Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ray of Light

Dust hanging in the air above me caught my eye for this image. I couldn't quite capture the light as a moment before had. I tried. I shot a few more pixs trying. The dust still there but the brief moment of intense light wasn't. So I sought a different image.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ensenada, my thoughts

Nite time at Ensenada 2
YWAM Ensenada.
Wish you were here, rather I wish I'd be here longer, my vacation is hours away from being over. Last night after a walk on the beach during the day, hanging out with the leadership of this location - asking them a fist full of questions, and returning from doing laundry with the DTS I snapped a few pictures of this base at night. The gentle roar of the waves on the beach, tempted temperature, a quite evening, and most staff secure in their homes (not that this area is dangerous, it's not) I sought refuge behind the lens. The lens provides me an opportunity to touch without getting touched. The lens provides me an opportunity to connect you (& myself) with a moment in time of touch. I find a simple redirection of focus changes the perspective and meaning of a photograph. I find also the lens provides me the touch I want, the opportunity to get close, to grab life, to give life. Isn't it ironic how I use the lens?

Thoughts of returning quickly to this location tops my heart. I want to distinguish between the heart thump of coffee in my veins from the heart pull of GOD in my life. What would I do here? Easy come on staff as a photographer and mix it up with being on staff as builder. What does this mean? It means that my main purpose would be to take photographs for YWAM San Diego/Baja at this location with the different programs offered with Homes of Hope. The other purpose would be to assist in building homes when my skills as a photographer is not required. The little bit of construction I have played well last weekend. The experience in photography proved invaluable the weekend before.

Poverty is the lack of options, it no longer phases me to the extent in did 15 years ago when two men wrestled a bag of garbage from me when I brought it down the gang way of the Anastasis in Senigal west Africa. The poverty I see here is people without options wanting to provide for their children. They live in squalor but not the squalor of India. I see that with providing them a clean shelter as what Homes of Hope does their out look on life immediately changes to that of hope for their future and that of their children.

Christ commands us to shelter the poor, to help those in need. I feel that too on my life. I do have things I need to over come before returning here. I am earnestly praying about returning here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Alonso Family Build

Some where a long the road from a hotel to a build site in a YWAM vehicle my nervous edge wore off as I introduced myself to those I piled in with. My meeting of the Alonso family and friends over the weekend is the result of my interest in finding out more about YWAM San Diego/Baja and their Homes of Hope program. I am considering my return to mission by joining this organization. I mentioned 'nervous edge' simply I don't like meeting new people without something solid to connect with.

Our arrival at the build site which lay half way up a hill - looking more like a surmounting mountain - greeted us with a chill of morning and encouragement. The crew of 22 people quickly pulled each other up the trail and back down again. This team's spirit is long lived and quick to make a chain gang. Everything seemed to be moved by chain gang. Everything in the tool van needed to be passed up the trail. Later we found out the family moved all of the building materials up to the concrete pad the night before. Before long the wood for different units too had moved via chain gang either up to be painted or down to become roof trusses.

The crew divided into three groups one for painting, one for framing, one for trusses. I found myself beating nails on the framing team. Admittedly there were set backs but these were over come in due process. I saw how the 'A' Builder, Austin, worked with each difficulty in turn. The walls came up shortly after lunch. Followed by dry wall nailed to and the trusses passing on to the walls. By dark the pad looked closer to a home then a bunch of materials. A lot of work yet needing to be done would be completed by the same time tomorrow.

The crack of dawn hit me early, my legs, let's not go there sore, did not wnt to move. My friend/photographer and I stayed in San Diego, we had to roll early to greet the Alonso family which stayed at a hotel in TJ. Starbucks is my friend and poison, it wakes me up when I want to sleep. The troops rallied at the hotel for breakfast at 7:30am. After a short devotion we folded into the cascade caravan of vans bound for the build site after a brief interlude to divide up the house warming gifts for our families.

I really loved seeing the site this morning. Something struck me as hope. Every duty I saw the mother participating in she wore a smile broader and wider then the canyon her home over looks.

The team jumped to. The set backs of yesterday a memory. The task of today would be completed soon enough - ok the last shingle nailed to minutes before giving the keys to the family. Not a sore muscle of mine regretted not coming at this moment. A tear formed in her eye as the keys were handed over. Her house, which she built. Her house which she labored for. Her house, her hope for her children. This is the hope of homes of hope.

I've posted my pictures at Flickr.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Twisted Coffee

Twisted Coffee by *PreyingJaws on deviantART

This looks like a photo-manipulation. It is but, it's not. It's done in-camera. While taking the picture I twisted the camera. I liked the result when I went through my images of the Baja Vision event I shot at last weekend*. This image falls into my misc. folder of staff and behind the scene images. What do you think of it?

*This link will take you to YWAM San Diego/Baja' home page.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pentax K-10 D

The K-10 D by Pentax is my hit for the season. I picked one up just before leaving on vacation. Without much time to play with it, to learn the nuances of the beast I turned to the forums. I'll admit arrogance and assumptions in this, it was a mistake. The K10D is solid, rock solid with a plethora of intelligence with the design and buttons. Unlike its sibling I tote the *istDS it is not menu driven. The flip flop between focus/metering/format is a selection of the right button or dial. Most of my shots were with high saturation and over exposure settings which lead to a few to many blown out images (the forums were wrong). Besides not experimenting with exposure setting - my bag - I did a lot of fast action shots to capture emotion and the emphasis of the moment.

