Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lighting Equipment

This weekend I got two stands and umbrellas from Great purchase, we did our first newborn shoot this weekend with them and it was awesome and they worked so well. The far umbrella has a ringlight that I was borrowing from the UW, I have a flash coming soon, that should light up the whole umbrella better, I will post pictures taken with the set up in the coming days.

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My main learning source was They have a great website with all kinds of tips and ideas to get started with strobe lighting.  
The links in this post are to the equipment I bought.  It's not the best stuff, but it is pretty sweet and does an awesome job, I've been very impressed so far with it.  We also took some self portraits of ourselves last night, just messing around, I will try to get those photos up this week, so you can see some examples of our work.  So we have 2 of the umbrella kits and 2 of the wireless triggers for the flashes.  It works, it simply just works, it is so great, and easy to set up.  I just need to get a bag to transport it.   If you buy through these links, Amazon gives us a kickback, so that would be great, but obviously you don't have to.  We also purchased a new flash from mpex, the flash comes highly recommended and I will have a separate post on that after we get it, it has adjustable flash power and as much power as Canon's 580 speedlite (which is like $500), but this one was much cheaper.  Check it out here.,14648.html

Have a great day.


Happy Halloween. These are the pumpkins my kids made in class. I have a few three year olds, the rest are two years old. It was a fun and simple project, they loved it.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Eye Spy

I have been renting a 100mm Macro Canon lens, and was trying to take close up of the kids eyes, at work. The detail is really awesome I think. Sometimes the top eye lashes were blurry, because the kids were blinking. The lens itself, really seemed to have to search to find the right focus, it would go all the way out and then all the way back in, even between shots. It was kinda weird. Don't know if that is common with this lens, or not, but we will find out.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Rental Lens #2

This week I get to rent a Canon 100mm F2.8 usm macro lens and a ringlite flash.  In my quick time with it last night, the focusing was a little slow (compared to the 70-200mm F4L lens I rented last time).  But it still seems pretty good, I will be posting pictures from it in the coming days.  Super excited.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Family Fun


I took this picture of this family a while back.  The pose was the mom's idea, and it was a great pose, I really like how the photo turned out.  I will be posting more from this shoot in the coming days.  It was a great time. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Starting Now

 Song of the day for today is  City on Our Knees - Toby Mac.  It is a great song about starting to live how God wants us to live.

In my small group we have been reading and discussing C.S. Lewis, and this week we talked about our view of Heaven has been distorted.  It is hard for me to wrap my mind around heaven and all the good that will be there.  Often I feel like my life is good here, why would I want to give it up.  C.S. Lewis mentions that people often think of heaven as some fantasy land, and people that spend time thinking a lot about it get a bad rap, as people that are escaping this world.  But when we look back at history he argues, we see that people who are most concerned with Heaven are the very ones making the most impact on Earth.  We get this dilemma,  "aim for heaven and you get earth thrown in, aim for earth and you get nothing" (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).  The song talks about why not now?  what excuses am I making that keep me from living life to the fullest?

Luke Chapter 9:
 57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
 58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
 59He said to another man, "Follow me."
      But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
 60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
 61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
 62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

 It's good to take time and evaluate where my real priorities are.  Am I fit for service in God Kingdom?

Monday, October 25, 2010

One more Spider Web

Took this picture the other morning with the Canon 70-200mm lens, I was renting, I really like the way this one turned out, much better than the other ones I posted earlier.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Collage Attempt 1

Was looking for a cooler way to share photos, and I think I found it.  Picasa3 has a much improved collage feature, that really lets the user do what they want. Rotating pictures, changing their size, borders, can make them look like a pile like this, or like a very structured collage, which I will showcase at a later date.  Really simple, really intuitive (except you have to publish it or something like that, otherwise it has a watermark that says its a draft).

Thankful for...

Thanksgiving is coming up, but I feel like being thankful is something I need to be better at practicing.  So from time to time, there will be a short post about what I am thankful for.  And I hope it will cause you to stop and pause your life and think of something you are thankful for.

