Lately I have embarked on a new project. It has been quite fun, and educational. I have begun to take family pictures to help us raise funds for our adoption. (We are adopting a little one from China.) I have some basic knowledge of taking pictures...and a pretty good eye for what looks good. But I am NO WHERE NEAR a professional! The finished products of my first few projects have been really good. I have been pretty pleased with them!!!
I have learned something REALLY COOL though!! What makes a photo really good is something I have heard someone refer to as "The Art of Subtraction." What do I mean by that? Well....when you take a picture or you're doing a photo shoot....you are just snapping away at the camera trying to get the best shot possible. You take pictures zoomed in, you take pictures zoomed out, vertical, horizontal or any other way you can think of to take them!! Once the photos are done....its time for "The Art of Subtraction" to take place. What do I mean "Art of Subtraction." Well....related to pictures....it means CROPPING!!
I have been AMAZED at some of the pictures in their original state versus their final state. What makes one different from the other? It is that I have accessed the whole view...decided what adds to the beauty and value of the picture and what takes away from it. Then....I crop the picture to take away what does not add to the beauty of that view. It is AMAZING what you get once you take out, or cut away the parts that hinder the true beauty of that image. It is the most fun part of doing the pictures for me!!
As I was working on a set of shots this last weekend...It occurred to me that there is a very applicable spiritual principle here...we can find it in scripture in Philippians.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Ok....I'm sure you're wondering...how in the WORLD is that the same thing? But I promise...It really is!!!
Everyone of us have filters...lenses that we look at life, relationships, situations through. What we see comes through our filters. Depending on where you are in life....what you have walked through....healing you have or have not received from the past....or even just how you woke up that morning will determine how we view a certain situation, or day.
If I happen to wake up "on the wrong side of the bed" on a particular day....I'm gonna have stinkin' thinkin' toward everything that day. Every view I have that day is going to clutter out the true beauty. The filter of my attitude that day prevents me from seeing that perfect snap shot of my day. What do I need to do?!?! CROP IT!!
Crop what?!? I need to crop out of my view the things that take away from the beauty of my picture of that day or situation. Make sense? What I SEE is what I GET. So I need to take out of view the thing I'm seeing that doesn't make for a beautiful view!!
Lets look at another situation. Say I've lived a life of hurt, or rejection, or insecurity and haven't received the full healing from my past regarding these things. That would cause my view of every person and every situation to be filtered through this hurt, rejection or insecurity. Make sense?
So when I'm walking through something and I'm feeling insecure about it....Maybe my view is that someone is thinking something negative about me or they're not acting toward me the way I think they should be. Those feelings and that view is not good!!! It's not beautiful!! What do I need to do?!? CROP IT!!
I need to do what Philippians is telling me to do....and that is to think on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
In other words...I need to CROP IT and STOP IT!!! Crop out what I am seeing that is making me view this person or situation in a negative way and STOP allowing myself to press the "undo" button once I crop it out!!!
I need to view that person and their heart and their motives in the best way possible!! I need to crop out what is preventing me from seeing the beauty!!!
THAT my friend is what makes a beautiful view!! The art of subtraction. Take away in your thoughts/your view the things that are destroying the part of beauty that God has placed before you. CHOOSE to see what makes your view (what you are walking through) the most beautiful and CROP OUT what is distorting that beautiful view!!!
I am learning this myself on a personal level....another pearl of purpose...a point of weakness that I am finding my strength in HIM on!!! Now go take some AWESOME pictures of your day and choose to CROP them till they are beautiful!!!