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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Photoshop for Christians?

I have really grown to love the art of photography over the past eight months. Before January, I paid no attention to photography and didn't own a single camera (except for those disposable ones). Now I have joined photog groups, shot events, and found a sense of release in this new hobby of mine. One of the things that I have realized, though, that people nowadays are no longer valuing pure (raw) photos. The images that seem to get all the praise by peers have been heavily manipulated by computer software programs like Photoshop by Adobe. What this does is basically allow someone to cheat on taking quality photos. You see, if the image is a little out of focus, well then you can get the sharpening tool and fix that. If it is underexposed, poorly framed, needing contrast, converted to black and white, de-saturated, or what have you - all this can be done in post-production. The final product is usually a new creation of the once naked capture. These programs make it possible to disguise a poor or lazy photographer and provides them a license to not pursue excellence in the art of photography. All you need to do is be proficient in computer software and pretend to be someone you are not - a real photographer. I say all this to lead up to one thought - Is there Photoshop for Christians? I have been wondering about this lately. I mean, when there is a Christian who is spiritually "out of focus", is there some spiritual technique to make them appear as though they are right on with God? When there is unnecessary junk in a person's life, is there a tool to clone it out and make them disappear? When someone is living in darkness and underexposed, is there an action that can make them appear brighter than what they originally were? It appears to me that this could be the case. It we would be honest, before others would all would like to be a perfectly composed glossy 8x10. Yet the truth of the matter is we have been "heavily photoshopped" spiritually, and often we don't even know it. As an "image" of Christ, I know that I am rough around the edges and often poorly developed. Yet should I pretend to be a better image than I really am? The purist would say "no" because it is more important than be real and honest with your deficiencies than to fake it for the appeal and praise of your fellow man. I see it everyday. A REAL photo which took the work of a pure and professional photographer is simply scrolled over, but the photoshopped photo with all the pizazz and manipulations gets the "wows" and "oooohhs". Personally, I would rather be overlooked in obscurity while trying to be "real" or "pure" in my Christianity than to create an image of Christ that is propped up by techniques and programs. I think we have put too much stock in these tricked-up images and come to think these pretenders have some real value to them. Anyway. When you see the flaws on this image or see me a little underexposed or a little out of focus, please be patient with me. I am still being developed. Yes, the imperfections will clearly be there for you to see. I want you to see me, raw and uncut as God sees me, without the spiritualizing or rationalizing or dressing this image up with a pimped out suit of fig leaves. You (hopefully) will see me, naked and desiring to be real. So in this portrait gallery of life, down the hallway just past the favorites and crowds, you might see an unframed image set aside taken from a Master Photographer with his signature on it - one that is not appraised much here, but because of what it will be by the Master's hand, it will someday be completed over there. And it will not be because the image had any greatness to it, but rather it was the skill of the Image-Maker who, in complete purity, reveals his greatness in the image - an self-portrait of Himself.


Blogger SylvanSurf said...

As a photographer and a Christian I agree with you on both counts.

11/13/2005 11:25:00 PM


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