How I know God guides my photography.....

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again. They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard. But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth."
Psalm 19: 1 - 4 (NCV).

Every time I look through the lens of my camera I see God working. Every day He reveals His majesty. Every night He shows me how He creates beauty even in the darkness. Even if I had not known Him before I started taking photos, the moment I looked at His creation up close (or far away) I see His glory and He guides me to see His beauty in all He has created. Photography just allows me to capture an image of what He has created.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A View From The Top

The village of Vivier Sur Rhone ("Vivier" for short) has so many beautiful vistas and scenes. Every turn of the corner brings on another breath taking view. At the top of a hill overlooking the "new town" stands the "old town" and a very old church and yard. From the stone wall surrounding the church you look down and across the old section of the city. This is a photo I took on December 30, 2008 at about 3:45 p.m.. I'm still using the point and shoot camera with the ISO set at 100 (with the overcast and mist below, it was best to use this lower setting with a longer time exposure (1/30 of a second with a maximum aperture value of F3.3). The main focus was on the town in the foreground so the hills in the background just drifted off.

A Path To Nowhere - Viviers Sur Rhone, France

Every once and awhile you'll take a photo that you really don't expect to have unexpected nuances. Where what you thought you saw was more than what you really saw. For me, this was such a picture. While on a recent trip to Southern France (Viviers Sur Rhone) I turned a corner in this very old, very beautiful French town (only about 7,000 in population, but over 2,000 years of history) and there it was, the"Allee Du Rhone" (Alley of Rhone)....

It had been very cold and rainy that day (December 30, 2008) and the sky was very overcast and gloomy. The streets were wet and pooled with icy water. Because I chose not to bring my DSLR on this trip, I only had my trusty point and shoot (Sony Cyber-shot DCSW150 (8.1 Mega Pixel camera). It didn't seem to matter though. I took this photo at 1/100 of a second using an ISO setting of 100. Because point and shoot camera lens are very different than DSLR lens, the setting was F3 with a focal lengthe of 3 (which would be somewhere in the 50 mm range of a DSLR. No additional contrast or satruation were set (Landscape - Auto Exposure)... As I said, just a simple point and shoot. Although I prefer to shoot with my DSLR, I'm not that much of a photography purest when it comes to which camera I use. Which ever is more convienent and less cumbersom is my choice for the shoot.

The reason I say this photograph has unexpected nuances is because the longer I looked at it the more drawn into it I became. Little odd things started to appear that I had not noticed when I was physically on this little tree lined alley that lead from the Rhone River to the center of the town. The longer I gazed the photo actually had my mind mentally turning the picture and giving the photo a different look and feel. The photo above is actually a flipped version of the original photo (which I posted below)...
I don't know, maybe the original says it's not that dark of a day and it was only the standing water that made the trees dark. The flipped version really reflected more of how the day looked and felt. No matter what direction the photo is in, the feelings I experience change with each shift in position. What ever is going on, it's photos like this that cause me to see the world differently than if I was just walking along and not observing changes around me. Years ago this would just have been another street; today, it's a story.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Taste of Southern France December 2008-January 2009

(~Vacation with a camera ~)

These photos were taken with a simple point and shoot (I really didn't want to carry a heavier DSLR with me... so much to see and so little time to shoot). I took over 1,600 photos on this 9 day trip (two in the air) and I wish the skies were as blue (and cloud filled) as some for these photos. Most of the time it was very overcast and rainy... it's amazing what a small point and shoot can do given the ever changing weather conditions. I still prefer the DSLR when it comes to quality, however, the point and shoots are quick, versatile, and just very convenient. Some I've printed on 13 x17 high gloss photopaper with very good results even at 8.1 mega pixels.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wolf At The Front Door

Here is a recent photo I took while in Southern France (Arles). This wolf like dog was sitting at the front door of a large church in the center of Arles. The locals said it is a beggar's dog and that the dog will lay in this doorway until his owner comes to the spot to beg. I observed this dog for close to 20 minutes and it did not move from this spot. Later that morning (December 28, 2008 at 11:59 a.m. - a Sunday) the beggar was in that spot and I saw this dog going toward an alley near some older ruins. While on vacation I chose not to take my larger DSLR with me (to much equipment to haul and just too heavy to move). I shot this with a Sony Cybershot DSC-W150. The exposure was at 1/125 of a second at F4.5 (ISO speed was 125). Focal length was 18.7mm. This camera (a point and shoot) is an 8.1 mega pixel camera... fit in my shirt pocket and enabled me to shoot with ease and without having to lug around various lenses. I saw several other photographers who were using their DSLR cameras, and when we compared pictures, I'd say about 90% of the time, this little point and shoot held its own.

If you look closely, you will be able to see the doorway at the church in Arles. The arrow points to the location of the dog. There was a film being shot in the square that day and you can see the lighting equipment that was set up.