About the word Shekinah

The word Shekinah (shuh-kigh-nuh) means dwelling. It refers to the visible manifestation of the presence (or Shekinah Glory) of God. A luminous cloud. It is the very presence of God on earth. (see Holy Bible-Exodus 24:9-18)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Renewal & Healing

As the first blanket of snow now covers the fallen leaves and autumn turns to winter, I'm once again reminded of the change of seasons. I'm so grateful for the change of seasons and what each one brings, both literally and metaphorically speaking. Right now I'm going through a change of sorts. As I give in to those changes, which include waiting for the next season, I'm sometimes impatient. "Hurry spring, I'm ready."

I'm looking forward to that new season, but just as the fallen leaves still lie frozen beneath the new snow, some of that old season continues to remain in me. Though the winter may be long and arduous and limbs may freeze and crack, it will go; and when it does, it will bring with it...spring. Tender sprouts will bravely burst out in the glory of their Maker with new life and purpose." However long the winter, renewal and new life will come. I'm anticipating that time for myself.

The most important renewal one can have is to receive Jesus Christ as Lord Savior and receive the New and Eternal Life that only Salvation brings. I've already done that, so I'm speaking now about physical and even emotional renewal. A physical and emotional winter can bring harsh blows. Blows that can only be somewhat healed and forgotten with the coming of spring's fresh rain and warm sunshine. Just as with God's other creations, my own change of seasons can only come with the help of God's power.

This song by Nichole Nordeman really should be my theme song. The words are behind all that motivates my own life and photography. God's creations, His wonderful change of seasons, and all that has been made by His loving hands and in fact the very voice of God himself. He is in, and in fact is, every season. I hope you will find renewal as you listen to this song and watch this gorgeous video.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
1 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Check out my new bird blog!

I was posting so many bird images on my blog, I decided to start another blog to devote just to birds and birding and learning all about birds as well as a place to share my images.

Check it out and don't forget to FOLLOW ME on my new blog! CLICK HERE to go there now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn Bridge

Fall is here! Pumpkins, leaves and scarecrows have been placed indoors to celebrate the season. As the Scentsy bricks heat and melt, the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air causing me to dream of freshly baked pie. The fireplace gives off it's warm, romantic glow. Outside, however, it's a much different story. There's a crisp breeze in the air, and the leaves are turning to bright yellows, oranges, and reds. With each gust of wind, more leaves detach from their suspended home and float down to the ground below. Short-term guests arrive in our yard as the birds stop by for water and nutrients they will need for their southward flight before the cold of winter arrives; but they will return.

I so enjoy the fall; and photographing it is always such a peaceful, enjoyable, even worshipful time for me. I am glad God created the season of fall, with all of it's beauty and wonder. I have so many images from the weekend that I want to process and share, but this one will have to do for now. I took this image in Payette, Idaho, this past weekend. I almost got run over by some locals taking this one.

Enjoy the fall colors. If you want to see more of my fall images, CLICK HERE.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What's that sound?

I was recently eating cereal when I heard an unfamiliar shrieking (bird) noise coming from our backyard. When I heard it again, I had to see what it was. I thought the Northern Flicker that was here the day before had returned, but the noise was not that of a woodpecker.

Upon looking out, I didn't see anything and all was quiet. Our yard is usually filled with backyard birds, so I was unsettled as I continued to finish my cereal. I was still bothered by what I heard, so I decided to go look through my bird blind (my upstairs window in our laundry room, now covered with dark material) When I looked out, there was a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk (aka sharpie) finishing its own meal. Upon seeing this, I realized that what I heard was the kill. The small bird it was finishing up, was one of my very own backyard birds. Thought it saddened me, I know its just "nature's way" to quote Steve Irwin.

I took some images from upstairs and then when it flew down to the fence from up on my trellis, I took more of it on the fence as it proceeded to clean his beak by rubbing it on the fence; a behavior I realized I hadn't seen before.

There are probably more images in this sequence than most people care to look at, but I know there are those that will appreciate the sequence. I hope you enjoy looking at the images, whether you view 1 or all of them.

I have more birding and raptor images on my website. If you want to go there, just hover over the slideshow and click on Visit Gallery. From there you can go to my home page. There are birds in my Portfolio and View Only Galleries.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Filming of On My Own

Day 1- Filming began early in the morning at Willow Lane Park, a very nice place to film (except for the creepy crawlies). Osprey and their young could be seen and heard as they nest in the lighting fixtures at the baseball field nearby.

