"When thou saidst, seek my face; my heart said unto thee, thy face, LORD, will I seek." -Psalm 27:8

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bodie California... Just Lucky I Guess?

People ask, so how did you get that photo.  You must really be lucky to be at the right place at the right time.  Well, that is true at times, but more often than not there is much more to it than luck.  It is a combination of things.  Spending hours on the internet, following up on leads that people give you, determining where you are going to go, making sure that everything is ready in your camera bag, and getting there at the right time.  In short, being prepared.

So, I got up last Friday at 4:30 a.m. to head off to Bodie, California,  a Ghost Town, a boom town where gold was discovered, transforming it to a population of 10,000 people at one time.  I knew I had to get up that early in order to be ready to leave at 5:00 a.m. and drive the 4 hours and some odd minutes so that I would be there at the right time.  Why do I leave that early?  There are two major factors.  The first is so that I will have good light.  Part of being "lucky" is to make sure you have good light.  The best light is early in the morning and late afternoon when then sun is lower in the sky.  You have softer light, better colors, and more depth.  I knew I had to be there by 9 a.m. at the latest because that is when the gate opens and the light is still good.  I got to the gate at about 8 minutes before 9 a.m.  So far so good.  The other reason I leave early?  People.  The later you go the more people you are going to encounter.  If you are doing landscapes you probably don't want people in the photos.  It kind of takes away from the whole idea of landscapes.

So I got there on time,  and sure enough,  I was the third car in line.  Not too many people to start off with.  Ok, so what else.  Well, I had looked at the weather.  It was going to be sunny, but with some clouds.  Clouds?  Yes, clouds oftentimes are desired in landscapes.  It gives the photos more interest and really makes you want to look at them.  Set two photos down in front of you.  The main scene may be the same, but the one with clouds, rather than a flat blue sky, will grab your eye quicker and make everything look that much better.  Ok, so I am doing good so far.  Early enough, light is good, not too many people, clouds in the sky, gear all charged and ready.  Yup, everything looks good.  Full speed ahead.  So, take a look at the results and see what you think.

Oh, I forgot one other thing.  It is the most important thing of all.  You can put all those things that I have mentioned all together, you can love to do what you do,  you can have all the energy and drive that you should have, all the knowledge necessary,  but if your missing that most important thing your photos will probably look good, but not "unique"  That one thing, that most important thing, well that would be God.  I look back at my photos 7 years ago and say, well they look ok, but something is missing.  They just look, well, flat and not too interesting.  Yup, God is the key.  I have seen a remarkable change and I know why.  I pray each and every time I go to take pictures.  And what do I pray?  Lord please be with me and allow me to see a glimpse of your face.  Allow me to inspire people.  Allow me to show them that you are everywhere around them.  That you absolutely and without question are real and have created all of these things. And I say, please Lord, let me do your will and somehow further the kingdom through the images I make.  If I ever stop praying and making images to glorify God I will stop.  I will never pick up a camera again.  It would be empty and of little value to me.  And He blesses me.  And I am grateful.  Please enjoy.......

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