Behind The Camera!

Photographers like to talk about what happens “behind the camera,” meaning photographic skills is preparing for a photograph. That’s well and good, and definitely an area of worthy focus.

But, I’d point to another “Behind the Camera” event that’s equally important. Let me explain . . .

I was recently photographing a nice sunset in the Badlands National Park and had some things going for a good image. There were some showers and mild thunderstorms in the area. These always seem to offer drama in the sky, and, I was ready. I’ve worked to develop a discipline while photographing to turn around and look “Behind the Camera,” like the other direction! It’s easy when you’re focused on a subject to forget there are other things to consider.

When I turned around, this is what greeted me . . .

Viewpoint Ahead

Viewpoint Ahead

Lesson learned!

The next evening I thought I’d work for a sunset as there seemed to be some decent clouds forming in the west, even a small shower here and there. Focused clearly on this developing sunset, my “lesson learned” dawned on me as the few showers were beginning to find my location. Well, when I turned around this evening I was nearly overwhelmed! Admittedly, I was a little late in turning so by the time I moved my tripod and got reset, things were fading some.

Here’s what was “Behind the Camera” on this occasion . . .

Some Days Just End Well

Some Days Just End Well

Not only is it a good lesson to refrain from being so focused on what’s before you that you forget other things in your life, it’s a good lesson for photographers too. Remember what’s “Behind the Camera”!

We all get too wrapped up in the job, the game, the digital device in front of us, we can easily forget other very, possibly more important, things that seem behind what’s consuming us! Things like your husband or wife, your family, your friends easily float to the fore. And, the most important thing to keep refreshed in our thinking, our hearts, our lives, even when before us seems so great, is the Lord Jesus who loves us. He even has some words for us. If Jesus is new to you, read His Word and start with the Gospel of John . . . He has something just for you. Don’t let it get missed because you’re too focused upon what’s before!

Harvest and Some Lessons

A recent trip to western Kansas just happened to coincide with the wheat harvest. What a treat! Through the kindness of a friend, and a farmer he knew, I got my first combine ride. To say the least, it was impressive! This was a serious piece of equipment!

Thanks to all, it was a great time and some great memories, plus, I got my first lessons in making homemade cinnamon rolls, but that’s another story. Back to the harvest . . .

Watching this harvest reminded me of some wisdom I learned a number of years ago. I’d like to pass them along to you for your pondering and probably some growing in some Laws of the Harvest. First, some images that caught my eye as harvesting was pressing to stay ahead of some coming thunderstorms.

Beating the Storm

The Season's Produce

Here’s that wisdom worth your consideration, The Laws of the Harvest . . .

The Seven Laws of the Harvest

LAW #1. WE REAP ONLY WHAT HAS BEEN SOWN.

All life comes from antecedent life; for as Louis Pasteur has adequately demonstrated, there is no such thing as spontaneous generation. What we reap, then, was planted either naturally or purposely, either by God or man, for either positive or negative results. We are benefactors of much for which we have extended no labor, but we enter into the labor of others. We are recipients also of the sowing of tares in the field; for what others do does affect us, and there is no way for us to elude it.

LAW #2. WE REAP THE SAME IN KIND AS WE SOW.

Whatever we sow, we reap; so that, if we sow the good, we will reap the good. If we sow the evil, we will reap the evil.

LAW #3. WE REAP IN A DIFFERENT SEASON THAN WHEN WE SOW.

We sow in one season; we reap in another. No harvest comes the moment the seed is planted, but it must await Godís appointed time.

LAW #4. WE REAP MORE THAN WE SOW.

No fact is more significant and sobering. When we sow the wind, we reap the whirlwind. When we sow good, we bountifully receive from the hand of God who is a debtor to no man; for the harvest is always greater than the seed planted. If this were not the case, no farmer would plant anything.

LAW #5. WE REAP IN PROPORTION AS WE SOW.

