Black & White Reflections

Black & white photography has an honorable pedigree because photography began in black and white.  Without color, the only medium is contrast, so photographers would use filters to turn different colors into different shades of black and white.  However today, digital cameras do not take black & white photos, so they use digital filters to assign contrast.

IMG_5167_black and white

I hope the photo above is pleasing to the eye.  It was taken at Dream Lake (elevation 9,905′) in Rocky Mountain National Park.

These days, black & white photography probably works best when the subject is defined primarily by form and shape, not color.

Here is the original color photograph:


Color does help to contrast the trees from the water and rocks, and it is just a little bit closer to the reality.  However, nothing can replace the experience of actually being there: to feel the wind lofting the rain off the mountain tops, to smell the pine trees, to see the little gophers running right under your feet, to feel the altitude and the exertion, and to experience the myriad sensations of living life in a particular time and place.  A picture is a mere reflection of an instant, a shadow.  In black & white or color it is still just a shadow.

The wonders of God’s creation are very beautiful and complex, and that is why they are difficult to fully capture in art, but all good art seeks to convey the truth of God’s creation.  One underlying aspect of all His creation is His love for us.  How does one take a picture of love?

Speaking about love, the Apostle Paul said that in this world “we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;” but in heaven, “we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”  (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV1984).  In this world of sin, we can dream and imagine what true love will really be like: to experience the feeling of it, to give it to others, to be face to face, completely open, accepting, and unashamed.

On earth we see true love only as a poor reflection as in a photograph, but when Christ returns, we will experience the myriad sensations of true love with almighty God face to face forever.  (1 Corinthians 13:8).  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (Romans 2:9, NIV1984).

All this is a free gift purchased and won for us by Christ on the cross.  This gift is as free as life itself.  He is Life itself.  God’s blessings to you.


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