My New Photography Book

March 12th, 2015 / No Comments

I’m excited to announce that my nature photography book, Through Both Creations Shine, is now available! This is a project many have pushed me to pursue, and it’s gratifying to see it come to fruition. I’m really happy with the result.

A book of nature photographs from Idaho and surrounding states.

A book of nature photographs from Idaho and surrounding states.

The title of my book, Through Both Creations Shine, will puzzle most who encounter it. The photos are of the natural world, especially landscapes, skies, plants, and animals. For this reason, the title’s reference to creation will not be what many find puzzling.

But “both” creations?

My book title comes from a hymn written by 18th century theologian and songwriter, Charles Wesley. Here are the opening lyrics of this hymn about creation:

Author of every work divine / Who dost through both Creations shine
The God of nature and of grace.
Thy glorious steps in all we see / And wisdom attribute to Thee
And power and majesty and praise.

The natural universe is one “creation” in this hymn. Wesley acknowledges in praise the work of God evident in the created order. If we have eyes to see, we can perceive the gloriously graced “steps” of our Creator. The title, “Through Both Creations Shine” refers in part to my photographs of the natural world.

The other hymn reference is to the new creation God also makes possible. Wesley has in mind a phrase from the Apostle Paul about humans becoming “new creatures” (2 Cor. 5:17). The old is gone, because God transforms us into new creations.

The reference to new creation reminds me that photographs are not bare representations of the external world “out there.” Photography is also, as photographer Galen Rowell puts it, an “inner game.” Photographs represent what is “in” the photographer’s vision.

The photographs in this book portray a particular vision, perspective, or view. They describe in part how I see creation. Because photographs offer the photographer’s perspective, I like to say I “make” photos rather than “take” them.

As a “new creation” in Christ, my particular perspective on creation has been partly shaped by my vocation as a Christian theologian. In other words, the ongoing process of God creating me anew influences how I make photos of nature.

I’m deeply grateful to this book’s designer, Paul Kinsman. He had several novel ideas that made the book so much better than had I tried to design it myself. His perspective influences the layout and design of this book.IMG_8090_1_2-3a

Scattered throughout the book are my original quotes related to God and nature. Some appeared previously in books I published over the years. Others I formulated in the summer of 2012 as I hiked 1,000+ miles from Nevada to Canada through the wilderness of Idaho. Still others are new. I offer these quotes to prompt sacred reflection.

Finally, I chose the title, “Through Both Creations Shine,” because the word “shine” rightly suggests that photography has so much to do with light. It was Paul Kinsman’s idea to shape the book into sections related to sunrises and sunsets. The Psalm I chose to frame it all depicts God’s creative presence throughout:

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord be praised” (Ps. 113:3).

If you’d like a copy, you can click here to get a printed copy through Amazon.  Unfortunately, the print version is really expensive. The ebook version is much cheaper. You can get that by clicking here for an ITunes version or here for a Blurb version.

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