Sunday, November 30, 2008

Old Color

For my eye, it’s hard to beat what I call “old color”. Old color reveals history and character.

The morning I shot this, I had a nice chat with the farmer. He told me something I would have never believed had I not talked to him in-person. Back in the 1930’s, this barn lived in the country. The country, however, evolved over decades to become a busy city intersection. This barn was disassembled board by board, transported to this location (5 miles) and reassembled board by board. It lives in the country again. I think it’s a magnificent structure and a great example of old color.

I’ll be posting more images of these American classics in the coming weeks. Barns as we know them today are on my endangered species list. Structures like this will very likely be gone in a generation or two. Look around. Many wooden barns are becoming American ruins.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

A few years ago, I traveled to Jamaica with three others from our Church. This trip was to pave the way to take ninety (yes, 90) members of our Church on a mission trip to an orphanage in Jamaica. That trip is history. It was a remarkable trip…life-changing for many, including me.

The person pictured above is Stephanie. She was in our group of four that went on the fact-finding mission. One day during our trip, Stephanie said six words to me that I have never forgotten. It wasn’t just the words, it was the way she said them.

Understand that I have spent too many days thinking that going to Church was an obligation…my duty. It was something I needed to do so my son would see me doing the right thing.

One day as we were planning our day in Jamaica, I mentioned to Stephanie that there was a worship service that evening. She stopped what she was doing, looked at me with a sparkle in her eyes and said, “YOU MEAN WE GET TO WORSHIP!!?” She practically shouted it. She could not have been happier. Those six words were like cold water in my face. It took a person thirty years my junior to wake me up.

Thank you, Stephanie. I know I have told you this story in person, but it is worth repeating. It was a gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pilates Studio in 29 Seconds

Ouch.

This little video distills my two-hour Pilates studio shoot down to 29 seconds.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Scooter

Scooter was our pet hamster for a time. If you own a hamster, it will not be for long. Hamsters typically live two years or less. That fact was my call to action. Scooter is gone now, but he lives as a 3-foot tall poster in our son's bedroom. And he rests beneath the flag pole in our front yard.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The New Math

How many times have we heard "it's not about the money"? Will we ever begin believing it?

Every worldly possession these children own fits in one suitcase tucked neatly under their bed. That's it. Their cricket bat is made from discarded lumber...and it practically weighs as much as they do. Their ball isn't nearly as nice as what our dog has. They look terribly unhappy, don't they?

What do you say we adopt the new math?

Faith + Love = Happiness.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where the Action Is

When I revisited this image today, I recalled that I filed it under "Adventures" as well as "Sports". Why Adventures? I was standing on a catwalk about eighty feet above ice level. The catwalk is made of steel mesh that flexed dramatically as I stepped across it. Trust me, flexing does not feel good under your feet when you're 80' in the air. To make matters worse, I could see very clearly through the mesh to the ice below. This solidified my view of where I would crash and burn if I made one false move. All I could think about was dropping my camera...or becoming one of those Flying Wallendas that lost it on the high wire. Somehow, I got lucky and came out of it with this shot.

Occasionally, a blind squirrel finds a nut.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Harsh Reality

Okay, people. That's enough of the Caribbean nonsense. My friend Ron has brought me back to reality. This will be our reality in Michigan for the next four months. Sing along with me now...It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Caribbean Color

As the temp in Michigan hovers around 22 degrees, I'm thinkin' Caribbean!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Cross-Culture Frenzy of Fun

There are precious few things in life that cross boundaries of culture and language. Young children have a unique ability to view what they have in common with other children. Don't we all have more in common than we have as differences? The inhabitants of our world allow wars to happen because of the differences.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Mix of Pixels

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Little Angel

During one of our walks home from the ice cream store, we noticed a rainbow in the valley between the mountains. It is a common occurrence in the Blue Mountains, yet I cannot leave ANY occurance of a rainbow alone. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen one. I felt compelled to photograph it. I asked Carly if I could take a photo of her with the rainbow over her shoulder. I figured it would be little more than a snapshot. We snapped a few photos and were back on our way.

After a few moments of walking in silence, Carly said to me, “I think rainbows are God’s promise to us that he will help us through the storms.”

Hearing those words caught me totally off guard. I will never forget hearing Carly speak those words. I have replayed them in my head nearly every day since…the words of a little angel.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pure Joy

This day was the first day Kenny ever had a hammer in his hand. He was ecstatic. Did I mention he was ecstatic? When a young boy has a hammer in his hand, he instinctively starts looking for a nail. Kenny was no exception.

My father got us enough kits from Home Depot to fill a suitcase and we carried them to Jamaica for the children. When constructed, the kits would be little wooden flower pots. Kenny needed to pound in a grand total of four nails to build his flower pot. He whacked a couple of my fingers in the process, but I knew going in that my fingers could be the victim of friendly-fire. I just needed to deal with it.

Kenny's flower pot began taking shape. Each time he finished pounding in a nail, he would raise his arms in victory and would shout, “Yeesss! Four times he shouted, “Yeesss!” He had the time of his life.

Was it worth me having a sore finger or two? Yeesss! My fingers never hurt better.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For a Friend

I spoke to a good friend yesterday. We talked about working on a project together for a very special organization. We explored ideas for photos that tell a story without necessarily being literal…perhaps without even showing faces.

I love photographs that require us to interpret or contemplate...or that tug at us. Our conversation reminded me that photographs are often at their best when they DON’T tell the whole story…when something is left to our imagination.

Sometimes a picture is "worth a thousand words”, but sometimes when a picture is supplemented by some well-chosen words, it has even more impact or can lead us somewhere we may not have gone with our own imaginations.

It was great talking to you, Jim...as usual.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tree of Life

There is a tree in the farm field behind our house. We named it the "Tree of Life" after the tree by the same name at Disney World's Animal Kingdom. I have photographed this tree many times under many different conditions.....because it's there. And because it never looks the same two days in a row.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Some powerful thoughts...

A friend and colleague of mine published some great thoughts recently. Check this out: