Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

We all start our days in different ways: going for a run, hitting snooze 17 times, or watching the morning news, among many, many others.  It could be a shot taken during your morning walk, the morning vista out your kitchen window, your cat doing a pre-breakfast stretch, or a textured close-up of your oatmeal bubbling away at the stove. I’m excited to see how all your days start — maybe we’ll all pick up a new morning ritual! I am definitely “a morning person.”

I love the peace and quiet of early morning, when I get out of bed at around 5:30 or 6:00 A.M. most days.

Food and drink for my body

Food and drink for my body

First of all, I eat breakfast, often it is a bowl of cereal and definitely coffee. I cannot start my day without coffee!

Food for my mind & spirit

Food and drink for my mind & spirit

After breakfast, I spend time with God, reading the Bible, devotional literature, and praying. Be sure to check out the other entries here.

 

100th Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday Sunday, September 29, 2013, I was privileged to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Peter Lutheran Church, Stettler, Alberta, where I was ordained and served in my first call as pastor.  Of course brought my camera along and took some photos.

Church Exterior Front

Church Exterior Front

Church Exterior Sideview

Church Exterior Sideview

Church Sanctuary

Church Sanctuary

I appreciated the opportunity to assist the resident pastor with the worship service and share a greeting/address with the congregation. Meeting with parishioners after so many years brought back many warm and grateful memories too. There were both tears and laughter, as folks reminisced; remembering the saints of old who have gone to their eternal reward; as well as the saints of today and their participation in this community of faith. I learned many things from the folks in this congregation, three of which I am in particular most grateful: the ministry of hospitality and generosity, the importance of listening on a deep level, and the love of and appreciation for music. Most of all I’m grateful to God for his constant faithfulness, love and grace, which continue to be poured out in abundance among the pastor and parishioners of this congregation. To God be the glory!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

This week, show us a photo of whatever you’d like, but make sure it’s saturated. It can be black and white, a single color, a few hues, or a complete rainbow riot; just make sure it’s rich and powerful. Let’s turn the comments into an instant mood-booster!

Sunrise

Sunrise

The same sunrise

The same sunrise

When I think of sunrise, I remember this early 70s song from the British rock group  Yes, “Heart of the Sunrise.” Check out the other entries here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

This week I am offering a second entry. Please visit the other entries here.

Top of outdoor display at Writing on Stone Park

Top of outdoor display at Writing on Stone Park

Top of World's Tallest Teepee

Top of World’s Tallest Teepee

When I think of Patterns, I also remember this song by Simon and Garfunkel.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

From lines to patterns. We see lines and patterns in the world around us, in nature and things man-made. Sometimes we don’t realize they’re there: on the street, across the walls, up in the sky, and along the ground on which we walk.

Pattern Collage: Chair, Ties, Pot Heating Pad, Close-Peg Cross, Floor Tiles

Pattern Collage: Chair, Ties, Pot Heating Pad, Close-Peg Cross, Floor Tiles

This is my first go at a collage, which I made with the help of  Picasa 3.

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.

Margaret Mead

Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.

Stephen Covey

The mark of our time is its revulsion against imposed patterns.

Marshall McLuhan

Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go.

Fred Rogers

I think it’s harder for people than it should be. But as more and more of us become carbon neutral and change the patterns in our lives to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, we are now beginning to see the changes in policy that are needed.

Al Gore

Patterns are the fingerprints of God’s creative activity in the universe, which create a sense of awe, wonder and order.  Dim Lamp

Be sure to check out this week’s other entries here.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Michelle Weber writes: “This week, share what you see on the inside. It could be something literally inside, like these birds in the rebar or the inside of your home or favorite hideaway. If you’d like, go in a personal direction — share a photo of your best friend laughing, showing how she feels on the inside, or an arresting shot of your son’s blue eyes (windows to the soul, dontcha know). This is also a great opportunity to put what you learned in Jeff Sinon’s guest post on composition into practice.”

My entry this week consists of three shots I recently took on a trip to The Canadian Historic Windmill Centre, at Etzikom, Alberta. At one time the Canadian prairies were dotted with hundreds, perhaps even thousands of windmills to pump the much needed water from wells. Visit the other entries here.

English style windmill

English style windmill

Notice the pole in the middle of the stairway, extending downwards to the ground. It was used to turn the whole windmill in order to catch the wind from every direction.

Poster with history of first windmills in North America

Poster with history of first windmills in North America

Inside shot of the windmill, I like the contrast background wood, from which the poster is displayed.

