photographingGOD Photography

Tag: End

Why Smile?

A smile is an expression of joy or delightful amusement. But it is also a way of giving that costs nothing. Smiling, like yawning, is contagious. This is actually a reflex God added to our design. We tend to respond to people with a like expression to theirs as part of our brain’s way of interpreting and understanding what they are feeling. So when you smile, you are gifting that smile and potentially lifting the spirits of another.

Do You Have A Train To Catch?

I know. Easier said than done. But how true and profound. Why are we so preoccupied with getting to the destination and so little attention is given to the journey.

From when we are young, we are hammered to get good grades so we can go to a good college. We are convinced we need to do well in college so we can get a good job. We strive to do well at our job so we can climb the ladder. We get to the top of the ladder so we can acquire and do lots of things. We acquire and do lots of things so we can acquire and do more things than our friends and then retire. And when we retire, we begin the process of trying to figure our where our life went and what was it that we really wanted to do.

Don’t rush to catch a train and miss God’s plan for your life.

God has a day filled with Him planned for you

Do You Want To Be Famous?

The only fame worth pursuing is that which you gain for sharing God. It is a fame that makes you effective and gain the attention of others, but leaves you in God’s shadow so that He gets all the glory.

Through My Lens

Through my lens;
I see millions of friends;
Who may find our Blog;
And grow closer to God.

What Is Truth?

God is like truth because God is truth. Similarly, God is truth because God is like truth.

Unpack That Time! Ok – The sun hides behind a cloud for a time and yes, it is still there. It also steers to the other side of our planet for a time and yes, it is still shining somewhere. So we can conclude that the sun may not be in our presence, but that does not deny its existence. (You could still argue that even while the sun is not in our presence we benefit from its effect like energy, heat, etc.). Similarly, truth can and will get distorted, stretched, changed by opinion or perception, maligned, and even hidden or forgotten. Nevertheless, “the truth” will always be the truth which we can define as “the truth before man gets to it.”

So we could say that God is very much like the truth because even though God may not seem present at times or is denied by some, the evidence of His existence is overwhelming. Even as man attempts to distort the existence, presence, and nature of God (and successfully I might add), none of this changes the fact that God exists.

Even an atheist has to accept some form of acknowledgment of God’s existence as they authenticate their view and ultimately deny God’s existence. For example, before the phenomenon of flight, you would be among the populous if you believed that man could not fly and that the whole notion was preposterous. However, in order to discover the ability to fly, you had to first explore its possibility thereby, bringing you to a place, however temporary, where you believed it was possible. You cannot be a “true” atheist unless you have at least considered the possibility that God exists. We do not spend much time wondering if a ham and cheese sandwich could talk. One thing is for sure however, if we choose to completely deny the possibility, rest assure, we will never find out. We can only attempt to disprove it, without bias, if we first consider its possibility. That’s just the way the universe works. God doesn’t conceal or limit possibility. On man does that.

Now on to the point. Absolute truth is absolute and doesn’t change regardless of what man attempts to do to change it. Likewise, God has not, does not, and will not change no matter what the world attempts to do to eliminate or change the truth about God. God and truth share so much that the occasional interchangeability is effective.

Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

God made each and every one of us unique for a reason. Preprogrammed into your soul is your specific purpose. And that purpose will use ALL the physical, emotional, and spiritual gifts you were created with. God wastes nothing. Just look at the inter-relationship and inter-dependence of everything in the universe. I remember as a youngster when I would hear of friends having their appendix removed. I would always wonder, “Don’t we need that thing? Why would we have it in the first place if we didn’t need it?”

Even more important to understand is that there is nothing about our design that limits us from pursuing our specific purpose. No physical or mental handicap. No circumstantial handicap (like poverty, loss of a loved one, being raised with one parent, etc.). Nothing. Nada! In fact, one of the cool things about life is learning how God will actually use these things as attributes of our purpose.

Now the bad news. From the day you are born, the world will pull out all the stops and try to define you. Your parents, your school, your occupation, your therapist, your friends, your spouse, your political party, etc, etc, etc… They will all have their own agenda. Not necessarily always malicious, but just the way the world works. However, we must be on our toes at all times and fight tendencies and influences that may not be aligned with God’s plan for us. Often, this may mean venturing beyond our comfort zone or shedding a lot of the world’s programming (particularly if we hardened in our ways and beliefs or up in our years). But with faith and persistence, you will achieve this pursuit for sure. It took me over 50 years.

