Blog

On the move to Georgia. No turning back now.

Georgia barn

This is my first post in a while, and with good reason. For about the past two months I have literally had Georgia on my mind. Not much else, just our move to Georgia.

Getting ready for our big move has taken me away from most of my leisure time activity. Things like photography and blogging have been put in the background giving way to packing and other moving related activities.

Most of the packing is finished. We’re just waiting for the truck to show up cleaning up a few things, and getting rid of junk. After two purges in five years it is amazing how much stuff we still have. The bigger question is why.

There are a few details to wrap up, but good planning on Marcie’s part (I’m not the planner) and focusing on a prioritized set of tasks has helped us get to a point where we can relax a bit.

One of the ways I relax is writing. So….

On the move to Georgia – A Travel-log

In this post I want to announce what is coming up over the next couple weeks. The next week anyway.

The plan is, and we all know how plans can be, to take a few minutes each evening on our cross-country to drive to write a short post with pictures from our travels.

Not at all certain how this will work out. There isn’t really much more to this plan. The main goal is to get to Georgia. So, who knows.

I don’t want to put big expectations out there. No promises that I can’t deliver.

Actions you can take

Look for posts about our travels on the blog.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I’ll post when I can, but there’s over 2,000 miles to be driven. Don’t post/text and drive. Just don’t, and I won’t either.

Read more Georgia post.

Join my email list.

Distractions

This post originally appeared on the blog on April 26, 2016. 


Acorn Woodpecker

I started this post about two weeks ago according to my revision timeline. Why do I mention how long it has been? Because that is too long to let a draft sit, particularly when there hasn’t been anything else posted. In fact, the last article I posted was a month ago. My goal was to post more regularly once I retired. What happened?

Distractions.

Retirement has freed me up to do more than when I was working. Instead of sitting in a cube doing one thing for eight solid hours, I now find myself doing several things and running from one activity to another with little or no time between. Sometimes activities get combined. Dog walking and photography for example.

These images of Acorn Woodpeckers were made two weeks ago while I was walking Roxie, our four year old terrier mix, in the park where we rescued her.

But that’s not important. Distractions are.

Retirement is teaching me the importance of schedules. When I worked in the cube I basically had a list of task to do. Start at the top, work to the bottom. Of course, items kept getting added to the list, so you never got to the bottom. The point here is that all I had to do was keep moving down the list.

Not so in retirement. The only way things ever seem to get accomplished is if I make appointments with myself to get stuff done. The danger in not making appointments with yourself is the ease with which distractions can derail you.

So, I made a point of writing this article today. Well…I blew it. I just looked at the clock and it is tomorrow. Distractions were allowed to intervene into my day and at 12:06 AM I am finishing the post I had hoped to get done yesterday.

Acorn Woodpecker

Both of these shots and more Stockton wildlife images can be seen in this gallery. More are on the way if I don’t get distracted.

Thanks for having a look and for taking time to read my blog. Your comments are always appreciated.

cross with blue backlighting

The Cross

There hasn’t been any time lately for me to write new post, so I’m going through some of my older ones and re-posting them.

This one was originally posted in August 2013.


cross with blue backlighting

This is the cross at the front of First Baptist Church of Stockton, California. Every Sunday, some other days as well, I sit in the service and think how beautiful this cross is, and I think how terrible a price was extracted from Jesus, our Savior, on another cross.

We are doing a Bible study on Wednesday evenings at the church titled simply, “The Cross,” based on the book of the same name by John R. W. Stott. The study opened this past Wednesday with a look at Isaiah 52:13-53:12, a passage of Scripture known as “the fourth servant song.” I won’t copy it all here, but you should read it. Grab a Bible or follow the link.

I see the cross, I read this passage, and I am left at an utter loss of words to explain how incredibly awestruck and grateful I am that Jesus would suffer so much for me.

And for you.

Galations 6:14 –  “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – Isaac Watts

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Have questions? Need to talk? You can leave a comment, but if you prefer to contact me directly, you can do that too.