Being a low budget film, these tents served as our changing rooms.

Here's some of the crew; costumes, AD (assistant director), hair

Cast members hanging out.

Bryce, a little bewildered after waking up in the woods.

Filming in progess.

Main characters, Bryce and Adelaide, with Adelaide's servant.

I really like this shot through the trees. :D

My daughter, the director of the film.

John and Bryce.

We finished up filming at Northview Family Worship Center, in the big domed building.
The a/c felt good.
In this scene, the youth group hangs out before going indoors.
The director talks with the actors about the scene.
Day 2 was a hot, fun and unique day for us.
We began our filming at Meridian High School, where we (mostly) homeschoolers pretended to be public schoolers.

I got to play the irritated teacher and that was a blast.

Some of these kids really looked so different from how they normally look and dress.

Matt is so proud of his grade.

The AD, Director and Matt.

Hallway scene. These kids really enjoyed pretending to go to high school.

Here's the Class of 2009ish!
We had kids from Jr. high up to some that were already graduated.
We took a much smaller crew back to Willow Lane Park, in the afternoon, to get a couple scenes on the balcony. It was so hot and humid!

Bryce and Adelaide, on the balcony.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First "On My Own" Images

What a busy summer I've had. Two straight weeks of shooting just for this film. Far more shooting than post processing going on. I can't believe how much I have to do and we start another year of homeschooling tomorrow.

I've begun going through photos from the shoot for the independent, family film, "On My Own" due to premiere next summer. These shots were taken for the premiere program and DVD cover. I'm not sure which shots the director will use, exactly, or if she'll want them to be in color or black & white though.

Meet John, aka Arronn, one of the movie characters. John is serious and mysterious . I love the shirt and belt combo, and the hat nicely completes the his character's look.

Meet Captain Gaunt, aka Robert, another one of our male characters. I just loved the costumes for this film, designed by the director and made by two volunteer seemstresses. Robert pulls off this bad guy character beautifully.

Hopefully, I'll have more images from the movie to post soon. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yearning to be Free-The Inevitable Empty Nest

A friend of mine told me about some hummingbirds that had nested on her porch. When they first hatched, (the usual 2 eggs that were laid) I was in the middle of shooting stills for an independent film (a 2 week committment-photos from that to come) and couldn't get there until they were just about ready to leave the nest.

Whenever I'm photographing nature, I ask God to show me His glory and I have seldom been disappointed. Today, God once again showed me His glory through His creation; from the amazingly small quarter-sized (or silver dollar sized at most) nest that was an architectural masterpiece, to the way the mother watched over and fed her chicks, to the amazing way the chicks stretched and tested their wings for the very first time.

The mother bird was on about a 20-30 minute feeding schedule and in-between feedings the chicks would nap or squirm around in the nest. They would preen their wings and tug at the nest in an effort to fit more comfortably in it. The larger chick (which hatched first) stretched and fluttered its wings for the first time while I was there. Soon, the chicks won't need their mother's care anymore. They will be out on their own and her nest will once again be empty.

As the mother of one child that has graduated from high school and another with only three years to go, I can't help but think about how similar my situation is to this mother bird. My mostly grown children are also tugging at the nest and testing their wings and getting ready to fly. My role to watch over without hovering and take care without smothering is growing increasingly harder, as my own children try to free themselves from our "nest" called home and as they crave their independence. My need to "feed" them and their desire to "feed themselves" is certainly a strain and a struggle. I hope I am watchful and caring, but giving my "chicks" room to stretch and grow as God indends. As a mother, I take great comfort in the fact that this is all a normal, natural process. God says in His Word that He feeds and cares for the birds of the air and I know He will also take care of my children when they leave home and I have no need to worry. I'm so glad that my children will still come home at times and will still call or text me for advice when they leave my "nest", unlike the hummingbird chicks. God, in His wisdom, knows how vital that parent/child connection is and I am grateful.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life." Matthew 6:26-27

If you want to read what I wrote about each photo, just hover your curser over the slideshow and click on link to go to the gallery.

