Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Mossy rocks in Mill Creek

 Yesterday was pretty hot outside, so what better way to beat the heat then hiking deep into the shade of the woods!  A friend and I headed up to Mill Creek Metro Park to take a walk along the Artist's Trail.  This spot is said to be popular with photographers and painters for the nice view of the creek.  And as promised this trail delivered more than enough subject matter...I found enough to shoot on one short hike for at least 2 or 3 blog entries...and it left me wanting to return in the fall for dynamic shots with extra color!

I took some more time to practice moving water shots...this time using my wireless remote shutter release which helps reduce vibration blur...but I opted to use my monopod on the narrow trail to be courteous to other hikers so I lost some of the stability of the tripod which gave me a little trouble. But I still walked away with a little more success than last week...which is fine with me...I don't mind small steps as long as they are steps forward and not steps backward!

I thought with this series of shots I would include some interesting excerpts from a J.R. Miller writing called "The Glasses You Wear."  This week I went to the eye doctor...I found I was struggling when trying to get sharp, clear focus last week while shooting, and as suspected my eyes got just a touch worse.  But Miller is speaking of a different kind of glasses....and I found it nice food for thought given this blog's motto of "Stay Behind the Lens!"  You can stay behind the lens in a lot more ways than on to see some of Miller's insights!

By J.R. Miller 
“The Glasses You Wear”, 1904:

There is a little book called Eyes and No Eyes, which tells of two boys who one day went out for a walk together. When they came back, a friend asked one of them what he had seen. He said he had seen nothing. He had been traveling through dust and along rough paths—but he had not seen anything beautiful or interesting in all the two hours' walk. When the other boy was asked the same question, he replied with much enthusiasm, telling of a hundred beautiful things he had seen in his walk—in the fields and in the woods—flowers and plants and bits of beautiful landscape, birds and squirrels and rippling streams. The two boys had walked together over the same path, and while one had seen nothing to give him pleasure—the other came back with his mind full of lovely images and bright recollections. Both had looked on the same objects—but they had looked through different lenses!

There always are two classes of people among those who journey together—those with eyes which see and those who, having eyes, see nothing. There are many people who never see the stars, or the hills, or the blue sky, or the flowers, nor any beauty in plant or tree or living creature.

We should train ourselves to make use of our eyes…This training should be carried into all the life, so that we shall miss nothing of the profuse and wondrous loveliness, which is everywhere in our Father's world. The result of not using our eyes, is that by and by we have no eyes—the faculty which is not exercised, becomes atrophied… We should train ourselves to see only what is lovely.

The same is true of the men and women about us, as well as of the scenes and conditions. It would add immeasurably to our pleasure in life—if we would train ourselves to look for whatever things are true, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, in the people about us—instead of for the blemishes and faults. If we wore the glasses of love and charity, it would be in this way that we would see everyone and everyone's work. 

The aspect of all life's events and experiences would also be changed, if we wore the right kind of glasses. To many people, life has nothing bright. It is made up chiefly of things which produce discontent, complaining and fault finding. We all know people who never have a really bright word to say about their own life and its circumstances… If they could in some way change their glasses, so that they would see things in the light of Christian faith and trust—all things would be transformed for them.

What we all need, in order that we may see people and things as they are—is the mind which is in Christ Jesus—the mind of love, of patience, of trust, of joy, of peace.

Examining a shot for clarity
 Miller's reading makes me rethink the old saying, 

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" 

How true...and I look forward to training my eye to stay behind the lens, not just when I look around at God's Creation....but at all things! 
Chipper on the trail...and yes those are flip flops!

Proverbs 20:12
The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

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