Showing posts with label photography fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photography fun. Show all posts

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Great FRIENDS and PHOTOGRAPHY... a win-win weekend for the Chungs!

Due to some unexpected opportunities to experience the stomach bug over Christmas, SM and I didn’t get to go to Texas to visit some dear friends of mine as we had planned. Thankfully tickets are much cheaper in January, and MLK day gave us an extra day to spend with them! So we hopped on a plane last Saturday and headed to (slightly) warmer weather, sunshine, and lots of smiles!

This family “adopted” me over furlough and gave me a “home away from home” when I needed it on those long months of masters classes, Partnership Development, and seemingly closed doors. I got to watch their girls when their youngest was born, and take pictures in the hospital. They welcomed me into their lives, and stepped past any unforeseen barriers into mine in a way I very much needed. They celebrated the joys and mourned the hardships that came along the way. They celebrated my last masters class (of the semester) being finished and walked around – and around – the neighborhood with me as I processed my desires to teach missionary kids, to connect kids in America with those around the world, and to be married someday.

When I finally made it back to Tanzania, and they realized I no longer had access to an English-speaking church, they started worshipping with me over Skype most Sundays (after church for them, Sunday evenings for me) and praying over me over the miles. I could say, “things are going alright,” and they would say, “So by ‘alright’ you mean that you're not sick at the moment, but half the parents are... that the students are driving you a bit nuts as you come up on Christmas... that you're wishing for some cool rain to make it feel like the holidays... that things are hard but you are making it through?" Yep, pretty much. They read between the lines and got it.
Screenshot of Skype Worship...
SM got to meet them before they moved down to Texas last year, and Joy was in our wedding. But it was high time for SM to actually get to KNOW this family that I adored so much (and talked about even more). Besides, who doesn’t want to take a trip to Texas in the middle of sub-freezing January temperatures in Michigan?

So off we went. We got to spend time with their four girls and I got to remember again just how amazing SM is with kids. He played games with them non-stop! We also went hiking/bouldering one day and saw some of the beautiful countryside in a local state park. And I enjoyed not only being “Aunt Crystal” once again with girls that love me, and a sister to a couple who exemplify Christ beyond their knowledge to all those around them… but also loved spending time taking pictures of the adorable cuteness of their kids as long as they would let me (which, by the way, was a LOT!). Here are just a couple of the pictures I captured along our trip.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Photo Challenge

There was that moment. When my camera had gotten stolen for the second time, and I realized that thanks to Wycliffe’s great insurance, I could get a much better camera half-paid for (instead of replacing the old, smaller though good point and shoot). I did research, picked out a camera, and then realized that (one of) my good photographer friends in Musoma had the same camera. I ordered it, had it carried over by friends who were coming back from Christmas in America, and started shooting.

One of the first photos I got to take with my new camera, untouched.
Thanks, little monkey, for coming and posing as we left the restaurant after lunch!
I was pretty excited with the detail in the shot.

And suddenly, I realized that all the things I had wanted to do with my camera before, and couldn’t, wasn’t perhaps because of my lack of ability, but potentially because of my lack of adequate equipment. Apparently the things I wanted to do with pictures, the ways I wanted to capture the world around me – were possible. I was shocked, delighted, and so excited.*

My friend with the same camera and I set to work trying to figure out the technical aspects of our camera, without a lot of luck. We took some amazing photos, which I loved, and the auto-setting served me/ us well. But I still wanted to learn more.

Fast forward about two years. I’m in the States now; previously mentioned friends are still in Tanzania. Another photographer friend submitted the idea of a 30 Day Photography Challenge Project he’d found online, and I was hooked. Finally I had a good reason, excuse even, to pull out my camera every day, go outside, shoot, look up information, and play until I figured some of the technical details out.

In 3 days I’ve learned more than I ever have about the technical details of photography. I still have a TON to learn and a LONG ways to go. But I’m excited. I’m glad to have more tools, more “informational equipment” in my bag that I can pull out and use to capture the shots and images I yearn to share with others. And I’m thankful for the chance to be stretched, challenged, and grown in new ways through this time.

So with that, instead of sharing 30 separate posts with pictures, I thought I’d share a weekly synopsis of the pictures I took and what I learned. If you don’t care about the details, just check in for the shots. Or better yet, go to #nov30dpc on Facebook to check out all the shots my super-amazing friends (and some of their awesome kids/my previous students) and I have taken. We have a long ways to go, and I’m hoping I don’t get too stuck along the way. But I figure as long as I'm learning something, I'm on the right track! :)

*Not saying that camera equipment is the end-all of good picture taking. Just that I was thankful for more challenges and for opportunities to play with settings/get clearer pictures!