Last night as I laid in bed, I could hear the rain pouring down and the wind blowing.  It was quite a stormy night.  And I thought, I'm sure thankful for this nice warm place to call home. 

So...what are you thankful for?

In Christ Alone - On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand

Heard this song on Pandora the other day.  I loved it, and found it on YouTube.

I really enjoy it when someone takes a hymn and puts some contemporary lyrics in with it.  I find it to be very powerful.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Took this picture earlier in summer, it was one of the first picture I took with my new camera. I really like how it turned out.  I just wish there was a way to get the cars out of the background. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Take me in

We used to sing this song at my church, and I really liked it.  I looked everywhere to buy it and I couldn't find it.  Take a listen it rocks. 

It talks about being taken into the holy of holies, which was the most sacred part of the Jewish Temple, the priest was only allowed in there once a year I think.  It was where they kept the Arc of the Covenant.  It also asks God to touch my lips with Coal a reference to Isaiah 6:6
 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."

Pretty awesome lyrics, pretty sweet song I think.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Canon 70-200mm Rental pt. 4

Sad sad day, I have to return this great lens to the School, until I can rent it again, wish I could keep it.  The bookah it produces is so amazing, here's a picture I took with it of some Snapdragons we have growing at work.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Canon 70-200mm Pt. 3

So the moon picture, I probably could have stopped it down one more step of light.  I think I was at ISO 200, f/7.1 and 1/100, and that was a little too bright, but It still turned out really well. 
The Ferry picture, has a little bit of noise, but that was hand held in my car, I stopped quickly to take some pictures.  It is SOOC, so I probably could reduce the noise in Photoshop, I just haven't had a lot of time to play, I have had too much homework.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Canon 70-200mm Rental pt. 3

Here are a couple more pictures with that really sweet lens.  I love the background blur, from here on out referred to as Bookah, which is the technical term.  It pretty much rocks with this lens.

Also, heard a thing on the radio the other day.  You know that if you go far enough north, to keep moving eventually you will have to head south.  But that doesn't happen if you go far enough to the east (you won't magically end up heading west).  It was a lead in to a song about how God has removed our sins from us as the east is from the west.  I thought that was pretty sweet and thought I'd share it with you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Canon 70-200mm Rental pt. 2

Here are 3 pictures of some flowers I took the other day with the rental lens. I love this lens so much, I love how the background is out of focus and the flower pops out.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hide and Seek Sun

So, I found out that I can rent a few different lens' from my college. So this week I rented the lens that was high on my priority list. It is even better than what the reviews I had been reading made it out to seem. I love it and don't want to have to return it this week. Here is a series of photos of the sun coming out from behind the clouds. These photos are SOOC (Straight out of the camera). There will be more about the lens in the coming days, and hopefully I will be able to rent it again later in the quarter.

ISO200-1/200-F/22-+.33 exposure comp

ISO200-1/200-F/29-+.33 exposure comp

ISO200-1/250-F/32-+.33 exposure comp

All photos taken with Canon T1i with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gerberding Hall

Here are some pictures of Gerberding Hall on the UW Campus. I think it is one of the most photographic buildings on campus. I love the tall pillar. The night one is a little blurry, I didn't bring my tripod so I had to use what I could and I think the camera wasn't entirely still. Hope you enjoy.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


My soul finds rest in God alone: My salvation comes from Him. 
Pslam 62:1

I find that when I try to live life my own way, and do things my way, things get hard.  When I trust in God and give my life over to him, I find real lasting rest.  But still, I want to do things my way.  Sometimes (or all the time), I just need to let go of control and let God's will be done.  Things tend to go better when that happens

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

UW - Drumheller Fountain

Since I'm going to School at the UW, I thought I'd share pictures of the campus. So today I took my camera and took some pictures. It felt really weird to be a tourist at my own school. Anyway, I will be running a short series of post with photos from school.

To start us off we have Drumheller Fountain.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thoughts from Rachel and Bryce Schober: A Hole In Our Gospel: Chapters 9 & 10 (2 of many)

My Brother in law wrote this, and I really thought it thought provoking...

