Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday's Words

"Trees at Mason Neck"

I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will
never walk in darkness, but
will have the light of life.
-John 8:12 NIV

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday's Thought

While trying to think about something to write about today, I was stumped for awhile until I took a look at the news headlines.

Here on the east coast, we are preparing for what's being dubbed by the weather people as "Frankenstorm." Hurricane Sandy is supposed to collide with an early winter snow storm and a cold front coming out of Canada and heading to the east coast.  Somewhere between this evening (Sunday) and Tuesday, the destructive storm is to hit.  The storm is being dubbed as one of the worst in history of the U.S. and there are no computer models or data from prior storms to give the meterologists an idea about what to expect.

While I greatly appreciate the efforts of the weather people to alert us to this dangerous storm, I am reminded of an image I created several years ago, after a winter storm:

"Lord, Keep Me Safe"
"Lord, Keep Me Safe" was created as a reminder that we should always lean on Christ.  When things get difficult, whether the storm is something in your life (like loosing a job, an incurable illness, death of a family member, etc.) or Hurricane Sandy, you can breathe a prayer asking God to keep you safe or help you through the storm.

If you would like to hear the song which inspires me through the storms of life or sometimes the weather storms,  click on this link:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday's Foto

"Summer's Daisies"
Though fall is here and it appears colder weather is not far behind with the possibility of bad weather this coming week, I have to share another summer "Foto."

This "Foto" turned out to be one of my favorites of the season.  I was using my macro lens, 1:1 F 2.8 Pentax, to explore my garden.  I'd been experimenting with Purple Cone Flowers, insects, leaves, and so, and saw this vision with the Daisies. I deliberately wanted to blur the image to give a shadowy later day look to it as well as bring in the viewer's eye.  As you know, using the dedicated macro lens, it will focus on your subject and blur the "stuff" around it. Using the manual setting, I was able to add a bit more of a blur to it and created a soft summer feel to it.

What are some of the photography experiments you've done that turned out well or was a disaster?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday's Words

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer. - Psalm 19:14

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday's Foto

I have another photo shoot with a local rescue group this weekend, Ambassador Pit Bulls, at their event in Falls Church, VA, so I thought I'd share two of my favorite images from my first shoot with them.

"Peaceful Dog"


Thursday, October 18, 2012

5 Amazing Websites That Will Turn A Photograph Into A Work Of Art

We don't really know what the past looked like because there's a lack of photos. I guess we have to make do with some drawings on a cave wall, but luckily for the people that come after us they will understand our world better than we know it ourselves. Every single person you can think of has their own camera these days. We even build them into our phones so we never miss the opportunity to take a photo of some stupid pose our dog is doing.

Some of us are happy with keeping our photos on a memory card, probably to get deleted when we get around to it, but some people love printing them out. Because technology has improved so much in the last few years we can basically print out perfect pictures, ones that have been played about with so much that they couldn't be any better. There's some amazing websites where you can do so much more. You can turn your photos into works of art and we're going to have a closer look at them now.

When you set up a Shutterfly account you have a nice convenient way to save all your photos. You can download a few apps onto your phone and you have access to everything no matter where you are. You can even upload all your iPhone photos straight into your account. There's an app you can download called Wink, and it will give you the ability to turn any of your photos into photo strips. Now if you want to create special memories you won't need to go into a photo booth and hope you get your pose right at the first time of asking. Just choose your favorite photos and do it by yourself.

Bob's Books
How would you like to turn your photos into proper books? You can do it with Bob's Books and any amateur photographer can create works of art that you'd maybe have had to pay lots of money for in the past. These are amazing for special occasions such as weddings and allow you to capture the moment like never before. If books aren't your thing you could turn them into a few other great mementos like calendars. It's got to be better than the one you get from the Chinese restaurant every year.

Snapfish is a great site for printing quality photos, but the pick of the bunch has to be the option to create stamps using your favorite ones. It's a nice way to send anything in the mail and they look a lot nicer that the boring ones you can buy today. OK, it doesn't really matter what a stamp looks like, but the option to make your own is still great and will impress your friends.
On the Boots site you can turn your photo into a full-size jigsaw. This will be lots of fun for kids putting together puzzles of their favorite holiday snaps, and they make amazing gifts at Christmas time. You can also have your photos printed out and framed so they look great hanging up in the house. If you're in the giving mood you can turn photos into books and sell them with the money going to charity, or you can keep it for yourself. You decide.

Digilab is probably the most luxurious option, though it will also mean it's the most expensive. They do a lot of work for some huge brands, like Harrods in the UK. There's an option of having photos framed, but one thing that stands out is the option to turn a photo into a full-size canvas print. That would look amazing up on the wall. They will also get their professionals to touch-up your favorite photos so they look much better than you could ever do.

About the Author:  The author of the article is a tech blogger and often shares his experiences through his blog. According to him, On Time Screen is the best place to get printed t shirts in CT.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday's Thought

As a Christian, especially since I believe the entire Bible is the true Word of God, I am asked, "How can you believe in God, something you can't see?!!"