If you want to know more about the independent film I shot stills for, CLICK HERE!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Downtown Falcons

While we were downtown this morning, I met some folks, Bob and Robin, on top of a parking garage. They were there to watch "our" (Boise's) peregrine family and its newest member taking flight. I only got one picture of the falcons as they perched, since I was there to take stills for a music video my daughter was filming. They were kind of far away for the lens I was using, but it was cool to see them. Wish I could've stayed and just watched them and taken some more pictures of them. You can read more about our downtown falcon family on Bob and Robin's blog. Here's the link.

Here's a slideshow of some of my raptor images...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just Flowers

Summer is not my favorite season, I must admit. I don't enjoy hot weather, nor do I enjoy bugs and wasps. There are some things I do very much enjoy about summer, though. I love the mild evenings and shady breezes. I love snow cones, ice cream and ice cold sun tea. I love bar-b-q's, no school, birds and butterflies. I love beach parties, lazy days, and the sound of the ice cream truck. One of my very favorite things about summer (and spring and fall for that matter) is flowers! I love their colors, their textures, their delicate nature. I've posted a slideshow of a collection of my favorite flower images. I hope you enjoy them as much as I!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Video Contest!

Hey everyone!

One of my daughter's video's made the top 10 finalists in an online contest! Please go and vote for it, it's entry #7! Click on the bubble next to #7, then scroll down and click on VOTE just below video 10. CLICK HERE TO VOTE NOW!

Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Long Time Coming!

I just had to share this photo! This is my eldest daughter. The excitement on her face is over the camcorder she is holding, a Canon GL2. You see, my daughter is into film-making and has wanted this camera for about four years now. Well, yesterday she finally got it and this is her just after picking it up. I just love the look on her face in this photo! Total joy, elation, etc... I thought you might all enjoy it as well.

She will begin filming her latest movie this July. It's all volunteer, the music, costume makers, actors and actresses, set designers, still photographer (yours truly), all cast & crew, filming locations, etc...with an original script that she wrote herself, containing a Christian message.

See her website and latest video HERE!

You can also find out how you can help if you want to be involved or donate to this wonderful project! The funds for this project are mostly coming from her own pocket so I'm sure she'd welcome any financial contributions.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How-To Tutorial #1

Disclaimer: First off, let me say that I am not a photography expert nor do I claim to be. I do not know everything there is to know about photography. In fact, the more I learn about photography, the more I realize how little I know. I am always reading, learning and practicing the art of photography. I do know what works for me and that I like my own photos. (for whatever that's worth) I learned the art of photography by reading, practicing and evaluating my own and other's photography. I have not been formally taught and may not always use the proper technical terms, but I love the art of photography and believe I do a fairly good job at it.
A large part of my photographic ability is due to a natural, God-given instinct, and I thank God for it every day and give Him the glory. The more rules I break, sometimes with awesome results, the more I learn it's not ONLY about the rules. The rules are wonderful guidelines to start with and I highly recommend beginners follow them closely. With that said, I hope that some of my ramblings about "How-To" can help you become happier with your own images.

#1 "How to Minimize Fencing"

The photo below was taken by a friend who was disappointed that the fence took away the focus of her photo, the beautiful bird! I was once as frustrated as she, with the problem of fencing and enclosures at zoo-type locations. I mean, fences are lovely and all when you want the fence to be the subject. In fact, I LOVE FENCES; but when it's the bird you want...

Christa was kind enough to let me use her image here as an example, so I could help others who suffer the same frustration.

The photo below also contains the same type of chain link fencing as Christa's photo above; however, the bird is the subject instead of the fence.


So, how'd I do it? Well, I set my camera to a fairly large aperture of f/8.0 and I got as close to the fence as possible, while focusing on the bird's eyes. By doing this, the fence gets thrown out of focus, allowing the bird to become the subject. (I believe there was a railing between myself and the fence so I couldn't totally eliminate the fence in this photo, but you can see how it is greatly improved.)

What if you have a point and shoot camera and cannot manually change the settings? You will want to choose the auto setting that will cause the camera to change them for you.
Experiment with both the Portrait and the Close-up modes and see which one renders a better result for you. It may differ depending on your camera type and model. If your point and shoot has AV mode on it, try that, too. This mode allows you to set the aperture and the camera will set the appropriate shutter speed for you. Experiment with different apertures from f/8.0 and larger and see what happens.

The type of fencing will also affect the results. The eagle below was in more of a small mesh type of enclosure and it has almost been eliminated altogether, using this technique.


This technique is not just for bird photos, either. Try it with sports photos, too! Get out of the bleechers and down close to the fence if you can, after all, it's about your family member, right? Actually, I may have been in the bleechers when I took this photo of my niece, but again I used a large aperture and focused on my subject.

