sun, in a galaxy of stars, itself in a supercluster of groups of galaxies.
And to think we can walk around in His creation, enjoying it!
I want to do that a little more.