Category: photography

We mark our days by the turning of the calendar, the moving of the clock of the rising and setting of the sun. This time of year, day breaks gentle in the south, the sun inching its way up earlier and earlier until morning has broken.


What an odd turn of words to say morning has broken but it has broken the darkness, split it wide open, though not in a dramatic way, parting the night in one huge entrance. No, the day breaks incrementally, easing its way across the sky until all darkness is gone.

We have been shooting into the light this week in my photography class. It’s class on stillness, really. Creating still life vignettes, learning a bit about composition, what is pleasing to the eye. Learning more about light and its importance to all of life. This week we turn the usual photography wisdom on its head and let the light take center stage. Instead of it illuminating our subject it is behind casting its glorious beams all around creating a challenge for the photographer. A challenge to learn about this light.

backlight blue

backlight cups saucers

backlight vignette

I thought this was just a photography class. I wanted to learn from this professional whose work I’ve admired on Instagram for a while now. But as God so cleverly crafts our life, gentle like the morning dawn that splits the darkness, He is crafting this too. I am ever reminded that He is the light of the world. That his light casts out all darkness and the darkness will not overtake him.

Our world is very dark at times. As a novice photographer, shooting at night has been the most challenging. Darkness threatens to overwhelm with its heavy weight. But the Light, Jesus, has overcome the darkness. He is the morning sun that though may seem hidden by clouds at times, is always there. His light, illuminating our lives, lighting the darkened way, bidding us to follow.

I’m going to a park near our house today to hopefully photograph the horses. Hoping they will be playful in this chilled morning, when the light is coming from the east, watching its golden glow, being reminded God is here.

Linking up with Kate Motaung and host of bloggers for this wildly fun free-writing time called Five-Minute Friday. 

faith photography

hearts on chair

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

1 Corinthians 13 NLT

faith photography

This one nearly slipped by me. A new year seems to move faster and faster but thanks to Emily Freeman over at Chatting at the Sky, I jotted down a few things I learned in this month. (Link up here.)



I’m not sure how I missed this before now but I’ve discovered Waze. Their homepage describes it as: “the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.” Along with the typical info a traffic app gives you,  I like is the info the app provides like, “car on shoulder ahead” and “red light camera ahead” or “police activity”. You can choose the accent you’d like the voice to speak in so we’ve chosen British and her name is Kate. She’s quite nice, really.


We’ve finally had a few days of winter so I was looking for hot chocolate but the grocery store was out of the brand I prefer. I saw a box of white cocoa mix I decided to try and am so glad I did. If you’ve ever had the vanilla steamer from Starbucks this is like that only better. It’s Land O Lakes Arctic White hot cocoa mix and it is yum!


I’m taking my second online photography course taught by Kim Klassen. The focus is on still life photography where I’m learning to set up vignettes with things around the house. My two favorite tips she’s given is that science project boards make perfect backdrops (I bought a white and black one) and ordinary old cheese cloth adds nice texture.

dark moody My Still Sunday



When our first child was born, getting up with her a few times a night was exhausting and all I wanted was full night’s sleep her first few months. We spent a long weekend with that daughter and her daughter over the MLK weekend. The granddaughter is 8 and a short hall separates her room from the guest room where we stay. When she woke up about 3:30 a.m. I learned when a grandchild calls out to you in the middle of the night you don’t mind at all. You can read more about that here.



It’s the last Saturday before Christmas and all the creatures are definitely stirring.

Our last party is this Sunday, our son and his wife arrive Wednesday and in between there is much cleaning and preparing to be done. The excitement is mixed with anxiousness for me, at least until our party for the men is done.

Consider this a sweet treat, a brief respite, a preview of joy all rolled into a blog post.

Every year we have a door decorating contest in the dorms at the ARC. Armed with donated supplies, two-sided tape (I wondered where mine went) and their creativity, it’s a Christmas wonderland upstairs in the residence. Here’s a sneak peak at this year’s entries. Winners will be announced at our party Sunday night.



There’s a door behind this somewhere.