So, stop trying to be someone other than who you were meant to be. Besides, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, Everyone else is already taken.” Blessings in your journey…

May New Acquaintances Be Always Remembered! (Ode to Auld Lang Syne)

So here we are at the end of the year. Not just any year. The first New Year for photographingGOD. Though hardly a full new year. We launched on Saturday morning, September 5 at around 8am Eastern Standard Time. We had no agenda. No plan. Not even a vision. But we had God who has led this amazing journey from the beginning.  And then we had (and hopefully have) You! God breathed it. We built it. But you came and supported it with your amazing engagement and interest. Over 40 million people from 91 countries of all races, creeds, colors, and faith’s coming together to seek and celebrate the absolutes in this life. Particularly those we can share and agree upon. The common ground. Like the greatness of God, the creator of all things. Sure – there are many differences and debates we can challenge ourselves and each other on this matter. But the truth is that we have more in common than in difference. And yet, diversity is a spice of life (God-given I might add) and should be celebrated. In fact, differences were probably part of His grand design because it keeps us seeking truth and seeking Him. What better way to have our undivided attention! Still, there is what goes on within us. Our own personal journeys. We, at photographingGOD, respect this and always will.

“Most often we didn’t choose our best friends as much as we were thrown together with them in “accidents” of Providence.” -from Auld Lang Syne| Desiring God

The timeless song, Auld Lang Syne is about old friends and the beauty of such relationships – How God has His hand in such encounters. I hope that we too become old friends. photographingGOD may never become everything to everybody – But our prayer is that it becomes something to most. Blessings this New Year. Thank you from the bottom, and the top, of our hearts and everything in between. God Bless…

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Auld Lang Syne | Desiring God

What makes “Auld Lang Syne” so powerful? It has nothing to do with a New Year and everything to do with an old friend.

Old friendship is that sort of treasure. Few gifts in life are as precious as companions with whom we once spent long summer days and talked long into the night; with whom we shared thrilling adventures and disastrous mishaps; with whom we bent over in convulsive laughter and sat silently in tearful loss; in whom we confided the hopes and fears of our youthful years.

Most often we didn’t choose our best friends as much as we were thrown together with them in “accidents” of Providence. Frequently, they happened to move in next door or up the street or in our tenement or began attending our church or had the locker or workstation next to us.” read more at desiringgod.org

 

 

Can A Photograph Heal?

Photography as a Healing Art

Photographs have power. Creative photography allows us to see the world in new ways, to drop preconceptions, and to find focus in a busy, chaotic world. For some, photography is an art; for others, a job or a hobby. But there’s another, rapidly expanding avenue for camera work – photography as therapy.

“Photography is a tool for meditation, mindfulness and creative living. Now the emerging field of phototherapy embraces the power of making and viewing photographs for healing and personal transformation. Why are photographs so powerful?” read more at bestthinking.com

Of course, we agree that photographs have therapeutic power. Moreover, the article states that “the camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera.” This is the real opportunity and essentially, at the core of what photographingGOD’s uniqueness and approach. Through the use of imagery, we believe that we can restore an appreciation for all of creation and the Creator – God. As we reconnect the universe (and everything in it) with our eyes; and our eyes with our hearts; we begin a process of connecting our lives (and our purpose) with the Source of all these elements and gain a new appreciation for everything.

Children Are The Hands…

Children are one of the many connections that give us a view to the glory of heaven. The beauty and purity of their nature before the world takes hold of them is a near perfect reflection of heaven’s soil.

Put Your Shovels Away and Let It Snow!

I remember as a child cutting snowflakes out of folded paper and always entertained by the result. An acceptable rendition of what only God can produce perfectly. However, only when I stumbled on the work of a certain amateur photographer did I truly realize how magnificent a creation a simple snowflake is. Maybe not so simple after all. We can get up close and personal with the snowflake through the work of Alexey Kljatov. Get ready to be amazed!

Photographer Alexey Kljatov uses quick bursts of his shutter to animate snowflakes melting. The sequence above is in reverse.

Amateur photographer Alexey Kljatov uses a simple Canon PowerShot to capture these pristine photos of snowflakes. No, these designs aren’t the latest in 3D printing technology; they are photographs of snowflakes taken by self-taught Moscow photographer, Alexey Kljatov. Photo grapher Alexey Kljatov uses quick bursts of his shutter to animate snowflakes melting.

snowflake_sublimation_reversed“Every photographer with a simple point-and-shoot camera can make very good snowflake photos,” Kljatov said. “For this type of photography, patience, persistence and luck means much more than any expensive photo technique.” Kljatov has been photographing snowflakes for the past eight years.” read more at pbs.org

These photographs inspire me to put away my clunky equipment for a minute and capture God’s wonders more spontaneously.  The moments I see them or seek them. Spend more time with them. And get closer to the miracles of creation.

