Saturday, April 30, 2005

Photo response to a friend 8^)

A friend recently asked if I'd stopped taking photos and blogging about them. Unfortunately for about the last 2-3 weeks I have. Chalk it up to trying to focus on family and work obligations or maybe me working on the business side of photography or maybe just that I was shooting 2-3 times a week there for awhile. I'm not sure why but I definitely had a little dry spell there. I do have some people lined up to come to the studio and shoot and even a few outdoor sessions that people have requested over the next month or two so there will be some updates in the near future but for this post I thought I'd share a composition that is a little off the beaten path for me. Over the last couple of years I've worked at understanding and practicing portraiture. Yesterday I went out with some folks from work and we shot some landscapes and abstracts at a local cemetary. Here's one the shots I captured.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sorority, UT, UFC and birthday party

Big weekend. Here's the rundown:

Friday night -

Saturday -

  • Fan Day and Orange & White game up at Neyland Stadium

  • UFC 52 - Randy "The Natural" Cotoure vs Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
    I don't think many people saw it going down the way it did. Awesome fight; great fighters. Congrats to Liddell; he earned long before now. The Matt Hughes/Frank Trigg fight was actually the fight of the night. WHEW!! Now that one was unbelievable. All-in-all I think this was worth the $35 I spent. I wish I had a larger screen and the fights weren't so late at night 'cause I'd invite some friends over to watch the fights. I love this MMA stuff.

Sunday -

  • Church again at the more modern service. Think I may have offended some people in Sunday school but ya gotta say what needs to be said. What a topic - controlling the tongue. Yeah, I guess that's what I need to be dealing with right now. Of course, the topic goes much deeper than most people are interested in. For most people its just cursing or not cursing but . . . -SIGH- there is just so much more to it and sadly the basic texts that most people use are in areas that are for more mature Christians. Take for example Paul's letter to Ephesus. Ephesians 4:29 & 5:4 are dead center in a section of admonition to believers who seemed to be coming from a more recent, honeymoon type of experience to a more seasoned attempt to live up to their moral obligations. Keep in mind that Paul is the same Apostle who wrote Romans 5:20 and I Corinthians 6:12 regarding freedom in the blood of Christ. Paul's message wasn't that we should exploit the freedom that we have (once we've been redeemed by the blood sacrifice of Jesus). His message throughout the New Testament was and is that anyone who has been redeemed need have no fear, no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Saints (biblical rather than Catholic saints) truly are free to do whatever they want with no penalty pursuing them into the afterlife. Of course, one should question one's motives when one thinks thoughts along those lines as part of being redeemed is having the Holy Spirit constantly with you, convicting you, enlightening you to help you understand the desire of God that you "be holy" (I Peter 1:16). Couple Paul's writings with James (the half-brother of Jesus) and you see James discussing rightous living for Jewish Christians (his letter was to the 12 tribes of Israel but more importantly to believers within that group of people). He calls them to accept the trials of life because those trials produce patience and patience produces perfection (James 1:2-4). As he expounds on such a broad principle as becoming perfected (which in modern language we generally label as "sanctification" as opposed to the final instant in which an omnipotent being with transform you into a being without sin and with complete perfection which is labeled "glorification"), we find that he appears to jump off topic a little and discusses the tongue. He is pretty confrontational in his statements about how one's language affects ones life. He says that the tongue has as much control in one's life as the rudder on a ship has. He further says that the tongue produces fire, destroys the natural order of life and is itself lit on fire by Hell. Hmmm. James doesn't tend to equivocate when it comes to how important a believer's language choices are now does he? This is a passage for more mature Christians than I tend to believe darken the doors of those Sunday morning buildings but lets press on and let people and the Holy Spirit prove me wrong. After talking pointedly about how powerful the tongue is in James 3, he goes on in chapter 5 (James 5:12) to start his conclusion of the whole letter by saying "Above all else, don't swear." Now that doesn't mean don't say naughty words. He isn't talking about "shit," "damn" or any other word you can put here. Those are unprofitable and fall under Paul's statement in Ephesians 4. James statement is a reiteration of Jesus' statment in the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5:33-37) where Jesus said to not swear. The point of Jesus' statement and James affirmation of that statement is this: God expects that when a believer avers something as true or false, that believer should live and speak in such a manner that others believe him or her without having to ask the believer to "promise". As a believer you should not inflate your speach in any manner. You should speak directly and you should follow through on your statements. As Jesus said in Matthew, anything else leads to evil. I'm not saying I do this, I'm saying this is the Biblical principle that should be ringing true in your heart right now if you've taken out your Bible and been following along (oh yeah, and if you're already a follower of Christ and have accepted his blood sacrifice for your sins as the only way to be reconciled to the One True living God). OK. So that's enough for now. This post turned into a brief Biblical lesson on controlling your tongue. Don't worry about the person cursing around your kids; be concerned with how inflationary your language is. Be concerned with whether people can and do take you at your word. Cursing is just a part of controlling your speech; in America with all the talk shows and gossip and one-ups-manship contests that occur, by far the most spiritually damaging speech I've be privvy to has more to do with how I communicate than the cursewords I may use or hear. Granted, those should cease. No more cursing. That's airtight but don't you want a deeper understanding that requires something of you; not just the other guy? Don't you want to be held to a higher standard of living than just "I didn't say a naughty word so I'm OK?" I know that my own heart goans for someone to stand up and point to the line of holiness and say "There! That's the standard. Not my arbitrary one of not saying some curseword (which is profitable) but the true standard of holiness to which even I in all my goody-two-shoedness cannot attain."

