Brown Sunset in Cadiz Isabella Martinez small

So much of what we see today is edited. Tumblr, Instagram, and even Snapchat contain photos that have been tweaked and manipulated until they look “just so.” Editing tools erase our blemishes on senior portraits, make a sunset just a bit brighter, our smiles whiter, and the shadows that define a building darker. But then we aren’t seeing anything real. Although I enjoyed that touch-up on my senior portrait, editing a sunset or the ocean waves takes away the breathtaking beauty that made it awe-inspiring in the first place. When we employ a filter or a photo-editing app, we take it upon ourselves to change something that God made “good” the moment He created it. Every freckle on our faces or that tree with the weird bend that seemingly ruins an entire photo is part of God’s marvelous creation. And when we take photos in order to preserve the memory for ourselves, when we post it online to show others what we’ve been doing and where we’ve been… doesn’t editing take away that spark of majesty that made us snap the photo in the first place?

This summer, I traveled the Western European coast on a 2-masted brigantine called the Corwith Cramer. I have never seen such a beautiful sunset nor a night sky so full of stars. I felt alone in the world while simultaneously feeling God’s presence in the sway of the waves and the glare of the setting sun. Here are some of the things I saw.



Isabella Martinez is a junior concentrating in biomedical engineering.

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