Not Picture Perfect

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This picture is not perfect.  The angle is not quite what I had hoped it would be.  It is not an HDR photograph.  (HDR stands for “high dynamic range.”  A higher dynamic range would show more stained texture in the blue window).  Nonetheless, it does convey my mood: imperfect, blue, hopeful, and quiet in a sacred place.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”  (Psalm 130:5).

Some Lights for the Holidays

These outdoor pictures were taken in December 2008.

“Holiday” is short for “Holy Day,” which means a day that is sacred, set apart, or devoted to God.  Because of Christ, God has declared all days of rest to be holidays.

May you have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

(Since the calendar is based on the birth of Christ, both holidays are really the same).  Jesus was born approximately 2011 years ago.

Jesus is the light of the world.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.  (John 14:6).

At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation of God almighty as a human baby born in Bethlehem.  He came to save his people from their sins and to take us to heaven.

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Since the Incarnation is eternal, Christmas or Christ-mass never ends.  God is always Emmanuel, he is always with his people.  (Matthew 1:23, 28:20).

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Notes:  The outdoor pictures were taken in December 2008.  The indoor pictures were taken in January 2010 at the Paine Art Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (in the only room they allow amateur photographers).

“Worldview Everlasting” Contributor

Worldview Everlasting is an excellent video blog by LCMS Pastor Jonathan Fisk.  I had been intending to embed one of Worldview Everlasting’s excellent videos here on Light from Light for some time, but did not get around to it.  However, now that I am an unofficial contributor to Worldview Everlasting, it is time to show a video.  Worldview Everlasting is known in part for its frenetic style and many flashing pictures; and one of my pictures can now be counted among the many.

Please enjoy this excellent video:

The picture is of Pastor Todd Wilken at 10:01.  I really like how that picture turned out with Pastor Wilken looking toward the crucifix over his shoulder.  I had to take about 30 pictures to get just a couple that were really nice.  This picture was taken at the Brothers of John the Steadfast conference in February 2010, and additional photos from that conference can be found here.

Well, for such a small unofficial contribution, I didn’t get a credit or a link, but I’m still happy and honored to help out.  May God’s blessings be upon all the readers of Light from Light and the viewers of Worldview Everlasting here on this third day of Christmas 2010 A.D.

New Camera: G12

God has given me a new camera, a Canon G12, and I don’t think I’m taking it back.  Almost every picture shared here on Light from Light was taken with a Canon a550.  The a550 is an excellent camera, and I plan to still use it.  Maybe it will be transferred to hazardous duty, such as cross-country skiing and mountain biking.

I am hoping the G12 will take certain photos to the next level.  Also, the G12 will be a stepping stone for me as I continue to learn the ins and outs of photography.

Everything is in God’s hands.

National Geographic Photography Contest Entry

The picture above was going to be my entry in this year’s National Geographic photography contest.  However, at the last hour, I realized that it did not qualify because it was taken in the wrong year.  Nonetheless, it is a beautiful picture; and while it cannot be submitted to National Geographic, it does qualify to be published on Light from Light.  Here is the description I wrote for this photo:

What you see is how this picture came out of the camera, as is, with no computer enhancements.  I generally shy away from computer enhanced photography, not just because I am unskilled with Photoshop, but also because I think it often ends up distracting from the reality of what God has made.  There is beauty all around us, but sometimes we need to lay down on the ground and look for it.  For the Lord, one “day is like a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8), and just as he walks through the depths (Job 38:16), so also he has time to walk the forest floor, to look at every flower, to say ‘hello’ to every bee, and to spend time with all his creatures, including human beings.

Most human photographers cannot see the deep, but we can stop to smell the flowers and to share beautiful perspectives that for many go mostly unseen.

The picture above is my submission for this year’s contest.  It is of rays of light shining down on a farm in northeastern Wisconsin.  One of the goals of National Geographic photographs is to reflect reality.  The director of photography stated:

“The world is already full of visual artifice, and we don’t want the National Geographic Photo Contest to add to it.  We want to see the world through your eyes, not the tools of Photoshop.”

This scene is as I saw it.  It reminds me of the Second Coming.  Some day Christ will return, and all our perspectives will change.

365 Days on Flickr

One of the activities photographers engage in on Flickr is creating a photo set with one picture from every day of the year.  This helps photographers to expand their skills by challenging their abilities to shoot in different kinds of light and under different conditions.

The two pictures above were both taken at Hartman Creek in Wisconsin, on the same warm October day.  Evergreens are always colorful and photogenic.

However, not every tree is an evergreen, so sharing a beautiful photo from every day of the year in Wisconsin would be a challenge, especially if one is not particularly into self-portraiture.  Even though every day does have its own kind of beauty, some months might consist of 29 pictures of gray.

Sometimes beauty is hidden.

One October Day in the Kettle Moraine Forest:

Maybe someday I will attempt a 365 day photo project, but in the meantime I have decided that I should better utilize Flickr by posting and sharing more photographs.  The pictures below are all from one day in the Kettle Moraine Forest near New Fane, Wisconsin.

Here, a single-track mountain bike trail winds its way through the golden Kettle Moraine Forest.  In Wisconsin, October is a colorful month, and some days are worth more than one photo.

Above, a fiery warm sunset illuminates golden trees in the Kettle Moraine Forest.  The sun is at our back.

Below are three pictures of trees from the other side, with the sun towards the front of the camera:

Autumn leaves, filled with golden sunlight, glow against a dark background.

Sometimes, I think the lives of Christians are like those leaves: just as the leaves are filled with and reflect the physical light of the sun, so also our lives are filled with and reflect the spiritual light of the Son of God.

If “anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  (Philippians 4:8, NIV 1984).

The sun sets at the Kettle Moraine Forrest near New Fane, Wisconsin.

Even if one does not take a beautiful picture every day; in Christ, every day is still a good day.

Photo Sharing & Autumn Leaves

One of the benefits of internet photo sharing is the ability to receive input from others as to the quality of particular photographs.  The above photo was not originally one of my favorites, but a number of people have commented that they really like it.  One photographer nominated it as a “SuperShot,” another gave it a “SuperShot” award, and still another featured it in one of their galleries.  In this way, Flickr can be both fun and a useful peer review tool.

The picture is of biking on the Bearskin Trail in northern Wisconsin.  It’s not only a beautiful memory, but a beautiful picture as well.

This closeup of a leaf hasn’t received any awards, but I still like it.