Photo Reflections


I’ve had the great blessing of being able to travel for pleasure. Some of my best memories are from those trips where I have had not only time to sightsee but time to reflect on what it is I’m seeing and photographing. In most cases, however, especially when traveling within a group, I am not aiming my camera at what the majority of my travel mates are trying to capture for posting on their facebook pages or online photo albums, and I’ve been known to hoof it off on my own, even in places where I don’t speak the language in order to capture images which speak to my soul.

Last fall on a trip throughout the German states of Bradenburg, Saxony and Bavaria, I had time—precious little time—in Switzerland too, where I became terribly ill. I forfeited a day in bed, sleeping like the dead, but I refused to miss a second day. My motto became “Never Say Die” as I wearily trekked the streets in search of medicine…and photos.

Gabled Window-Lucerne

A common photo subject for me when I travel is architecture, especially doorways and windows. I can’t really explain why when the people around me are snapping those pristine postcard photos to share with family and friends, I am tucked under eaves and awnings looking for something entirely different—the slant of shadow, the dapple of sunshine, the curve of a doorknob that’s been turned a thousand times in the comings and goings of people throughout the generations, or the apartment window that offers a glimpse into the lives of its current occupants just as it has for its previous ones over decades or centuries. Taking a photo is my way of filling in the blanks.


It might be, for me, that the thought of all those who have come and gone before through those doorways gives me pause in the inertia of sightseeing—it brings into focus the reality that our lives on this earth are transient, that our movements through this world are finite. That one day our own doorways and windows will be “home” to someone other than us.

Old Eaves-Lucerne

In the symmetry of a pair of age-old shutters or the peeling paint of a door’s trim, I find an affinity. I, too, am a bit more worse for wear than I was 20 years ago. My facade includes its own cracks and crevices that have come to the surface in my comings and goings. But there’s a sense of comfort for me in this too. As I peek around corners of gated patios or consider the lace of a delicate curtain there’s a sense of something bigger hidden inside those spaces that I cannot see, things I will never see in this world and so am left to imagine, just as we are about heaven and the life after this one where, I’m sure, we’ll receive something of a renovation of our interiors and exteriors.


Do the precious things people place on their windowsills for the outside world to see show something of themselves?

Candle flicker-Lucerne

Does the candle flickering behind the glass indicate our longing to shine our light outward to others?

If not, maybe it should. That’s why I take those pictures, as a way of reminding myself that there is only so much time that I have to reflect something good out to the world.


Q: Post a photo of what’s good in your world to share with other readers.


2 thoughts on “Photo Reflections

  1. Martha L Shaw says:

    Oh, I love this post! I love the pictures and I love how your soul appreciates these things because mine does too!!!! I have photographs of what some would call angry storm clouds, but to me they were a picture of the face of God Himself! I can get excited at the sparkles I see if I look really closely at a puddle in the pouring rain! Even with the naked, you can see sparkles of the light in the moving water was it reflects the sun. The sun is always there, you know. Oh, it’s dark and cloudy when it’s raining, but if you look closely you can find bright spots! The sun is there, just a bit further beyond the clouds. Makes me know that the Lord is also always there. I can focus on the clouds in my life, but if I look for the light – I find Him.

    Thanks for this post!


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