Tag Archives: Photography

Trio at Lockridge

7 May

I was doing a photo shoot and took a few random photos at Lockridge Park, formerly Lockridge Furnace.  Unfortunately, I missed taking photographs during the bluebell blooming season, but the crumbling ruins of the furnace are always interesting subjects.  I enjoy the textures, the shadows, and the colors of the park.

Here’s a trio of photos I managed to snap during my shoot.  I know one of the sandals on the feet of the little girl are blurred, but I though about the interesting movement it depicts.  I also appreciate the symbolism of young life amidst the ruins…and I’m tempted to write about Nehemiah building the walls of Jerusalem…but I won’t.  At least not today.

Friday Faves: Linus’ Blanket Edition

16 Dec

Last week, I admitted that I wasn’t OK and gave you my permission to revel in your not OK-ness (not that you needed my permission).  If last week was not OK, then this week was one, uh, terrible.  I mean, wretched.  Gut-wrenching.

It was bad.

I think that’s what I like about Friday…the hope of the rest, relief, and recreation the weekend provides is just on the horizon.  We can let ourselves go, have a Pajama Day Saturday, rock out with the worship band at church on Sunday…and then have at it again.

But were weren’t made to live from weekend-to-weekend.  We weren’t even meant to live day-to-day, but rather moment-t0-moment…and in those moments, in each and every moment, we were meant to rely on God.  We can’t have faith in the past moment.  We can hope to have faith in the future moment, but we MUST live in the present moment.  Oh, there’s nothing wrong with finding happiness in the weekend!  We were also meant to hope in the future…or rather for a “future hope.”

When life is painful, moments creep by.  Moments until the pain meds kick in.  Seconds between each sickening sob.  Minutes pass like hours as we wait on God to answer our cry.  Hours are like days.

I imagine this is how the ancients felt as they studied the prophecies regarding the Messiah.  When is he coming to save his people?  Probably a question asked by many as they looked for a sign, doubting He would come as a helpless baby born into abject poverty.  They watched and watched for Emmanuel, and so many missed God in their midst because He didn’t fit their expectations of a Messiah.

I know I miss God with me all the time, especially when I let those moments pass by failing to give each and every one to Him.  Deep thoughts for a Friday. (But, who knows if I’ll roll out a Christmas post this year?  I mean, this could be the last time I’ll post for three weeks.  Who knows?)

And, with that, here are some of the things amusing me this fine week…

* “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was on ABC last night.  There was some weird elf special on after the amazingness that is vintage Charlie Brown, so I decided to abandon the television until a repeat of  “Bones” came on at 9 PM.  I love watching Linus quote the Bible, even putting aside his little blue blankie to take the Christmas musical crew about the real meaning of Christmas.  Incidentally, my pastor is a lot like Linus.  I think he has the WHOLE BIBLE memorized.  When he preaches, he uses NO NOTES and recites all the Scripture he uses from memory (OK, he does occasionally glance up at the big screen…but not often.  He *IS* a senior citizen).  It should be noted that my pastor does not use a security blanket, but I do think his Bible is super glued to his hand.  I love my pastor!  I also love Linus’ blanket, so this edition is for you, Linus.  Or, rather, your blanket…because we all need a little tangible security.

*Author Mary DeMuth isn’t just a superhero(ine) for aspiring writers who want to publish books; she’s just super in general!  I admire Mary’s honesty, wit, and transparency, which are qualities that not only shine in her memoir, Thin Places, but also on her blog.  This week, Mary wrote a great post called, “Criticism Does Not Define You.”  Oh, how we need to be reminded!  I am HORRIBLE at taking criticism, but EXCELLENT at dishing it out.  As a writer, I need to be open to criticism.  Mary’s post helps with the sting.  AND…if you sign up for her e-zine, you can get a free PDF of Mary’s e-book, Live Uncaged, which has a very beautiful cover featuring a bird! (Sadly, my Kindle only shows the cover in gray-scale.  If only I had a Kindle Fire…)  I am enjoying the challenge of reading Live Uncaged because Mary writes in a way that makes my soul flutter.

Click on image to view a bigger version.

*My friend, Eric Altson, isn’t just married to one of the coolest women on the planet (Renee), he also has some mad drawing skills.  With pencil, he sketched “The Last Supper of Childhood” (pictured above) AND gave me permission to share it with y’all.  Isn’t Eric *the* best?  He warned that I may get a cease-and-desist letter from those who hold the copyrights to the characters depicted, but I’m gonna risk it.  And it’s NOT like he’s making money off of it.  Also, please remember the Altsons in your prayers right now.

