"And God Saw That It Was Good": The Beauty of God's Creation Through Light

Before photography, I didn’t really understand what “beauty of creation” meant. If I were to be frank, it was irrelevant to me. I simply took beauty and creation for granted on every level. I walked around oblivious of my surroundings and let my thoughts consume myself. 

But since picking up a camera, less than a year ago, my perspective has changed completely. As an aspiring photographer, my appreciation for the creation process has sparked a curiosity that I never had before. Now, you can catch my eyes wandering everywhere as if I’m lost and looking for something. It’s crazy how much one’s perspective can change in such a short period of time. Creating stories with my pictures is now my main drive and passion in life. These pictures below are just a fraction of the places I’ve explored just in this recent year; places I would never have gone to otherwise.  

I’ve come to realize that in photography, light is everything! (I mean after all, the it derives from the Greek word, “photos”, which means “light”). It is funny to me that I have NEVER been a morning person (still NOT a morning person), but waking up for sunrises is a normal occurrence these days. Typically photography professionals say that the early morning and when the sun sets are the “golden hours” to capture photos. That golden light combined with just the right amount of clouds can make for an amazing image, and I’m constantly looking for different ways to utilize light and shadows on a person, place, or thing. I love how the contrast between light and dark shadows (chiaroscuro) can create a moody and impactful image.

 

To reflect theologically, I am reminded of Bonhoeffer who talks about light in relation to creation in his references to Genesis 1:3-4:

“3Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 
4God saw that the light was good.”

Bonhoeffer states that it is because of light that we are able to distinguish one thing from another. If we did not have light, we would not exist for that matter. 

In this light, form becomes aware of existing over against something else and so becomes aware of its own existence; and it gives all thanks for this to the Creator. The light dispenses to the created form the limpid, clear, and carefree nature of its own being in existing over against the other created form and over against the Creator. That is the work of the first word of the Creator. In the created light, the creation sees the Creator’s Light.
-Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall


I think it goes back to that chiaroscuro, where the interplay between harsh lighting and dark tones create something beautiful. And in addition, it goes back to what Eddie shared in his post last week “Order from Chaos”: without form and order, there was complete darkness; but within the light brings praise to the Creator for now we exist. 

This newfound love for creating through photography also heavily impacts the rest of my life. My faith is stronger because I’m simply in awe by the beauty of God’s creation. This includes the infinitely vast universe that surrounds us, and the specks of dust that we call the human race. To think about the process that goes into creating an animal, human being, planet, galaxy or universe, it is simply unfathomable, but humbling at the same time. On a human level, the beauty of creation is a precious blessing thatsparks a passion for learning—a rather unfamiliar occurrence in my life. On a cosmic level, the beauty of creation is a humbling and awesome blessing that brings a new sense of gratitude and appreciation for my Creator.