Archive for April, 2011

I Heart Faces–Soft and Sweet

This week’s I Heart Faces theme is “Soft and Sweet”. I know I’m always swimming upstream as far as my entries go; I guess I just march to my own drumbeat. There will be a ton of babies and precious little girls playing teaparty. But I did this shoot a couple of weeks ago, and this photo just really seems soft and sweet to me…

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To see all of the entries from the amazing folks who are as crazy about photography as me, go to I Heart Faces and click some links. AFTER, of course, you leave me a little “soft and sweet” love… ;

Seeing the Light

For the longest time, I have struggled with capturing light in my photography. Too harsh, too dim, too much, not enough. I’ve taken pictures since high school, serving as the annual photographer my senior year. I took photography courses in college as I worked towards my degree in broadcast journalism, learning darkroom techniques, journalistic composition… and yet always, I kept my camera on automatic. I was afraid to step outside of the boundaries drawn for me by whoever determined those settings.

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When I was 30, I got a nice Nikon SLR, and it was always. on. auto. ALWAYS. In 2004, I got my first digital camera, a Fuji FinePix. Not a DSLR, but definitely a high end point and shoot. And once again.. auto all the way. Throughout all of those years, I liked my photos, but other than the lucky shot here and there, I didn’t LOVE them. They were good but not great. The auto function tends to average everything out, and when it comes to light, a lot gets lost in the translation.

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Finally, in 2009, I got a Canon Rebel XTi. I finally had a real camera; I couldn’t wait to start producing awesome, breathtaking images. Of course, on auto. Over time, as I hung out at I Heart Faces and other photographic communities, I began to move from that little green box to P, then TV and AV, and finally, to M. I started reading the manual, instead of just accepting someone else’s version or vision or “box”. And bit by bit, the light has become more and more a part of my photos. I took both of these shots today, and they are SOOC (straight out of camera–no editing other than resizing and watermark). As I looked at them, I realized that my walk with God has evolved the same way. After living a long time on autopilot, I finally began to read THE manual, instead of accepting someone else’s version of how things should be. And bit by bit, the light has become a part of my life.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” John 1:4-9

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “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

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

Flower on black

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Playing around in Photoshop Elements; I had already sharpened this and got the levels where I wanted and saved it. Then I started creating duplicate background layers and messing with levels and contrast, then wiping the changes off of the flower, until I got it where I wanted it. Like a flame in the darkness…

The Pastor’s Cat

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A dear friend sent this to me via email, and it truly made me laugh out loud….
THE PASTOR’S CAT
This particular story just made me laugh. Every time I think about it, the vision of that poor cat just amuses me to no end. Hope the story leaves a bright spot in your day. Whoever said the Creator doesn’t have a sense of humor?
Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc.. The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten. That’s what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went ‘boing!’ and the kitten instantly sailed through the air – out of sight.
The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten.  So he prayed, ‘Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,’ and went on about his business.
A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, ‘Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?’
She replied, ‘You won’t believe this,’ and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, ‘Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.’ She told the pastor, ‘I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.’
Never underestimate the Power of God and His unique sense of humor.

I Heart Faces–Pets

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This week’s theme at I Heart Faces is “Pets”. My favorite. I love photographing animals, whether it’s my dog, a deer or bird in the back yard, or some CRAAAZY bug that my boy captures. And, I love looking at everybody’s entries during Pet Week, too; so many sweet pups, cuddly kitties, and beasties of all kinds. This shot was taken last weekend at the Atlanta Steeplechase; the outriders came up to the fence to let us have a closer look at their magnificent steeds, and this fine fellow actually posed. Beautifully, I might add; what a head! It was a very bright yet overcast day, and the sky was totally blown out, so I added a Florabella sky texture that was a bonus with one of her sets. I think it makes it look like a vintage postcard.
Click the button below to head over to I Heart Faces and look at all of the other furry (or maybe even scaly, feathered, or exoskeletoned) critters (but please, leave some love first.. I love comments!)

I Heart Faces–Wind

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She was all dressed up for the steeplechase in her prettiest dress and with a prize winning hat. But that darn wind.. it kept trying to blow it away. Such was the story for hundreds if not thousands of women today at the Atlanta Steeplechase (but most of the bigger ones didn’t give a darn by late afternoon… ). I Heart Faces wants a “wind” photo this week, and the weather cooperated for me.
Don’t forget to head over to the I Heart Faces website for more wonderful windy captures….

Macro Friday at Blogging From Bolivia

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It’s Macro Friday time again at Blogging From Bolivia, and for once, I’m actually going to link up ON FRIDAY. Don’t be alarmed; I feel sure that by next week, I’ll be back to my usual timeliness. This week’s pic is a favorite of mine; a close up of a butterfly wing enhanced with texture. It almost looks like a painting… such amazing detail. Don’t forget to head over to Blogging for Bolivia to check out all of the great entries!