Well, the year is quickly drawing to a close. Fall color is quickly flying past, and it’s time to take look back at the “New Year’s resolution post” and check progress.
- Get Organized. Nope. Not an inch of progress. I did manage to give the site a face lift this summer, though.
- Show Off. Currently working on selecting some pictures to make LARGE living room sized prints from. Contests? I’ve entered a few online that weren’t outright “rights grabs” where you have to give up all your rights to your photo whether you win the contest or not. Last night, though, I actually did win a place in my very first photo contest with this shot:
I guess the winning photos will be in the newspaper sometime in the near future, so I guess I get another 15 minutes of fame. Sharing online? Some sort of consistency would probably help. Still struggling there.
- Try something new. Well, just about the time the weather was getting nice enough for me to start getting out the Bender, we had to go and move. Now that the year is nearly over, I’m finally pretty much done with all that, so I hope to start playing with that again. I’ve been looking at large format printers since the summer. My husband may have just made it possible for me to actually acquire one of these, and I believe there is still a rebate going on for the one I want which will make the price much more appealing, so it’s possible that by the end of the year I’ll be delving into the other end of the photographic process – making prints worth putting up on the walls.
- New perspectives. While the technical skills continue to improve making it easier for me to reproduce in two dimensions what I see in three, I’m still fleshing out how I uniquely see the world.
- Do some good. It’s a pleasure to use my photography skills and equipment in service to Christ. It’s probably an odd thing to do, but I told a pastor here, “You know how some people dedicate their babies? I dedicate my cameras.” And I do. It’s God who has given both the equipment I have and the skill to use it, and when I get a new camera or lens, I take it to church with me and lay it on the altar and dedicate it to the Lord’s service first. Do I get a lot of pleasure from it that’s not at all related to serving the Lord? Absolutely! But if that ever begins to take first place in my heart, I have a tangible reminder of where my blessings come from and who really owns “my” stuff, and that’s a blessing too. I’d still like to explore this area in more depth, though. As far as teaching, since my daughter is the one who inherited my Rebel, I get the pleasure of throwing her a tip or new technique to try now and then, as well as watching her progress.
- Challenge myself. The photowalks have sort of come to an end during the moving process. Not to say that it will stay that way forever, but . . . . Taking pictures of people I don’t know. Is it only photographers who react badly to having their picture taken? Maybe just some photographers.
- Start a project. The only “project” currently in the works is trying to decorate the new place with some of my photographs. Mostly, it’s my own indecision holding that one up. I finally made some small prints of potential candidates while mom and dad were here, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
- Take my camera everywhere. Definitely. Good move.
Here’s another picture entered in last night’s contest that didn’t win. Enjoy.
why my shot didn’t work. I might have avoided this very simple mistake if I had been able to read G. Dan Mitchell’s post on Monday instead of today, but that just gives me another excuse to go out and try again. (A real burden, I know).
So what happened? Well, I had been dragging my husband all around the North Coast of Ohio all day looking for likely places to hang out and do some serious photography as the weather warms up, and towards the end of the day, in hopes of finding a spot to catch both the setting sun and the rising full moon about a half hour later, we finally arrived at a place that looked good for also trying out the digital view camera. So I got that all set up, and did a 6-shot sunset view (I see one corner where I must have messed up the focus a little when I shifted the standard.).
Unfortunately, the eastern view was completely clouded over, so we started to head south, stopped for coffee, and by the time we arrived at a reservoir where I knew we wouldn’t have any trouble being after dark, I set up to try the same thing with the now mostly clear full moon and its reflection over the mostly frozen lake. The shot of the moon itself was about as perfect as I think I can do. But I made exactly the mistake that Dan talks about in his post.
Rely on your histogram to check exposure – not on how the shot looks in the display. If the shot looks like what you see at night, it most cases it will be way underexposed – and, as a result, you’ll have a very noise image and you may end up with artifacts like banding. Instead, use an exposure that produces a balanced histogram curve – or, “expose to the right” as many of us like to say.
I looked at the LCD screen to check the rest of the shots in the series. I didn’t look at the histogram. The rest of the shots were totally useless. On the other hand, I did get to see a little bit more about how well my Nikon lens, Bender 4×5, and Canon XT play together, which is pretty nice. And I also got to experience what it’s like to lug a surveyor’s tripod up about 50 steps and back down again. I’m sure glad I don’t smoke anymore!!