Inside the windmill

Inside the windmill

When I think of windmills, I also think of the song by Dusty Springfield:

The Windmills of Your Mind

Round
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it’s own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half-forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly? 
Was it something that you said? 
Lovers walk along a shore
And leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand? 
Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of a song
Half-remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong? 
When you knew that it was over
You were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the colour of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

Unusual. In this week’s Photography 101 post on point of view, Lynn Wohlers offers great advice on how to show your own unique way of looking at the world:

Challenge yourself to rethink your ideas about what subjects are appropriate, and then challenge yourself again to find an unusual perspective on your subject.

For this challenge, let’s keep Lynn’s advice in mind. Go out and take photos and share a shot that reveals a new and different POV. You can take a picture of a familiar subject in a fresh way, as I did of the iconic London Eye in the image above. Instead of a more traditional shot — placing the structure in the middle of the frame and taking it from a more straightforward angle — I focused on the paper art plastered on a red telephone booth along the embankment, further away, and placed the London Eye in the left of the frame, seemingly insignificant.

You can consider other approaches, too:

  • Use something natural (window, tree, wall of a building, etc.) to frame your shot.
  • Get low on the ground to take a picture from a very different angle.
  • Focus on a specific part of a person, object, or structure (instead of all of it) — or intentionally cut off a part of your subject or scene.
  • Place something in between you and your subject/scene to offer a distinct perspective
Sunrise

Sunrise

This past week, I took this photo at sunrise from my back yard. What’s “unusual” in this photo is part of one of our trees in the left bottom foreground. I’ve edited the photo a bit with Picasa to increase the contrast of colours between earth and sky.  Please check out the other entries here.

Sunrise and Playground

Sunrise and Playground

This shot was taken a few minutes later, and is more of a close-up of the children’s playground.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Sea. What kind of emotions does the sea or ocean make you feel? Do you remember the first time you went in the water? Had a wave crash on you? Felt the sand burn your feet? Do you feel more peaceful around water? Do you hate the beach? What’s the most interesting thing about the sea for you?

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

When I think of the sea or ocean, I am reminded of God creating them, and God’s Spirit [the Hebrew word can also refer to God’s wind or breath] “swept over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2) So I think of God’s immense, creative powers to fill these huge bodies of water with mystery and a beautiful array of life-forms. I also think of the vastness of these seas and oceans, and that reminds me of infinity, and eternity, life without end, life transcending time, which again is a gift from God and alludes to God’s creativity and love. When I think of the sea or ocean, I also think of two amazing works of Western literature: Mock Dick by the 19th century writer, Herman Melville, and his Captain Ahab, who was obsessed with chasing old Moby Dick, a huge sperm whale. The tale introduces a lot of themes, including interfaith relations, the meaning of life or life-quest for meaning, good and evil, God and humankind, and humankind’s place in the universe, etc.  The second work, of course, is Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which again addresses themes such as high adventure on the sea, and humankind’s place in creation, as well as the beauty of creation, which the Mariner finally realises and the curses of his dead sailors are lifted, and the albatross falls off from around his neck into the water. My favourite lines in the poem are: “Water, water, every where,/And all the boards did shrink;/Water, water, every where,/Nor any drop to drink.”

Sea Shell

Sea Shell

Another Sea Shell

Another Sea Shell

These sea shells were photographed on Vancouver Island, one of our favourite places to vacation in Canada, with many wonderful sandy beaches. They remind me not only of the beauty of God’s creation, but also of the fun child’s word game: “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.” Don’t you remember trying to compete with other family or friends by seeing who could speak these words the fastest, without making a mistake? 🙂  Thanks for visiting, and please visit the other entries here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Focus. This week’s challenge is inspired by Matthew George’s post on focus, in which he introduced us to the basics of depth of field and aperture. He explained what an image with a shallow depth of field looks like (or conversely, a photo with a greater depth of field), and how the aperture setting on your camera affects it.

For this challenge, get out there and take a picture demonstrating the concept of focus. Depending on your skill level or type of camera, tinker with the manual settings, use the auto focus feature, or play around with an app.

Blur shot of tree

Blur shot of tree

Same tree, more distant shot

Same tree, more distant shot

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
-Martin Luther                                                                                                                 
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. -Abraham Lincoln
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. -William Blake                       Check out the other entries here.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

For this challenge, capture two images — a horizontal and a vertical version — of the same scene or subject. There are no concrete “rules” here, but a) it should be evident that both shots are of the same place/location or person/thing, and b) your photographs should ideally have been taken during the same shoot — where’s the challenge if you’re just plucking out pictures of a particular location or person from your archives? So here is my contribution this week. To view other entries go here.

World's Largest Chess Set, horizontal shot

World’s Largest Chess Set, horizontal shot

World's Largest Chess Board, Vertical shot

World’s Largest Chess Board, Vertical shot

I took these shots earlier today. For more information on the World’s Largest Chess Board/Set, visit the Medicine Hat Chess Club’s website here.