Monday, September 22, 2008

My New Camera

Well, after doing some research and prayer, I bought a new camera, which arrived on my doorstep from Amazon this morning. I bought a brand new Canon Rebel XSi. I took it for a little test-drive last week at a camera store in Manchester, and I think it has all the features I want. I had thought about buying the camera from the store, since the price was actually comparable to anything I could get online. But there were two things holding me back: I found it for $13 cheaper from Amazon, and, more importantly, they didn't have it in stock right then, so I would have had to have driven back to Manchester sometime this week - which is 30-40 minutes in the opposite direction from where I normally drive. So, it would have been more than just a $13 difference with gas prices these days (not to mention the time I would have to spend driving to and from). But I think it would have been nice to support a local store, rather than the giant online retailers.

The camera seems nice so far, though I haven't done much. It is super light and has some neat features. It can take a lot more frames per second than my previous camera, and it has mirror lock-up for those longer exposures.

I did pray (though not enough, admittedly) about whether I should spend all this money on a camera - something that is merely a hobby for me. I have been wondering for a while if I should spend so much time and money on something that is merely a hobby. Am I really helping anyone by taking part in such a pasttime? I don't know. I have been trying to figure out how I can utilize my photography as more than just backgrounds for PowerPoint presentations, and the covers for my New England Pastor magazine. Even though I love New England - taking pictures of white churches, covered bridges, and other charming architectural icons doesn't seem like it necessarily turns a person's mind to the Creator. I do take pictures of scenes that are purely nature, but I take just as many of these man-made structures.

The same holds true for snapshots on family vacations and outings. It's nice to have a record of memories, but is it all that important to have a $700 camera for such a thing?

So . . . I continue to try to figure out how I can use this hobby of mine for God. Suggestions would be welcomed.

On another note, I don't have a lot else on my mind these days as it relates to blog posts. Nothing has struck me as blogworthy recently, but I'm sure there will be something in the near future. We are just starting the Nominating Committee process in my churches, and it promises to be quite intense. I am praying for God's wisdom in this whole process. We really need it.


Corey said...

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, don't they? So you really never know when a scene you've captured could have an impact on someone in some way. You never know when that could be so keep snapping away!

From a different standpoint, your camera is a big part of what makes you, you. I would be extremely saddened if I knew you weren't taking pictures. It makes me very happy - - not just because of all the memories you are preserving but because I know how happy it makes you. And as Dad points out, there is nothing that makes you happier than seeing someone you love being happy! Can't wait to see the camera (and you) this weekend.

Joelle said...

You could always take up photojournalism for the conference or union magazine. They'd probably like a press release with accompanying pictures every now and then.

Carl Sax said...

Hi. I just stumbled on your blog by accident and was interested by it. I'm an Adventist who just finished up a photography school program a year ago and have been struggling with the same question for a while. Though yes, it is my chosen "profession," I still want to use it for the glory of God. It can be tough to find very specific ministerial ways to use it, but there is something to be said for drawing the hearts and minds of people to God through his works...both natural and human.

I'm a big fan of landscape photography and though I still do more portrait work to make a living, my heart lies in the wilds of God's handiwork. In my research and learning I've seen dozens upon dozens of landscape photography "coffee table" type books going on and on about the ice ages and glaciers and such that made our world. Wouldn't it be refreshing to see one that drew attention to the beauty of the world as being from the hand of God? It's my hope and sincere prayer that God will allow me to do something along those lines. I walk daily hoping He'll give me some great purpose in this new work. It's tough for a control freak like myself, but He's teaching me to trust Him and allow His eye to guide me.

Sorry for the epistle. I'd love to chat about this with you if you're interested. My website is in case you're interested in seeing any of the stuff I'm working on or the purposes behind it. I'll leave my contact info in case you're interested.

Carl Sax III

God bless!

Shawn Brace said...

Corey, thanks for the affirmation! I look forward to taking lots of pictures of Calleigh this weekend, though the rain may hinder us a bit!

And thanks for your thoughts, too, Joelle.

Carl! Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your thoughts. I enjoyed looking at your website a lot. It is apparent to me that you are a much more accomplished photographer than I, so it is with great humility that I respond. I'm intrigued to hear your wrestling over this issue as well.

Actually, just yesterday, I was talking with a young man who has started coming to one of my churches. He is a professional painter, and I was telling him some of my thinking on the subject. He opened my eyes up a lot to some good points. He feels that if a person can learn their craft well, and learn the rules of composition, and illustrate a scene, then that is glorifying God, in and of itself. It is a great testament to the Creator-God, he feels, when a person "imitates" God in His creativity. This is a reason that he is not into modern/post-modern art, he says, because it is too abstract and does not reflect/demonstrate that orderliness of God's creative powers. I thought he did a very good job of explaining it.

I think it would be great to also produce a high-quality coffee table type book that glorified the works of God. It seems to me that somewhere in my mind I recall that David Asscherick is trying to produce a book of this ilk. But maybe I am mistaken.

I enjoy New England photography specifically. Though we don't have the big, sweeping vistas of the West, I believe there is a charm in New England that is matched nowhere else (especially this time of year). Though photography is just a hobby of mine, I am trying to photograph New England in such a way that will turn people's mind to God!!

And, by the way, if you're interested in seeing some of my favorite New England shots that I've captured, please feel free to check them out here (it's just a no-frills Picasa site).

Thanks for sharing!! I look forward to dialoguing with you about this more in the future!

Carl Sax said...

Shawn, I'm sorry for the enormous delay in responding. I'll admit, I was up really late the night I left the message and meant to bookmark it to continue the discussion. I simply forgot to mark it so here I am over 4 months later and I stumbled back upon it and see that you responded the next day. I appreciate your words about my site and I found it very interesting the way your painter friend thought about the subject. I agree with him completely.

I enjoyed your photos from New England. I especially loved the Vermont shots. I've been up the coastline that way, but never inland and not during the autumn season. Anyway, I apologize again for the huge delay in response. I do very much appreciate your reply though. Hopefully we can continue this discussion sometime. I'll be bookmarking it this time!