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  • Brian Myers

Macros and Landscapes on Thanksgiving

I'm an amateur photographer and I enjoy outdoor photography. Every year I make a calendar with pictures that I took throughout the year. As I've sorted through and edited my photographs from the past year, I thought for a little while about macros and landscapes. Both are perfect for Thanksgiving.

Photographers have many tricks and tools available to make a subject more interesting in a photograph. We can use the lighting, the focus, the shutter speed, and so much more. This year two captured my attention as I edited my photos the day before Thanksgiving. One way to capture a subject in a more interesting photograph is to get closer to it. These photographs, called macros, eliminate everything else from the frame so there are no distractions and show the intricate details of the object being photographed. Macros often reveal tiny details that may not be visible or may be considered insignificant when viewed by the naked eye.

Another strategy for capturing an interesting picture is to get further away from the subject. These photographs, called landscapes, capture vast expanses of God's creation often including many subjects such as trees, mountains, rivers, clouds, and more. Landscapes lead us to consider the whole, to examine how all of the elements interact and complement each other. A landscape conveys a scene that is often more then the sum of the parts.

Both of these activities seem appropriate to me for Thanksgiving. As we recall the blessings for which we are thankful, we should do more than briefly mention the obvious things and then move on like a quick point-and-shoot picture. Macros and landscapes are better choices today.

Taking the macro strategy, we might choose to zoom in on a particular blessing. We can take time to ponder the significance of one of God's gifts. In this type of reflection we tune out distractions to focus. We might notice details that we often take for granted or consider insignificant. When we see the intricate beauty of the gift that we often miss, it will lead us to a deeper thanksgiving for that gift.

Taking the landscape strategy, we might choose to zoom out and consider all of our blessings. In this reflection we consider the myriad of blessings God has poured into our lives and how they come together in our lives. We might reflect on the balance of family, work, church, and recreation. Taking a break from being caught up in the stress and busyness of day-to-day activity to step back and reflect, gives us an opportunity to recognize how we have grown, how our lives have changed, and how our relationships with God have deepend. We can reflect on our unique blend of blessings which is unlike the mix of blessings in any other person's life. Seeing how our blessings combine together to form more than the sum of the individual blessings will lead us to deeper thanksgiving for God's abiding presence.

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for God's blessings in our lives, but don't merely give them cursory and obligatory acknowledgement. Rather, take time to ponder and reflect. Zoom in on one blessing or zoom out and see how all the blessings come together. Either way, take time to reflect and enjoy the picturesque beauty of God's work in your life. Happy Thanksgiving!

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