Autumn Leaves

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Autumn Leaves next to the Wisconsin River

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Gold in the Far Forest

There was virtually no wind, but every so often cascades of leaves filled the air.  The video below is 60 frames per second slowed down to 24 frames per second.

Click on the four arrows icon to make the video full screen.  My battery ran dead after this video.  Some day, I will learn to bring fully charged spare batteries.

May God bless you.

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2018 American Birkebeiner

Raw video from the 2018 American Birkebeiner held in northern Wisconsin.

This year racers from 49 U.S. states and 39 countries competed.  Nearly 40,000 skiers, spectators, and volunteers gather annually for this race.  (Worldloppet TV magazine #14).  The American Birkebeiner is a Worldloppet race.

Jessie Diggins grew up skiing in the American Birkebeiner.

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.

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.

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.