On Capturing the Sacred Beauty of Nature

Sometimes we have to let things be. We have to let the sacredness of the moment pass us by without having to document it as it happens. To be more specific, I am talking about capturing in photographs the sacred beauty of nature as you see it in the here and now.

I know, I know what you are going to say.

Perhaps for photography buffs like me — you’d disagree with my above statement because you believe each moment is fleeting and there’s nothing like capturing it in a photograph to help you remember it. True.

But hear me out. I’m also much like you who almost never let a beautiful scene of nature pass by without me clicking on my phone’s camera button.

Yet — my AHA moment regarding the importance of a silent appreciation of Nature’s wonder came to me recently as I was about to do that. As usual, I’ve been watchful of the sky especially in the early mornings, midday, and towards late afternoon until sunset.

As soon as I saw the stunning colors of twilight in the skies, I rushed to get my phone only to pause and ponder: wouldn’t it be better to appreciate this ephemeral moment, this beautiful scene just in the silence of my heart as my deep tribute to the Great Artist Himself, my Creator God?

Sometimes we need to break away from our tendency to just click away anytime at something that catches our interest. Just like what most of us are doing at the start of a great — or even a simple — meal. Be at home or dining out, people tend to photograph every morsel of food before partaking of it.  Some even forget to offer a blessing or prayer of thanks for the grace of food; they are busy shooting the laid-out meal, dish by dish, to post the photos later on their Instagram, Facebook and other social media profiles. (More on this later in another post).

Photography’s vaunted capture of a moment in time is the seizure and freezing of presence. — Rosalind E. Krauss

Indeed –yet,  photography need not be too trite that it cannot allow us to step back and gaze in Awe and Silence at the wonder of Nature before us.

Photographing. Every. Scene. of Nature you see  is like stealing a kiss or plucking a flower from its stem. Or more bluntly, it is a sacrilege like photographing every moment in the Mass.

Not every wonderful scene needs to be Instagrammable. God’s wonderful work of Nature cannot just be confined to mere photographs, but should be enshrined in our memories and in our hearts.

He doesn’t take a photo or a video because he wants to remember – by which he means he wants to misremember because the moment is made up of what the camera can’t capture. —Jeanette Winterson

How about you, my dear reader, what’s your take on this? Do you think every scene of nature should be photographed? When is it okay or not to do this?




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