It is autumn here in Texas, which means that the weather goes from hot to cool. Sometimes quickly, and other times, the warmth lingers on seemingly forever.

It is one of my favorite times of the year to get photographs of nature because the colors seem to vibrate. For example, the leaves on our Bradford Pear tree that we have in our front yard recently turned bright yellow, orange, and a deep red.

During the day I work in a call center, and in my cubicle, I have some of my photos on the walls around my desk. Yesterday as one of my colleagues walked by, she saw my display and said, “Oh, that is stunning!”

I smiled and told her where I had taken the pictures and how they were printed and she was shocked that I had taken them because they were so professional-looking.

I enjoy those types of reactions, and it motivates me to display my art to as many people as I possibly can.

My wife has told me repeatedly that I need to display my photos at Celebrate Roanoke, where the local community comes together, and vendors display their creations. I’ve been a bit reluctant to do that simply because it takes money to print my work, and there is no guarantee that it will sell. I have framed several photos that I like, and I display them in our house in different rooms, but I need a larger place to showcase what I have taken.

Anyway, back to the tree in front of our house. I was lucky enough to capture images of the changing hues while most of the leaves were still on the branches, but when the winds came this week, nearly all of them fell to the ground, covering the dirt and grass with shades of color. I couldn’t resist taking out my camera with my macro lens and snapping a few hundred photos.

The shapes and colors and shadows and highlights as the sun filtered down were absolutely stunning. I took pictures during the golden hour as the sun set, and when I was done, I couldn’t wait to download them from my camera’s SD card onto my laptop.

As I opened my photo editing software and imported the images, the colors leaped off the screen, and I was taken aback by the patterns that emerged. Hundred of leaves, each uniquely shaped and textured, and none of them were perfect. They each had flaws – a black spot here, a tear there, and some had wilted or frayed edges – but together they formed dozens of beautiful mosaics.

I felt a spiritual connection to God as I realized that what was before me was organized by Him, was created by Him, and was for the enjoyment of His children.

I thought of each of us and how we are like those leaves, with black spots, tears, wilted and frayed edges, and yet we are also beautiful in our own way when we unite together.

So much beauty in a world that is full of chaos and confusion. For a moment I felt at peace as I witnessed the Creation through my eyes as a simple photographer. These moments are why I love photography.

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