Last Breath of Summer from a Beach in Gulf Shores

Lighthouse Sunset Over the Gulf of Mexico
Lighthouse Silhouette as the Sun Sets Over the Gulf of Mexico

Busyness has many enemies, but to me, one of the greatest causalities of busyness is the loss of creativity. When life turns into a checklist of task items the thing that loses out, at least in my life, is always the creativity of reading, writing, photography, poetry, contemplation, prayer, games, music, and so on. Many of those can be viewed as spiritual disciplines, which means one could say that busyness can pull us away from those things in our life that are to be set aside for worship.

This past weekend I finally got a few days to go down to the beach and relax, only it wasn’t quite as relaxing as I had thought it might be. Sure it was time away from the routines of life, which was great, but I really think it takes more than a few days to untwist your mind from the speed of life we live today. That’s the part that never really happened… but that’s ok too, after all, how busy could it possibly be with the view from our balcony below. What we did get to do was visit with family we haven’t seen in a few years, I finally got to visit the aviation museum in Pensacola (that post is upcoming), and we enjoyed a few glorious sunsets on some empty white sand beaches.

I left Auburn hoping to get through two books while I was down at the beach, both of which I had made it about one chapter deep. I managed to make it to the last chapter of the first book, one called Lifted By Angels by Joel Miller, and one I hope to write a review about soon. This was a great book to read uninterrupted at the beach, a place where one’s thoughts can be lifted above the routine of daily needs. There were so many quotes that caught my attention in this anthology about our interactions with angels, especially when it comes to our interaction through a prayerful life, but this stood out when talking about asking for things in prayer…

Isaac the Syrian said that when we ask for earthly things, it’s like a subject standing before his king and imploring him for a measure of manure. The request insults both the king and the subject.

I think we often get so caught up in the earthly life of “things” and the tasks of the day, we forget our life is about preparing for eternity, not necessarily worrying about tomorrow. Below is sort of a timeline from sunup to moonup on our last day, in the last bit of summer warmth before the real fall arrives soon.

Balcony View of Gulf of Mexico
Balcony View of Gulf of Mexico
Sun Setting Over the Gulf of Mexico
Sun Setting Over the Gulf of Mexico
Sunset Through the Grass at Gulf Shores
Sunset Through the Grass at Gulf Shores
Moonrise Over the Beach
Moonrise Over the Beach

This Week’s Project 365 with Sunset Over the Fillmer Farm

Sun Setting Over the Pasture
Sun Setting Over the Pasture on the Fillmer Farm
Wow yet another week has come and gone. This is my weekly Project 365 post which includes a week where we had our kids and grandkids out to visit from Colorado and go to do a quick family photo shoot one afternoon. The images below are the chosen images for Day 223 through Day 229. You can see the entire shoot on Flickr at http://P365.me.

My favorite shot again this week was a sunset (above), which ended up being a little similar to last week but not. I love sunsets, and this one came right after a heavy summer rain shower when the sun peeked just below the clouds. The shot above was taken with my iPhone 4S, a camera that continues to amaze me each week. We finally started to get some rain in our area and this week was one afternoon shower after another. Hard to complain about the rain when we have been in a drought for so long, but it did make for some very hot and humid days, something our family from Colorado thought was a little less than pleasant. I love how different each week’s photos turn out in this project, next week is sure to be more of the same… different.

This Week's Project 365 with Sunset Over Toomer's Drugs Auburn

Project 365 [Day 221] Sun Setting Over Toomer's Drugs in Auburn
Sun Setting Over Another Day on Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn
Another week of 2012 is just about over, can’t believe it. I usually work on my Project 365 posts on Saturday afternoon and today I just decided to post the week below. The images below are the chosen images for Day 216 through Day 222. You can see the entire shoot on Flickr at http://P365.me. I started doing this a while back in a post series called Saturday Summary when I started looking back at each week through the photos I took. I haven’t posted in that series in a while, but decided to resurrect it for today.

