I was talking with a young film photographer about movies and the process of making them. The first part of our conversation centered on his work and the approach he was taking. My curiosity had gotten the better of me as I had watched him work. Why had he suggested certain lighting? What was he trying to achieve by filming the shot from a particular angle? As our conversation continued, the questions became increasingly two-way. What was I seeing that triggered my questions? What was the name of my favorite movie?
“It is an obscure French filmed on location in Glasgow Scotland.”
“Really? What was the name?”
As I told him what I knew of the name, actors, characters, and the director, a broad smile spread across his face.
“He is a great inspiration. He is probably my favorite director. He filmed in the shadows.”
As we explored what filming in the shadows means to the person watching, I realized that the director started with a vision that everything was dark. The elements of the film were led by the contrast between the message and the darkness. Everything was told through the lens of difference. The conversation has stayed with me since. Seeing life through a lens of contrast – goodness set against the backdrop of evil, compassion compared to judgment, and positive intent instead of presumption of the negative.
In the overwhelming presence of data, information, images, and ideas, I am interested in what you believe and why, not in what doesn’t work. Give me the contrast when the message stands front and center. Let me see something in the light in contrast with the darkness.
I wonder what life would be like if I adopted it to everything that I embrace. Money versus divinity. Right versus expediency. In this thought, I find David’s description helpful. “God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds. You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red, ripe strawberries.” (Psalm 19.10)
Life is more than the negative; it is about the positive.