Sorry, ladies, this handsome fella’s engaged!

*Apparently, I’m just a magnet for talented people…or I just flock to them.  Whatever the case, you NEED to check out the photography of the one-and-only Justin Gifford.  I’d like to say I taught him all he knows, but I’d only be telling you the truth. (Or not.)  Since my RSS feed is jammed with 1000+ blog posts that I’m going to read “some day,” I asked Justin if I could subscribe to his blog via email.  And you know what he did?  He added an email subscription option–just for me!!!  Secretly, I think it’s only because I gave him a six-pack of Rockstar energy drinks when he watched my dogs a few years ago.  I think Justin capture the range of human emotion so expressively.

*If you’re like me (and you’re probably not), then it’s your dream to witness a singing/dancing flash mob OR be a part of a singing/dancing flash mob.  I live vicariously through the plethora of flash mob videos that are uploaded onto YouTube.  A word of warning–there are some pretty mediocre flash mob attempts.  But all-in-all, watching flash mob videos on YouTube is a great waste of a morning.  I just want to flash mob the holidays away!  The above video features one of the most advanced singing/dance routines I’ve seen.  I mean, Irish Folk Dancing?  Wow!

Well, I have some cookies to bake.  Actually, I don’t.  I just thought that was a clever way to say, “I’m ending Friday Faves now because I’m tired and I’m going to bed.  Though I probably won’t go to bed right away.  I might catch up on Facebook, read a little, and so forth.”  But I am going to bake cookies with BFF Sarah this weekend, so by the time you read this, I may very well be baking cookies.  How’s that for blatant honesty?

What’s your favorite Christmas cartoon?  Do you have a “security blanket” like Linus? (Mine’s called a “journal.”) Does your pastor memorize his whole sermon (if you have a pastor)?  Is it also your dream to be in or witness a flash mob?  If not, what is something outrageous you’d like to do?  Do you think I really taught Justin all he knows? (If  you answer “yes,” you can have a cookie from the batch I may or may not be baking at this very moment.)  Do you let criticism define you?  Do you think you could be Eric at Pictionary? How do you “miss” God in your life?

Photo Essay: Driving in a Downpour

25 Aug

Last Friday while driving home from Lancaster, we were caught in a torrential downpour.  Naturally, I pulled out my camera and had a photo shoot–to the amusement of the rest of the car. (I also videotaped myself singing “Leave the Pieces” by The Wreckers, but I have destroyed the evidence.)

Do you like to drive in downpours like fearless BFF Sarah? (Actually, she did pull over twice.)  Would you rather see pics of Amish buggies from Lancaster County? (I don’t photograph the Amish and Mennonites since they don’t like it.)  What was the worst storm you ever drove through?  Was there a rainbow?

Product Review:: Capturing Couture Camera Straps

2 Sep

How do you take pictures like this?  Easy.  You practice.  Seriously, there are photography tips galore to be found in book and on the internet (I highly recommend Digital Photography School).

But you know what makes taking great pictures a lot easier (and much more fun)?  A quality camera strap that is comfortable and fashionable, which is exactly what the fine folks at Capturing Couture have to offer in their full line of high quality camera straps for both women and men!

I have long disdained my Canon camera strap which broadcasts my brand and type of camera for all the world to see.  So when Capturing Couture offered to let me review one of their straps, I jumped for joy.  Literally.

Then began the long process of choosing which strap best suited my personality.  Was it the Alicia Strap from the Boho Collection, The Gramps from The Vintage Collection, or another fine piece from the other lovely collections.  In the end, I chose the Harmony 2” SLR Strap…and I salivated when it came in the mail. Functional and fashionable, I immediately attached the strap to my camera.  My creative juices flowed forth and I was off to capture the world.

For anyone who says a decorative camera strap doesn’t make a difference clearly never had one, at least not one from Capturing Couture, which is well-made and has extra padding around the neck area, so it also makes carrying  my camera so much more comfortable, which allows me to shoot better photographs for a longer period of time—with no uncomfortable neck pain or icky rash.

Ranging in price from $29-$35 for most straps, Capturing Couture creates affordable, quality straps for photographers.  Full of personality, these straps also make wonderful presents for the shutter bugs in your life.  I cannot more highly recommend this product.
Amy’s Grade: A+

*Hey, FTC!  While Capturing Couture did furnish me with a lovely strap for review, they didn’t pay me for my opinion.  Just though you’d like to know!*

Photo Essay:: Oh, how I love you Chincoteague & Assateague!

