Test Shots New Camera G7X Mark II

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Recently, God blessed me with a new camera, a Canon G7X Mark II, so I took it out to High Cliff State Park for a few test shots.

In the above shot, most of the trees are bare, but it still has nice color because of the leaves on the ground and the golden light of the sun setting over Lake Winnebago.  I appreciate the detail and sharpness of the bare trees.

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Here, I like the subtlety of color on the horizon and the wide dynamic range on the trees and leaves.

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This picture seems like it could have been better.  Maybe I got there too late to see the leaves lit up by sun rays.  At full size, it doesn’t look too bad though.

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The G7X has a relatively large sensor and a lens with a relatively wide aperture, so it captures low light scenes fairly well for a small compact camera.  All the pictures in this post were taken with the camera hand held (no tripod) and the jpeg files are straight out of the camera (no post processing).

It is rare for any of my pictures to see Photoshop or any editing program.  Although, maybe I should do more cropping and leveling of my horizons.

I took a hand-held sample video down by the lake shore, and uploaded it to YouTube.  Unfortunately, every video I upload looks crummy: the images are not sharp and the colors are washed out.  (I assume it has something to do with YouTube’s compression algorithms).  Even though the colors are washed out, the static noise in the video sounds accurate.

I thought it would be nice to record the gently lapping water and the occasional distant call of a bird of prey.  But in the video one has to strain to hear anything over the static.

Audible static noise in every video is an unfortunate and disappointing problem with the G7X Mark II.  The audio quality in its videos is poor.  My old G12 which cost less than the G7X Mark II had much better audio and much cleaner audio.

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The sun sets over Lake Winnebago.  I try hard to keep my camera level when taking pictures of flat horizons.  It’s not easy when standing on wet rocks.

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The G7X Mark II has a view screen that can flip back 180° so you can take a picture of yourself, if you wish.  So I did.  The sun was right below the horizon, and its light was rosy.

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The flip screen also helps to take pictures from lower angles.  Without the tilt screen, I would have had to lay in the water to get this photograph.

After that shot, I hiked up to the top of the first cliff.

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This last picture is of the half moon rising over the sunset.  The moon (in the upper left corner) is very far away, and therefore a little out of focus.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Cool Mountain Biking Video

One of my favorite activities is mountain biking.  The video above shows a joy in exercise, the outdoors, companionship, and biking.  I love it.

Give me joy.  Give me life.  Give me wisdom.

Have a blessed Labor Day weekend!

Martyrdom of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya One Year Ago

12717472_10153351151718144_1384525524307004071_nFor over a thousand years, followers of Islam have been waging genocide against anyone who disagrees with them.  A little over a year ago, some of these followers murdered twenty-one Coptic Christians in Libya on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.  We remember these particular victims because their murderers made a video.

They died with the name of Jesus on their lips.  Because of the video, they were able to confess Christ to the world.  Christ will remember them.  (Luke 23:42-43).  Christ will remember us all.  (John 6:37-40).

Some give their lives to Christ in one bold act of confessing his name at the edge of a sword, while others give their lives through countless acts of service to others.  All Christians must give their lives because Christ gave his.  Christ gave his life, and we must follow him.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

— Luke 9:23-25, ESV.

President Harrison of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod made a short video commemorating the anniversary of the martyrdom of the twenty-one Coptic Christians:

For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest.

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.

But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day:
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way.

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

— “For All the Saints,” LSB 677:1-2, 7-8.

Notes:

A Lutheran Satire Thank You

Create in me a clean heart, O God
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence,
and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation,
and uphold me with Thy free spirit.
Amen.

— Offertory, LSB 192-193
(Psalm 51:10-12).

Lutheran Satire links:

May we be always grateful.

How many stars are there?

In the beginning, notice how the video selects a tiny portion of our own sky, then takes merely a slice of that.  It scans an actual NASA photograph of part of the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy.  (We live in the Milky Way Galaxy).

All those points of light in the photograph are stars, not dust.  Dust does not emit light, dust is dark, dust obscures the light from the stars.  Dusty areas are dark areas.  If it glows, it is a star.

“The full image takes you through 100 million stars and travels more than 40,000 light-years.  Each of those white dots is a sun, much like the sun that powers all life on Earth.”

NASA’s Largest Picture: The Andromeda Galaxy.

How many stars are there?  There are too many for us to count.  There are too many for us to count even in our own galaxy.  And there are countless galaxies.  We do not have the ability to count the galaxies or the stars.  Only God knows the true number.

