Archive › September, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday was a lovely, crisp, Colorado morning which began with a brief and blessed breakfast as we quickly took off to the beautiful Garden of the Gods, where we students were able to observe several of the instructors perform actual photo shoots. This was my favorite part of the week as we played a type of ’round robin,’ in our turn watching each photographer shoot their different subjects”a family shoot, an engagement session, and a bridal portrait session. At this time we were able to see everything we had learned during the week become action”find the catch-lights! Use the Rule of Thirds! Masculine poses! Shallow depth of field! Low ISO settings! How amazing to see such talent (and multi-tasking!) at work, and what a great learning experience it turned out to be.

After the sessions and a quick break for lunch, it was our turn to “create images.” So with our usual limited allowance of pictures, for about two hours we scrambled around with our shooting partners creating poses and being posed, assisting the photographer and being the photographer, all the while praying for some amazing lapse of creativity to wash over us.

After the shoot we received our first real break of the week”a trip to the park where we played Ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, and soccer. Others played guitar and sang, while still others talked on the phone to catch up with the family or friends. We returned home”well, our current home”for supper, and afterwards enjoyed a more relaxed styled evening with coffee and fellowship, or a time to sit at the feet of your selected instructor and glean wisdom from the depths of their souls. Or you could just ask them questions and look at their pictures.

However, I am leaving out the most important aspect of the week for me, much of which has come from the mentorship of the instructors. I am here at IPS because I want to be a missions photojournalist, or at least that is the direction in which God is taking me right now. Although each of the instructors has had a strong impact on me in their own way, the one which is most relevant to this topic is Christina, who has been a photojournalist for several years now. I chose to spend the last couple hours of the evening with her. After presenting a powerful photo-essay the other night, Christina had mentioned that being a photojournalist requires experience. And not just the good kind. Sometimes, in order to fully understand something or someone, you must go through it. Empathy is a large part of photojournalism. Sometimes, God has us experience some of the hardest and most challenging things because it draws us closer to Him, teaches us more about Him, or reveals to us more of our sin. Sometimes it is for the blessing of others. In photojournalism, often this experience allows you to be able to more accurately capture life. So although this was not something entirely new to me, it impacted me deeper than it ever had before. Was I capable of this? Did I even want this? God, if this is what taking up my cross is going to look like in photojournalism”I don’t think I can do this. Let this cup pass…

But a refreshing reminder came through the devotion which another instructor, Katie had shared earlier that week. The story of Gideon, which I had heard a hundred times before and knew so well, broke on me with new vigor. God trimmed his army down to 300 men, facing what seemed an impossible feat, but this is what God says to Gideon, “With these 300 men, I will save you.” I will save you. You are not capable of this in and of yourself, how could you think that? And how could you think I would ask you to do that? I will save you, I will be with you through the valley and into shadows; and I will see you through them. You are merely the tool: your writing, photography, skills, life. But I have given you life for a purpose. You have the same power that has risen Christ from the dead and with it comes responsibility. Take up your cross and follow me…even into the shadows. For I am there.

—Prizewinning Photography Student Jaimie Lee

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 3! Whoohoo. Most of us still exist in a non-slap-happy state.

So far this week we have covered the basics of photography and worked on implementing what we have learned into the pictures we take. It has been great to learn to think, as we take pictures, of these rules and techniques that will make a good picture into an excellent one. But today, we got a little more specific and studied portraiture. This was great for me, because I have never really done anything like that before: I learned a lot. One of the amazingly great things about these IPS courses is that you get to have real live professional photographers critique your work and help you improve personally, as opposed to just helping the group in general.

The greatest thing for me so far this week has been to see God at work in my life. When I arrived at this course, I was into photography for myself”for my own personal gain. However, after talking to some fellow students and hearing some of the first-class teaching here, I realized that God has given me a gift in photography, He has given me the equipment to do it, He has allowed me to come to this incredible course, and He has done if for a purpose. If I’m keeping what He has given me to myself, I’m a pretty useless person to Him. In reality, none of these blessings are mine anyway. I need to be yielded to Him. He needs to be in control of my camera, my abilities, and my future, so that my work will bring glory to Him and communicate His principles to the world. I can’t wait to find out more of what God has in store for me!

I still have a lot to learn about photography and a long way to go, but you have to start somewhere – and this is one awesome place to do it.

Soli Deo gloria

—Prizewinning Photography Student Michael Morgan

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day

By Michael Morgan

 

Runner Up

Picture of the Day Runner Up

By Krissy Pucek

 

Contest Winner

Square Contest Winner

By Sharon Kelly

 

Runner Up

Square Runner Up

By Luke Collin

 

Contest Winner

Different Contest Winner

By Andrew Patterson

 

 

Contest Winner

“Oh my goodness, that’s awesome!” Speedshoot Contest Winner

By Michael Morgan

 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

We have just finished day two of Prizewinning Photography I. And even though I have another week and a half to go, I have learned so much already! Our instructors have covered many of the “basics” of photography. After many of our sessions we are told to go out and start implementing the things we have learned. This is quite challenging. Who ever knew that it would be hard to take 48 photos?!?

Of all of the things we have been taught and all of the stories that our instructors have shared there is one prevailing theme: using photography to glorify God. I have been so inspired and challenged by this. It has surfaced in different ways. From Mandy sharing with us how she seeks God in photography by asking “God, what is your favorite color today?”, to Katie sharing with us how God is using her fantastic photographs from the Holy Land. My greatest challenge so far has nothing to do with shutter speed or aperture. My greatest challenge is learning to see what God is speaking to me about through His creation. Learning to see what he wants me to see.

I’m so very grateful for this opportunity to learn photography with such a strong emphasis on the Creator- on the One who is Creativity defined.

—Prizewinning Photography Student Laurel Wade

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day

By Jaime Lee

 

Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day Runner Up

By Taylor Lindsey

 

Conte

Blue Contest Winner

By Carrie Bradie

 

Runner Up

Blue Runner Up

By Dana Sue Hinkle

 

 

Contest Winner

Thirsty Contest Winner

By Luke Collin

 

Runner Up

Thirsty Runner Up

By Nathanael Jarrett

 

Contest Winner

“I love my camera” Speedshoot Winner

By Taylor Lindsey

 

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