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Photography is Easy

God did all the hard work

I enjoy all genres of photography, but my preference is landscape and wildlife. Immersing myself in nature is soul-healing. My restless urge to seek beauty is a holy calling, holy in aim, means, and end. Photography can change attitudes and is a powerful storyteller. North Dakota had two late April historic blizzards—one came with freezing rain. It has left people out of power for as much as two weeks. After months of winter, North Dakotans want spring to bust out and green to replace white. We decided to take a few photos to document the historic blizzards and appreciate their beauty. It changed our frustration to gratitude.

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. ~ Philippians 4:8

I spend too much time watching videos on photography and videography. Every video has a snappy title like, ‘Ten ways to improve your …’ or ‘Epic Photography in Scotland, Arctic, or Grand Canyon.’ All the photographers on YouTube are focused on making a living instead of promoting photography. I watch the cinematic productions with drones, shots of them walking by the camera, and minutes of crappy music and senseless B-Roll all the messages blur. The majority of photographers on YouTube act as if they were masters of the trade, and they have cracked the perfect way to capture an image. The truth is that photography is easy; God has done all the hard work.

Wet Blustery Day

Easy button out the windows 1

Digital photography has changed everything and made photography easy for anyone. Starting with the Whizzy-Wig, The “What You See is What You Get.” What you see in the viewfinder or on the small screen behind these cameras is a direct view the sensor is about to capture. If the scene in the viewfinder is black, you either have a lens cover on, or the settings are wrong. The holy exposure trinity of Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO can be adjusted, so the view finder’s view looks right—that’s it. Or you can skip all of the manual settings, place the camera in auto mode and fire away. Finally, if you mess it up, the software can fix, or replace anything, brighten it, smooth it, stretch it, align it, colorize it. Photography is easy.

Frozen girls red bike with ice

Frozen Red Bike

Every photo does not need to be “Epic,” just authentic. The critical ingredient for an original image is a beautiful scene, person, animal, thing, or action—you need to open your heart to see it. That is why most of these so call masters to travel around the globe in search of epic things to photograph and charge people large sums of cash to tag along. The holy trinity to the perfect photo is a digital camera; witness something beautiful, take the shot. After some time, you may like to try something new and begin making decisions in a partial or fully manual mode. What is a partial manual mode? Partial manual mode is a setting where you control one thing, and the camera automatically changes the other two settings. Full manual is you determine the settings and see what happens.

YouTubers have the right intentions, but they make photography seem difficult and beyond a commoner’s reach. Creatives must promote their brands and grow subscribers to pay the bills. What then is the best method to encourage newbie photographers? We need some “Bob Ross’s” of photography making videos. People must promote photography as fun instead of challenging, enjoyable instead of stressful, immediately satisfying, not critical. Photography is easy, fun, and helps mark time and life celebrations. Photography tells stories of places and people, and the photographer who had a camera then took the picture.

I have yet to see a YouTube landscape photographer point to the heavens as a football player who just scored to give God credit for creating the “Epic Light” or Awe-inspiring scenery. Even when things are far from “Epic,” a good photo captures moments. As I write this post, we have had late-season blizzard condition snowfalls, so it is white ground; it is raining with a grey sky flat light. I garb my seven-year-old Sony camera set on auto and take a photo out the window. Is it epic? No, but it tells a story of this moment in time. The picture is excellent. I take the time to notice the camera’s exposure settings to take the image. Photography is easy.

I have not joined the YouTube world, but as I ponder the idea, maybe the time is now for a Bob Ross happy photographer to break the Shock and Awe of taking pictures. Am I a coward to expose my struggle to tell enjoyable, satisfying stories on a larger platform? I am intimidated by the extreme talents of these young video creators. It is not an easy job. 

The real challenge of photography is getting out and using a camera. In these two weeks, we have been snow and ice-bound. We tried our best to tell the story using homebound out the window photography in the blizzard. When the weather cleared, we did a driving tour photo-safari. So get out and look for something beautiful, interesting, eventful, or just a photo of someone you love.

Red frozen Bike

frozen in time

Tree laden with ice bowing to ground

The Weight

Fence line frozen

Barbed wire

Barbed wire fence laiden with ice

The Frozen Fence


Cabin in the snow

A Creek in winter scene

A winters creek

Colors in Rain

Colors in rain

Dripping Downspout

Dripping Downspout