By Brad Herndon
Pete and Repeat were sitting on a wall. Pete Fell off. Who was left?
The answer to this question is, of course, Repeat.
Pete and Repeat were sitting on a wall. Pete fell off. Who was left?
Almost all of us know this little ditty. Kids love it, but it doesn’t take adults long to tire of this simple game because it is so repetitive.
As parents, many of us have had children who became obsessed with the “Why?” statement and they can literally drive a mother or father crazy with this saying. I once had a cousin who was hooked on Why? and after spending a few hours with him my brother Billy said, “Douglas, if you say that one more time I’m going to beat you to a pulp!” Douglas’ response was, of course, “Why, Billy?”
And, unfortunately, many of us have had, or still have, repetitive manufacturing jobs where we have to do the same thing time, after time, after time. As the old statement goes, “This is boring me to death.”
Each item I have mentioned above that deals with repetition has a negative aspect. Fortunately, repetition in photography is the exact opposite.
Look at the picture of the skunks accompanying this article. This picture was taken many years ago right at dusk when Carol and I were riding through the countryside. I grabbed my camera, put the flash on it and jumped out of our truck. When I did the mother skunk ran into the woods and the tamer baby skunks remained behind. Shortly they lined up for me and I fired off a couple of pictures.
Despite this picture containing harsh flash light and the setting carrying no great emotional impact, I still won third place in a national photography contest with this image. The reason I won third place with this image is because it has repetition in the picture. One skunk is cute. Two or three are even cuter, and four will win you an award. Repeating the same thing in photography is desirable, and people enjoy looking at this type of picture.
Repetition Can Be Anywhere
Look at the rest of the pictures I have with this article. The corn shocks picture was taken while we were driving through Amish country in Indiana. The braided horse hair image was taken at the local county fair. The chairs and hanging flowers shot was taken at a little motel in Maine while we were vacationing there. The Lizard’s Tail flowers were captured near our home.
The silhouette of the hay rake was taken in a junky pile of farm equipment. The farm field picture was captured while driving through Iowa, and the log structures in a state park not far from our home. In one of the log structure images there are two log structures in the picture, while there are three in the other picture. Every person I have ever shown these two pictures to likes the image containing three log structures best. Why? (oops, sorry) The reason is more repetition that carries lots of emotional impact.
The possibilities of catching repetitive images on regular or digital film are unlimited. It can be a long string of birds on a wire, four computer monitors lined up on a shelf at a school class room, triplet fawns, windows, many bicycles in a rack, and so forth. Always be on the lookout for repetition while photographing. You will find folks who view these images will love them.
Below I have listed two scriptures from the Bible for you to read.
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Dueteronomy 6:6-7
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Both these scriptures talk about repeating something of immeasurable value to your children—the instructions found in God’s word. If you repeat the advice found in the Bible to your children, they will grow up knowing they are loved, not only by you, but by God himself!
And by learning about and believing God’s wonderful words, your children, and your children’s children, will be instrumental in making this world a better place in which to live. And even when they reach tough times in life and sometimes fail, as we all do, they will know there is forgiveness to be obtained through Jesus Christ, the son of God the Father.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
In closing, we all know life, at times, can be boring because of repetition. As a photographer, however, you will now see how repetition can be tremendously exciting in your images. But this will not remotely compare to repeating the word of God, because the benefits of hearing this message of truth leads to people accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And these benefits are absolutely out of this world!