The "Thumbs Up" photograph was taken at Ficksburg Cherry Festival 2010. I was using the Hasselblad XPan which fellow photographer Ian Van Straaten had kindly given to me! The XPan is a 35mm rangefinder panoramic film camera and the Cherry Festival was a great place for some people photography. Whilst wandering though the Amusement park it was wonderful seeing how the families were just having such a good time. There was this revolving jetplane ride and I was tickled by how the young kids were eyeballing their parents everytime they came around - seeking their approval. The XPan camera had a seriously wide angle lens on it and you compose through a external viewfinder, so you don't exactly know what your final image will look like (similar to a Leica rangefinder). This particular young boy in his jetplane was checking out his dad who was a huge black man. I moved towards his father and said something like "you are proud of your son" and took a photo as his son made eye contact with his father. The proud father just smiled broadly and didn't say a word.
|Ficksburg Cherry Festival 2010, uncropped, Hasselblad XPanll 30mm lens, Fuji Acros developed in Ilford Perceptol|
On returning home to Bethlehem that Saturday evening I developed the black and white film in my darkroom and hung it out to dry overnight. The next day I went to church and the message shared by Johan Smith was "the Father's Heart" and during the service a lady spoke of a picture she saw of somebody sitting on the Father's lap, just such a picture of intimacy. Returning from church, I cut the roll of film and scanned the negatives keenly anticipating seeing the image of the young boy. Lo and behold I saw this Big Thumb coming out of the left side of the frame! (having no idea that his thumb was included due to the nature of framing with this rangefinder camera). This was such a huge Thumbs Up and I know it was for me! It was like God the Father was saying it's OK, I know how much you enjoy photography, I love it when you look for Me and My approval - and you have My approval, I give you My thumbs Up! The photograph, the message, the Father's lap picture - so complete. Personal stuff and I was so touched by this: Can He really be so personal and interested in my life!!??!!
Today at church we sang an amazing song "No longer slaves" by Jonathan Helser and his wife Melissa from Bethel Music. We had such a strong sense of our sonship and I recalled my Thumb's Up experience from a few years ago. We are truly His sons and daughters, no longer slaves and no longer orphans.
Words to "No longer slaves" from Bethel Music
You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
From my mother's womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins
You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God
I am no longer a slave - I am a son of God.
|Hasselblad XPanll and 30mm lens|