Monday morning devotional for photographers

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/1250

There are many reasons in sports they tell you to keep your eye on the ball. However, all of them have something in common. There are many distractions in the game.

Studies on golfers showed that those who kept their eye on the ball sank more putts than those who didn’t.

They discovered that when you look at the ball, then the target, and back to the ball, the brain desperately tries to process all that information, which can yield unwanted results. So by glancing at the target first, then focusing on the ball, you narrow the mental chatter and get a more accurate shot.

The technique where before you act, you focus your gaze on the salient aspects of your goal—the rim, the catcher’s mitt, the malignant tissue, and so on is called “Quiet Eye.”

The quiet-eye technique stimulates the dorsal area of the brain, which regulates focused, goal-directed attention. It may also suppress activity in the ventral region, which oversees stimulus-driven engagement—the kind that keeps track of a scattered, fluid set of variables.

Not So Easy

According to researchers, the focusing times are as short as a fifth of a second between beginner and expert.

Nikon D4, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2500, ƒ/6.3, 1/5000

The moral to the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” is that children must obey their parents and that they must never talk to strangers. Even an amiable stranger is capable of having bad intentions.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, Sigma TC-2001 2x, ISO 10000, ƒ/5.6, 1/400

Red Riding Hood is distracted by the Wolf, and we know what happens to her grandmother because of her not listening to her mother and not talking to strangers.

What is my ball?

I continually ask myself what the ball I should concentrate on today is. What is the target that I should be focusing my attention on now?

I go to scripture to help me discover the ball for today.

Timothy, you belong to God, so keep away from all these evil things. Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. Fight a good fight for the faith and claim eternal life. God offered it to you when you clearly told about your faith, while so many people listened. – 1 Timothy 6:11-12

We must do the right thing by being faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. Those words are verbs implying action.

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” ― Martin Luther

Martin Luther was incredibly, overwhelmingly busy. His calendar was always full. And yet, despite his incredible workload, he found praying necessary. He had to meet with God before meeting with the day’s cares. He would not dive into his day without first being refreshed by the Lord. He knew he couldn’t serve the Lord well without first asking God for help.

I do not know what your ball is for today. I know that you will be more likely to find it through prayer. Taking the time to stop and spend time being still will let your mind calm itself. You will be able to concentrate and have that “Quiet Eye” moment where you can eliminate all those distractions keeping you from seeing the ball.