I’m not much for spending time in the kitchen but I found a recipe that is easy and everyone’s favorite. More than one person has suggested I sell these Toasted Pecan Clusters and I’m sharing the recipe with you in this printable you can download. I’ve made batches in dark chocolate, white chocolate and salted caramel (edged out the dark chocolate for peoples choice)

RECIPE toasted pecan clusters

If you haven’t already visited my Facebook page, drop by. There I post photo’s from an on-line class I’ve been taking taught by photographer Kim Klassen called My Still Sunday. I’m learning about light, using props I have around the house, but mostly I’m learning about taking time with it. There is no rush. This could be the best part of the class for me.

One of My Still Sunday shots
One of My Still Sunday class shots

Sunday we will celebrate the 4th Advent. Our theme for this week is Joy. It’s not in order of the scripted Advent celebrations in the Church year, something I wrote about  here.

We are going to celebrate the joy God gave the world in His son, wrapped in flesh, come to live among us, to know us, to show us the way of grace. May your life bubble over with His joy and may you sing out your celebration song with the heavenly choir:

“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14

faith photography

The sun hangs low in the sky when we make it to the beach for our Saturday morning walks. Its beams melted together into a canopy of light that appears to dance across the top of the ocean as it reflects its radiance.




We probably have 20 or more photos of this ballet of sunbeams but we raise our phones to take one more shot of this beauty that is never captured in its full glory no matter how high the pixel or how good the photographer.

It’s trickier to get the same at dusk when its the moon’s beams that are playing to the darker waters. Light draws to light and illuminates the dark while darkness only swallows itself, it doesn’t reflect.

This is the call of the light, its strength and beauty. It is the only thing that can split open the darkness, even a tiny flicker can illuminate where we can see just what we need. One step and then a another lit by the smallest of flames.

lantern in tree

Our Jewish friends are celebrating Chanukah this week. It’s the festival of lights. We are in the season of Advent, of anticipation of one who claims Himself the Light of the World.

We will light candles and sing songs about the midnight clear and the star that stayed both day and night. The star that lit the way and we know He is our star still giving light to those who choose to follow.

He is the Light-giver, calling us to reflect his light and oh, how this darkened world needs light.

O Star of Wonder

Star of Night

Star of Royal Beauty Bright

Westward leading, still proceeding

Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Linking up with a group of writers waiting for our host to give us the word prompt for this weeks 5-minute free-writing fun. Drop over to Kate Motaung’s to add your voice to the conversation. There’s always room for you.

faith photography

I asked friend, and hobbyists photographer, Laura, to share some of the Ordinary Beauty she sees in her life. Laura lives in Atlanta, Georgia enjoys the outdoors. She’s someone who knows about grace and beauty and how sometimes it’s only through grace we see the beauty around us. I’m so happy for her to share with us here and I know you’ll enjoy her gift of beauty. And stop by her blog to view more of her photography and words. Her work is stunning.

street LD

I had a chance to travel this summer. I went to London and Paris. I love Paris! The architecture and food are amazing! I love to go to new places. Experience cultures, architecture and food. But those photos are for another post. Today is about ordinary beauty.

A few weeks ago I went with a family to take their annual family photos. Four years and counting. We went to a very familiar place to me. A beautiful park here in Georgia called Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain is only a couple miles from where I live. After we were done, I stayed and captured some of the natural beauty.

waterWheel LD

coneflower LD

lake LD

stone chimney LD

brick and trees LD

I absolutely love it. There are walking trails. You can climb up Stone Mountain…literally a huge granite rock! You can walk the 5 mile course around the base of the mountain. When you do that you see the beautiful lake. In the morning you can witness the sunrise and the water just glistens. Keep walking and the road goes a little to the right and then to the left. The road goes up, up, up. Your legs are burning waiting for the road to level out. Then the downhill!

There are so many beautiful nooks and crannies and sights and sounds. A place where you can find quiet…right in the middle of this metropolitan city and suburbs we call Atlanta. A place where you can mediate on the beauty that God created for us to enjoy.

You don’t always have to travel to another time zone or country to experience that beauty that surrounds us.

“As as the beauty of nature is constant; so is God who made it.”


It’s amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, Marjorie’s Three Gifts

It wasn’t a garden but a patch of dirt beside the asphalt parking lot. There they were, taller than my 5’4″ and showing off their beauty, reflecting the glory of their Maker. These yellow beauties seem rather ordinary in these parts.



They were mixed with other flowers but the sunflowers command attention. It’s boldness of color and height all seems to scream “look at ME!”


