Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Foto

"Done Yet?"

Part of the fun for me in photographing dogs is to capture images which portray the personality of the animal.   When I am photographing for a rescue, that's kind of difficult because I don't really or thoroughly know the dog (haven't spent much time with it).  By taking a few minutes to "welcome" or "play" with the dog, you get a sense of their personality.

When I photograph them, I use the continuous shooting setting on my camera and take quite a few images.  This method allows me to capture the dog's personality.

This image of "Done Yet?" was taken at Noah's 5th birthday party. Though he's a patient dog, and lovingly cooperates when I photograph, he does get this expression of "are you done yet?"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Words

"Evening's Skies"

Can you fathom
the mysteries of God?
Can you probe 
the limits of the Almighty?

- Job 11:7

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Cats

"A Cat's View"
Most of my photography work for the rescue groups has been with dogs.  Every once in awhile, I receive a request from PetConnect Rescue to meet them at one of their events and photograph cats.  Equal time, so I do it!

Cats are harder to photograph than dogs because of their constant curiosity. Every noise around you gets their attention before you do! I will set my camera on "auto" for white balance and everything else since the animal is usually inside a well-lit building and is constantly moving. Be sure to use the fastest continual shooting mode your camera offers too.

Also, it never hurts to have one of the volunteers in the rescue group or your assistance stand behind you with some dangling-type toy to keep the cats attention.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Dogs

Meet "Happy". I don't know if that's his real name or not,  Am guessing not.   When I met this dog and when I look back at this image, I think "Happy!"  So, meet "Happy."

This image is a good example of what I try to do with my dog photography skills.  Create fun and exciting images of dogs or cats for my clients.  Portraits are available too.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday's Thought

The Blessings of Being Thankful!

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
-Psalm 28:7 ESV

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? I did.  My wife always prepares a meal and we invite our parents.  This year, the guy who was the best man in my wedding came too.  Was great to have him around.

"Splashes in Great Falls"
After helping my wife prepare for the day, my buddy and I took Noah to Great Falls National Park for a Thanksgiving morning walk.  We took the "south" or "down the river" trail which I'd never been on before.  My buddy took the leash and walked Noah- he loves to be "the uncle" and spend time with him.   As we walked, the trail became more difficult more me to walk, as it did the others.  But, it was interesting to me that Noah always checked back on me as if to say "Are you alright Dad- are you still there?"  My buddy reached his hand out often as the trail got rougher.  And, seeing some beautiful views I'd never seen before, I wished I'd brought my camera.  But, it was actually great to have a break from all my responsibilities and just relax.

We got back to the house and my wife was just finishing up the details that she does for the family gathering.  Her parents arrived soon after and so did my father.  It was our first Thanksgiving without my brother and the second without my mother.

As we gathered around the table for dinner, I couldn't help but be thankful for the blessings!  My wife was here. My father was here.  My buddy- Noah's uncle- was here.  Noah was here. My in-laws were here.  All of which would be there for each other regardless of what life brought our way.

In the area where I live and according to it's standards, I've never really had much in the way of things.  I've been blessed and have my needs taken care of and have people who love me and I love them.  Through thick and thin.

Am thankful for my blessings- which God has given.

So, how was your Thanksgiving?  What are you most thankful for or what is your favorite memory of the day?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Garden Perspectives

"Yellow Tulip Garden"
One of my favorite aspects of garden photography is finding the simple beauty in a garden.

I was traveling to Baltimore, Maryland and stopped to stretch.  To my surprise, there was a huge garden of tulips. I stayed as long as I could to photograph and, thankfully, was able to make the same stop on my trip the next day. 

Have you ever stopped somewhere and was surprised by a garden or something nature related?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday's Foto

This has turned into one of my favorite images of dogs that I've done over the past few years.

I met the dogs a few weeks prior and shared a story about him at From The Dogs Paw.  Then, he attended the "Home 4 the Holidays" event in Reston, Virginia.  Funny, he remembered me and I got a face full of doggie kisses.

With Dog Photography, especially when photographing for a rescue group, you have to keep your eyes constantly open and your camera ready for these moments where you can create a fun image.  The less equipment, the better- and always keep a lens pen handy for the occasional doggy snot episodes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday's Words and a video from Joel Trekell

I love this work by Joel Raney of "Come Ye Thankful People Come" so I'd like to share with you. I hope you enjoy it too.

The day before Thanksgiving is a good day to think about your blessings, what are you thankful for?  How has God blessed your life this year?

Please leave about comment below about what you are thankful for this year.

"Happy Thanksgiving!!"
from the crew at

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday's Thought

I wasn't sure what to write about this week- been a busy one again, not bad, just busy.  For the "Sunday's Thought" post, I like to let God direct my thoughts and writings, not just do something to do it.