And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below …”  (Acts 2:19, ESV).

Planned Parenthood Haggles Human Body Parts

This is the second video, and words still cannot express the horror.

Planned Parenthood is vile.

Who sells human body parts to pay for a Lamborghini?  Should we be surprised at the allegation that Planned Parenthood is selling human body parts?  Planned Parenthood’s

profit margins depend on women availing themselves of its child-killing services.  Its business, quite literally, is death…

An industry that feeds on suffering and death will inevitably attract some sociopaths.  Nice, normal people don’t typically choose to make a living by crushing babies and haggling over their organs…

But you don’t need an accountant to confirm the most significant discovery.  These people are monsters.  Planned Parenthood is a refuge for the sort of people who chat about the “crunchiest” way to kill a baby while they enjoy their lunch.  Worse, this isn’t just some nasty, private fetish.  Your tax dollars are paying them to do this!  Everyone cool with that?

— “Are Pro-Lifers Gloating About The Planned Parenthood Sting?
The Federalist.

For further reading, click here to search The Federalist for their latest articles on Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood Selling Human Body Parts Video

Words cannot express the horror.

Planned Parenthood is vile.  Monsters.  Mengeles.

Taxpayer funding of P.P. must stop.

For further reading, click here to search The Federalist for their latest articles on Planned Parenthood.

What is Lent? A Video

The above video was produced by Concordia Publishing House.  The song the children sang in the video is “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.”

O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown.
O sacred Head, what glory,
What bliss, till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered
Was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
And grant to me Thy grace.

My Shepherd, now receive me;
My Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me,
O Source of gifts divine.
Thy lips have often fed me
With words of truth and love;
Thy Spirit oft hath led me
To heavenly joys above.

— “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded,” LSB 450:1, 3-4.

The original wording of this hymn is attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

May you have a blessed Lent.

Obama’s Terrorism Blind Spot

254EF51800000578-0-image-m-24_1423520104864The Islamic State burned a man alive in a cage, then at the National Day of Prayer, President Obama told American Christians to get off their high horses.  Said Obama, “People committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Muhammadans murdered people at a kosher deli in Paris.  In response, President Obama called it random violence.

The Islamic State kidnapped 21 Christians, took them in another country, and beheaded them along the Mediterranean Sea.  In the same video, they also threatened to spill the blood of every single Christian in the world.

What should our response be?  Should we get off our high horse, and not judge?  Are all Americans and Christians just a bunch of hypocrites because of the Spanish Inquisition?

Thanks for the history lesson, but no thanks, Mr. President.  Christians, especially, know that we are not perfect.  Our own sin and the universality of sin is an integral part of our theology.  But we strive against our sin, we strive to do better, and we strive against evil in this world.

However, how can we strive against evil until after we have identified what is evil?  And how can we defeat evil if we do not know what is causing it?  What is motivating the terrorists?  What is causing this world wide convulsion of evil?  Obama seems to think this is just unmotivated random violence, in other words, it is just violence for its own sake.  He says, Islam is not the motivation.

But the terrorists disagree.  They say they are justified by the teaching of Islam.  And they are often very specific about just what teachings of Islam justify their behavior.  Should they be believed?  I do not know, but the fact is that their arguments are convincing Muhammadans around the world.

Therefore, we need to have a real discussion about Islam.  These boilerplate bromides from our leaders about how all religions are peaceful is not a debate or even a discussion.  Such bromides are just stupid.  The Aztecs sacrificed hundreds-of-thousands of people to their gods by cutting out their still beating hearts, and then rolling the bloody human bodies down their pyramids.  Is that a religion of peace?  By the way, that religious violence no longer takes place because Christians got on their literal high horses, and put an end to it.

How about the worship of Kali?  Was or is that a religion of peace?  (The Guardian).

These terrorists are trying to start a world war, and every day their movement gets bigger and more violent.  Why is this happening?

Obama’s blind spot is that he does not understand what motivates the terrorists.  But if he wants to effectively lead against this evil, he first needs to know what is causing it.  What are we striving against?  What is the threat we are facing?  Is it world war and global jihad?  Or is it just some unmotivated random violence?

Further Valuable Reading:

Nicene Creed Video

This is a beautiful video of the Nicene Creed done in kinetic typography, over stained glass windows, and with the voices of three generations.

The video was posted by Patrick Blake.