If we sow sparingly, we reap sparingly; but if we sow bountifully, we reap accordingly. The more ground we sow, the greater the harvest we will have.

LAW #6. WE REAP THE FULL HARVEST OF THE GOOD ONLY IF WE PERSEVERE; THE EVIL COMES TO HARVEST ON ITS OWN.

Weeds grow by themselves, but this is not true with the vegetables in the garden. These require much care.

LAW #7. WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT LAST YEAR’S HARVEST, BUT WE CAN ABOUT THIS YEAR’S.

Last year is a fact of history that cannot be re-lived and about which we can do nothing. Our concern needs to be for what we are producing right now.

(from Emil Brunner (Translated by Thomas Wieser) Sowing and Reaping, The Parables of Jesus (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1964).

Begin sowing today for the harvest ahead!

When a Flower Isn’t Just a Flower!

So, when is a flower not just a flower? When you get the great pleasure of photographing your granddaughter!

One of the real joys of photography is capturing the memories of family and friends. Take time to make your camera a way to bring a blessing to others.

I have to tell one story . . . Some years ago I was photographing mothers, some with children, some without, at an outreach ministry. One of the ladies I was privileged to meet and photograph said to me, “I’ve never before had my photograph taken.” It broke my heart and opened my eyes all at the same time! Use your skills and tools and you’ll be amazed what blessings the Lord can bring!

A World of Wings

 

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When things are “for the birds” around my place, it’s a literal statement!

Needing a little time away from the monitors and keyboard, I put up a couple feeders for birds, plus a couple hummingbird feeders in the front yard. It was no time till things were definitely “for the birds” around here.

Just a short break from the desk and a little camera time has yielded some great time and some close encounters. I’ll attach a few pictures here and freshen this page in the coming days with some more birds which now call my yard “breakfast” or “lunch” or something like that. Enjoy!

House Finch Male

House Finch Male

House Finch Female

House Finch Female

Chihuanhuan Desert

 

1024w__D811163-Edit-EditA trip to the Big Bend National Park in the Chihuanhuan Desert is one I’d suggest you put on your list. If you like big space and big skies, it’s here!

Big Bend National Park is rated as one of the top 10 “darkest places” in our world. As a benefit, you can find “Big Sky” country at night like you may have never seen.

Night photography is new to me so I’m always looking for some insights. Let me share with you some of the things I’ve learned and some resources you may find helpful.

Equipment needed will be a camera which can handle high ISO, typically 1600-3200, sometimes higher. My personal preference is to start at 1600 ISO and adjust as needed. You’ll also need a solid tripod for long exposures and a fast lens for gathering all the light you can.

My lens of choice is the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED. It’s available for most popular camera bodies. If this night photography interest blossoms some more, I’ll probably add the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED for that extra wide angle view. Both lenses are very reasonably priced. Don’t worry about the manual focus because you will set it and forget it. I literally tape the lens in place once focused on infinity, and, you’ll want to focus on infinity, not just turn to infinity.

You’ll profit from a way to set long exposures. My choice has been the Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote. It also comes “wired.”

If you can’t make it to Big Bend right away, check out the website “Dark Sky Finder” or “Blue Marble” for a dark place near where you live.

There are numerous website discussing night photography so a little searching will be profitable. Here’s one that has really helped me get started. It’s David Kingham’s Blog.

So, “the rest of the story” . . . I booked 6 days in the desert for night photography. It rained the first 5, including tornado warnings, hail, minor flooding, power outages! You get the picture, and, pun intended, I barely didn’t! I ended up with one night to photography. Such is life, but as the movie says, “I’ll be back,” and I’d add, “Lord willing”!

The days did yield some desert goodness and a few pictures will suffice. Check out night photography and enjoy the heavens above!

Mule Ears

Mule Ears

White Wing Dove

White Wing Dove

Scaled Quail

Scaled Quail

Prairie Falcon

Prairie Falcon