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Leaving auto for manual: thoughts on stepping out

Leaving auto for manual and other thoughts on stepping out

My friend Kacy has a phrase she has used a lot– leaving comfort for courage– that has always stuck with me. Isn’t that just how we are to live? Outside our comfort zone, being courageous in the face of what may come, being bold, and strong in grace and in the gospel.

from auto to manual-1

It might be a stretch to make this analogy, but bear with me here. I recently started shooting photos on manual. This month’s 10 on 10 was my first all-manual set. On Sunday, we spent a family day at the beach for my birthday (it was a gloriously lovely simple day).

from auto to manual-2

The fog rolled in thick and low, while the brightness of the sun still fought to shine through, making the lighting incredibly tricky.

from auto to manual-3

For quite a while now I’ve been shooting on A which means that I adjust the shutter speed but my trusty camera figures out the rest for me. It was a good stepping stone, but I’ve been standing there perched for far too long. (Professional photography is not my goal; I just want to learn how to use my camera better and get the most out of my photos.)

from auto to manual-4

I decided it was time to jump off that step and just start doing my best to set the camera right (armed with a couple of ebooks on photography and a skilled brother as references).

from auto to manual-5

I made a lot of mistakes and had to reset the camera with almost every shot. It was challenging and yet the photos that came out spark a lot of joy in me, knowing that I had to work at achieving the correct lighting.

from auto to manual-6

You know what holds me back and has me switching back to A or even to Auto in a dicey light situation? It’s fear. Fear that I’ll miss out on the perfect shot because I had the settings wrong.

from auto to manual-7

But the wonderful thing about digital photography is that we can take a virtually endless amount of photos (depending on media card size, of course). We just keep shooting and shooting and adjusting as we go, and checking to see if we get it right. Eventually, I think I’ll get the hang of it (or I’ll at least remember which way to dial the f/stops). It won’t be so touch-and-go, and I’ll be more confident.

from auto to manual-8

Any time we try something new, it’s this similar learning curve.

from auto to manual-9

It feels like it takes this enormous amount of boldness to step out into the unknown or into a new direction, but the truth is that when we step out where God is calling us, we’re stepping out onto the path that has already been prepared for us.

from auto to manual-10

We don’t actually have to bolster up all this faith, all this courage, all this boldness on our own. He actually provides it for us as we go. We just have to ask for it! God’s pretty great like that.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 4:14-21

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