I shot this past weekend for YWAM Baja and their Baja Vision event. The intent of this is to bring a few people together to build houses for the poor in Ensenada Mexico. The other aspect is to raise funds to add to the ministry of YWAM Baja. This group wants to build a training center on 14 acers of land just south of Tijauna. One evening the Mayor of Ensenada gave Sean Lambert a plaque of recognition for the work his group does. I encourage you to follow the link and read the story.

I'll admit the image of Sean Lambert is not so sharp. I shot it with the *istDS and 28-80 f/2.8. The picture of Brett Curtis below was shot with the K10D and 12-28 f/4.

Back to my camera review. Go to figure the one day, the first day of the build, the weather chilled & wet. I fought of the rain while hiding the cameras under a jacket. The rain seemed not to affect the operation of the camera. The dust of the following day thou may yet haunt me. I cleaned both cameras thoroughly each night and the whole kit on my return to San Diego. I do really enjoy how fast the K-10 D focuses. One night I flip flopped the f/2.8 lens to the K-10 D. In low light shot after shot the camera focus proved dead on in low light & a hell of a lot faster then it ever was on the *ist DS. The most impressive item of all is the RAW button. I shot a lot of JPGs the RAW button lets me shoot RAW on those images I must capture without diving into the menus. The RAW can be either PEF or DNG with the inclusion of a JPG. The camera is taking me on a learning curve. I do need to watch what I do when I go from one Pentax to the next. They both have interesting nuances to work around.

Over all I found my weekend with the K-10 D a delight. I'll pack both cameras around until they die of over use.

Sean Lambert article:
YWAM Baja:
Pentax K-10 D:
*ist DS:

Friday, January 12, 2007


A blast from my past, Bill, my chief cook from the M/V Caribbean Mercy (CbM). I worked with this jolly fellow for 2 1/2 years when I first joined the CbM. Bill's heart was for the Latinos and for providing high quality meals to the ship's crew. I still see it today.

When I arrived in Ensanda I jumped out to find my old friend. Sure enough he'd begun his prep for dinner. Potatoes and pork roast. The smell tickled my senses. He wove a story of Brett contacting him and his wife Misty about a year and a half ago to inquire if God was directing him back into missions. Shortly afterwards the natives of Sparks NV packed up the kids and headed to Mexico.


Did I not leave Utah to get warm?
Since heading to southern California and now in Mexico - Ensanada - I've been cold. Cold why? Because it is. Can I shoot the bastard who is advertizing Global Warming? If Global Warming means the whole world is getting warmer why then is California experiencing the coldest winter in near recorded weather history? Just because New York is hot does not mean the whole world is warm unless of course you are a New Yorker.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wide Angle

I took a little time off today to walk around the CV Midway. A little of what I went there for is knowing it's compartments were tight I wanted to learn the 12-24mm wide angle lens I picked up.



Tuesday, January 09, 2007



I'm sitting in the batcave (my friend's Dave office*) in San Diego/National City CA, not yet in Mexico. Reviewing images of past builds as recient as November 2006, I get the sense of the need of adequit housing for the poor. My hands yern for the warmth of a 32oz hammer while my eye scans each image I review in preperation for my journey this weekend. Part of today is to pull together a slide show for this weekend's event the other part of today is to connect with YWAM Baja . I'll be on the work sites (all four) to take pictures of the 'builds' happening this weekend. As soon as we leave the sites the rush to pull together the rest of the slide show will happen with close-ups, action, need, emotional, and dedication shots within the hour. I'm closing in on the 5000th photo looked at for content and application materials. I know now what is needed for me to capture.

I met an old friend last night at his new house for an hour. My visit wasn't so much of catching up on old times, we did that on the phone two weeks ago and in the office yesterday. My visit was more of what it will take to get me down here full time. My heart still beats for missions. My hands want to wrap around the work that needs to be done. I want do more. More though is not what is needed. I know from the past when work is to be done, work gets done. When the heart is behind then work is not work, it is done in love and this shows the Christ behind the work.

I ponder and pray, am I ready to commit to the known of the unknown again about volunteer work? I've written the list of things that are holding me back. The list includes junk from having 30 cases of books to my love of Utah's Back Country. The scariest on the lists is leaving family and fund raising again. Again? Yes, this is how I lived before as a missionary, I raised my own support. I honestly don't want to follow the jitters of coffee running through my veins. I want to be forward not only to myself but to others, where I see myself going and how can I get there from here.

Unguided over the last few years I've set myself on three things: get out of debt, get my Master's Degree, and get back into 'Missions.' Beyond writing these three things down the specifics aren't written down. They are expressed through long hours at work and pushing to get monthly incentives. Talk and the look towards attending SLTS again when I can afford it. Missions though, I don't talk much if any about it with others. I keep this to myself. I love my memories of travel and the seas. I miss the community feeling of getting to know others. Why do I count Dave and Lara as great friends? It's because of the times in the field, on the ship, and BD (before Dave). I met and worked with Lara in '94 until '95. Missions though means different things to different people. It no longer means packing your gear into a 6ft crate bound for India one way. Nor does it means getting speared by head hunters in the jungles. It means reaching out to those around with the Gospel of Christ. There are many ways we do this. For me I want to show something about the world that others are missing. I miss busting it out all day then going out to some one bench church to do a drama portraying the life of Christ.

Where is my calling? What is my desire? How am I going to walk it out? How is what I am doing at home going to forward this? Can I intergrate what I've learned to push beyond myself? Is my comfort zone way to restrictive? I've got questions. I've got ideas. I've got stability where I am at. What's next? What's the shake up?


  • YWAM Baja

  • Homes of Hope

  • _IGP4535 the batcave

  • Youth With A Mission

  • Salt Lake Theological Seminary