Picture This

May 17, 2007

Today our yearbook was distributed to those who wanted to pay five bucks to get it early. My fellow staffers and I put a lot of work into this thing; to see it finished and in ours hands is very, very exciting. As copy editor I had the task of writing the opening copy – stating the theme and purpose of the book, as well as whatever other stuff I could come up with. =) As I read it now I see places where I would’ve changed this or that, but as is typical with my reading of my finished work, I am usually unsatisfied. So here I reproduce for you the opening to the 2006-2007 yearbook, Picture This.

Picture THIS

The world was a rapidly changing place at the turn of the 20th century. Optimism motivated experimentation and exploration. Technological marvels like the airplane and the automobile would soon astonish and delight the masses. It was during this time that George Eastman made his cameras household names. No longer was photography something for the wealthy and skilled; anyone could now snap a picture, take it to be developed, and keep the memory forever.

Cameras have evolved since the days of George Eastman. Cheap and disposable cameras provide instant gratification with little work, and, for those who desire more detail, sophisticated cameras allow for more control of the photo being produced. Because of these innovations, photographs are more prevalent than ever in our lives; pictures line our wallets, hang on our walls, and decorate our workspaces.

But why do we take so many pictures, and why is photography such a large part of our lives? Why do we find that any important event, whether it be a baby’s entrance into this world, a bridal shower, or a birthday party, is incomplete without a camera nearby, ready to capture that one pivotal moment: the baby’s first cry, the bride’s expression as she opens her gifts, and the boy’s smile as he blows out the candles on the cake.

The answer

Part of the answer lies in the photograph’s ability to capture a moment, to retain what would otherwise be forever lost. Memories, like flowers, untimely fade, but pictures keep the important times of our lives always present, unlocking what our minds unwillingly forget because of the mind’s frailty.

Capturing the essence of the moment, however, is not the only thing that fascinates people with photography. It is photography’s ability to allow a person to capture the moment the way he saw it that continually draws people to pictures. With each picture the photographer conveys the story of what happened through his eyes, telling all who see the finished product, “Picture this. My way.”

Picture the first day of school. Students, frantically confused about how to open their lockers, lose concentration as they hear the blaring car horns of the senior class. Passing through with great excitement, the seniors commemorate their last “first day of school” in an unforgettable way.

Or picture that one hushed moment of anticipation at the Christmas band and choir concert. The audience, eagerly awaiting any sound to interrupt the silence, sits excitedly. Suddenly a quient chord escapes the mouths of the vocalists, or a trumpet majestically exudes a fanfare to quiet the silence and to enthrall the audience. Past times of practice culminate in a memorable performance.

Picture the clock ticking and the basketball players shuffling anxiously up and down the court, playing tough for a well deserved win. The buzzer sounds, but the ball has already left the players’s hands. Knocking against the backboard and directly into the basket, the ball signals the crowd’s ferocious, roaring response.

Perhaps you can picture the constant scratching of pencils on numerous sheets of papers, transforming lead marks into vivid essays from AP students. These students’ prevailing thoughts become trophies of hard work.

Maybe you can picture yourself years from now, picking up this yearbook and looking at pictures of teachers and friends, experiencing the pang of bitterness and the warm sweetness that these personal touches and pictorial treasures bring to the heart.

Picture all these things, and picture the essence of the moment how we saw it, how we experienced it.

Picture this.

Look Deeper Still

But perhaps an even deeper answer to why we love to take pictures exists. The Scriptures’ poetic description of the creation of the cosmos culminates in the creation of Man, the only part of creation endowed with God’s very own image. This image giving demonstrates a great truth: human beings are pictures of God.

Humanity, full of life and creativity and beauty, could have reflected God’s image in a multitude of ways. Man, however, fell from grace and marred himself, destroyed the picture God took of Himself.

To remedy this situation, God sent his Son, the “image of the invisible God.” Jesus Christ was, and is, the perfect picture of God: reflecting God where humanity had failed and revealing the very heart of God on the cross. Because of His love, God deemed these distorted pictures to be worth much more than a thousand words – we were worth the death of His very Son. Now those who have come into the community of faith in His resurrection are having their lives, their pictures, restored through the power of the Spirit. At the coming of Christ the Spirit will finish His restoring work, adding brilliant color to those pictures that faded long ago and giving them what eye has not seen and what ear has not heard. Now picture that.

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3 Responses to “Picture This”

  1. erika Says:

    Good job with the yearbook! it looks amazing and your opening was great! =D

  2. Byron Says:

    Nice opening. I thought your final paragraph hit a good tone and got across a lot in a few lines.

  3. Liz Says:

    Rob, this is great, I really liked it!! Good job, I really liked how you tied it alll together so nicely and interestingly. (I’d give this a 9 on the AP scale šŸ™‚


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