by Brad Herndon
Our business office is in our garage and one night after working hard until 10:30 p.m. I walked the short distance to our house. As I started to open the back door I happened to notice a gray tree frog on the glass. As tired as I was, I turned around, opened the office door, and got my tripod and photography equipment out. I had to put on my 105mm macro (close-up) lens, but I was able to capture the shot before the gray tree frog moved to a different location.
I could just have easily looked at the frog and continued on into the house for a good night’s rest. Capturing good photographic images, like so many things in life, depends quite a bit on a person’s attitude. We all know people who have absolutely nothing wrong with them and are financially blessed, yet when talking to them it seems all they do is complain. Other folks we meet, meanwhile, may have some severe handicaps, yet they are upbeat and optimistic and a joy to be around.
To be a successful photographer, an upbeat, optimistic, positive attitude is certainly one of the first requirements. As Carol and I do our Creative Seminars in churches, I have the opportunity to listen in on many conversations. I hear people tell about it being too hot to take pictures, and it being too cold to take pictures. Others may say it’s too dry, too wet, too sunny, or too cloudy. Still others remark they don’t live in a pretty area, and they don’t have a good camera. Oftentimes I hear they don’t have the right lens, and many of them relate how they don’t have time to take pictures like other people do. The truth is, none of these excuses are valid reasons for not getting excellent pictures. Their main problem is their attitude, and this prevents them from getting outside and capturing outstanding images that are waiting for them. Don’t let this happen to you.
I love the epitaph on the accompanying tombstone picture. It says:
EDITH BERNICE COURTNEY
Feb. 10, 1925-Dec. 30, 1981
"I Told You I Was Sick"
Now there was a lady who had a great attitude in life. She is still making people laugh even though she left this earth almost 30 years ago. I try to live in a similar manner.
For example, on the frog picture I put the words "Attitude Is Everything! When life gets tough, hang on"! On the picture of our granddaughter Hannah batting, I noticed the big smile on the ball (this picture has not been doctored) and put the words "Attitude Is Everything! Smile! Even when you’re about to get hit." Folks love to see these pictures in our seminars, for it gives them a good chuckle, and more importantly I hope it inspires them to have a good attitude each and every day of their life.
By the way, I want to acknowledge that many people have encouraged and inspired me along life’s way. The owners of a little country restaurant in western Illinois are a good example. This restaurant has home cooked food, Amish baked goods, fishing supplies, ham, and jams, among other things. The top line of their sign, though, says "EAT HERE GET WORMS". In the midst of this extreme recession many country restaurants are closing down, but not this one. I’m convinced the owners’ great attitudes are one reason they are still going strong.
In Philippians 4:4 in the Bible it says, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice".
I love this scripture, and even when I’m not feeling so good in the morning, this is what I feel God is saying to me: “Rejoice in the Lord always, Brad. It really is a good day. And in case you didn’t catch it the first time, I’m going to tell you once more…. again I say rejoice! Thanks for paying attention.”
Equally inspiring for me is the scripture found in Psalm 118:24. This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I enjoy telling people that all days are good; some are just better than others.
When Carol and I made our vacation plans for the fall of 2010 we planned to go to the Four Corners area out west. When we started out in October, however, I soon became ill. One day I felt decent, then the next day I felt like death warmed over. Carol wasn’t doing any better since she was recovering from a potassium deficiency that caused her to feel dizzy.
Regardless, we kept on photographing, eating in Redneck restaurants, and talking to the endless number of fascinating characters who live within the Midwest. We didn’t end up making it any farther than Kansas, but we both agreed we had a fantastic time, despite the adversities we had encountered.
I have attached only three of the hundreds of interesting pictures we took on this trip, and there is no way you can tell by looking at the pictures whether we felt good, or bad, when we tripped the shutter on each image. I remember feeling decent when I took the picture of the cowboys and cattle sign in Kansas, but that wasn’t the case on the other two pictures.
Although workers had replaced the rough exterior siding, the pretty white exterior siding was only partially replaced. In other words, the bridge looked ugly. Not ones to give up, we concentrated on photographing the inside of the covered bridge and got some cool shots.
On this particular morning I was feeling pretty bad, but rather than stay in the motel room and rest, we were up well before daybreak in order to photograph these extraordinary paintings in the soft light of a new day. Carol and I were both glad we made the effort.
Although it’s not always easy, I encourage you to make the extra effort to pick up your camera and go out into God’s wonderful Creation and capture some interesting images. Like us, you’ll be glad you did.