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Reflecting on refraction


As a very amateur photographer, I still have a number of photo albums worth of knowledge to learn about taking good pictures. 

My interest in photography began when my parents gave me my first camera – a Polaroid Swinger – for my 12th birthday all those many years ago.  Since then, I’ve held numerous cameras to my eye and tried to capture my world.  Not always with good results.

I’m a visual person.  Pictures speak to me, they inspire and describe scenes and feelings when I have no words to adequately do so.  Often I even think visually by ‘seeing’ an image in my mind to describe a concept or thought.

When I gaze at my surroundings, I can see a shot – what I think would make a beautiful or appealing picture, but often my old cameras didn’t capture quite what I envisioned.

I imagine my lack of knowledge about such things as light and the technical aspects of photography prohibit my getting the shot I had hoped for and my not so great cameras over the years also contributed to that.  But every once in a while I think I just got lucky.

A couple of years ago, my husband gave me a wonderful gift to encourage me in my photography hobby – a DSLR camera.  Finally, those shots I could see with my own two eyes unfolded the way I imagined them on my memory card. 

I still haven’t learned all the aspects of my trusty camera – probably because I’m not a patient sort when it comes to reading all the instructions.  I’m more of a do it as you learn kind of gal.

But again, sometimes I just get lucky when I set out to take a photograph.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme is refraction.  I located the word in my dictionary to be sure I understood exactly what it meant because those science classes were taken oh, so many years ago.  The definition, “a deflection of a propagating wave, as of light or sound, at the boundary between two mediums with different characteristics,” reminded me that I did remember correctly what the word meant.

My first impulse though was to skip this week’s challenge because I doubted my ability to show that theme personified in a photo.  But this morning, I plunked myself down with a hot cup of tea in front of our desktop computer and perused some of my old pictures.

This one jumped off the monitor screen at me.  It murmured ‘refraction’ and begged to be seen in my blog post for today.  I took this photo almost three years ago when I was putting away Christmas decorations.  Why? Because the light from the candle appealed to me.  I remember setting this candle holder on the wooden piano bench and taking shots from various angles just to see if I could capture what I imagined.  

I got lucky again.

And as always, a picture inspires me to think of deeper things.  It’s dreary outside today – one of those grey-hued days with wind and intermittent rain. No sunshine rays to bounce off the glass of my windows and cause me to want to rush outdoors to sing “sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy.”  No refraction I guess.

But when there is no light wave in my visual world, there’s still a strong wave of light and all that is good inside my heart.  His name is Jesus and my hope is that His light propagates through me.

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton




Mama of this empty nest, I’m content to live a quiet, country life with my husband of 40+ years and to view the gorgeous sunsets off my own back yard deck. Mama to three adults and Nana to adorable grandchildren, my empty nest fills up again with noise and laughter when they all return 'home'. A former English teacher, reporter/editor, education director for a non-profit organization, and stay at home mom, I retired after a season of substitute teaching at a private academy. Now I enjoy time spent with my grandchildren and family and writing words that seem to pour out of my soul or wandering around the countryside with my camera. Foremost, my faith sustains me as I meander through the empty nest stage of life. My favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

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