I took this shot above with my iPhone as we walked back to the car from dinner over at Five Guys. It doesn’t always work, but I love shooting directly into the sun, mainly because not many people do it because it way over exposes the shot, but here it worked. I love this section of Auburn, there isn’t much down here on college that isn’t more Auburn than Toomer’s Corner. I had a few people ask me about the full high res version of this image, so I just decided to post it here as Sun Setting Over Toomer’s Drugs in Auburn (high res version). You are welcome to download it from that page, please don’t sell it.

That shot above reminds me how close it is to football season now and that first game at the Georgia Dome on September 1st. The weeks do go by so fast. War Eagle.

Project 365 [Day 158] Tree Swing on the Farm at Sunset

Project 365 [Day 158] Tree Swing on the Farm at Sunset

This is one of my favorite places in our backyard, and of course if you have been around this site for a while you will recognize the tree swing, but I keep finding unique ways to shoot it. I’m working on getting all the photos on my site of this swing to be searchable through “my swing” but they aren’t all up there quite yet. Yesterday afternoon I was cutting the grass and noticed the sun setting right behind the tree and actually took this shot while I was on the tractor, mowing. I later stopped and tried to setup a better shot with Deborah in the swing but none turned out as this one did with the sun right in my face. Today it was my Project 365 photo for Day 158.

The Sunset is Just an Amazing Display of God in Creation

We have had a stormy few days leading up to Christmas this year, with some really weird warmer weather. I took this photo above yesterday with my cell phone as I was walking across the pasture to my house. I had forgotten something at my house that I needed to fix my mom’s computer, and literally as I was walking, I decided to take a few shots of sun through the clouds with my phone. I’m always amazed at the beauty that is before us all the time, but because we see it every day, day in and day out, we forget it’s there, or fail to recognize it’s beauty.

Of course this is no accident, and we are told over and over again that this display, the very display we can now capture on a phone, shows the existence of God to us all, and therefore, we are without excuse to say we have never known God to be real, to have shown his beauty to all of us. Today this photo also serves as my Project 365 [Day 23] image (see the rest of P365.me :2012 here).

This is what David says in Psalm 19.1-6 where he said

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork… in them, he has set a tent for the sun… its rising is from the end of the heavens… and there is nothing hidden from its heat

and again, what Paul says in Romans 1.20

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

I have seen photos taken by Hubble that truly astound and boggle the mind, but sometimes we only have to go as far as to look around us, because God has displayed himself everywhere in His creation, from the Orion Nebula to our own backyard.

Amsterdam Airport Photos and a 50mm Lens :: AMS-EBB

This is a continuation of my series, airports and a 50mm lens. Since I was in Europe this time I didn’t really get quite a much material as I normally do in a place like Atlanta. For one thing, once I get outside the United States shooting [photos] in an airport isn’t quite the same. The laws are different all over the world. I know what I can and can’t shoot in the U.S., and I can stand my ground in most cases in my own country. Not so much once I get outside the U.S., so this series changes a bit, to err on the side of caution.

Europe is usually ok about photographers as long as you aren’t obnoxious and you don’t look too suspicious but Entebbe is another story. I didn’t take hardly anything once we landed over there but on my next trip I know on the way back home there are a few things I would like to capture. I’ll see. In October I may be as tired as I was when we left in August, but EBB right now is about one single shot.

Here is a quick shoot of Amsterdam. There was a lot I didn’t get since our connection was so short, but next time I have a 5 hour connection so I should be able to improve upon this shoot. If you are wondering what’s the point… well, I actually consider this street photography, something I have really come to love over the years. Trying to capture a mood, or an expression, without someone standing in front of you going “smile” isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but sometimes it’s just more genuine. To me it shows a more realistic view of life. Everything in this (and all my 50mm airport series) is shot with one single focal length lens (obviously a 50mm), and to me, it tells a totally different story than the post from Atlanta 8 hours earlier told.