WJI 2017 Blog Day 6 PM: Photography- more than a simple camera click

May 19, 2017

Catherine Shackelford

University of Arkansas 

I think I've spent most of my life underestimating the power of images. After all, knowledge is power, not images...right? I sit here, humbly realizing the significance of both. Knowledge, with image, is powerful.

Photography snags knowledge by its throat, demanding to not only be seen, but also felt. There's something incredible about a moment confined into one shot. I believe there's more captured in a single photo of a Syrian refugee survivor than 2,000 words describing the situation. We connect with images, with these abstract ideas that depict humanity and demand sympathy.

And I've learned tonight that it's not as simple as one click of a camera. Doug Burg, our photography instructor, quickly dispelled that myth when he began explaining shutter speed and f-stops and ISO. Such knowledge is vital to maximize your potential in each shot, focus, or click. Too bad this information is learned instead of transported to our like an SD card is to a computer.

In a fast-paced culture, I tend to impatiently speed up the process. For writing, for learning, for anything really. Photography's prerequisite might as well be patience, focus, and intentionality. It will take time. And hard work. It'll also take surrounding myself with more interesting things- a repeated phrase here at WJI. But I'm up for the challenge. After all, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

I'm thankful for being surrounded with others learning the same crafts, yearning to capture the breathtaking moments and stories of this world, whatever forms that might include.

On another note…Tomorrow our cameras and notepads will record Iowa’s Tulip Festival. We just did a quick Wal-Mart run for sweatshirts, leggings, umbrellas and gloves since there’s an 80 percent chance of rain during the event. I’m praying my hands don’t shake from the cold, ruining any chance I have of taking a decent photo. I guess this is when tripods come in handy. Whoever you are, if you’re reading this, send a few prayers our way. We’ll be living off of those. 

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