St. Joseph

    Today is a special day for me….it is the Feast Day of St. Joseph!  So even though I am in an other state, working 14 hours a day (well 16 today), and it is 20 or so degrees outside I found the Cathederal on the way to work.  As luck would have it, I walked in at mass time! I noted the Bishop was moving along briskly.  So I then attended mass AND got to work on time!

     Today was the funeral for the cousins lost last week in childbirth.  One of the children’s middle name was Joseph as well.  So I lit a candle for the children, and asked this great saint to look out for them on the path to heaven.  Just before leaving I said our Blue Knight St. Joseph prayer….


Dear St. Jospeh

Who took such good care of the baby Jesus and blessed mother Mary. 

Be our protector to. 

Guide us on the path that is safe and sure, all the way to heaven.




Hand in the Candy Bucket

I’ll confess this little one is a sweetheart, and I’m partial to her since her parents are good friends of ours.  However I think those eyes make the shot, and capture your heart.  Her eyes will captivate you in person, and I hope I put such a feeling in this photo.

To accomplish this little shot I was playing with my favorite little lens, the Fujinon 23mm F1.4.  In this photo I experimented with an extremely shallow depth of field, opening the aperture all the way just to see what it will do.  Because I was using a mirrorless camera, my Fuji XE-1, I was able to see the DOF in the screen as I composed the image in real time.

I know some purists out there will be screaming that professionals use a viewfinder, and that I am violating some law of photography since I did not have my eye up to the viewfinder.  Heck I might as well have used a cell phone right?  Well probably yes and definitely no.

See part of the reason I switched from traditional DSLRs to this mirrorless design was I got comfortable keeping eye contact with my subjects during composition.  An instructor told us how vital was, and at first I was like yah right…but then I tried it.  Eye contact helped me take a great group photo of 64 VIPs.   Why?  Because by looking at my subjects I kept control over them.  It then helped me take individual subjects mind off the camera and kept it focused on our conversation.  With younger kids it became much less about the camera, and more about the game we were playing.  I found more candid moments caught, and fewer cheesy smiles that look like the child in under duress.

Well…the journey is still moving forward as I learn more about my little craft…and I hope to share more of these lessons as I go forward with you!





Making Music with a Lens and a rant

     While I am out and about I sometimes see an image immediately drawing me home. This was one of those moments.  Walking down the sidewalk I saw an unmistakable symbol of music, and my thoughts turned homeward bound.  Over the last two years the ability to bring music back into the house, and into the lives of the children, through the Joyful Noise Homeschooling music program enlivened the family.  Initial cat gut screatches became music I can recognize.  Scales firmed up with practice.  Now both older children can teach me theory I never knew.  The little guy sung the Gloria at church with his two best buds with gusto this Sunday..  All very cool!

     So this image made music in my lens… 

     I also wanted to point out something about street photography as I see it.  While I was out walking a college age couple were shooting the streets.  Sitting on the side walk was a mentally ill man.  He was dishevelled, talking to himself incoherently, but otherwise not bothering anyone.  The lady in the couple thought he made a good subject.  So she switched to live view and took some hip shots of the poor soul.  

     Being in a public area means a photographer needs no consent to photography you.  However a photographer should exercise some level of respect for the man.  If the photo will be provided to people looking for him great..otherwise I worry that this is exploitation of personnel morbid curiosity.   In many people’s ciricles today this is just a chance to get a little self promotion on Twitter and Instangram.  It is an opportunity to exploit for themselves, not elevate humanity.  There are plenty of people on the street (such as street performers) who are interesting subjects, and more than willing to pose for a small tip.   

    If I photograph a person I have either their consent or they are doing something themselves to gain attention of passerbys.  For instance in Miami I photographed a skateboarder doing flashy tricks in a highly visible area on purpose.  A chef I photographed nodded yes when I asked to photograph him.  

    I know someone out there will say they are doing a social justice peace.  I just don’t buy it.  If you are doing social justice work you’d also be taking him to dinner. 

     With all that said…have a great night and PRAISE God!


PS For you techies this is the Fujifilm X-E1 with 23mm at 1/210, F8 ISO 800.   I used the film simulation of Velvia and applied a slight crop, small sharpening effect and vingette blur in Nik Snapseed.  My 23mm F1.4 is my current favorite Fuji lens…and it really wants a 56mm in the stable next to it!