"Flowers in the Garden"
This morning, when I got up, my thoughts turned to being thankful.  Seems like everyone is wishing me "Happy Thanksgiving," which is great- but I think we've lost the true or an important focus of the holiday in all the trouble, heartache, greed and now, the Black Friday shopping starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving day.

This year, and the past several, have seen a lot of stress, trouble and heartache for many people.  Loss of jobs, little to no raises in income, prices on everything continue to rise, some have to take pay cuts, others can't find a job, some suffer illness, loss of a family member, on-going health issues that seem to never stop and the list can go on and on.

Despite all the issues we face, we can still celebrate Thanksgiving with a thankful heart to God.  Ok, so, you might be thinking, how can I do this after the year that I have faced.  Think about that thought for a moment.  Take a long look at your life.  Yes, it's more than have a table full of food on Thanksgiving day.

We are to be thankful.  Thankful that God died on a cross to save us from our sins.  If you are a Christian and going through some issues, whatever they may be, you should be focusing on being thankful God is with you during this time.  And, reaching out to Him for strength to get through.  Without Him, your issues or troubles would seem considerably worse.  With Him, the peace that He gives during this time is an invaluable gift.

This Thanksgiving, though it's been a rough year, I am thankful for God's Presence, my wife and my dog in my life.  The struggles that have come have been made much easier with His Love, my wife's love and, of course, the dogs constant companionship.

Instead of focusing on what is wrong this year, though sometimes this is hard because we are constantly bombarded by what's wrong, find the good and remember it. The good can be whatever you want:  your wife's smile, a sunny day, a dog's smile- you decide. Be Thankful.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5 ESV

What are you thankful for?  What are the blessings in your life?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday's Words

"The Heavens"

"The Lord is my rock,
my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock 
in whom I take refuge..."
- Psalm 18:2

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday's Thought

"Saluting Our Military"
Veteran's Day.  I stand, applaud and salute you!  The words, "THANK YOU!", even in all caps, doesn't seem quite enough to express my appreciation for all that you have given to protect the freedoms of this country. My freedom to write this blog, go to the church of my choice, work where I work, and even walk my dog where I choose to walk him, are just a few pleasures I enjoy because of your willingness to serve. 

So, thank you for everything- much thanks for it all.

A post today for Veteran's Day about dogs and PTSD can be found at From The Dogs Paw.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday's Foto

A favorite image of mine is the Dragonfly.  I was fascinated by several of them flying around or near Walney Pond and caught this image.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday's Words

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, 
but that which is good to the use of edifying, 
that it may minister grace unto the hearers" 
-Ephesians 4:29
"American Robin by the Creek"

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday's Thought

Last week, I wrote about preparing through prayer for "Hurricane Sandy."  I hope that you made it through the storms as well as we did.  Had a lot of wind and rain, but it spared our section of the county for whatever reason.  There was damage, but nothing like the "Derecho" which struck in June or what others have had to deal with.

Purple Cone Flower
As Christians, our focus should be helping out where we can and to be in prayer. If you are able to travel and help, check your church or the missions group or organizations in your area where you can use your skills and talents to serve others.

Some may not be able to travel or assist in the labor involved in these projects after a storm but can give financially.  A group which gets little media attention, but does quite a lot of disaster relief, throughout the country and the world is the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.  On their website, you will be able to read about the world they do- currently there is information about "Hurricane Sandy" efforts.  If you would like to donate to them, you can do so here Disaster Relief Donations.

Not a Baptist?  Technically speaking, you do not need to be. Nor do you have to be a Christian to support their work and efforts.  All you have to have is a desire to assist your fellow man or woman and for 100% of your donation to go to the efforts you intend and not someone's salary or overhead.

And, if you are not able to give or travel, then you can participate in the most important aspect of any ministry, pray.  Pray daily for those who have lost so much during the storm.  Pray daily for those who are working to assist those people regardless of what organization they are from.

Consider helping others during this time of loss.  You will be glad that you did.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Dog is My Best Friend

My dog is my best friend,
Always ready to greet me,
Whether it be early morning's rise,
Noon days light,
Or, the day's end.

My dog is my best friend,
We walk the morning's sun,
and at the end of the day,
and then spend time in the yard,
to play with his toys and sticks.

My dog is my best friend,
for he is always happy throughout the day,
he cheers me whatever comes my way,
chases the stresses and frustrations away.

My dog is my best friend,
for he seems to know when I am at my wit's end,
for he doesn't judge,
though it may be well deserved from my end,
He will smile and wage his tail to tend,
to make me smile as I go through life.

And, sometimes he just sits and doesn't say a thing.
- Allen Pearson