Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blessed Christmas 2008!


Walking along Orchard Road with my family and Aunty Daphne's on the night of the 23rd, I stumbled upon a timely reminder painted, as if by the hand of God, on the walls of commercialism, brighter and bolder than the blinding city lights.

Do you see it too?


After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

--Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)


This is my prayer, my hope, and my confidence this Christmas.

* * * * *

Aunty Daphne asked me, in Port Dickson, what sort of photos I like to take. I answered, after a bit of thinking, Time Exposures.

As I look back, I think time exposures differ from the common notion of 'photograph' because they don't freeze time so much as cool it down, make it something in between a photograph and a video.

It's like glass, the supercooled liquid: translucent from certain angles, yet opaque at others; fluid yet frozen. I miss compact photography, especially the video function of today's digital compact cameras.

What is photography?


It is being surprised by the results of some experiments (this was the photo that convinced me there must be more to long exposures than I'd ever thought)...


It is losing colour in the search for form that transcends the familiar spectrum...


It is doing things we've never done, going places we've never been...


It is getting dirty and ruining ourselves in the passion and wonder of the moment, and laughing over it with friends...


It is playing with time and the nature of our fleeting existence...


It is going wild with props and interacting with everything around us.


Two years ago, I learnt these lessons in Malacca.

Nothing has changed since; I use different tools and have been to many more places with many different people, but the heart of photography remains the same.

And yet, I don't think I have much longer. On some journeys, even a hand or an eye must be sacrificed, Frederick Buechner reminds. We'll see.

Father, as You lead, so help me follow.

Amen.

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