My physical distance from the fence is again why it's showing up as much as it is, but the shallow depth of field still allowed the fence to be out of focus enough to save the shot. This again illustrates why you want to get as close to the fence as possible. You still won't get a tack-sharp image, but you've at least minimized the obnoxious fencing and have a memory worth preserving.


Practicing is a large part of becoming a better photographer, no matter what type of camera you use, (it's also the fun part!) so get out there and practice, practice, practice!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Snake River Birds of Prey Festival

Today I went to the Snake River Birds of Prey Festival here in Southwestern Idaho. I took a Burrowing Owl lecture and tour. I actually got to hold this owl fledgling! It was awesome!
See more images and read about my experience HERE!

More about the festival HERE!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Black and White or Color Images?

Here's another shot of the Irises that I shot yesterday. I've converted this one to black and white. I am really liking black and white lately, it's so timeless. I also really like color, though. I suppose everyone has their own opinion as to which is their favorite and why. I just keep doing some of each and that seems to be working for me. I think it would be sad to just choose one or the other because they each have their unique and different qualities. Each has its relevant and important place in the fine art of photography.
See more of my flower images HERE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Macro of Iris Flower

I took some macro photos today of beautiful Iris flowers. We had given my mother a bouquet of them from Mother's Day and told her I wanted to photograph them, so she gave me three of them, one of each color, to have at my house so I could shoot them.

I usually like to do things outdoors as naturally as possible, but since these were already cut, I went ahead and added some dew to them and shot them in my kitchen with natural light. (my favorite)

The sun was going in and out of the clouds so I had to wait at times for it to come back. That's part of the drawback shooting in natural light. You can't control it the way you can with studio light. I still like it, though. Maybe the challenge is part of what draws me to it, who knows? I suppose the reason doesn't really matter, it's what I do with it that counts. Hopefully I've done this flower justice with the light God lent me today.

"Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
"Song of Solomon 2:12

Return of the Burrowing Owl

As a perfect ending to an already wonderful Mother's Day, my husband took me out to look for raptors in our area. I realized that the burrowing owl we saw last fall would probably be back from migration, so we headed over to take a look.

We went only about 5-10 minutes from our home when we saw this burrowing owl on a fence post. We stopped a little ways before reaching him and I took a few shots through the windshield just in case he flew off as we got closer. My husband slowly crept the car forward and I opened my window so I could get some good shots. He didn't move, but did look at us as he sat perched on one foot.

We slowly crept even closer. I had my husband turn off the car so it wasn't shaking. We started the car again and I was afraid he would fly off at that point, but he didn't. The owl held his position and we crept up until he was directly in front of me.

The natural light was a lovely, soft, afternoon glow. At first the owl was strongly backlit by the sun, but as we moved forward the light got better and better and I was able to get some really great shots with good bokeh. He was perfectly relaxed, even closing his eyes as if in perfect peace and just enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

At one point, he began to let down his other leg as another car passed and we thought he was going to fly away, but he didn't, at least not that time. Later he did take flight, and I was able to actually get out of the car and take some environmental shots as he had landed over near what was, I assume, his burrow. It was on private property, so I couldn't get close enough to tell.

Anyway, those are the details of my latest burrowing owl encounter. It really is amazing I got any sharp images as I don't have IS (images stabilization) on my lens and had to shoot hand held from the car for most of the images. I get so excited about my subjects at times, that my hands just shake. I can't wait to get a faster lens with IS so I can get even better shots.

See more of my raptor images HERE!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day 2-20th. Anniversary Trip

Day 2-Grangeville, Idaho to Cottonwood, Idaho
Our main adventure for today was driving out to Pittsburg Landing in the Hells Canyon Backcountry, then back onto the Camas Prairie with a stop at Tolo Lake and then on to Cottonwood. These are snapshots taken from the car (which I like to refer to as drive-by-shooting) as we were driving and also shots taken as we stopped along the way. My commentary is a bonus, free of charge. LOL

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

DAY 1-20th. Anniversary Trip

This just posted! Day 1 of our latest travels, complete with commentary...see it HERE!
To celebrate our 20th. wedding anniversary, we decided to explore some of the wonderful state Idaho. Our focus was mainly North Central Idaho, but our trip extended into Montana before it was finished.