Remember the batteries and other faith thoughts

View out the back

Faith Thoughts

This morning I’m thinking about where the Lord is leading us. It isn’t always clear. Sometimes He just says, “Go…. I will show you…” And then you go.

As you step out in faith, knowing that His plans are greater than your plans, confirmation comes in ways both small and great. Opening eyes of faith helps you see His grand plan. Slowly at first, and then more clearly as faith builds on faith.

Before you know it, you are caught up with the excitement of what God is doing. Nothing gets in the way of you walking the path to where He is leading.

I wrote this Facebook post a few days ago.

Remember the Batteries

As I continue thinking about where the Lord is leading, I’m doing it from an advanced position. A new perspective.

From the perspective of a backyard in Georgia I’m thinking about batteries. It is a short trip this time, and I didn’t want to bring a lot of camera gear. One lens would do. We are here to look at house, not make pictures, but I always like to have my camera with me when I travel. I wasn’t even going to bring a spare battery, so I made sure the one in the camera was fully charged. When I got to Georgia I quickly remembered where I put the battery. In the charger, in the wall, at home. It’s still there.

Clearly I’m hoping this isn’t some kind of metaphor about our faith on this trip.

What it does make me think about is the faith journey we are on and the need to keep our faith charged up. More than that, we need to remember the battery which drives our faith, the Holy Spirit.

Too often we take steps of faith outside the empowering of the Spirit. When we do we begin to lose power and our faith begins to wane. Challenges arise and we lose faith, feel defeated, and start to doubt. What began as an exciting journey of faith becomes a dessert wandering.

Remember to keep your faith battery charged. Always invite the Holy Spirit into the walk of faith. It was Jesus who said, “you will receive power” from the Holy Spirit.

That’s what this picture is about

Sitting on the patio this morning, this view of the golf course, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, empowered my faith in what we are doing as we consider our next moves. It was a time of reflection, prayer, and seeking the Lord’s direction. In short, a powerful morning gaining strength for the day ahead.

I would love to read your thoughts on this in the comments. Let everyone know how faith has empowered you and what you do to keep your faith strong. And, don’t forget your batteries.

“Remember the batteries and other faith thoughts” first appeared on Randy Bayne Photographer.

How I shoot fireworks

I thought this would be a good post to re-run since I probably won’t get a new one up before the fireworks tomorrow. It was originally published on July 26, 2013 and I’m sure there are a lot of people who have not seen it yet. Enjoy…

Fireworks

Okay – So I’m a little late with this one. We went to what was unfortunately a rather disappointing fireworks show at the Stockton waterfront on the fourth. It wasn’t even good enough for me to believe that there were any decent images and I kept putting off processing. The display may have been disappointing, but I did get some decent images.

How I did it

Before the show started I set my camera up on a tripod and set it for an 8 second exposure time at f/11. The ISO was set at 100. This was to ensure the sharpest image possible in the dark. Eight seconds was a judgement call, a guess. A pretty good one too. I didn’t need to adjust it later.

A small aperture is simply to ensure the important part of the shot, the blast of the fireworks, is in focus. Auto-focus is pretty much useless in the dark and manual focus can’t be done quickly enough to re-adjust for each shot. I use f/11, small enough to get the required depth, but large enough to allow plenty of light. I manually focus at the beginning of the show. Most of the fireworks will be in the same general spot and f/l1 should be a small enough aperture to keep a good range of focus.

A wide lens is also a must. Not super wide, but wide enough to ensure you get everything you want. The goal is to set the camera before the fireworks begin and then not touch it, except to focus at the beginning. I used a 18-135mm zoom set to 38mm.

Lastly, I used a remote release to fire the shutter. Just watch and click.

Darren Rowse has a great article on shooting fireworks over at Digital Photography School which will give you a more general idea on shooting technique.

Do you have some suggestions on shooting fireworks? Leave a note in the comments.

Fireworks with the Stockton Arena