by Adam Pannell
I have always enjoyed spending time in nature for as long as I can remember. I love wildlife and am often left in awe with what I see. Photography has also been a hobby of mine for a long time and I enjoy the visual memories it allows you to create and share with others.
In the last couple of years I have been spending time exploring how I can use photography as part of my faith journey. Photography has enabled me to slow down and enjoy the present moment, to pause and spend time with God. It allows me to see the details of what God has woven into His creation and the vibrancy of colour around me. Photography enables me to create intentional time where I can give thanks to God for what I can see and make space to enjoy the beauty of God through His creation and the beauty of God in detail in our everyday lives. Photography is a gift that enables me to share what I have seen with others.
Nature photography has been a good lesson in patience as you can spend a lot of time before you see something that takes your interest or may you not see anything at all. Animals and birds do not pose for photos, and I’m still learning how to anticipate their moves and just go for it (a pet or friend’s pet can be a good subject to practice on more regularly). Leaves and branches can get in the way of the subject, the lighting may not be quite right, but I have learnt that photos do not need to be perfect and the best thing is you only take away memories and nothing physical from nature.
If you are interested in photography yourself, you don’t need expensive equipment for good photos or need to be an expert. Most phones have excellent built-in cameras and can take great photos of plants, mid-large sized animals and birds. If you want to be able to get photos of wildlife at a distance then a compact camera or zoom camera with a built-in lens is a good place to start. I use a Canon Powershot SX70HS which is great for zooming longer distances.
Experiment with the style of photo you take. You don’t need to include everything you see in the photo. Focus on what you would like to get the attention of other people. If you want to develop your technical skills there are some great courses available online.
This ‘meet the community’ article was written by Adam Pannell for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and love’. Adam is part of the leadership team at ARocha UK’s Partner in Action, Ashburnham Place in East Sussex. Adam shares his photos on Instagram @adam_in_sussex.
All images by: Adam Purnell