15 Jun

If you’re a regular reader of Backseat Writer (and why wouldn’t you be?), you know that there’s no place I’d rather be than in nature, even though it makes me sneeze, gives me sinus issues, and makes me sick.  Still, I love you, nature!  Anyway, despite our turbulent relationship, my current favorite place on planet Earth is Chincoteague, VA (although Assateague, MD) is a close second.  See, this National Wildlife Reserve (NWR) stretches from Maryland to Virginia and is the home of semi-wild ponies believed to be the sole survivor of a Spanish shipwreck.  No one really knows how the ponies got there or why they have chosen to live in a swamp full of mosquitos, but they do and they are beautiful, beautiful creatures.

During my recent trip to Chincoteague Island, I was able to visit both ends of the NWR.  That’s right, both Chincoteague and Assateague.  The funny thing is that that they are only four miles of beach apart, but it takes a little under an hour to traverse to Assateague from Chincoteague and vice versa due to the roads.  But I am glad we made the trek–twice!  Here are some shots from my trip, and if you leave lots of lovely comments, maybe I’ll do another photo post for you wonderful readers.

Read “My Heart’s Home,” another post on Chincoteague.

Photo Essay:: Nature’s My Refuge

23 Apr

Disgusted by the inhumanity of humanity, I sought refuge among the wild things—a babbling stream, frolicking songbirds, lush green vegetation, and the flowers of spring.  Sometimes people and situations are so dirty, so marred by sin, I forget this world is beautiful, too.  Breathtakingly beautiful.  And through the healing power of God’s creation, I hope to recapture my writing voice and my mo-joy.

I couldn’t resist playing with the colors on the photo.  Even though I gave this dandelion an “autumn” look, I still enjoy this picture.

This picture and the one below it are from this broken down house next to a car graveyard.  Even though the property is in ruins, all these beautiful flowers grow in this heap of junk.  Isn’t it just like God to put His beauty in even the most broken of places?

As I sat and jotted down some thoughts in the parkway with only the songbirds and fishermen as my witnesses, I saw this pretty little purple flower and just had to snap a photograph.

I didn’t see any mad dogs, but thought this sign was pretty funny and needed to be included into this photo essay.

Photo Essay:: Here Comes the Sun

3 Feb

I’m one of those photographers who think sun glare in my photos is [generally] a good thing–at least in nature shots.  Since the sun seems to go into hiding during the gloomy winter months, I decided to capture it when it sneaked through the clouds.  All of these shots were taken in and around Central Pennslyvania (State College region), except for the first one which was taken just outside Tamaqua.  To me, the sun showers on me a bit of God’s glory and reminds me of His beauty.

[A couple of people have asked why I now put my name on my photos–it’s to prevent theft.  While I don’t mind sharing for certain things, I do not tolerate people stealing my photographs to sell and present as their own.]

**Don’t forget to enter BSW’s OWOH giveaway here and enter to win the book TEA WITH HEZBOLLAH by Ted Dekker & Carl Medearis here!**

Photo Essay:: Guarding Her Grave

25 Jan

I’ve photographed this Virgin Mary statue previously, but still find her to be an astounding piece of artwork.  When I drive past the graveyard in Emmaus, I can always see her head well above all the other modest grave stones.  I think she is beautiful, even in her slight decay, and I’m finding that different times of day and different weather conditions really capture “Mary” in a whole new light.  (Look at this picture of the same statue from a year ago when snow was on the ground:: Snowy Mary Statue.)

Here’s how I found her in the early afternoon on Jan 21.

My Pretty Pumpkin

30 Oct

We’ve had the pumpkin for over a few weeks now sitting on the floor in a plastic bag.  Since I’m back from my whirlwind Florida trip and sick as a dog, I decided it was finally time to decorate that bad boy. Using a Sharpie marker, metallic star stickers, and glittery fairy stickers, I made this::

Then Maddy the Shih Tzu came to investigate::

Not wanting to be left out, Cassie the Peekapoo came over, too, which caused Maddy to start break dancing.  Then both dogs ran over to start playing–no doubt high on Sharpie marker fumes.

Photo Essay:: She Got Married!

28 Sep

On September 12, my beautiful stepsister Christine got married.  It was a small, but lovely ceremony.  I’m so happy for her and her new husband, Philip.  Here are some photos from her wedding.  I chose to use photos that don’t include faces, so everyone will remain anonymous.  Except for Christine because she’s obviously the beautiful bride. Christine, I am so proud of you!

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