Golden Rays

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By Rick Moore

A friend of mine is a professional photographer. He plans to visit our area to film beautiful landscapes, and he wants me to provide him a list of the best places to go. I’ve had the privilege of recording spectacular locations from the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon to the waves of Big Sur. Yet, I have not taken full advantage to capture beautiful scenes right in my own backyard. I decided to tell my friend I will tag along with him to record movies while he takes still photos, and perhaps get a few photos of my own.

Golden Rays

Where to begin? From a sunrise on the bay to the sunset on the beach, there are so many interesting locations nearby. The birds are still chirping as they prepare to fly back north. The flowers are starting to bloom. The deer continue to come out at dusk to feed. The opportunities to capture great images this time of year are endless. From our state parks to the rare coastal dune lakes, there is a vast supply of beauty to behold. Many photographers like to take pictures during the “golden hour,” which is approximately one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset. It is during this time the sunlight provides a warmth to pictures that is hard, if not impossible to reproduce, even by the most experienced of editors.

While scouting out locations, I’m trying to find a vantage point to shoot over, around or beside other people at the beach. The goal is to get a beautiful image with only the sand, the waves, the sun, and the reflection of the sun setting. Experimenting with a different lens, I casually take a picture of the sea oats and cattails next to me. Looking at the image on the camera monitor revealed something that appeared very different from what I expected. The warmth of the sun transformed the entire environment, making a dull scene spectacular. The golden rays which transformed my image were illuminating in more than one way. I was taken back to my early childhood days and my favorite book, Fredrick the Mouse by Leo Lionni. It’s a great book for children and adults alike. As the story goes, while the other field mice stockpiled food for the winter, Frederick gathered rays from the sun which he later transformed into warm words to share with those around him.

It is amazing how warm words can transform an environment, much like the golden hour transforms images. Some phrases can be recognized immediately as warm words. Sometimes it’s just the way words are spoken. Even an expression on someone’s face can dictate the warmth of the words delivered. Much like the golden hour at sunrise, warm words are especially welcoming early in the morning when all one wants to do is roll back over in bed. And at the end of a long hard day at work, or a frustrating time at home or school, warm words, much like golden rays, can cut through the clouds and bring much needed sunshine. Proverbs 25:11 says “A word timely spoken is like apples of gold in baskets of silver.” Warm Words such as “I love you” or “I missed you today” may be the most valuable possessions you can ever give someone. Let the sun shine!

Rick Moore is the Communications Pastor of Destiny Worship Center.