And the first photograph of 2012 goes to...
...and then I straightened up my tripod. Taking a second to think about the irony of this photograph presented a thought to me that I felt like sharing, a nugget of my own existence and personal walk.
My friend's camera is broken and he asked if I'd take a few photos of him because he was tired of only ever having the same photographs of himself to use for whatever reasons he needs them, facebookcough. Anyway, that's unimportant. I obliged and before he went home I wracked my brain of interesting poses or funny things I'd done or seen in the past for ideas of how to do it and came up blank, which I guess makes me a terrible photographer really--they're supposed to be able to boss people around. So I set up some redneck lighting right quick by turning off the over head light and positioning two lamps around my room hoping that would spark something in either of us. We decided to just do a generic photo for the first shot, so I mounted my camera on my tripod, pointed the camera his direction, flipped my camera's setting to "manual," set my aperture, metered the lighting, and changed the focus to auto so it would focus, essentially, on the object closest to the camera, in this case the subject (my friend). Everything was set. I had the perfect exposure. I said "smile" and pressed the button.
Of course, it took probably less than half a second after capturing the photograph for me to realize I'd done all that without ever looking through the viewfinder, then "lens." We chuckled at the mistake, the tripod was adjusted, and on the night went. The switch never clicked on for me of how silly a mistake that was until I took a moment to review the photographs later that I had completely lost sight of, pardon the pun, the major, actual, picture. The profound thing is that I managed to focus on doing everything just right, the lighting, exposure, etc., but the most essential and basic photographic elements--of what I was actually taking a photo--I'd forgotten to look at.
I'm a victim of this in so many areas of my life though, and I don't think I'm alone. In school I would take on a hundred different things, or just a few things but really dive into them, and forget that my life was still moving in a direction, Somewhere. The distractions so many times win and I find myself looking everywhere but straight...and yet I still wonder sometimes why I just can't find consistency. In my Christian walk, I hold on to silly things to identify myself with and things that are meant to be good, like DOing what is right, and I somehow let event that distract me from remembering about the love Christ has for me...just for ME, the way I am. The list goes on really, and floating around, such as many do in college and in life, let's be honest, doesn't feel like the worst thing while it is happening. But, like debris in water, one does not drift in the same spot, they go Somewhere.
I believe the true tragedy is that this moment of enlightenment doesn't always happen for people, or when it does, it's been too long. They take no or believe in no real direction. For me, the revelation of a seemingly little mistake was reviewing the photographs I'd taken. It will be tonight when I lie in bed reflecting over what a long day it's been, and tomorrow when I learn from the goings of today. I think it's time for my lacking of intentionality in this area to change. Time to refocus. I mean, I Claim to believe it--in the Christian realm we call it God's will. The wonderful thing about that is I think God already has that planned out ahead of me, all I have to do is trust in him and walk it. My girlfriend, Brittany, has asked me several times what my new year's resolutions are and I just kind of shrug it off or make a joke--I've not once ever stuck to one. Maybe this can be it for this year though. I've let a lot of things get me down and steal my joy, but here's to a readjustment, one more time. Here's to getting back in line, something I was always terrible at in grade school. Whenever a better time to do it than at the mouth of a new year, the last year ever at that according to the Mayans.
I planned on continuing on to write about the beautiful mistakes that are inevitable to happen even when I've done everything I can to prevent them, but I think that's a topic for another post. Here's a glimpse at that, the very next photo that proceeded the one above.