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)

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.

(f/8.0)

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.

(f/5.6)

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.

(f/5.0)

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...

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