Kljatov describes his process on his website.

Have You Seen Nature’s Waterfall Of Colors?

The Aurora Borealis , or Northern Lights, is one of nature’s most spectacular light displays. Ever changing, they will intrigue anyone who is lucky to catch them night after night.

At no other time of year can we drive through city and country alike and feel the warmth that lights add to our lives. No matter how awesome our light displays are though, nothing can compare with one of the most amazing shows nature has to offer; the Aurora Borealis, or more commonly referred to as the Northern Lights. It is literally a shifting waterfall of colors ranging from green to pink to white and everything in between. read more at grit.com

This is a phenomenon not to be missed in a lifetime if possible. Most of us will not get to the poles of the earth. However, recent changes in climate and solar patterns have been extending the effect of the Northern Lights where nearly half the earth’s population can get a glimpse (God’s way of moving the stage closer to your seat!). There is a great website hosted by Space Weather where you can go to receive alerts and other information about these events. Hopefully you can catch God’s next show! Blessings…

 

If Not For The Valleys

by Greg Pai
Featured Photo Credit: highlights6 (Wood Lanes, UK)

If not for the valleys
I often descend
I could not see the mountains
o’er horizon’s bend

The glory of God
His Majestic style
Awe filled landscape
A miracle mile

So far in the distance
While feeling so close
The landscape before me
I anticipate most

These dips
are in God’s grips
All these lands
are in His hands
Descents and ascents
are the intent of His plans

Shaping and molding
Yes, bending; That too
Form the grandeur of landscapes
Form the essence of you

So I suppose its all relative
Still this much is true
God has a landscape for me
and a landscape for you

 

“He Didn’t Tell Me How To Live…”

We have enormous influence on our children even when it seems they are not very interested in us or distracted by the forces of the world. Still, God has tethered them to us and even when they seem least interested, they are learning from us. Let them into our personal world and space where they can watch us at our best. Maybe it’s at the office, or in the kitchen or garden. Or maybe its watching a tender moment with our spouse so they can see what true love looks like. Our world conditions us to “tell” rather “show.” Parents are in a great position to share the awesomeness of life with their children.

Thank you God for tender, loving fathers.
Thank you God for tender, loving fathers.

 

“In God We Trust…”

The Founding Fathers of the United States knew this much. They didn’t imprint the currency of the new democracy with “In Government We Trust” or “In Gold We Trust.” They knew that the value and security of the republic’s entire economy could only be safe and preserved in the hands of God. Unfortunately, over this country’s relatively short history, the rich and powerful have managed to shift the trust in our economy into their own hands and we are living the consequences.

  • Disparity in opportunity
  • Wage inequities and imbalances
  • Lack of investment in education, training, and infrastructure
  • Access and costs relating to small business and personal financing
  • Taxation (without representation) at multiple levels
  • Neglect and deterioration of retirement systems and solutions
  • Inflated costs for basic needs
  • Lack of transparency and fairness in banking and Wall Street
  • Cost of war
  • Commingling of politics and finance (i.e., pay For play, lobbying, etc.)

Money should never have a relationship to power. Money is a proxy instrument for the purposes of barter. It was intended to be an efficient means of exchanging goods and services with one another. Not something that is gathered and coveted to gain control over a society. This is a weakness of man which is why it is in God we should trust and in nothing or no one else.

_DSC3148-Edit_Not For The Love Of Money_© 2015 Gregory Pai_V2

Yes Demi! There Is A God!

We don’t need to understand God’s plan. We just need to participate in it and put our full trust in Him. It occurred to me that if we did understand or had full knowledge of it, we would likely get in the way.

https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/673766247926923264

AdobeStock_88648266_Trust in God written on desert road_gustavofrazao - Fotolia_V1

You Must Be The Change…

What are you waiting for friends! 🙂 Contribute your God-given gifts to impact the world. Our talents, skills, and resources are multiplied when they serve a purpose beyond our own needs. God put a “You” in Us, not in Me!

“Use you God-given gifts to change the world for the better.” -Greg Pai
“Use you God-given gifts to change the world for the better.” -Greg Pai

Seasons Change (End of Fall)

by Greg Pai
Photo Credit: Mo’NY (Sophia, Bulgaria)

End of fall
Seasons change
Rearranged plans and pace
Never can find
the perfect time
for troubles I may face

Fears takes hold
Touch bottom that’s bottomless
Escaped confidence; Surrender all choice
Unrest in the unknown
disrupting my home
An absence of God’s voice?

