religion

Awakening

“A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain.”
—Jessamyn West

"The Truth Shall Set You Free",  Nikon D800, ISO 800, f/5.6 at 1/60th sec., 70mm

“The Truth Shall Set You Free”, Nikon D800, ISO 800, f/5.6 at 1/60th sec., 70mm

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings
throughout Central Florida.

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Buddha Reflecting

“…for you know that soft is stronger than hard, water stronger than rock, love stronger than force.”
― Hermann Hesse,
Siddhartha

Here is the final photo — and the only one not in B&W — I will be sharing this week from my walk around the Wat Florida Dhammaram monastery in Kissimmee. This Buddha figure is one of two that are positioned in front of the Uposoth (“Observance Day Hall”), the main temple structure on the property. I hope you have enjoyed this series of photos as much as I enjoyed making them.

"Buddha", Nikon D800, ISO 250, f/11 at 1/80 sec., 135mm

“Buddha”, Nikon D800, ISO 250, f/11 at 1/80 sec., 135mm

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings
throughout Central Florida.

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Idol Hope

“Whatever controls us is our lord. The person who seeks power is controlled by power. The person who seeks acceptance is controlled by acceptance. We do not control ourselves. We are controlled by the lord of our lives.”
― Rebecca Manley Pippert,
Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World

"Idol Hope", Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/8 at 1/125 sec., 78mm

“Idol Hope”, Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/8 at 1/125 sec., 78mm
Click the image to view larger size.

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

Booking family, personal, business and pet portrait sittings throughout Central Florida

Be sure to visit my booth at Space Coast Pride this Sunday, May 25th!
Wickham Park Pavilion, 3701 Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL

Resurrection Sunday

“And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here.”
—St. Augustine

Whatever your faith, I pray your day may be filled with blessings, hope and a heart that overflows with love. —earl

"Expecting Someone", Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/500 sec., 50mmClick the image to view larger size and available print options.

“Expecting Someone”, Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/500 sec., 50mm
Click the image to view larger size and available print options.

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

Booking family, personal, business and pet portrait sittings throughout Central Florida

Symbolic Redundancy (Does Jesus pray the Rosary?)

There is a section in Rose Hill Cemetery that is predominately Latino. The graves in this area are heavily adorned with plants, artificial flowers, candles dedicated to a variety of saints and a multitude of cast plaster statues. Here, a man hard up for a drink can scavenge for very aged bottles of the dearly departed’s favorite beer or tequila that lay sun-bleached amidst the headstones. As you can tell from the photos I’ve posted the last few days, I enjoy the photographic opportunities such grave adornments can provide.

Occasionally, I will come across something that inspires relevant or irrelevant introspection and pondering. Such was the case when I encountered a concrete Jesus holding a rosary. Not being a Catholic, I found myself stuck on the apparent symbolic and theological redundancy of this ornamentation. Some 25 years ago or so, I read and was completely fascinated by Umberto Eco’s sometimes unnerving observations in “Travels in Hyperreality”. I surmised the author would have had much to say regarding this present example of our ability to artificially augment artificial augmentations replicating or defining reality.

"Symbolic Redundancy" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/5.3 at 1/30 sec., 93mm

“Symbolic Redundancy” [Click the image for an enlarged view.] Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/5.3 at 1/30 sec., 93mm
Click here for larger view or to purchase a print.

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

Booking family, individual, business and pet portrait sittings throughout Central Florida.

Let’s Get Social

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Follow me on Instagram at @earlharrisphoto, where I am posting photos (and a bunch of kitty pics!) captured and edited on my iPhone. #herekittykitty #instagramcats

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Scarred

“Strength of character is not always about how much you can handle before you break, it’s also about how much you can handle after you’ve broken.”
— Nikhil Saluja

This sun-baked cherub sits on a small bench next to an infant grave. Though recognizable, its character has been forever changed and scarred by wounds that time cannot heal but only deepen. I realized it is an illustration of the hearts of those who placed it here.

The photo was initially processed in Lightroom 5, then Perfect Effects — a component of onOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite 8 — was used to add a surface texture and alter the overall tone of the image.

"Scarred" Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/10 at 1/200 sec., 112mm

“Scarred” Nikon D800, ISO 200, f/10 at 1/200 sec., 112mm
Click here for a larger view.

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

Booking individual, couples, family and business portrait sittings.

Thanks for visiting I Shutter at the Thought!

Be Social

Find me on Instagram at @earlharrisphoto, posting photos captured and edited on my iPhone. I seem to be posting a lot of photos of cats there. #herekittykitty #instagramcats

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And of course, there’s Facebook

Cross of Shadows: A Question of Character

WARNING: Today’s photo comes with a bit of a personal soap box. Thanks for indulging me.

 

“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
— 1 John 4:8

Perhaps it’s all the hoopla and undeserved attention Phil Robertson is getting that compels me to write today’s post. I’ll be the first to admit it contains a great deal of an entirely personal rant based on entirely personal perception. I hope you’ll excuse me for adding another voice to the chaos.

As a second-class citizen currently denied the rights given to others, I quite often encounter those who think of themselves as Christians acting as voices for hate rather than love. To that point, today’s post is intended as a bit of a reality check. It is quite clear that A FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH has been put aside in the practice of the Christian faith, one which concerns me greatly. It is the question of God’s character and the failure of most denominations to understand and conform their teachings to this simple and critical truth.