Current Project

I am currently working on images I captured on a recent nine-day trip I took with my husband to celebrate our 20th. wedding anniversary. I took nearly 3,000 photos. I will probably post by day. Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax Day T.E.A. Party-Boise, Idaho

On tax day, I attended one of the T.E.A. (taxed enough already) parties that went on in over 1,000 cities all over the United States on April 15th. Over 2,500 people came out to protest in Boise, Idaho.

Below are many of the people as they came over from Ann Morrison Park. It was a great sight to see the line of people coming. It seemed they would never stop coming...

After some speakers, including Bill Sali, we began our march toward the capitol building. We were escorted by 20 police. People were very peaceful, law abiding and smiling as we walked along, even thanking the police and even apologizing to people waiting in their cars for their wait as we temporarily blocked the streets of downtown.

Many carried signs and flags. Some had tea bags hanging from their signs, hats, jackets, etc...

It was quite a rush as we walked and I saw the capitol approaching. It's so great to be an American and have the right to protest and have freedom of speech. I hope it lasts many more years here in our great country.

The excitement of the crowd grew with each step and my own pride swelled with love and patriotism for the best country in the world.

In spite of all the things we were upset about, there was joy in the air and smiles on faces, no matter what you may have heard from the mainstream media. Even the police were in great spirits.

People were polite, even helping me up on a bench for some better images. It wasn't easy walking and photographing, especially since my main purpose was to participate and not just cover this event.

Above is one of our finest (who has no doubt fought for the very freedoms we were there to protect, yesterday) as we closed in prayer to the awesome God on which our country was founded.

I would encourage anyone to participate in an upcoming TEA Party, (I believe the next one is on July 4th.) who believes we are being taxed too much, the government is too involved in the private sector both in business and our own private lives, our liberties are being unconstitutionally taken away and our voices are not being heard. I could go on, but I won't.

For more images from this event CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Cover 2009

God has blessed me with a third magazine cover! The name of the photo is "Ritter Creek", Thousand Springs, Idaho.

For more information on CHOIS (Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State) CLICK HERE.

To see more of my published works, CLICK HERE.

To God be the glory!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lunar Eclipse

On February 2o, 2008, I stood on my front porch in freezing cold weather and photographed the lunar eclipse. It was so cool to watch the colors change as each phase emerged. I decided to make a sequence of images into a "poster" type collage. This is my final product. I like how it came out. I've had comments from friends and family that have said it looks like something from a science textbook. I'll take it! My daughter has a space room, maybe it'd look good in there as a 16x20 poster or something. There's an idea...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't miss a post!

Good morning!

If you're like me, you have many blogs bookmarked or in mind that you'd like to return to on a regular basis, but you forget. And, of course, by the time you remember you've most likely missed some posts by your preferred blogger. Or, you may just be new to this whole blogging thing. Well, I have a couple of ways you can remember to come back to my blog. If you're a Google Blogger, you can click on "follow" in the right side column to become a follower of my blog.

Probably the best way for everyone to make sure you don't miss a post of mine is to "subscribe by email." You just click on "subscribe to Shots n' Thoughts by email" in the right side column and add your email address. You will then receive a confirmation email. Then, just click the link in your email to activate your subscriptions and you will begin receiving updates each time I post.

If you're reading this post on my multiply.com blog, and you're not a contact of mine, you'll need to sign up for multiply.com and become a contact, or CLICK HERE to go to my Shots n' Thoughts blog, then follow the instructions in the previous paragraph.

I hope this makes sense to you all. I know some people aren't as used to computers and blogs and such, so I wanted to post about his option for those who don't already know about it.

You can also comment on posts, if you wish. I will have to approve it first, though, so don't expect it to show up immediately. There is no need to post your comment twice.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"High Voltage"

We recently went out for a shoot out on the Snake River Plateau. There, we saw some of the Idaho Power lines. I used a closer one to frame the ones going off into the distance. I loved the colors and how the mountains had different depths due to the haze in the sky.
In the above shot, I took a different approach. I used the power lines in the distance, only as scale to show the vastness of the area. I like how the sunlight spills over the Owyhee Mountain Range.

On the way back home, I saw this empty nest in a lone tree and decided to stop for a shot of it. Spring is coming and this empty nest will hopefully soon be filled with a nesting pair of birds. I used a different processing technique with this shot. I like it, but I'm not so sure it was as successful as I'd hoped it would be.

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