As the Scriptures say:
"A Church in Purcellvlle"

Faith is the substance
 of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible
-Hebrews 11:1-3

I remember something a friend once said that when I originally heard it, I was sort of shocked at it's simplicity yet accuracy. I thought I would share it was you.

"When you enter a dark room, you flip a switch and have faith that the lights will come on.  When you start your car, you have faith that it will start and you can use it to get to your destination,  When you listen to the weather report for the upcoming week, you have faith that the weatherman is accurate and will make your plans accordingly. A scientist will make a discovery and you will have faith in his findings."

Then, I'm told, it's not the same thing.  How is it not?  I've never met the electrician who put electricity in my home, I don't know the company who built my car or the mechanic who keeps it running, and I don't know any weathermen or scientist.

However, I have met Jesus, God through the Bible and through attending church.  I am a born-again Christian by following God's Word, believing in Him and following the steps to salvation. And, I have seen His Work in my life, though I have never seen Him.  Faith. Faith.  Simple faith- it's all He asks.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday's Foto

Noah's Summer"
I haven't been photographing as much as I would like mostly due to a few life and schedule changes.  I've started getting back into it lately and was somewhat surprised at how much I really missed photography.  I don't mean, just "missed it,"  I mean, "REALLY MISSED" it.  Guess when you get into it and have found a passion, when you get away from it for awhile, it's like an old friend coming back to town or something. 

This is a picture of Noah, my dog, from last summer.  He and I play in the yard quite abit as well as take long walks- and, I always have a camera with me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday's Words

"Cloud Portrait"

"Do not conform any longer
to the pattern in this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...."

- Romans 12:2

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday's Thought

"Centreville Baptist Church"
I attended the Men's Conference at Centreville Baptist Church, Centreville, VA.  I don't like these things because I am introverted, preferring my dog and computer's company when left alone.  But, for some odd reason, I thought I would try something new since I am attending a new church and well, it's good timing to do just that.

I had to force myself to go.  Not wanting to go or participate had nothing to do with the church, anyone attending, nor the speaker for the weekend.   It was just me- introverted.  After all, Friday was the last warm day of the weekend, then the weather turns  more "fallish".   Tempting to stay at home for the rest of the day on Friday finish a few yard projects, then head to my studio.  Though Saturday morning was chilly, I could tell that it would be a beautiful early morning-afternoon day until the cold front moves in. I could enjoy some quality outside time getting projects done.

As Saturday morning came, I was tempted even more to stay home.  I was getting things done in my studio and work done on some projects.  I took Noah for his walk and did a few things around the house, then headed to the conference.

Then, it dawned on me.  For some reason, several week ago now, I felt like I really needed to attend the event.  I had no idea, why.  God wanted me to attend it- I began to realize.  So, my struggles on Friday and Saturday, as I was reminded then and throughout the event, was Satan hitting me hard with the desire to stay home.

I went. I learned quite a bit- too much to really sum up here, but it was a great experience.  The event was worth the time and effort to attend.  I have to wonder what is next in my life as I go down this path of following God at a new church and new friends.

As an introvert, sometimes to the extreme, I will continue to put my trust in Him. This isn't meant in some gallant manner, because I will still be the introverted man that I am.

And we know that for those who love God 
all things work together for good, for those 
who are called according to his purpose.
-Romans 8:28 ESV

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to 
stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle 
against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the 
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up 
the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the 
evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Adopt A Shelter Dog Month at From the Dog's Paw

I'd like to invite you to check out Noah's blog.  Yes, my dog has his own blog and he's gotten to be quite popular.  The blog is From The Dog's Paw.

The purpose of his blog is to encourage dog and cat adoption, share pet-friendly events, and share care tips with new pet parents.  He adds humor to facts, mixes it together to bring home a fact.  Occasionally, he shares a life story or event from his view.  

This month,  From The Dog's Paw, is hosting several guest bloggers in celebration of "Adopt A Shelter Dog Month."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday's Foto

"Leaf Standing Up"
I don't want to admit it because I love the Spring and Summer seasons so much, but, reality is that Fall is officially here.  I think it arrived two weekends ago.  Tried as I might, I can't ignore it, especially when the mornings are quite cooler outside than they were a few weeks ago.

I took this image a few years ago at Runnymeade Park in Herndon, VA.  I was walking on the trail and noticed this leaf that appeared to be standing up and saying "hi" to me.  I started to pass it up, but it kept my attention.  As much as I love nature, I couldn't resist taking it's picture.  

Have you ever taken a picture of something, "just because," or you felt like it was something you wanted to remember?   If so, please tell us about it in the comment section below.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday's Words

"Reflections in Walney Pond"

"Ain't nothin' gonna stumble my feet, or cause me to fall, 
that my God can't pick me back up from."   - Kim Kirby