End of fall
Seasons change
Firmly chained, to mysterious fate
Where is trust
when it I need it most
Why must it come too late

Falling leaves
depict the end
of a summer friend, The loss of a lover
Though without their fall
no winter will call
No chance to meet another

So when seasons fall
they give way to rise
In God’s eyes, blessings and bliss
And more than this
His unfailing love
melt thy troubles
into doves.

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Saving For A Rainy Day

Saving For A Rainy Day was selected by the photographer (Greg Pai) as his choice for the most inspirational and artistic photo of the year from his collection for its promise of HOPE. The umbrellas are identical in construction, but different enough to add an amazing harmony of color against a perfectly blue sky to the total composition – Very much as we have been so beautifully made. However, while the umbrellas have the appearance of free floating to the Heavens, they are seemingly held down  to earth by “tension” wires.
Read more …

John Ferrentino: Coney Island Memoirs

Coney Island Memoirs – People and Their “Natural” Places

There is something to be said about people and the places they gravitate to.  Typically, these are places that have a calling on our heart.  Whe never really feel quite at home until we get there.  Coney Island, New York was such a place for many.

The Island, originally inhabited by the Native American Lenape people, was called Narrioch (meaning of “land without shadows” or “always in light”).  So it is no wonder that people who grew up with an affinity for the Island came to LIFE!

Boardwalk Buddies
Boardwalk Buddies
Mr.Coney Island
Mr.Coney Island

Lifestyle and portraiture photographer, John Ferrentino, seeks to uncover a hidden personality in his subjects which, while often casually posed, capture an element of candor and surprise. A great deal of such a composition is the result of finding subjects who feel very much at home in their current environment. As if they fell asleep in their favorite easy chair, leaving themselves unguarded and one with their setting.  Simply blending into the fabric of life.  Just like Adam and Eve in the garden – not in the shopping mall! That place that God has destined for us where we can fully experience what He has to offer us in this life. Those frequent patrons of Coney Island enjoyed such a resonance and it is with great pleasure that we honor such individuality in this photo collection.  The beauty of the individual in their natural habitat or what I call “A Fish In Water.”

Lonely Man
Lonely Man
Lady And Roller Coaster
Lady And Roller Coaster
JOHN FERRENTINO – Photographer

Having the sensitivity to find beauty in everything that exists is nothing short of a gift from God. The ability to produce compelling, provocative and beautiful images of all that is around us is a true testament to divine guidance.

I see the extraordinary and the uniqueness in each and every one of my subjects. My commitment is to share a poignant moment with a familiar stranger, letting them become the star! But GOD, in them, is the real STAR and now my gift to them now becomes their gift to me. That mutual appreciation and trust I gain from these amazing, sculpted beings is how I see through God’S eyes.

Photographing Gianni
Photographing Gianni
Beach Friends
Beach Friends
Bench Wake
Bench Wake
Tatoo Artist And Branch
Tatoo Artist And Branch

Closeups Of God’s Creation

The Scriptures say “No one has seen God.” So, how do we photograph God?  I believe that we can photograph God by seeing God through God’s eyes.  For example, to see images upside-down or inverted requires the aid of mirrors.  Similarly, examining the details of objects in space or the molecular structure of life is impossible without the aid of a telescope or microscope. In either case, our eyes alone are not sufficient.  So – I believe that we can get photos of God if we have the aid of God’s own eyes.  When we learn to see the world and all its creation through God’s eyes (the way God intended), we can’t help but fall to our knees in absolute amazement.  When we extend our attention span to a near meditative state and freeze a frame of God’s creation in the lens of a camera, we h
ave an opportunity to see through God’s eyes.

The Itsy Bitsy SpriderPhotos that close in on the most finite details of creation or those that are emotionally inspiring because they connect with the heart are what I call “Close Ups” of God.  Abstract and inspirational photos touch our deeper creation. They trigger a chemical combustion in the brain that stimulates both our curiosity and imagination.  Details are the “spices of life” and are generally taken for granted while having the most to offer. Often, these abstracts enlighten us. Give us a new and truer meaning or significance to something that we have neglected, minimized or ignored. I recently watched a spider spin its web close up for about an hour and what I learned is that spiders are not scary, disgusting, or dangerous…  But Miraculous!