How do you stop the distractions? Reach out for what lies ahead. Words from TobyMac. Design by me
My latest showreel is now online, showcasing all of my Motion Graphics work recently.
If you’re into that kind of thing, a ‘like’ and a share would be appreciated!
Also, viewing in HD is pretty important for sound quality!
Write up and review here: http://www.christian.co.uk/events/a-very-loud-night-in-with-rend–redman-p11390
Please contact me at email@example.com before using these photos for promotion and/or commercial use. As always, all photos copyright Josh Hailes.
Been thinking a bit about glory and beauty recently, mostly because I’m trying to think up ideas to submit to an open exhibition titled ‘glory.’ Well, that and I’ve recently been spending a lot of time in the company of beauty:
(Disclaimer: This is mostly written to Christians, though maybe everyone will be able to relate to this at some level. They say write what you know, and the Church is a pretty huge part of my life!)
What is it about beauty that we find so hard to grasp and keep? Here’s how I see it, most of the world is looking for the one. Not just romantically, but in practically every area of life. Best grade, gadget, girl. I think everyone knows this as well, I think we inherently know that to idolise one person above everyone else isn’t a great idea – they won’t be the best forever, we’ll move on to something else after a while. Lasting beauty and glory isn’t really found in one place.
What if beauty and glory was found in the many?
If you find yourself at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with your face against the dust, you aren’t able to see much around you. Maybe some rocks or a crawling bug, but nothing impressive. Picking up a single rock and saying it’s beautiful is hard. It’s just a rock. You are left unimpressed at the foot of nature. You could take each rock in turn, look at it in your hands, looking for a shed of glory within its harsh frame. You could then wrongly conclude that the grand canyon is nothing more than a collection of unimpressive pebbles and dust.
But if you hike to the top, and see the rocks combined, the sky blending with it, it’s hard to not be in awe of it, at its magnificence and glory. I mean, look:
What would happen if we stopped chasing the details of creation? The individual people and objects that seem to control our definitions of beautiful? It’s like going from one rock to another analysing and judging their shapes and ranking them. The grand canyon isn’t beautiful because all of it’s components are beautiful. Sure, you can take elements of it like the river and say they look nice on their own, shimmering water has some merit to itself, but it all pales in comparison to the combination of them. The canyon is beautiful because of how it’s put together.
What would happen if we took a leap backwards and admired the big picture more often? Maybe the problems of the details would be less significant. Maybe we’d stop worrying about how the one stone on the floor of the canyon doesn’t quite fit into the definition of a ‘real’ stone.
Here’s what I’m getting at: God created one. In whatever way it happened (divine word, evolution, ‘other’) we can all agree that things started somewhere . I think the real beauty in creation is what happened after Genesis 1. I wonder what would happen if we stopped analysing the specifics of how things were made and started to appreciate the beauty that comes from looking at the whole of creation. We so rarely in our western culture take a step back to appreciate the big picture of life, of the galaxies, of the forests. We’re too busy in the details, sitting in our jobs making sure we’re pleasing the right people.
I look at the Bible and see how God set things in motion. One of the things I’ve learnt from studying motion is that it requires time to move. Time to get from one place to another. I think God created a moving universe. Like a single seed that gets planted, variation comes from the same seed. Not every cedar tree in the world is the same, yet the same seed produces each one. Surely there is more beauty in admiring a forest than the single seed? More beauty in admiring a canyon than a rock?
I think a lot of what western culture has done to the more ‘modern’ Churches has been to separate us. I mean this on a bigger scale than just ‘denominations.’ I think we have become so individualistic in our worship that it’s crushing. We sit in our seats sipping coffee readying ourselves to perform some worship. We sing and lift our hands, hoping the person next to us won’t hear our voice. We might even play worship music wanting the people in the church to congratulate us on our musicianship afterwards. We claim to love our neighbour, yet our motivation for doing so seems to be that we want a reputation as a good Christian.
We sacrifice little but our sunday morning brunch.
Maybe we should shift our Gospel focus a little and see that Jesus didn’t really come just to save you. He came to save his Church. Yes you are important to him, you the apple of his eye, he would have died for you had you been the only person on the planet, but God has put the church around you for a reason. You can’t do it in your own Christian bubble, you need something bigger than yourself. And that’s what makes the Church so beautiful. It’s made of broken people, of dusty men and women trying to find a comfort that they know is found in Jesus. But together, God has made something glorious and beautiful out of it.
I was asked by the good folks down at Christian.co.uk and Worship Central to take some photos at the Worship Central’s 2nd live album recording. Last year’s album made it to the top 10 in the UK Itunes charts, so it was set to be a great night!
After a lot of issues with lighting (I had to leave by camera shooting at ISO2000+ for most of the night and add about 1.8 stops of exposure in lightroom) I managed to get some nice shots out. I’ll include a few before/after editing shots if people would find it interesting to see how dark the room actually was. For some reason the stage lighting didn’t seem to be doing its job very well!
I shot and edited a couple of videos for Dutch worship leader Case Crayenord. They’re both online here: