Saturday, October 18, 2008

Life - God's gift to each of us!

Please click here and take the time to read the interview of abortion survivor [yes, you read it correct, abortion survivor] Gianna Jenson.

Gianna's natural mother was 7+ months pregnant when she decided to burn her child alive with a saline solution. However, by God's grace and His amazing gift of life, Gianna's life was spared. Weighing 2 pounds at birth with the proclamation over her life that she would not walk, has run in marathons and is a voice against abortion.

Please read not only the interview above but the video interview on Fox.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

Buttermilk Falls-
f/5.6 1/40 second, ISO 400
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slow down...

There is an old saying; 'slow down and smell the roses'. Yes, life is very busy and there are times when we attempt to do too many 'things'. We fail to see the beauty of life all around us. I was browsing on and found this video. Please take the time to not only watch the video but the 'behind the song interview'. IMHO, it is as touching as the song. It definitely reminds me to 'slow down'.

This image was taken at Buttermilk Falls and post processing done in Lightroom 2.1.

Podcast and site suggestion

Recently, I 'stumbled' on a great site and podcast.
It is produced by two professional photographers with years of experience and plenty of great tips.  Even if you are not a professional photographer, there are plenty of tremendous tips from these two guys.  On a recent podcast they discussed the need for a check list prior to an event.  Although the check list they discussed is geared toward weddings, I suggest utilizing a check list regardless of the event you are shooting.  This includes your kids [nephew, niece, friends kids, etc] event.

Your list may vary depending on the event you are shooting or the type of camera you use.  However, I do suggest a basic check list you go over the night before the event and a double check prior to running walking out the door.

Since most of us live a 'full' life and there never appears to be enough time, a check list is invaluable. 

  1. Camera.  Yup, this should be obvious but if you use a camera bag, there is a chance you took the camera from the bag to show off to your new friend/neighbor and never put it back.
  2. Film. [Digital or regular]  If you use a digital camera, there is no need to carry around the 36 roll fill you bought in high school.  I carry with me 5 - 4 gig CF cards for my camera.  Each card will hold approximately 220 images [shot in RAW].  I would rather have more 'smaller' cards than one large card.  Keep in mind it is my preference.  There are many photographers that use one LARGE card and never remove it when shooting.  There are arguments for and against large cards.  Today's large card is tomorrow's small card.  
  3. Format all of your cards in your camera prior to leaving your house.  Yes, after you unload your cards to your machine and back-up the images format your cards in your camera.  My suggestion is not to format the cards in your computer but in your camera.  Do not 'just' delete the images from the cards.  
  4. Batteries.  If your camera uses a rechargeable [proprietary] battery, ensure it is charged the night before.  I suggest multiple batteries.  I was on a shoot last winter and the battery was on its last leg and the cold weather accelerated its demise.  Thank God I had a spare battery with me.  If your camera uses AA batteries, I suggest buying a set of rechargeable batteries.  Do not rely on the alkaline batteries you find for a few cents at the counter of Wal-Mart.  If the event is important enough for you to bring your camera then it is important enough for you to use good batteries.
  5. Batteries 2.  Do some research on the different types of rechargeable batteries.  I plan to post a review on a few new systems in the future.  
  6. Flash.  If you use an external flash, ensure it is in your bag and its batteries are charged.  
  7. Lens.  If you use a dSLR or even a compact that takes add-on lenses, ensure you put in your bag the lens you will need for the event.  Only you know the lens you will use for each event but it is important to check if you have the correct equipment the night before the event.  It is not a good thing to arrive to the event missing the lens you need.
  8. Name of the event coordinator.  I suggest contacting someone in charge long before the event to find out where you can stand and if you can use a flash if needed.  [I will post more on this in a future post.]  Never be afraid to ask for a special place to stand.  
  9. Smile.  Yes, it is important not to forget your smile.  In the hurried up world we live in, it is easy to forget our smile at home.  :-)
  10. Have fun!
Both images were taken at Buttermilk Falls near Beaver Falls, PA [Please refer to my previous post or my site for more info.]

