Bringing the Picture to Life

My brother, Joe Filer, is a professional photographer (when he is not working as an insurance agent.) The photos in my website headers are from his collection.

He is mostly self-taught but has taken photo-trips with other professional photographers. He just returned from a trip to California where he attended a workshop given by the landscape photographer, Marc Adamus.

While there, Joe experimented with different techniques and emailed me one of his attempts….. aptly titled “Sierra Sunrise”.


My brother has taken photography trips for many years—traveling to Antarctica, Alaska, countless places in the continental United States, Canada, Scotland, Iceland, and South America. But recently, I could tell he was a little concerned….. was he running out of new places to go….. would there still be new opportunities ahead?

I understand that….. with the passing of time we begin to wonder if there is something different for us to experience… a new opportunity ….. a new adventure. What can we do to make us feel alive?

But it was not his photography skills that got the wheels in my mind turning …. It was a comment he made regarding what he learned on this trip. He wrote:

“I have learned to look at opportunities differently, seeing possibilities that I may not have taken the time to see before.  In the past, I might have passed on a scene for various reasons…. such as lighting or colors.

But now, for example, if the big scene isn’t working, I might look at small things realizing that when the camera is close, it can look big. Three inches from a small puddle for a reflection of something else, if in the right place, can look like a big scene.  

This list goes on, but composition is the number one priority.  If the composition is great, you just can’t pass on it solely because the light isn’t perfect, as much of that can be fixed.”

His comment….. “seeing possibilities that I may not have taken the time to see before” ….. struck a chord with me.

Seeking new adventures is a part of the God-given human spirit. But perhaps there are times we miss the joy of ordinary moments of life that are in front of us. In our desire to experience the next thing; the next thrill; the next weekend off; the next “whatever” ….. we miss seeing something that could bring us joy and happiness today.

We have to be willing to look—to actually focus our lens—to see things that we never saw before but were there all the time..… the laughter in a child’s eyes….. the love found in sharing ice cream sitting on a park bench…. the bright blue sky peeking through bare limbs branching out to the heavens.

Joe also pointed out, “If the composition is great, you just can’t pass on it solely because the light isn’t perfect….. as much of that can be fixed”.

Composition—such an interesting word. It is defined as “the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up”.

Just as my brother uses filters and software programs to enhance beauty or to fix a composition, we can use our filters—those of love, forgiveness, and grace—the gifts of the Holy Spirit—to bring color or light to our daily compositions…… to the relationships in our lives.

The danger in today’s world is to pass by a relationship—a composition—because it is not perfect. To turn away or shut down instead taking the time to see if something can be fixed.

Are you looking for meaning in your life? A new sense of direction? Are you trying to find ways to capture the picture?  Perhaps you need to refocus your lens—or to stop and be still and look around you… as you may find……

The picture is there. It just needs you to bring it to life.


For Your Viewing Pleasure:

Photographs by Nature- (