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Friday, March 25, 2011

Make A Difference

Do you remember the story about the guy on the beach,
reaching down to throw a starifsh into the ocean now and then?
A stranger passing by asked him what he was doing.
Many starfish had washed up on the beach and there was
no way this one man, tossing some of them back in,
could possibly save them all. The stranger told the man that because
there were so many to save, what he was doing didn't really make a difference.
"Made a difference to that one," the man said as he tossed one into the ocean.


I thought about this story today as I encountered a homeless person.
I recently had taken some pictures under the I-235 bridge in Des Moines
and commented on how we don't notice the homeless.
Today I noticed.
I made a small difference to one starfish.
I can't make a difference to all of them.
No one can save anyone else, a lesson
I learned from a wise friend.
I didn't save  him.
My effect one one man was small in the grand scheme of things.
I could do more.
We all could do more.
We could all do more to make a difference in someone's life.
It could be helping the lady next door with raking her leaves.
It could be offering to watch the children next door
so their mom can have a break.
It could be giving a sandwich to a homeless person.
It's reaching out and helping those around us and
letting others know we care.
Who amongst us doesn't need that?


 I asked D, as I'll call him, if I could take his picture.
I asked if I could post his photo on my blog.
His answer surprised me. He said yes, but said he had
to leave his sunglasses on.  He said he wears his sunglasses
because he need them to hide his eyes, to hide his shame.
I didn't ask him to remove them.
I assured him that no one reads my blog besides me
so no one else would see it anyway.
Despite that, I didn't feel it was fair to him to display his
photo on here as if he were the poster child for the homeless.
That would be taking advantage of him.
I certainly didn't want to do that.
Out of respect for D, I've used Photoshop to help
conceal his identity and I won't use his name.
It just seems like the right thing to do.
I hope I was able to make a small difference
to one of God's children.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Amazing Grace

I love photographing churches.
What I'm posting here isn't the shot
I was even going for.
 I took a lot of pictures of the stained glass.
They're absolutely beautiful.
This photo I'd taken from behind this church,
getting in the cross on the steeple.
The sun was bright and it's not a wise move to
look through your camera at the sun.
So I held the camera up and quickly took
a few shots without looking through the camera.
I was stunned, tonight, as I was going through
my photos as two things struck me about this picture.
First, the beam of light hitting the church surprised me.
In this black and white it comes across as a dark beam
coming down, where it was really (in color)
a turquoise color of light hitting the church.
I know the sun can add streaks of light and color into photos,
but I liked the way this light in this photo was
shining on the church.
Secondly, seeing the cloud in the photo surprised me.
There were some clouds in the sky today,
but they were all much higher than
the ones in this photo.
Divine intervention?
You be the judge.



I don't know why this photo turned
out as it did. I just thought it was interesting.


No Whining


 This photo of the grapevines was very striking to me.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baaaaaaaaaaaaa

Taking my time coming home today and came
across a barnyard full of sheep. One of them was not
happy to have me standing in the road taking pictures and
he let me know it. The others just watched me or went
about their business. I thought they were cute.

Love this guy who was watching me.


I really like these old red barns and the windmill. They're disappearing in Iowa.


The sheep in the front was the ring-leader, telling me to get lost
and leave their babies alone. Granted, I was behind the fence, on the other
side of the ditch, on the gravel road, but it was too close for him.


Isn't he adorable?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In the Country

Traveling some back roads a few days okay,
just taking my time and looking for interesting photos
to shoot. The sun was in and out, behind the clouds,
constantly changing. One second I'd have a perfect shot
with the sun reflecting off something, the next second the sun
was gone. So I drove on, stopping occasionally to try for a good
photo. The three I'm posting where amongst my favorites.
As I looked at them, I decided to play a bit in Photoshop.
I could spend forever playing with photos in Photoshop.
Often I end up leaving the photo alone in the end or just
slighty tweaking the photo. I decided to play with an artistic effect
on these three photos. It's the same effect on all of them--a dry brush
type of painting, yet it's interesting how it changes each photo
in different ways.


I love how the Photoshop painted effect brings out the subtle changes in the sky.



This photo looks so much like a painting it amazed  me. I loved how the sun was
hitting the hilltop and brightening up that area. If only I could paint like this....


I've always liked reflection pictures so I liked this as well
as the texture on the water, which was increased
by the Photoshop effect I used.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Little Lexi

I never would have dreamed
I'd ever become a
"cat person."
Cats were okay, kittens were cute,
but leave me alone and we'll both be fine.
As a family we're now on cats numbers 3 and 4
in 16 years.
Over this time I've changed.
I am now a cat person
and I'm in love with these
 two little sweet things.
I never thought I'd allow
a cat to jump up on my bed,
walk across my pillow,
or sleep next to my head.
Lexi has the sweetest little baby face
and is irresistible.
She's also a thief
(having stolen earrings, bookmarks, toys,
and who knows what else
that we've not yet discovered).
She's gotten into my purse
and taken everything out, throwing
it all over the floor
(seriously!).
She is like Boomer's annoying little sister,
never leaving him alone,
constantly chasing his tail,
following him everywhere,
always wanting to sit where he's been sitting.
 Boomer plays with her and puts up with it to a point;
then he finally tackles her and says,
"Enough!"
He makes a good big brother,
though, as he then puts up with more.
They're friends.
She licks his head and back to clean it for him.
(Ughhh! Imagine the furballs!)
I'm in love with my kittycats.
They're part of our family.
They keep us entertained.
They greet us at the door when we come home.
They greet us in the bathroom during the night.
They greet us whent he refrigerator door opens.
Okay, so they're stalking us.
But we still love them.
And they love us.
I could post a picture of these two every single day.
I try to find other subjects,
but some days they're so darn
cute I just can't help myself.
Today was one of those days.


Lexi watched the rain today (when she wasn't being ornery).


Monday, March 7, 2011

My Pink Sunrise

I know (or hope) we're getting
close to the end of winter,
yet I still have so many
winter pictures I really like.
So before it gets too warm
I thought I'd better share some
winter photos
or I'll have too many
spring photos
 to choose from.
It's tough choosing which pictures
 to share some days.
My favorite pictures
aren't always the best photos.
And sharing my photos is a lot like having others
 reading this see a little piece of who I am,
just a little touch of what's in
 my heart and soul.
That's sometimes a
risky thing to do
when you don't know who's
going to be looking.
Who are you and what do you see?


This photo was taken on a winter morning
when the trees had some frost,
and the orange glow of the sun
was making the trees all pinkish-orange.
It looks a little bit like smoke
behind the trees, but it's not.
Just the glow of the sun
on the frost.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Snowfall

We received a little bit of snow this afternoon. Not enough
to worry about. Not enough to make the streets slick.
Just enough to notice on a Sunday afternoon.



Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lights on 235

When I was taking my photography class we were
 experimenting with taking action pictures.
 I convinced my husband to come with me to take pictures
one evening over I-235. I lay down on a pedestrian bridge
 to position my camera on the ledge under the fence.
 I set the shutter to be open for 20 seconds.
Then I just let the camera do it's job and this is the result.



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