Rose of the Americas

St Rose of Lima, St Margret and St Catherine

St Rose of Lima, St Margret and St Catherine at St. Patricks Cathedral, NYC, NY

St. Rose of Lima…in 31 years of life did everything she could to honor the Lord.

The stories we hear of her life, describe her as a child and woman so beautiful that people would just stop, stare and lose all sense of time.  She hated this adoration, and instead wanted people to honor God.  When told to marry she disobeyed her parents for the first time and said no…she’d already given her heart to Jesus.  She faced many trials created by the devil in her short life, including one described by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, that of losing the ability to feel God’s presence.  Instead she often felt alone, and this caused her great sadness.  In the midst of all of this, she cheerfully offered up her suffering as another offering to God.

I am in awe of people such as her.  I’m in awe of my lovely Rose as well, as she kneels to say her prayers in the hallway without prompting at this very moment.  She does not want to disturb her baby sister, who is partying in her crib a few feet away.

St. Rose…and saints in training like my Rose…make me realize how much harder I have to work to be a good servant of Christ example in the lives of those around me.

I hope on this Sunday, you too can think about examples you can following for spreading God’s love around the world to make it just that much better.  I know will!

-ehw

P.S.  Mr X-E1 with the 35 F1.4 mounted up.

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Cold Rabbit

Cold Rabbit

Cold Rabbit

This was a fun shot.  This darn rabbit watches over my yard day in and day out.  An I finally caught him in the camera.  He was so cold I could not miss him!

I initially did this in color, and got a pretty nice file from it all.  However I wanted to express how cold this rabbit had to be.  So I turned over to my B&W in Nik SilverEfx2.  This Nik (well now Google) application is simply awesome in rendering B&W.  Perfect Effects is getting closer all the time, I just know SilverEfx and can get the results I want very fast right now.  So I turn to it most often for B&W.

I hope this type of photo inspires a few of us to get out and look at our environments when seasons change.  Just the addition of snow, of new pine needles, leaves and green grass change our perspective significantly.  If we all take a few minutes to enjoy our environment, maybe we’d a little extra motivation to realize how lucky we are to have what we have.

I just mention this, because today a mother of four (the youngest being three months old) collapsed in front of her family just a few feet from my wife and kids.  We’re waiting on word of her condition, and praying for everyone involved.  Luckily her husband was at her side and was the first responder, and friends and family were able take care of the children while Dad tended to his wife.

Life is precious.  Life is short.  If we do not recognize that, we’ll miss moments like this when the whole world of Atlanta, Georgia turned an unusual white..or our children smiled at the sight of the sun coming out from behind the clouds…or the fleeting moment we get to hold the hand of a loved one for what could be the last time.

Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss that moment?

-ehw

PS Pentax K-5 with 16-50 F2.8.

Roswell, Georgia snowed in!

Snowday in Georgia 2014

Snowday in Georgia 2014

The last month flew by like a whirlwind.  Sorta like that football flying past Manning on the first down…still hurts to see my team get crushed like that…

Well last week we had the second big storm of the season here in Atlanta.  I have no illusions about driving on ice…did that before…did not like the results from an ice storm when I was 16, and respected them ever since.  So we tucked into the house early, and never had an intention of leaving.

So here is our home covered in snow and about 1/2 to an inch of ice in spots eight days ago.  I think I was the only person on my street who owned a shovel…leftovers from living up north.  I really don’t blame people down here for not owning a snow shovel.  You’d use the darn thing once every few years.

While public school kids rejoiced, the homeschoolers here drove on with their lessons.  Live continued to go on normally in our house as the worst of the storm went south and messed up the electric service down there.  I was tangentially part of their day at school…and it was interesting for all of us.

Well the loss of work for me resulted in longer days since then to catch up, and that is how you pay the bills!  So sorry for the absence…but feeding kids comes first.

This photo is from good old Mr. Pentax K-5 with the 16-50mm.  I had a lot of snow and water falling all over me, so no lens changes here that’s for sure.  Since the whole combo was weathersealed, life was easy and fun as long as the front element stayed dry.  Pentax RAW files, like most RAW files, are flat.  You must process them to get what your mind’s eye wants to share with the world.  So for this shot I did the edits over in Perfect Effects 8, with a final crop in Aperture…done.

-ehw

 

HDR Love

A Rose for You!

A Rose for You!

Here is a photo that is a little more than meets the eye.  It is another High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo I composited from seven clicks of the shutter.  Each click gives me information, and when I composite those seven shots I can do a whole lot of art with it.  I can pick realistic, surreal, structured, B&W you name it.  There is no “right” answer, it is just how I see it.  Over time I am also blessed because I can come back to the shoot with new lessons learned, and make a photo which takes those seven layers into a new and different direction.

Today is St. Valentines Day and he is the patron saint of marriage and love.  It will sound geeky, but marriage and love require HDR.  Our english language does not serve us well when we talk of love.  The church fathers knew there were four dynamics: Agape (Divine Love), Philia (Friendship), Storge (Affection) and Eros (Emotional).  Today our society outwardly values eros, and seemingly on purpose denies the others even exist.  This is of course a recipe for failure in families and human commitment.  We all know that emotional love fades, that when the hormones fade and age sets in…the pull of another set of hormones  or selfishness will tear the relationship asunder.  The self giving love flowing from Agape is the most important to emulate as it feeds everything else, yet to speak the name of the Lord in relation to being the example of human love will only get you scorn on the major networks and advertisements.

My love just read me a story about a couple married 65 years who said the secret they held was they grew up in a time when you did not throw a damaged item away…you fixed it.

That story says it all.  Just as I may find a new direction with my HDR next year, and could create a new version of this image…so must we adapt in our marriages finding the right mix of agape, philia, storge and eros as we advance through our lives. What was right for us as newlyweds, is not what will sustain us on our 16th anniversary this year or our 50th…I can foresee we have many a layer to examine and thrive with in the coming years.

I see the same example in the longevity of marriages by my parents, my in-laws and grandparents.   I pray St. Valentine and you will join me in asking the Lord for the wisdom to help us all down here to do the same.

-ehw

P.S. Fujifilm X-E1 with the fabulous 60mm Macro