As I set my tripod and camera in place, waiting for a “perfect” moment to capture the bears in action, I found myself watching the other photographers with great interest. They had far more experience in taking wildlife photographs than I did. While I was not sure which actions that were taking were ones that made a difference, I knew that they had more insight than I. Whatever I could learn would be helpful.
Just watching was not enough. I found myself making mental notes. I kept my questions to myself initially. In the evening as I looked at their pictures, the questions began to take on context and purpose. The pictures answered some of the questions by themselves. Others reshaped my initial questions into new ones. In the conversations that followed, I found myself looking at the scenes with new eyes. If I ever come to the wilderness with the intent of taking pictures, there are things that I will do differently.
My approach, especially in preparing for range of conditions that I might find, will be more flexible.
My preparation will be more thoughtful and intentional.
My equipment will give me greater options.
I wish others would teach me as I have been taught today. When I hear that a wisdom father “was particularly effective in public debate with the Jews as he brought out proof after convincing proof from the Scriptures that Jesus was in fact God’s Messiah.” (Acts 18.28) I rediscovered how the model set then still works. The elements in both models include the following.
Critical thinking is not an option. It is at the heart of learning.
Our gifts are different. Everyone can contribute.
An open community is stronger than when individuals stand alone.
As we gathered in the evening, I found myself learning alongside others. We laughed at our mistakes. We celebrated our accidental successes. We marveled at the gifts the wilderness gave us.
The pictures in my folders will continue to tell me more than intended. They contain gifts that you and I can find in our communities.