First Things First

February 14, 2012  •  Leave a Comment
I needto acknowledge my inspiration.

First off,I am a Christian and believe that God can inspire us through His creation. The thingswe see every day, but we may take for granted…because we see them every day…canbe extremely inspiring if we simply take the time to stop and appreciate them.We see the sun every day, but when we take the time to simply bask in itswarmth or watch it as it sets behind the horizon, it takes on a whole newmeaning. It could be as simple as a bird gliding through the air and simplyusing the thermals to keep itself aloft.

Especiallywhen I'm out, shooting wildlife or landscape type photos, I’m always trying tokeep my mind, my heart and my eyes open to the wonders of God’s creation.Hopefully I will be able to convey some of that to those of you who choose toview my work.
"Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or
harvest or put food in the barns because your
heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far
more valuable to him than they are."
Matthew 6: 26 (NLT)
Anexample of this is the photo to the left. When I’m driving, manytimes I'm looking for interesting locations or images. There is a tenmile stretch between the town I live in and the larger neighboring town, whichI have driven many times. Paralleling this main road is the original road thatconnected the two towns. It’s a bit more winding and hilly, so it’s a bit morepractical to take the main road. From the main road, I had seen the topof this cross poking out over a hilltop and thought it would be interesting tofind out where it was and how I could gain access to it. However, I put it offseveral times, until I was coming home one day and really felt as though Ishould go check it out. I didn’t have to get home right away, the sky looked incredible and I felt compelled to take the less traveled road. Pleasantly, I saw the cross high on a hillbehind a church; I had complete access to it. The way the cross was decoratedwith the sash, it was set up to face the setting sun, which was a wonderfulgolden color; warm and subtle. The wind was blowing slightly, to give the sashsome motion, and then…the small bird settles on the right arm of the cross.                     CLICK!

I alsoneed to give credit to my parents for my inspiration.

Myfather was very much a Renaissance Man. He was knowledgeable about many thingsand was able to do them with a level of skill. He loved to teach people what heknew and was always willing to lend a hand, or whatever else he had, to helpothers out. He allowed me the opportunity to use his camera equipment tophotograph my brothers’ football games and also during my photography classesin high school. He gave me some basic pointers and the freedom to burn up somefilm while I learned to manipulate the camera.
My father enjoyed the outdoors and had a keen eye for seeing things that many people would miss or overlook. I can remember countless drives on the Northern State Parkway, traveling 55-60 mph, or walking through Blydenburgh Park, and my father appeared to be able to spot every rabbit, bird, name it.
My motheris a different breed. She has a very gregarious personality, which used to embarrassme to no end. She was raised in Amsterdam and came to America in her earlytwenties. To this day, she has a Dutch/NY accent that can’t be beat, and youwould hear it screaming across King Kullen or Pathmark or Waldbaums…or wherever…whenshe saw someone she knew; you never knew what kind of socially awkward commentwould come out either.
Mymother loves to stir things up and experience life, even if it meant that mybrothers and I may have felt embarrassed. I remember being at a Sweet 16 partyfor one of the girls I went to school with, who lived just around the corner…hermom and my mom were friends, which meant my mom was at the party. It was yourtypical Boy Girl Party, which meantthat the boys stood on one side of the patio and the girls were on the other.Well, the music was playing, and when the music plays, My Mom Dances. Ohhhh, butshe doesn’t necessarily dance by herself…Nooooooo, she grabs me from thecomfort of my fellow wallflowers and drags me to the middle of the patio for alittle mother-son dance…can I crawl into a hole somewhere?

I hadstopped taking pictures for a while, because it was getting very expensive topurchase film and then have the labs process and develop it. My parents knewhow much I enjoyed taking pictures (to this day my mother still tells anyone she can that I won an award at my Vocational/Technical School, for Photography.I did very well, but the award was actually for being the most helpful student.The teacher knew that I could be trusted, I had a good grasp on the subject,and that I was always willing to assist him or my classmates, so he gave me extratasks that the students would normally go to him for) and on Black Friday of2008, they bought me a new DSLR Kit; a Canon Rebel XSi with the 18-55mm and 55-250mmlenses.
I took this on January 4, 2009, only about a month
after receiving the camera from my parents. My father
died in April of 2010, and this is the last portait we
have of them together.
I miss you dad! 

Formaking me who I am, and providing me with the opportunity to get back intophotography, I am forever grateful to my parents.
For giving me such amazing parents, I am forever grateful to God.


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