In light of both public and private events of the last many days, this photo of the crescent moon in the evening sky at Valley of the Gods reminds me to be still and know…
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
Monument Valley Riders
On one of my very favorite trips through Monument Valley, in Utah, we were in and out of the car a million times shooting some of the most beautiful landscapes, when we came upon this picture perfect scene of four riders on horseback in the valley. It was just such perfection. It was as if a movie set had been placed before us. Though this photo was made several years and many Monument Valley trips ago, it continues to be one of my all time favorites.
I love the colors of this little guy. He does look just a little put out that his peaceful day in the pond was so rudely interrupted by a bunch of crazy people chasing him around. He is a permanent resident of the pond at the house we rented near Stowe, Vermont a couple of summers ago, and brings back great memories of a fun family trip full of all kinds of adventure… including frog catching!
I Miss Maui
I recently had lunch with a friend who had just returned from Maui. As she talked about her trip, I couldn’t help but reflect back to the heavenly days we spent in Maui in December of 2005. While looking back through my shots, I came across this image. It has got to be one of my favorites from that trip. I love the way the clouds are caught by the mountaintop, and the beauty of the sun reflecting off the blue water. I like the “noise” of the children playing in the surf and the quiet serenity of the sailboat on the horizon. Ah, Hawaii….
… and my soul wells up with Hallelujahs… a line from one of my favorite songs from Chris Rice. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can listen to it here!
This image reminds me of one of the reasons I started this photo blog… to be more tuned in to the beauty of my surroundings… to really see. This image was actually shot on a shopping day on my recent visit to Sedona, Arizona. Outside one of the many goodie filled shops in Tlaquepaque, was a simple wicker basket filled with starfish. It struck me that among all of the beautiful man made jewelery, scarves, wind chimes, and other treasures inside the shops, the unbelievable intricacies of these God created starfish simply could not be outdone. I really love coming upon unexpected treats like this one in life, and am glad that I was “untangled enough” (at least on this particular day) to see it.
Red Chili Peppers
Where else but New Mexico would you encounter this scene in front of a shop. There is nothing better than the red and green chili peppers in the great Southwest. These were especially beautiful hanging out in the hot Santa Fe sun.
I am not known to be an early morning person! Several weeks ago though, I had to be up early to get my daughter to an out of town event. Luckily, I took my camera with me. Once I was on my way back home, and good and awake, I began to appreciate the early morning light as the sun came up, and decided to make a stop by a local park. I had been to this park many times before, but I found it especially serene and peaceful in the solitude of early morning. The light coming off the pond was warm and wonderful, and provided a great and worshipful way to start my day.
There was something about this line of bicycles at the Old Port of Montreal that I found to be so picturesque. Montreal is one of those places that is vastly different depending on the season. The winters tend to be so bleak and blustery, that once summer comes, people really get out and enjoy it. In the summer of 2010, I was glad to be one of those strolling the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal.
So, honestly, I feel less than thrilled to post this particular image. It was made while in the Four Corners area on the mission trip, and does, indeed, illustrate why those of us on this trip love to sit out under the stars every night, no matter how tired. It is, however, my very first attempt to capture the milky way in an image. I was using my brand new wide angle lens. At an ISO of 1600, a wide open aperture, and a 20 second shutter speed, I positioned my camera on a pile of large rocks, aimed it toward the sky, and fired away using my auto release cord. I was really only moderately pleased with my results. While I did record some “close” images, nothing really took my breath away. Because I was shooting in the dark, and not able to truly review my images (other than in the viewfinder, where they all looked amazing), I found it hard to tweak the settings to improve the results. So, while I am not thrilled with the sharpness of the image among other things, there are a few things I do like about it. I was pleased with the silhouetting of the landscape in the foreground and the luck I had in capturing the satellite in the upper left hand corner. It was also quite a trill to see how beautifully the milky way showed itself in the image – even better than to the naked eye. All in all, I felt like this was a decent first attempt at capturing a pleasing image of our galaxy from one of my favorite places on earth. It only makes me look forward to further attempts in my future!