Overedited

During this quarantine season, many people are learning new skills. For me, this means Photoshop (among other things). I have my days when learning this complex new way to doing things seems overwhelming. I get frustrated with how long it takes me to do things I used to do much faster with simpler editing tools. But Photoshop and the other programs in the Adobe Creative family allow me to do so much more, so learning it is a worthwhile endeavor.

Last night my son and I sat down, and he walked me through using Lightroom to correct old photos. We took a scan of a damaged picture from the history museum where I work, and made some improvements to it. I’m not real nuanced yet, but the results were still pretty good.

At one point Jacob asked me why a history museum would want to correct old photos. This is a good question. As a museum, we’re dedicated to collecting and preserving the past, not repackaging it. An edited photo is no longer an artifact of the past. Jacob likened it to taking a recording of a classic singer and running it through auto-tune – it might be “perfected” but is it still the same voice? And at what point does it get so distorted that it no longer resembles the original?

This got me thinking about the modern world we live in and how hard we work to filter our reality and put out a perfected image of ourselves. At what point are we no longer authentic? When do we become so “perfected” that we lose our appeal to others?

We were not made to be perfect. We were not made to have it all together. We’re not even meant to be “enough.” We were made to live our lives in total reliance on God. Be like the Velveteen Rabbit – when he became worn from love, that’s when he became real. Don’t let yourself get so overedited that you’re unrecognizable and unrelatable. Be authentically you, striving to be the best AND most real version of yourself. Lean into God, and trust that He has made you who you are because you have something of value to offer the world.

Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Be you – Do good

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