The Bible teaches that God is love. (1 John 4:8). But what exactly does that mean? Let’s start by looking at what it does not mean: It doesn’t mean that God is loving. You and I can be loving, but we cannot be love. Only God can do that. Since scripture should always be used to interpret scripture, we can look at 1 Corinthians 13, verses 4 – 8 for a definition of love. And here’s where I’m going to ask you to do something different. Instead of reading these familiar verses as a revelation of what love is, understand them as a revelation of who God is. I’ve substituted “God” where “love” occurs in the scripture to help you see it.

“4 Love God is patient, love God is kind, it He isn’t jealous, it He doesn’t brag, it He isn’t arrogant, 5 it He isn’t rude, it He doesn’t seek His own advantage, it He isn’t irritable, it He doesn’t keep a record of complaints, 6 it He isn’t happy with injustice, but is happy with the truth. 7 Love God puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things. 8 Love God never fails…”

Why isn’t this what churches — and Christians — are teaching today? How many times have you heard preachers hurl from the pulpit endless strings of admonishment about God being angry, eager to throw sinners into hell? How can this be reconciled with the clear scriptural evidence of God’s character? Who should you choose to believe, the Bible or your pastor? Yes — the Bible does say to “fear God”, but is the concept of “fear” communicated the kind that leaves us quaking with terror in a corner somewhere, incapable of having a relationship with Him? How can you truly love someone you’re taught to be afraid of? No, it means to look upon Him with awe and respect, reconciled to the truth that there is and can be no greater focus for our love and allegiance.

And what’s truly beautiful about that is the fact that God’s character is unchanging. Can you say the same about your understanding of Him? I hope not. “Judgment Day”, rightly understood, is not so much about how we are judged by God as it ultimately is about how we have judged Him. I may not be trained in theology, but I have spent my life studying God’s Word and seeking to know Him, despite the attitude of the church toward me. Though it would be nice to be accepted into a church family on the sole fact that I love God and seek to have a relationship with Him, I don’t need other believers to validate and confirm God’s love for me. I am grateful for the fact that God is love, even though most Christians are not even loving. Phil Robertson, and those like him, would do well to revisit Scripture and do so with an open mind and a spirit of understanding. Until they do, it’s not God they are serving, but His antithesis. Simply put, if it’s not love that motivates you, it’s not God.

"Cross of Shadows" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 3200, f/1.8 at 1/80 sec. handheld, 50 mm

“Cross of Shadows” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 3200, f/1.8 at 1/80 sec., 50 mm

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Follow me on Instagram at @EarlHarrisPhoto, where I am posting photos (and quite a few kitty pics!) captured and edited on my iPhone. #herekittykitty #instagramcats

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Angel Descending

And he saith unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”
— John 1:51

Today’s image is one I had fun a lot of fun with. It seemed as though she took control when her descent landed her in the Adobe® Lightroom™ “Develop” module. 🙂

As always, your shares, likes and comments are greatly appreciated!

"Descending Angel" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/2.2 at 1/320 sec., 85 mm

“Descending Angel” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/2.2 at 1/320 sec., 85mm
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Thanks for stopping by!

Resting in the Garden

There is a grave in Rose Hill Cemetery that has become a lush garden of tropical plants. Catholic idols and instruments attend this woman, this mother, who was so obviously cherished by family and friends. As I was roaming through the cemetery in the last few minutes of daylight, my eye was caught by this grave and the way the combination of light and shadow drew the eye directly to the angel statue, holding a rosary and watching over this loved one. I was struck by the variety of ways we express our grief and our love for those who have died, and liked how grief for this much-loved mother has grown into a garden.

"Resting in the Garden" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/9.0 at 1/13 sec., 85 mm

“Resting in the Garden” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D800, ISO 320, f/9.0 at 1/13 sec., 85 mm

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Look for me on Instagram at @EarlHarrisPhoto, where I am posting photos captured and edited solely on my iPhone… especially kitties. #herekittykitty #instagramcats

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Flagged as Abstract

Far more powerful than religion, far more powerful than money, or even land or violence, are symbols. Symbols are stories. Symbols are pictures, or items, or ideas that represent something else. Human beings attach such meaning and importance to symbols that they can inspire hope, stand in for gods, or convince someone that he or she is dying. These symbols are everywhere around you.
― Lia Habel, Dearly, Departed

I’ve long been fascinated by symbols. I recently looked down and found myself standing on a flag, though it wasn’t one I recognized. For an instant, I thought perhaps I should step back out of respect, but swiftly brushed that thought away: it was already on the ground and heavily trampled upon.

"Flag" [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/4000 sec., 85 mm

“Flag” [Click the image to enlarge/reduce its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/4000 sec., 85 mm

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I’m still hoping for your vote in the 2013 COOL PHOTOBLOG AWARDS. Remember, there’s nothing to fill out, no gimmicks, no requests for your email address – just a simple click and you’re done. THANK YOU for your support!

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I’m on Instagram at @EarlHarrisPhoto, where I am posting photos captured and edited solely on my iPhone. I tend to post quite a few cat photos, so if you’re so inclined… #instagramcats