Sunday, August 28, 2016

Awe...some Monday

It's been a couple of years since we attended a horse show but Saturday, the daughter of a friend was competing in a show about an hour drive from our house. So, I grabbed my camera and we hopped in the car to go see the horses.

Just so you know, this young lady has over twenty world championships to her credit. She has won most of them on this horse. They are a pretty special team. Saturday's event was more of a regional competition.

It was a hot day and though the arena was indoors, it was not air conditioned, just some huge ceiling fans circulating 90 degree air. Basically that means that most of the girls left their expensive and toasty warm sequined jackets back in the stall and competed in shirts.However, there were a couple of competitors that brought out the bling.

While most of the girls can be found in the "Western Pleasure" category, there is another category that involves "Ranch Skills", which is usually dominated by quarter horses and the guys.
Of course my photo journey wouldn't be complete without a visit to the stall area. This is where all of the hard work really gets done. Someone is always in the practice ring working on improving the skills of their ride, and in ninety degree heat even the horses appreciate a cool shower.

It seems like there is always at least one image that just wants to be Black & White. Come back tomorrow and I'll show you that collection. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Inspiration Thursday

We have a couple of friends and family members that are going through some very difficult times with health issues. One friend in particular has been battling an illness for over a year and the symptoms had gotten worse. They are losing sleep, have severe headaches, and symptoms that most of us would consider devastating to our physical and mental health. This situation also takes it's toll on the rest of the family.
As friends we want to be of some help. We are praying for the entire family and we want to offer words of encouragement, but what do you say? When the suffering is constant and the battle seems never ending. The usual verses of Scripture just don't seem to be adequate or appropriate for this situation. As Christians, we've heard, "All things work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). Those are easy words to say, but it's hard to hear them when your head has been pounding for weeks, and your body trembles on a regular basis. What promise of God can possibly speak to this situation? My wife found a verse for another family member that speaks to almost every need.  Again, we just need to remember that we serve the God of all creation and we are special in His sight. God is faithful and He will indeed walk beside you through the trial, but God never said that Christians would not face difficult days. God and God alone tells His children, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God. The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;..." (Isaiah 43:2-3)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Riding the Rails

I was going through some my old photos that are stored on CD's. Some of them were from the transition period when you could take the images from your film camera and have them put on CD at Walmart, or Walgreen's. It seems funny to only have 24 - 36 images on a CD and they are less that 1mg each.  Anyway, I came across these images of a steam engine and they reminded me of the trip we took. After all, that's what photos are for, to remind you of good times. Back in 2001 a Frisco steam engine was brought into Cherokee Yard, in West Tulsa, and the public was given the opportunity to take a short excursion on the train. Since my father had worked for the Frisco for forty-two years and I grew up around railroad men, my wife and I jumped at the chance to take our granddaughter. It was great fun and looking back at the photos was most enjoyable. I decided to take a couple of the images and convert them to black & white. Here are the results. Have a blessed day.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Awe...some Monday!

Coolest golf cart ever! I don't even play the game and I'd like to have one of these.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Inspiration Thursday

Almost anyone looking at this image would guess that the subject is a church building, and they would be correct. The steep gable roof, arches, circular window, and top of a bell tower give clues to the purpose without seeing the entire structure or finding a sign that identifies the building. When traveling around any town or city, it is pretty easy to identify churches.
The truth is, Christians should be just as easy to identify. After all, they are the true church. The building is simply the place that God's people have set aside for worship. The Bible tells us that we should be dressed accordingly (Ephesians 6:11). We are to wear the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness,  the shoes of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God's Word. Sounds like we're supposed to be prepared for battle doesn't it? Well, we are.
The Bible also tells us that Christians have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them (Acts 1:8) and that Spirit produces fruit (Galatians 5:22). The fruit that the Spirit produces in us is, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If you can think of the people in your life that you would truly identify as Christians, the chances are you can see their armor and witness the fruit that they bear wherever they go. Have a blessed day.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

Skywatch Friday

I haven't entered a photo competition in a couple of years. Last Thursday I decided I would submit a few entries into the local county fair. It's not a huge competition but it is always exciting to see what others think of your efforts. I prepared four images for the competition. The judging took place on Monday and the fair opened on Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon I ventured out to the exhibit hall to see if I had any success. It was a good day.

This image was awarded first place in it's category.

This image took first place in the color division for "Sports/Action".

This image placed second in the Black & White division of "Sports/Action".

And this final entry placed second in the Black & White "Portraits" category. It was a very good day.
One thing about any competition is that it helps you know how you're doing. Your friends will always tell you that your photography rocks. That's what friends are for. But a competition places your work in front of someone with no knowledge or interest in who you are. They are only interested in the quality of the image. There is a dangerous side to this competition thing as well. Now I am giving considering taking a couple of these images and entering them in the Tulsa State Fair next month. Have a blessed week-end.