Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Apple Aperture...

Apple Aperture
I decided that I would give the famed Aperture® software a trial spin. There are some pretty cool features, but I am not sure that I am willing to drop the $299 on it quite yet.
The best thing of all is that it natively supports multiple libraries on separate disks -- a feature that I have to work a little harder at with iPhoto. It also treats RAW files with almost the same ease as JPEGs.
I'll probably be posting more about it later on.

A Bygone Era...

ISO 100 ~ f/11 ~ 1/200 ~ 44mm

Saturday, January 19, 2008


ISO 100 ~ f/13 ~ 1/200 ~ 135mm

Can anyone guess what a picture like this is a good candidate for? And once you tell me, explain why you think so. Kind of like a reverse tutorial; I want to see your views and inputs rather than just mine.

Another thing. I'm going to stick my neck out a little bit in hopes that you will stick yours out too. How about some constructive criticism on my photos. You know; "hey, I think opening your aperture, and giving that photo a little less DOF would really make the shot." or "Placing the subject's eyes on one of the 'third' lines catches your eye a little more than focusing the face in the center of the frame." You get the point. This does two things: 1) it improves (hopefully) everyone's photography, 2) it keeps me humble.

No, seriously, I think reader input is valuable. None of us are perfect, and I'd hate for my friends/brothers/sisters to think that I am trying to set myself apart as a superior photographer. I wish I were some 'awesome' photographer, but the truth be told, I'm just learning how to "see as a lens sees". One thing that has really humbled me is that the best photographers I know appear to be less aware of their talent than I am. I see their work, and my jaw hits the floor sometimes as I wonder how they thought of something so unique, yet they seem to take no credit for their work. It challenges me even more.

I tend to cringe and hide away from baring my heart publicly. There is a certain degree of 'safety' that you can build up around you through the internet, over the phone, and even in reasonably close friendships. That safety is something that the Pharisees of Jesus' time had perfected; the art of fooling everyone into thinking you're something you really are not. The Greeks were a little more honest in their view of this "art" and called it hypocrisy, or, in modern English: acting. This was one thing that Jesus was adamantly against. He openly criticized it, publicly humiliating both the Scribes and the Pharisees with that moniker. Why? Because God hates lies. And when we live a life that does not tell the exact story of our true self, we're lying to others. What do we think this will profit us? I'm really not sure! It certainly does not fool God, and it isn't going to fool a soul on that Great Judgement day that is coming, when we stand naked before Him. Not even our filthy rags of righteousness will follow us to that throne. Not an excuse, murmur, defense, or word of vindication will escape our lips on that day. Bowing before Him, we will be exactly who we always knew we were.

One of my favorite challenging quotes (written on the back page of my Bible) follows: "When your reputation exceeds your character, you are in bondage." Think on that one for a while. And then think of it through this quote: "Reputation is what men say you are; character is what God says you are." So basically, once you start placing an image of something that is better than you truly are before men, they will expect that from you. If you do not want to disappoint them, you'll always be running to keep that facade up while you are in front of that brother or sister. Where does the bondage come in? The running. You'll wear yourself absolutely ragged trying to uphold that godly image that you portrayed yourself as. Why? simply because you are living the life of an actor every single day.

Friends, brothers, sisters; this is not Hollywood, nor should we be 'acting' like it is. If there is any role-model to follow in acting, check out the life of Lucifer. Angel of light in one breath, roaring lion in the next. Subtle serpent, fiery fiend. A wolf covered up in a sheepskin so nobody notices his carnivorous fangs. The list continues. Now contrast that with the life of Christ. Open, honest, candid. He lived what he spoke, hid nothing, concealed nothing. When asked where he lived, his prompt response was: "Come and see." (John 1:39) You could read His very soul in His face. Even the reprobate centurion that was in charge of Jesus' crucifixion admitted that he must have been the Son of God.

I try to hide so much. I don't want brother so-and-so knowing that I listen to this kind of music, and I certainly don't want sister so-and-so finding out that I watched a movie. What does this profit us? It only draws us farther and farther down the path that the devil has so clearly cut for us. The broad and 'smooth' path; who's end is destruction.

Wow. You know how hard that was to write, knowing that anyone can read it? Real. Hard.

Oh, and a special thank you to a very dear brother of mine who's open, humble heart inspired me to write this. God will bless you for it, brother! Keep pressing onward!

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The Rising Sun...

ISO 100 ~ f/4.6 ~ 1/400th ~ 50mm

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Old Ironsides...

ISO 100 ~ f/11 ~ 1/200th ~ 135mm

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Drifting Ashore...

ISO 100 ~ f/14 ~ 1/160 ~ 135mm

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Trying now to make the harbor, some poor sailor may be lost.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Walking in the Storm...

ISO 100 ~ f/7.1 ~ 1/200 ~ 65mm

I'll let you decide which one tells the story better... I like the top one because it draws your attention more to the fact that the colors are muted, the fog is thick, and the atmosphere gloomy. The lower one is almost too flat (not enough contrast) for monochrome, but yet it adds another aspect to the story that the top one skips.

What do you think?

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Still Life...

ISO 100 ~ f/4.5 ~ 1/200 ~ 50mm

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

North Carolina Countryside...

ISO 100 ~ f/8 ~ 1/250 ~ 28mm

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

All Things Are Possible...

ISO 400 ~ f/1.8 ~ 1/100 ~ 50mm

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