“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”

Mother Teresa

the granddaughter joins us now

Christabel with Nikon


The granddaughter, all 5 years of herself, slung the big camera around her neck as we walked the path next to the roses. You know how little girls try to be big girls and little girls all at once.

She’d been with us all week, parents back home and herself with us in the Carolina mountains, she keeping up with all the girls, all the ages.

She point the lens at a rose bush, stopping still with her small hands on the Nikon’s sides, her index finger finding the shutter button. Snap, one, two, a few more and we walked on. It’s a busy path, this paved walk between the lake and the flowers; dog walker and folks out for the summer air.

Christabel with Nikon


I don’t remember if it was his smile looking down at her little self with big camera or her raising the camera that stopped him and made him smile. Whatever it was, she lifted the view finder to her eye, he stopped and gave a broad smile, two strangers sharing a small beauty.

This girl has an eye.



It was my husbands good looks that first turned my head. On the volleyball court at camp and a couple of years later as I drove by the church offices where he was mowing the lawn.

We’ve both changed a lot in the years we’ve been together. As it says in the bible, “beauty fades like the wildflowers in the field” (Isaiah 40:6b) and we’ve changed inside and out.

Durham bible

birthday party weekend

time with Christabel 809

playing hands

time with Christabel 803

I like pretty things. But there is a more ordinary beauty I overlook: my grandmother’s tattered bible or the granddaughter with a pile of colored chalk drawing her masterpiece on the porch. This is the beauty that surrounds us but gets pushed aside by the headlines of the day. This is the beauty that requires intention on our part.

I’m participating in write31days this month and I’ve chosen Ordinary Beauty as the topic. I want to notice what I’ve stopped seeing because it’s always there. I want to slow down to see what I rush past. I want to listen for beauty and capture all its forms. I want to share that beauty with you because we all could use a little more pretty in our day.

What’s your ordinary beauty today?

Let Your work of love be on display for all Your servants;

    let Your children see Your majesty. And then

let the beauty and grace of the Lord—our God—rest upon us

    and bring success to all we do; yes, bring success to all we do!

Psalm 90:16-17 the Voice



I nearly let this link-up go by as it’s just a busy week. But I was diligent in jotting down things I learned and it looks like August was a good month for boosting knowledge.

Basics that I probably should have known but, you know, now I do!

Who doesn’t use Google image to find pictures of anything but I never realized there was a way to pinpoint my searches. Once you’re in Google Image, look for the button that says “more tools” and click that. There you will be able to refine your search to file size, type and the best part, images that don’t have use restrictions. BONUS!


I’ve read about a lot of folks using Periscope so I had to take a look. It’s easy as it’s a free app to download, follow whoever you want and when they go live you’ll get a sound notification. You can watch it live or anytime within 24 hours. Most segments are 15 minutes or less which is perfect. You can even watch Emily Freeman on Periscope 😉

If you like photography and using filters, etc. I have found Rhonna Farrer tutorials on Periscope to be especially helpful.

                                               edited with rdmagic and rhonnadesigns apps


Here’s something else I’ve been seeing in print more and more: the word bespoke. I had no idea the meaning and the context wasn’t helping me so to the dictionary app I went to discover it means “made to order”. Huh, who knew? 😉

Swag – I think we all know the current meaning has been associated with swag bags as in the goodies you get at a conference, etc. At our nieces wedding the photographer was doing pics of the groomsmen when she said, “Show me your swag.” The men were a bit restrained but the two little boys quickly threw their arms crossed over their chest to their shoulders. So now I’m learning from a 5 and 7-year-old. Sounds about right.


Paul Kathryn_batchWatermark
                             My favorite of the day: my brother walking his middle daughter down the aisle.

Speaking of weddings, and photography, said niece asked if I’d take pictures at the wedding too. Since I wasn’t the primary photographer (we’re all friends so there was no threat) there was no pressure and it enabled me to focus on the candid and do what I love most: capturing the mood of the moment. What a delight.

August was the time for my husband and I to get our personnel review with the organization we’re with. That hour conversation about goals taught me I wasn’t prepared and needed to put more intentional direction in my life. I wrote about the results of that meeting here.

Linking up with Emily Freeman over at Chatting at the Sky for a monthly link-up of What We Learned.