My name is Rev. Tiago de Medeiros Chagas, and I am a Brazilian minister of a church founded in Japan. I consider the Church of Perfect Liberty a universal church.
In the end of last year, I decided to buy a camera to take some pictures of my family. I always had cameras (point-and-shoot), but I was never a big enthusiastic about taking pictures. I used to do it in big family events and so forth, but that’s it! My level of photography could be considered below beginner. For those who understand about photography, I didn’t even know the difference between a point-and-shoot camera and a DSLR!
Rev. Eugene (the head minister of the Church of Perfect Liberty in Ottawa, whom is my supervisor) studied about photography in school, so, he knows a lot about photography. One day, when I was trying to take an impossible photo with my camera, he kindly explained to me why I wouldn’t be able to do what I intended to, as well as, what I should do in order to take that photo. Maybe as a response to his kindness, I became very interested to know more about photography, understand more about words, such as ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, which by the way, I had never heard before.
Since then, I’ve been trying to learn more and more about photography.
I bought a very basic entry DSLR camera, because it was the cheapest one I could find and went online trying to learn more about photography. I was able to find several websites, blogs and channels on youtube of photographers who have been teaching people for FREE.
At first, my wife was not completely happy about it. She said that I was spending most of our free-time watching those videos, and that she wanted me do something else, but since I started taking pictures, and she could notice that, gradually, I was taking better pictures of her and our daughter, she got very happy and excited. In fact, she started to encourage me to watch more and more videos to better understand the fundamentals of photography, in order to take better pictures.
If I could say something about my own skills in photography, I would say that I am still in the level below beginner if that exists. There are so many things I need to understand about photography in order to call one of my photos an artistic expression, however, if we compare present photos with the ones I took in the past, I can say that there was a big improvement.
I am very impressed by those people who can learn by themselves about anything. I am not like that. In order to learn a little bit about anything and now especially photography, I have been asking questions to many people, watching many videos of those photographers who use their time to record photography lessons to post on youtube for anyone out in this entire world. Even though I am not a very intelligent man, thanks to assistance of many people, my questions about photography have been kindly answered, for which I am truly thankful.
In our lives, it is very difficulty to improve ourselves without others’ assistance. Maybe it is impossible to do it. We do need assistance all the time. Since the moment that we were born, we receive assistance from others like the doctors and nurses for the labour, our parents for pretty much everything, our teachers for education. When we grow up, even though we are completely healthy and we can work, if there is no job for us, we will be very difficult to survive. Also, one can be self-employed as a photographer for example, if there is no store open to buy a camera, it will be impossible for anyone to do their job.
If one is a very skilled chef, probably it will be easy to find a job in one restaurant, but if all the stores close down and there is no ingredients, despite of great skills, there won’t be anything to be done to express one’s self. Therefore, the great results one produces are deeply related to the great effort of many other people. We should never forget that. So, now it comes the one question. What can we do to honour those people who helped us so much?
For the Church of Perfect Liberty, appreciation has the meaning of expressing your gratitude for others, but also, do something in return. Transform your feeling of appreciation into action. And how can we do that? For those you have contact with, you can return a favour with something else, but for those who you don’t have contact anymore, like the physician who performed your labour, the nurses, teachers from kindergarten, or even your parents who did so much for you, that there is nothing you can do that can pay this ‘debt’ you have with them.
As human beings, we can put wholehearted effort into whatever we do, in order to honour those people and try make them feel proud of us. Based on our actions, they can feel that it was worth all their effort to help us.
Thank you very much,
Rev. Tiago de Medeiros Chagas (all photographs in this post by Rev.T)