  • We went to Katelyn's birthday party this afternoon. I got a photo from it where Katelyn was sliding and Katie was standing behind her; you can see it at the bottom of this post. Happy Birthday, Katelyn.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading,


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Finally edited a few photos

It's been a hectic 2 week run. Coming off a sick child, first fine arts session, an all-day session and heading into a few weeks of event and wedding photography. I finally got a good 6 or 8 photos edited from the all-day session (still only edited one from the fine art session). I have some senior portrait photos to get printed but at least for a couple of days I have a lull.

Here's one from a recent session. As always you can click the photo to see more from this session.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Focus & Fine Arts

So I had a class at work recently. It was Advanced Data Modeling and I got to share it with an acquaintance . . . I struggle to define the relationship. I always consider friends to be someone you hang out with outside of work but more and more I find that I have few or no people who meet that criteria. Must I change my definition of friendship or devote more efforts towards being a friend? Hmmm. Well, perhaps this very post is evidence of what this person mentioned to me. He directed a singular remark towards my focus. Not lack of focus, per se, just my focus. It wasn't a single comment; it was singular, thusly rendered by the implications or inferences that it seemingly brought with it and laid neatly on the table at which we sat. In my annual review I heard more comments that when put together seem to drive in the same general direction (eg. my focus). I suppose its time to direct some of my attention towards commanding more of my own mental energies. Its much more enjoyable dally sometimes but it seems that the level of dalliance to which I've attained may be a detraction.

On another note the side business (read splitting of mental, emotional and financial energies) seems to be picking up speed again. More weddings, events and model shoots lately and many more calls about scheduling events and reserving dates in advance. Why the hell did I want to do this? Just to prove that I could excel at something else? Just to impress someone or something? I still don't remember for the life of me why. I remember the intense desire to create something that I felt others connected with and were moved by but surely paints would cost less. Pencils for that matter. Oh yeah, I tried those before (along with charcoal drawings) and the results left something to be desired. Well, I finally shot something that falls into the category of fine art. I'm not saying I shot it well. I'm just saying that I shot something that in my opinion is tasteful and attractive. I will be presenting several images that are similar in elemental design to the one shown below. Hopefully I'll find some buyers but I've decided that due to the immense amounts of money and emotional effort that have gone into the images I will set a price on them that I initially felt was too high and if no one wants them then I'm out nothing. The more I think of what I and my family sacrificed for me to develop the skills just to produce this level of work the easier I'm finding it to pick a price tag and just say the heck with it. If someone likes my work, they can support my efforts by paying for a copy. Without further ado, here's my first attempt at fine art.

You can click the image for a larger version.

Thanks for reading,