Cloud Explosions in the Sky at 40,000 Feet

Today, a quick photo of the day post with one of my favorite inflight photos from my recent flight between Amsterdam and Uganda. This is a huge thunderstorm over the Mediterranean Sea that towered at least to the 40,000 feet we were flying at this day, and you can see went quick a bit above where we were flying. Somehow these two massive thunderstorms looked like (to me) two nuclear bombs exploding, and of course we were flying into these storms.

I have another post almost ready to go with photos about water, and the well, and kids, and all that stuff so look for that next time.

Cultural Priorities and the Breakneck Speed of the West

I love this shot of Jason, Eddie (our driver in Uganda), and myself. If you are holding a machete in the middle of the woods-jungle I think it’s a rule, you have to stop to have a photo taken. Jason and I were attempting to clear a few branches away for a lady who lived on the property and to say thanks she gave Eddie these awesome avocados (you can just see her in the photo in the upper right background). Actually, we both thought it would be really cool to get to use a machete to do some actual real work, and I ended up with the machete and Jason the axe pipe thing (sorry Jason).

I know I have said it before but it still amazes me. The speed and priorities of life in Bulboa where this lady lives is so extremely different from the west, even different from just up the road in Kampala. Life down in Buloba isn’t really run by a clock on a wall like we know it, and no one seems to be in a hurry to do anything, it’s just TIA (this is Africa). I didn’t really hear that said too much while I was over there, but I did hear it a few times, which generally refers to “whenever”. I personally loved that and enjoyed the down time, especially since that pretty much doesn’t exist at all on this side of the world. I fight for it every week but it’s certainly not the norm no matter how hard you try to slow things down. The little wood we chopped up was supposed to last her about a month, although I’m not sure how, the same bit of wood wouldn’t have been enough to start a fire to me. We did spend about an hour or two walking around this neighborhood while others in our group worked on some painting. It was very low key, very laid back, very TIA.

Over here this week life moved along at our normal breakneck speed. Nothing inherently wrong with that but every minute of every day is packed full and it didn’t take me any time at all to fall back into life at hyper-speed where you have to fight for margin. Margin is where life happens, where we meet with God and remember why we do what we do.

First July Mission Team Uganda 11-21 Heads to Atlanta

Cornerstone has two teams headed to Uganda in July (I’m on the second trip that leaves in two weeks), and the first team left today for Atlanta and then almost 8,000 miles and two 9 hour flights to Kampala, Uganda. I love being around people who are following their faith not just with words but with actions. Our salvation is not ever tied to our works, but we are called to action not just words, and I love that about these people leaving today. Imperfect people following a perfect Savior as best they can. They were all very excited about the days ahead, and if you want to follow their trip, two of them will be blogging as they can from here and here. Please be praying for our team members as they begin to arrive and get settled into their routine. Here is who is on the mission trip in that photo above:

RJ Harris
Dan Harris
Jonathan Savage
Amy Coxwell
April Brown
Jennifer Robinson
Davis Robinson
Casey Huff
Josh Cumberland

Summer in Opelika Leads me to Shoot the Church in Black and White

I finally put together everything to get a print actually hung on my wall. Amazing what a process that has become. I’m so use to posting and shooting digital that it just felt like quite a task, and took 4 years if you count when I purchased the frames, or 2 months if you count when I decided to get a print ordered. Anyway, I love the shot and how it turned out, and today it makes for the Photo of the Day.

This black and white of the First Baptist Church of Opelika was taken handheld on the corner of the block just about at high noon, when I would never seek to take a photo since everything normally gets washed out and contrast goes to nothing. In this case I love how the final result turned out, and the photo reminds me of lunch I had that day with a friend of mine, David Olive. On a side note, to me, that’s one of the great things I love about photography. This photo may just be a photo of an unknown church to most, but, to me, it’s a reminder of exactly what I was doing, where I was, and what was going on that day. I had just finished lunch with David and was on my way home and just decided to stop see if I could get anything at all in this 100 degree glaring sun. As soon as I stepped out of the car a huge cloud came over, covered everything in shade, took away all the harsh shadows, and left me with a shot I love of this historical church in Opelika.

The Mike Fisher and a Gibson Guitar at Cornerstone

The Photo of the Day today is of Mike Fisher who got his first chance to play guitar with the main worship band. It was pretty cool to see Mike playing with the worship band today, and although there is always almost no light in the worship area it does make for a more dramatic shot. I love the low light stuff, deep shadows and small reflections, like the light bouncing off Mike face in the second shot. Congrats on your gig this week Mike, keep moving forward.

A Nasty Tomato Hornworm Caterpillar Closeup

This is just about as perfect a photo of the day as I can get for summer in the south. These nasty things attack our tomato plants every year and they look so much like the plant leaves they are almost impossible to see. The only part you see is the evidence they were there (an eaten plant) and until you find them they will continue to devour everything in sight. They can get enormous in size if you don’t kill them quickly. Luckily this one was small, smaller than my little finger. The EXIF metadata is over here if you are interested in the macro shot.

Rolling Summer Thunderstorms and Dramatic Clouds in the South

It seems like these storms have been way to far and few between the past few years, but at least we are getting a small amount of rain. This thunderhead rolled by yesterday afternoon about 2pm and today it’s the photo of the day. Down here you see these nice little points developing in the clouds and you start to take notice. This one never picked up any rotation to it, but it made for some nice dramatic cloud shots. This image was taken just a few miles from my house when I was on my way to work, I literally stopped on the side of the road and rolled down the window to get the shot. My favorite part is how this tiny little truck way off in the lower right corner looks like it’s trying to outrun the storm like it’s the movie Twisters or something. It would be nice if we could get these every afternoon for the rest of the year.

Summer Food Photo of the Day with Red Seedless Grapes

My photo of the day sorta screams summer to me… fresh fruit. I love red seedless grapes and when I picked these up yesterday on the way home from work they were too good not to shoot. These shots are never as easy as I think they are going to be but I like the way the colors turned out with this particular shot. bon appetit.

My Father-in-Law and a Real Dallas Morning News-paper

I am still going through all the different shots from last weekend but pulled this shot out of my Father-in-Law that I just love. I hadn’t seen a news paper in so long that I had to pull out my camera. I love the mix of old and new this shot portrays. To see more shots from the weekend you can go to the Flickr gallery or you can see Deborah’s blog post as well. I will be adding more to my Flickr gallery as I can get them sorted out, but today the photo of the day is my Father-in-Law David reading the newspaper.

Indian Pink Perennial or Red and Yellow Wildflower :: Photos

The Photo of the Day today is a very small red and yellow wildflower found in the southeast, usually in the spring to early summer in the shade, called an Indian Pink or Maryland pinkroot, and woodland pinkroot. Better known by its Latin sir name Spigelia marilandica this little guy was blooming over at Chewacla State Park all over the place once we took a look around. Shot with a D7000 and a Nikkor 35mm 1.8 (EXIF details can be found over here) if you are like me and so inclined to read that sort of stuff. I have some shots of the waterfalls but haven’t gotten around to post-processing on those yet. This has already been a crazy busy week and it’s only going to increase as the week goes on unfortunately. It’s not really unfortunate, it’s just the way the week is this week.