Welcoming 2017

In three hours, it will be a new year.

Thankful for friends in Patapsco State Park

Frankly, two weeks ago, I feared I was going to crawl across the finish line, just barely making it through December.  I had allowed myself to be weighed down with frustrations that could have been alleviated with, perhaps, a few simple phone calls.  And indeed, thanks to the generous kindness of many friends this past week, I find myself refreshed and ready for a new year.  It is incredible what a listening ear, some time outside, and some prayer together can do to rejuvenate one's spirit.

Thankful for the chance to catch up with college friends

2017 is coming.  Let this be a chance to restart those forgotten dreams.  To hit the reset button on troubled storylines.  To restore hurting relationships.  You have the power to change, to love, to heal, to grow.

Jesus is making all things new, and He can do so even in the darkest places of our lives.  He knocks - will we open the door?

Thankful for photo adventures with Light.

May 2017 bring you joy and healing and abundance!


Don't Give Up

At the beginning of the year, I made a goal to publish a blog post every Monday.  52 entries for 2016.  The intention was to write on Friday, then edit Monday morning and publish Monday night. 

This started to slide as the months passed, and about halfway through the year I found myself writing, editing, and publishing all on Monday night.

Then, in November, I missed a Monday, settling for a Tuesday night post.  Now, two weeks left in the year, I have struggled to think up something worthwhile to post.  Monday has become Saturday afternoon.

The original goal - Monday posts - cannot be met.  But there is still a chance to say that I wrote and published something every week in 2016.  Why give up with only two weeks to go?

Last weekend's icefall

Last weekend's icefall

The past two months have brought their share of disappointments.  But that's no excuse to give up on something else, just to add to the pile of should-have-beens.

Do not give up.  Press on.

Tomorrow, many people folks celebrate Christ's birth - an ultimate message of hope that came in an unlikeliest of ways at an uncertain time for the people of Israel.  Perhaps, in the little things in our lives, there is an echo of this larger story:  That our hopes can one day be fulfilled.  Our disappointments are no conclusion to the story.

Whether the obstacles you face today are large or small; whether the circumstances of your life are overwhelming or merely inconvenient:

Do not give up.  Press on!

Capture the Night

It was a few months back that Andrew came to me with a request.  He had been the owner of a new DSLR for some time and was keen to learn some night photography.  Could I teach him?

Absolutely, said I. Several calendar conflicts later, we headed to Fells Point on a cold and windy Saturday.

I don't work here.

Once our tripods were set, we put our cameras in full manual mode and dropped the ISO down to 100.  The lower the ISO number, the less grainy the image.  That set, it was time for some experimenting.

Say you want to get an entire scene in focus.  Boost up your f-stop number.  It closes down the aperture in the lens and brings objects near and far into focus - a large depth of field.  However, you'll have to have a slower shutter speed to compensate if you want the image to turn out.  The more time that shutter is open, the more light gets in, and the brighter your resulting photograph will be.

Adventures in Fells Point.  5 second exposure at f/8.

There's two exciting side effects here.  First, the high f-stop will give the added effect of twinkling stars wherever there's a point source of light in your photograph.  Christmas tree lights and streetlamps will both have this interesting star effect.  Second, motion will be blurred due to the slow shutter speed.  Car headlights will leave streaks, people walking by may be like ghosts, and flags will be a messy blur in the wind.  It can give an interesting ephemeral air to your images.

After an hour, Andrew and I could no longer deal with the cold, so we headed back to his place to look at the images we created. A successful time!

Now get out there and capture some great images of the night around you!

I really like car light trials

I really like car light trials

2017 Seniors: Rylee

Some folks get their yearbook portrait done elsewhere and then come to me for some more casual portraits.   Such was Rylee's style!  We got her portraits done right before all the leaves were blown from the trees by the first big cold front of the year.  Her older sister joined the party for some sister portraits.  Senior Portrait Freedom is all about flexibility and documenting your successes, passions, and joys.  Bring a pet, bring your sports gear, even bring that favorite sibling!  Congratulations, Rylee, as you finish up your high school years!