Let’s begin today with a pair of very old flower images. They are digital originals but were created shortly after I swapped film for files.
Both of the images below were made in the same style. Shallow depth of field, but pinpoint focus on where I wanted it, with natural out of focus softness where I desired that to be.
The first image below actually has out of focus leaves both in front of and in back of the flowers. I loved that effect and it was done by using an aperture of f4 with my 500mm lens, and a 1.4 converter, for an effective focal length of 700mm. It was not unusual for me to use super telephotos to isolate flower blossoms for drama.
A somewhat similar effect was produced in this Tulip photo, by using my 105mm macro at 6.3. In this case, the isolation was a mixture of closest bulb being in focus while the flowers in the background were not. It also helps “feed the mood” that the blossom up front has a natural spotlight called the sun.
A family picnic? Milkweed bugs on what else, a Milkweed plant. I used that 105mm macro again, but this time I needed an aperture of f 22 in order to catch sharply, the majority of the family. My focus was just in front of the group.
Sometimes you just have to settle. This Great Egret had just made a successful catch, but I would image it remained hungry. Big bird, little catch.
Behavior and telling stories is always a goal when photographing wildlife.
Let us move from blossoms and a bird, to the land.
I drove through the night and managed to catch Devil’s Tower (Wyoming) just after sunrise. I would love to tell you about the amazing wilderness setting I was in when I clicked the shutter, but I was set up in the parking lot for the visitor’s center. I did manage to photograph the formation from a more distant and more remote location, but alas the sweet golden light was gone.
There is nothing more graphically pleasing (for me), than to photograph sand. Yes sand. The possibilities are endless. The secret to each of the images below, is contrast or better said, highlights and shadows. Without that, there would be no shape or patterns.
Let’s end today’s photos with the beginning. The beginning of a single day that is.
When I was creating images there was nothing like a stormy sunrise to get my photographic juices flowing. Everything that happens after a beginning like this, is just gravy. The clouds almost appear to be mountains.
Part 2-Social Media
The poster below fit’s the description of most social media. While I agree with the poster, I must be fair and state that I copied this off of Facebook. I know not how long it remained up, but I was on Facebook when I found it. My own fairly recent experiences on this social media sight, included them altering two posts of mine to say and show something other than what it really did. In other words they lied and even tried to made me look like a pervert. They were reverted back to their original message eventually.
Part 3-The Outside Looking In
When writing a blog, it’s impossible to not write about yourself eventually. What subject do we know more about?
On any given day, somebody reading this blog, might either think that I am an ego maniac, or a self-loather with no personal confidence.
Neither is the case.
I have for most of my life, been one of those people who can stand “outside of myself”, and watch me, and then comment on it honestly. As if I was looking at a stranger. From my strengths to my weaknesses, and from the good to the bad. I have them all, and I recognize them.
I might tell you something that I did yesterday extremely well, or something else that I did idiotically. Neither brag or self-loathing, just the facts as I see them.
There are advantages and disadvantages that come with being a natural observer, both of oneself, and others.
If I have no trouble commenting on the positives and negatives of myself, I certainly can do the same when observing others.
There is nobody who I follow and like in the public arena, that I will not criticize when they do something I disagree with. It doesn’t mean I hate them, it only means that I disagree, sometimes roundly, with what they specifically did to cause my comments.
Another facet of being a observer of both self and others is,, I can see good things that people do even when I do not like those people. It doesn’t pain me to give credit where credit is due.
Being an honest observer of self and of others, is a tricky road to travel. I can only be who I am, win, lose, or draw. Like anything else, it has to be managed by constantly asking myself if I am being honest with myself, and therefore with others.
Life is a tricky thing, and while it seems it should become easier as time goes by, as the world gets crazier and more difficult, so does managing oneself.
Part 4-The Deep State
The “deep state”, is currently the most dangerous part of this country. It touches every part of government, and many parts of private industry.
The deep state today is often wealthy a lusting for power.
More than a few years ago, I would have never imagined how corrupt our FBI is. I have been to the FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, twice as a child. It was a dream come true for me. Today I wouldn’t even slow down if I was driving by.
Yes, there are some great agents and other workers I am sure, but some of the top layers belong in jail themselves, not putting other people in jail. As they persecuted Rudy Giuliani for his attempts to prove voter fraud in our last election, while searching his house they came across the computer hard drives that belonged to President Biden’s son Hunter. They were obtained legally by Rudy. Giuliana and he told them to make sure they took them as they contain child porn on them. They smiled and refused to investigate.
Some at the top care very little about crime, but a lot about politics and everything about power..
Part 5-One Age Ends
We are currently nearing the end of what has been referred to as the “church age”. The church age in and of itself, does not refer entirely to actual churches, be they brick and mortar, internet related, denominations or independent ministries. It is referring to born again Christians setting examples for the “world” and helping to bring them to Christ. I speak of the time when Christ’s Church ruled much of the direction of this planet. A time when it fought evil. Its time began when Christ ascended into Heaven.
Not every actual church has been a part of Christ’s Church, but some have.
I certainly do not mean that there are no good churches left, but I do mean that they are a small minority of those that exist. The Church of Laodicea, a combination of “the lukewarm church”, and churches that are actually doing Satan’s bidding, rule the day now. They are the majority, although there are some powerful “real” churches left.
If you are a born again Christian, and to be a Christian means believing the Bible as written, and not in humanistic interpretations, you might ask why is so much of the Bible, teaching about “Christ”, and what do we do to become “Saved”, or Born Again.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
(The Bible, does not spare us from the hard truth. The point to the above verse, it seems to me, is that no path to Heaven, and no escape from eternal misery and horror, that can be derived entirely from our own doing. Only the Precious Blood of Christ can deliver us to Heaven. That requires us to believe and accept.
Do you think you do not belong in the above group? I did! So we haven’t murdered and were are not all idolaters? And none of us have never told one single lie? In all our life? Right?
Jesus is the only human who never sinned. You cannot sit in the presence of God with the stain and stench of sin on you. Only the Blood of Christ can wash it clean. God became a man, because it took a human sacrifice if you will, to pay the penalty of sin. For those who sincerely accept it that is. That’s justice)
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His Mercy He saved us, by the washing, Regeneration, and Renewing of the Holy Spirit.
(Being Born Again, is to be “Regenerated” by the cleansing of our sins with the Blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit Who is also God, actually produces the Regeneration needed. The Holy Spirit can live inside of you.)
6 Which He shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior.
7 That being justified by His Grace (Grace is the only means of Justification. We should be made heirs in accordance to that Grace with the hope of Eternal Life.
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work iniquity, (There is no path to God and salvation, accept through Christ, and faith in what He did on the Cross. Without such, you will be judged. You cannot exist in the presence of God without the cleansing Blood of Jesus When He says, I never knew you, He never knew you because you have first and foremost not put your faith in Christ Jesus and what He did for you.
(The Bible tells us over and over and over again, that we cannot justify ourselves to Heaven, and nobody else can so for us. All the good deeds in the world, and all the good intentions in the world will not do it.
Also, nobody else can give us that Grace. It is straight from God by the way of the Son. If I should die tomorrow, I will be lifted to Heaven, by the Grace of God and my acceptance of what Jesus did for me. He did the same for you.)
Thanks and may God Bless,