Thoughts from Rachel and Bryce Schober: A Hole In Our Gospel: Chapters 9 & 10 (2 of many): "Imagine (this shouldn't be too hard for any of you) the media and government frenzy resulting from the crash of a passenger jet in the Unite..."

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Here are some more pictures of a little girl in my class at work.  Her name is Bella.  She is so adorable and I am so glad I get to share these pictures with you.  She has been at my center for almost 2 years. It has been so awesome to watch her and a couple of her little friends grow up. 



I hope you enjoy.  There are some more on the portrait page as well. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Father's Love

Romans 8: (read with power and conviction)
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I just really like this verse.  If God is for me, whom then shall I fear? What can man do to me?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Footprints in the Sand

This is one of my favorite poems, I first read it at my grandma's house. I enjoy taking a photo that I've taken and adding text to it. Whether it is a bible verse or some famous quote or as the case is here, a poem. I really like the symbolism here. I think I could have taken a better picture of it, but I really like how it turned out.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Upside Down

Thought I'd share this picture I took. Sometimes we as humans could do things the easy way, but then we wouldn't have any fun. So we find a hard way to do it and end up stuck upside down. I think we should just go with God's way (which can be messy enough).
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Compounding Impact

John 15 
16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.

I feel like a lot of people in my life have been talking about making an impact in those around you.  I heard a sermon (you can watch it at the bottom of this post if you want.  The beginning is really good, toward the end he talks about how the congregation can help at their local church, but really I think it could have been how can you let God use you in all the situations you are in) the other week on  how what we do compounds over the years.  How saving that one life, loving that one person compounds and over time becomes a really big deal.  My professor was talking about having an impact in our world. So I mean that I feel like God is pushing this on me, how am I making an impact? What does that look like as I get ready to graduate college in 6 months?  What does that look like in my marriage?  What does that mean for my career?

I don't know if this story is true or not, but I heard it several years ago from my dad.  There was a traveling preacher back a few decades that went from town to town.  He stopped in this one town and preached and only one boy came up to be saved.  This preacher was disappointed, in this whole town he had only reached one boy (who happened to be named Billy Graham).  This young boy that was the only one reached became one of the most widely known and influential Christians of his generation. It's easy for me I think to get caught up in the numbers, but its not really about me.  In fact, if I try to do it alone, I am sure to be a failure.  It is only if I remain part of the vine will I be able to find success.   I may only be called to plant seeds, or water the seeds, or I may be called to do it all in someones life. I am willing to do whatever is asked of me to make "God's Kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven" a reality?
I think it is important to us as Christian's to stop and evaluate ourselves.  To step back from the routine and see, "am I trying to be fruitful, or am I so caught up in my everyday tasks that I miss opportunities to share of God's great love?"  So go and be fruitful this week.

Doing Good For Dummies: Write Your Name In The Book! from Lake Samm on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

TV in America

Here is an interesting piece about how cutting the TV can be good for you.

While I don't think this article is extremely well written, the points are hard to miss.  The article claims that you can be healthier and wealthier by not having cable or satellite. Not only do people save money by not having a monthly bill, but also because they (and their kids) want less toys/items that they see during commercial.  You have more time to do things you want and you can get more sleep (which is part of the healthier part).

I lived with out TV for 3 years while serving in a ministry house in Shoreline.  And since getting married (and the national move to digital tv) left me with no broadcast signal, we have chosen to live with out cable (which both of us did all through growing up).  We watch the occasional TV show (through hulu), but it is on our time frame, not the TV stations, and we have netflix for the night we want to watch a movie. 

I will not claim to never let my kids watch TV, I have realized and heard of enough other parents trying that, but I was limited in my TV watching/computer playing as a kid and I turned out okay (I think so anyway). 

I do think people should try to turn off the TV 1 week a month or something, just to try it and see how it effects their life.  I think it ruined my life. I have a hard time sitting and watching most any sport (on TV) the whole way through with out feeling like I am wasting my time. (since the end of most games is either the only part necessary to watch (its a close game) or its a blow out and there is no point in watching the end).  That being said, I enjoy having a game on if I am doing something like cooking or editing photos, it just hard to have it on and read at the same time. 

