BE - I too this photo at an outdoor book market in Paris. Through 2020, many have learned about being rather than doing as we've been in and out of quarantine, shutdowns, and lockdowns.  Exploring and adventure doesn't always mean traveling somewhere, join me as I blog and explore!

lauren's musings

Blogging + exploring

Life Lessons, photography

July 5, 2018

Long shutter speeds = Slowing Down

One aspect of photography I ignore is taking photos that require time and patience.  I don’t want to shoot wildlife because sitting in bird blind for that special bird to appear sounds frustrating.  Star trails don’t excite me because it takes a lot of work to shoot for 30+ minutes and then use layering masks to put them together.  With fireworks, all I do is delete the photos because it’s hard to get one I like, they take patience and a tripod. I decided to finish off vacation with a BANG tonight at Pearl Harbor.  Good things take time, this photo took 49 seconds to expose and its my favorite from the 4th of July celebration.

A couple weeks ago, I purchased an Variable Neutral Density (ND) filter for my camera. For those of you that don’t know what that means, basically its 2 dark thin pieces of glass that I screw onto the front of the lens to make it incrementally darker.  The darkened lens allows less light into the camera so I can use a slow shutter speed even in bright light.  That’s one thing that I can’t replicate on the computer. I physically need this filter to get the effect of soft flowing water, bursting fireworks or moving clouds. These photos require 2-30+ seconds. What’s the point?

It’s about slowing down. In my nature, I don’t like anything that’s slow, not even taking a photo.

I live a very hurried life: Be the first one done eating. Plan 5 things in a day. Complain if there’s not enough to do. Stay up late and work on photos. Read for knowledge, not for enjoyment. The list goes on. Not until recently has it struck me that this is a actually a problem. I was multitasking a couple weeks ago, and I heard these words aimed right at my heart. The sad thing is, I was so busy that I didn’t pay attention to who said it (it was an instagram story, if you saw it too let me know i’d love to give credit where credit is due!).

“The fourth commandment is the only one we brag about breaking.”

What is that commandment? It’s the one about rest.  I too am a guilty party, a full calendar fuels my sense value, a text or instagram shout out reminds me that i’m important to others.  An invitation to spend time together is the holy grail, and in the midst of all this running and performance, I don’t rest. I boast about how little sleep I get or how much I have accomplished.

So what is rest and how can I live it out? I love this definition: Cessation from motion… peace… quiet… rest is sometimes equivalent to trust, reliance.

Rest is simply the opposite of anxiety. It’s slowing down and trusting that if I don’t do that one extra thing, nothing will fall apart.  If I don’t see ____________’s instagram story, I’ll still be in relationship. If I don’t If I don’t share what’s going on in my life with the world, I still matter.

I can only rest on what I know to be secure.

We have the ability to rest in our relationships, in our jobs, ultimately in our faith and it’s in the moments of rest where strength is built.  God even encourages the Israelites in this:

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
-Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

I chose to spend vacation this year with the intent to learn how to rest.  It’s an oxymoron, but  I believe rest is a discipline. I take my fair share of time away, but hardly to slow down. What “ND filters am I putting on in my life”?  For vacation, I stayed completely off social media, and limited e-mail/phone use. I’m embracing the rhythm of slowing down: engaging with a friend, a book, a nap, a sunset or fish swimming carelessly all have pointed me back to the importance of trusting that God is in control, and when all is said and done that’s the one thing I can rest on.

I am standing in absolute stillness, silent before the one I love,
waiting as long as it takes for him to rescue me.
Only God is my Savior, and he will not fail me. 
-Psalm 62:5 (TPT)

I’d like to learn from you… How do you cultivate the practice of slowing down?

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