Thursday, January 27, 2011

Going Deep

Photography is a reflection of life.  In both areas, I want to go deep.  I want to be challenged in life, knowing that the testing of my faith produces endurance, with the perfect result that I will be lacking in nothing (James 1:3-4).  In my photography, I also want to be challenged in what I shoot, and how I shoot.  So I spent some time this evening exploring the depths.

In photography, depth of field is the portion of an image that appears sharp.  A shallow depth of field means that a very small portion of my image is in focus, or sharp.  Conversely, a higher depth of field means that more of the image is in focus.  Since I was playing around with my flute and my camera this evening, here are some examples.

shallow depth of field (f2.8)

a little deeper (f5.6)

deeper still (f8)

final shot at f16

Did you notice the gradual change from image to image?  I can see just a trill key (for those who know flute!) in focus in the first shot, then gradually, by the last shot above, all of the keys are in nice focus.

The Lord uses this same concept in my life.  Sometimes He allows me to see narrowly, so that I can focus on just one area or issue in my life.  For instance, when He allowed my back to suffer injury, there was no other focus then, well, the pain at first.  But as I lay there, day after day, my focus narrowed to the point that the Lord and His Word were first and foremost in my mind.  I was able to focus on His Word, and to drink deeply from His well, and to meditate on His precepts.  It was a precious time of concentration on Him.

At other times, He allows deep, wide perception, so that I'm able to see the "fuller picture" of what He is doing in my life.  He renews my long-term sight for the multigenerational vision He has given to Fernando and me.  Sometimes He enables me to see far down the road, when our young men are grown, married, and raising and discipling children of their own.  I appreciate being able to see that long-term vision; it helps when I get bogged down in the mundane.

So, when I practice my photography skills, both shallow depth of field and wide depth of field are important to remember.  Just as each setting for depth of field gives a different perspective on the same image, the Lord allows these same "settings" to give me focus on what He desires me to see.

"Can you discover the depths of God?
Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?
They are high as the heavens, what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol, what can you know?
Its measure is longer than the earth
And broader than the sea..."
Job 11:7-9 nasb

(By the way, the first image is my favorite.)

Living life; capturing life.


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  1. The first one is my favorite too. =)

    And the Vivian Maier exhibit is why we went! We did a whirlwind 36 hour road trip just to see it. Her work was really need to go. I only wish they had more on display.

  2. Great use of photgraphy know how with Bible know how. My eyes have been opened even more.
    I have to say as much as I love shallow DOF I do also love full DOF.
    My fav photo here as to be the last one. Even better in B&W. Great job!!!

  3. Good thoughts! I love the progression of the pictures and the application to life.

    I love visiting your blog :)

  4. Wonderful post, Christine. I like the first shot the best, but this is because I like the shallow DOF.....sigh, one day when I am ready Abba will grant me a camera with lenses like yours.
    I have felt another side of my spiritual walk with the Lord that I didn't know before after experiencing His beautiful works of art through photography.

  5. Thanks for the comment Christine! Loved this post for two reasons---I love playing with DOF, and I play the flute! I really should take some pictures of it someday...

  6. Oh, Christine! What a lovely post! I will be back to read more and visit your other blog! Taking child #2 to the church lock-in and he is READY now!!!!

  7. What a great post! Love the photos too!

  8. The first one is my favourite too! I love a shallow depth of field. What a neat perspective you brought to photography.

  9. Awesome series of shots and the message that goes with it! Bless you!!

  10. Beautiful post. Both the words and the pictures. I love seeing the progression in DOF like that and I love your analogy.