I guess I just thought it pretty cool that there are people in society who try this. So, go do something with the people in your life today. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Summer Returns

Since summer appears to have made a return for a few days, thought I'd share a fun photo from summer.

Good Vs. Evil

We have been reading C.S. Lewis' classic book "Mere Christianity" in our Monday night small group.  We just started and are only a few chapters in, but Lewis has some great quotes that I wanted to share with you.

Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.

When we were discussing this quote, someone asked why God would give us free will, is it worth it.  I think the simplest answer is to ask a husband or wife if it is worth loving the spouse through all the tough times. Or to ask a parent is your child really worth all the pain and stress they bring to your life?
I think to of something I just read about stocks (One up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch), that you can only lose so much of your investment.  If I invest $1000, I can only lose a $1000, but I can gain untold riches right?  It could double in value, triple, 10 fold, whatever, the sky is the limit.  Ok so maybe that isn't quite the same thing, but you can get the idea, you can only lose so much but the amount that you can gain is off the charts. 

Often times when when talking about God with people they may make some argument about if there really was a god he wouldn't let all these bad things happen.  On a more personal note, it is easy for me to look at the news stories of the day and get frustrated at how evil human's can be and wonder why it can be.  Not to worry though, Lewis will save the day for us with this great quote.

The better stuff a creature is made of-the cleverer and stronger and freer it is-then the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong.

Kind of amazing to think of huh?  We are only capable of such awful things because we are made of such great material.   We have so much potential to be good. 

This last quote I think is one of Lewis' all time best.  I think it is something that all Christian's should know about.  It is the perfect response to those that say Jesus was just a great teacher...

Jesus cannot be just a moral teacher. "He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg,- or else he would be the Devil of Hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.

I think the next time someone tells me that Jesus was just a great teacher, I will have to ask them if they have read anything about him or what he said.  Looking at Scripture there is no way he could be just a teacher.  He turned away the rich man not because he wasn't "good" for society, but because he couldn't part with his money.  It came between him and God.  He picked the losers, he picked the very people that society thought were useless and he revealed himself to them.  He was a radical preacher that wasn't liked by the establishment (remember, they did kill him for what he said and claimed to be).  If he was a good little preacher, I doubt he would have been killed for it.


Hopefully this isn't too over the top and you can get something out of it.  We start with a quote.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. -C.S. Lewis
Think about that...
I read this the other day.   How true it is, that those that think they are doing good, can do so much harm.  I think of a mother 'loving' her child too much, she coddles it and ends up doing more harm to her child then she would like. 
But I also think of our broken welfare system. My understanding of welfare is that it is there to help people get back on their feet when they have fallen on tough times.  But I have found in working with people that are in our welfare system, that it appears to be there to keep them down, not to help them get out.  
We had a single mom at my daycare (a while back)whose two kids were part of my class, and part of their payment was made by DSHS (department of social and human services).  She worked for a small company doing front office work I think. After about a year she received a small pay raise.  Great, she is moving up and forward in her work.  DSHS saw the pay raise and cut off all her child care payment (even though the amount cut was more than the amount she would make in a month with her raise.  Now she would be forced to make a decision, keep her job and lower her lifestyle further, or quit and so she could take care of her kids.  The DSHS payment should have gone down to allow for her to pay a little more, but it makes no sense taking it away.  It was there to keep her down.  
This is how our welfare systems work, they punish success, and encourage contentment with the status quo.  And I understand that is only one example, but there are many many more stories just like that.  Government in my opinion will never be able to fully solve this problem.  It takes people working and building relationships with those in need, that can encourage and promote a better lifestyle.  A personal help, one that can look at the situation and make the decision to help and not just one that has to follow the rules.  And the Church and other NGOs (non-government organizations) need to step up and find ways of filling this hole. We as Christian's need to get off the side lines and show how real lasting change can come about, by being the hands and feet of Christ.