Compare that one with a similar full moon shot at the same location a few years ago taken with a Sigma 28-80 zoom at 68 mm.
So far I’ve been very pleased with the time that I’ve invested into the Bender kit. Now I wish I would have done it sooner.
The day was also nice for just strolling around and getting a few snaps. I did get to see another bald eagle not too far from the place where I saw a juvenile in September 2007.
A view of the marsh . . .
And another trail at another marsh . . .by beakennedy
Today, the ladies’ class discussed one of the most fascinating single verses of scripture we’ve arrived at to date.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. John 12:27-30
I still remember the instant in December 1997 when I went from not believing there even was a God outside of anyone’s immagination to being so sure he was actually in my car with me and had just changed my radio station that my whole life took an INSTANT 180 degree turn that hasn’t changed direction since. My response to this God that day was, “Alright, you’re there. Now what?” (Real reverent, I know. LOL)
It has occurred to me more than once over the years that the biggest miracle that day was not my radio station changing, but rather that my heart was changed. Had I arrived at that day with the same heart that led me to disbelieve in God in the first place, I would have done just what the Jews in John 12 did – explained it away – looked for a natural explanation like the weather – dismissed it as too much pizza the night before or a good imagination. I doubt if I would have called the angels out, since they were just as much a figment of the imagination as God was.
This fascinates me. So many times I have heard people (even said it myself):
1) Why doesn’t God just speak from heaven? Then I’ll believe, or
2) People back then were really gullible and didn’t know all that we do today about science and things.
The problem with both of those is, they weren’t any more gullible than people today. They resorted to exactly the same explanations we do, and I/they/you most likely wouldn’t believe it if God spoke from heaven anyway. Jesus put it fairly strongly when he suggested that if someone wouldn’t believe the scriptures that had already been given, they wouldn’t believe if someone was even raised from the dead. Still just as true 2000 years later as it was the day he spoke those words.
I remember Khoa, an exchange student who stayed with one of the families at my church for the year. The country he was from is fairly atheistic, and so for that year he came to church with his American family kind of like an observer/scientist. Then one day in the spring, there was a day when something happened at church that was totally arranged and orchestrated by God. He was in the room, I was in the room. Everyone who had any concept of God knew that God had showed up that day and that his presence had filled the room in a way that even we knew was special. No one was unaffected — except Khoa. Another lady asked him if he had noticed anything different, and he just looked back with a blank stare. She said to him, “You just saw God.” Well, I beg to differ, but I don’t think he did. I think he saw someone talking to the air and a bunch of other people standing around with their eyes closed. Thankfully, God soon opened the door for some serious discussions, and he did go home believing in this God that people had been telling him about all year.
This afternoon listening to the radio, Ravi Zacharias told about a non-theistic Buddhist mathematics professor who in courtroom testimony gave the odds of evolution actually happening totally based on natural processes as in the 10:40,000 exponent neighborhood. In other words, though he didn’t attribute anything to any kind of invisible God, he certainly wasn’t willing to chalk up to chance and natural selection something that is clearly totally outside the realm of reasonable probability – our universe. Fascinating that when asked how he explained the existence of life on earth he said that this world must have been seeded by another extraterrestrial civilzation.
Who has the greater faith?
Ravi made an excellent point in conclusion. It’s not the believer in God who is demonstrating a will to believe against all evidence. The resurrectiton of Jesus from the dead is one of those things that happened in history and can be looked at historically and rationally. Someone who believes that he was raised from the dead, especially someone who once did not believe, is not doing so AGAINST rational evidence but in concert with it. On the other hand, sometimes it is the unbeliever who is demonstrating a will to disbelieve despite all evidence to the contrary. This is really crystal clear in the verse above. The Jews who attributed the voice of God to natural processes – the thunder – had just seen Jesus restore sight to a blind man (John 9), and raise another man from the dead who had been in the ground four days (John 11), and had just been welcomed into Jerusalem as the King and Messiah of Israel – the one who had been prophesied to come for hundreds of years – and when he spoke of his coming death on the cross, God the Father spoke audibly from heaven to demonstrate his approval, and they said it sounded like the thunder. They didn’t deny that these things had happened. They denied that they — and Jesus — were from God.