Thursday, February 16, 2017

Confession of an Amateur Photographer

I’ve got a confession to make, but no, it’s not one that I need to approach the confessional box to ask for penance.  I’ve been given a privilege to be a part of the photographer team for the Multi-media ministry in our parish.  Photography has always been one of my passions, even before the time of digital cameras, and I remember going through roll after roll of film and having to wait, back then, for a couple of days, for the pictures to be developed.  There were a few memorable shots, but most ordinary and even some wasted.  I would carry a camera on most occasions and on the ones that I failed to, I would be disappointed seeing a scene or occasion that would have been wonderful to capture and immortalize.

Long before I became part of the Multi-media ministry, I would love taking pictures of events especially religious processions, some of which I’ve posted here in previous blogs.  I love seeing the people, their expressions, the beautiful images of Christ, Mother Mary and the other Saints, and the scenes and circumstances that surrounded these events.  All of this I did to satisfy my passion to capture these images and share them with others.

But being, in a way, an official photographer of our parish, I feel an added weight on my shoulder.  I am still very amateur and far from being an expert in this field.  I purchased my first SLR just less than 3 years ago.  Many times, it’s shoot-and-miss. Some turn out great, others not so.  What my eyes and mind want to capture is not always what comes out upon reviewing my shot.  (Thank God we’re in the digital age and taking practice shots do not cost anything).   I still have the same basic lens that came with the package, which definitely has its limitations.  I’ve learned to deal with these limitations, coming closer to my subjects to make up for the lack of zoom function and learning to weigh aperture, shutter speed and the use of flash in dark settings.  (Recently, I have learned to use what light is available, example, light from the street lamp post, or someone holding a candle, or even another person’s flash.)
A definite missed shot. Had the perfect position, but the lighting. I've had trouble with this before. It's dark but the image of our Lady of Lourdes is filled with light. The result, Mama Mary coming out too bright and missing out the details of her beauty.

But when I do go back and download my shots, many times I am disappointed.  I see many beautiful pictures of the image of Mother Mary.  There are many images of our Mother and all of them beautiful in different ways.  Her beauty mesmerizes me at times, a beauty that truly heaven had a hand with.  I look at her with my eyes,  then look at her through my camera lens, then try to make the needed adjustments to my camera and then click to take the shot.  I look at my captured picture and I sigh.  I try again and again and again.  There are some that I feel satisfied with and I pass on to be posted to our Social media accounts, but too many shots are left on my camera and laptop as a personal reminder that I can do better.

So this is my confession…that I cannot do Our Mother Mary justice with the pictures I take of her.  Your beauty, dear Mother, is beyond me; is beyond the pictures I can capture with my camera.  As we can only experience a minute glimpse of what heaven will be like, just so we can only view a minute part of the beauty the image of our Mother Mary represents.  Your beauty is beyond me, dear Mother.  And I know that no picture will ever be good enough.

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