The images were taken hand-held but leaning on a log for support.  [I suggest wearing 'old' clothes when traveling in the woods looking for places to take pictures.  You never know what you will be leaning on.  :-)]    
Till next time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall colors are here to capture!

Fall colors are everywhere!  There is no need to travel to exotic locations to capture fall colors.  [Although if you have the opportunity to travel, go for it!]  Most areas in the northern hemisphere are filled with abundant color! The first picture I took in our front yard.  The two very large trees are silver maples that tower well over 100 ft in the air.  [Since our house is only a one-story house, both these trees dwarf the house.]
The image was post processed in Lightroom 2.1 using the Nikon vivid profile and clarity set to +20.  Blacks were increased to burn in the 'shadows'.
The second image is along a ‘paper’ road that borders our property which I keep cut for us to walk and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation!  Each season brings a different set of 'color' and enjoyment!
 All the images were shot hand-held.  However, many times I am kneeling or using something as a 'prop' to steady the camera. 
The third image was taken in Buttermilk Falls [within seconds from the rte 18 exit off the PA turnpike near Beaver Falls].  I traveled past this for years before I realized it existed.  I saw a small sign for 'Buttermilk Falls' and finally one day last year I decided to stop and explore the area.  WOW! Was my first reaction.  Although the water falls is small compared to 'recognized' falls, it is very relaxing and a haven for many visitors.  [There are many other images from this area on my site.]
I took the third image hand-held but I was leaning on a log to gain some support.  I used the Nikon profile D2x and adjusted the color tone in the white balance. Clarity is -100 to obtain the 'dreamy' effect.  
Shutter speed: 1/20 second
ISO 400
As I get older [not that I am old unless you are 10 and think over 50 is old :-)], I find there is so much beauty within seconds-minutes of my front door.  I am in awe of the beauty of God's creation and find it very difficult to understand why others cannot see God's handiwork in it.  There is no doubt God is the Master Painter!
As always, get out and enjoy the beauty of God's creation and capture it and share it with others! 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fire proof The Movie "never leave your partner behind"

My bride [of thirty years - Oct. 14] and I watched the movie Fire Proof My Marriage last night at the theater and it is better than anticipated and advertised. However, I must warn you. When you watch it, do not go without a box of 'tissues'. [Unless you wear long sleeves :-)]. It is filled with a tremendous amount of emotion of all types.

I will not give anything away of the movie other than it is worth more than the admission price.


But I must add one vital point about one of the main actors in the movie; Kirk Cameron [Growing Pains, Left Behind, etc]. He is a Christian and unlike many other famous actors that 'play' love scenes refuses to kiss any women other than his wife. I find it to be an amazing act of love and honor. Please take the time to read the story on Entertainment Today.

Finally, take the time to read a few facts on the 'inspiration' of the movie.

Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it:...

Till next time, get out and enjoy the beauty of life!

I almost forgot...
A young husband was frustrated in his marriage. He never seemed to be able to find the correct words to say to his young wife. But unlike most men, he decided to go to his Pastor for advice.
Young Husband: Pastor, you have been married for thirty years. What is the secret to your success?
Pastor: First, you must say nice words to your wife.
Young Husband: I try but I never seem to say the right words. They always come out wrong.
Pastor: Go home, hold your wife's face in your hands and look her in her eyes. Say to her, "Honey, when I look in your eyes, time stands still."
Young Husband: OK, I can do that.
All the way home, he kept repeating in his mind what the pastor stated to him. Over and over again, he must have said it twenty or thirty times.
When he gets home, he runs to the door, opens it and hurries over to his wife.
He grabs her face [almost bruising her cheeks in excitement].
"Honey, you have a face that stops a clock."
Needless to say, he didn't earn any points that day. :-]

[This image was taken in Florida, Nov. 2007.] It was one of the bravest birds I ever saw. I took it with a 50mm lens. Therefore, I was within a few inches of the bird and it never flinched.