We travelled up to the small island of Föhr, off the northwest coast of Germany in the Nordsee and part of the North Frisian Islands. It is a beautiful little island, only 32 square miles, with a residential population of 8,000.
Today, in an effort to escape the 100º heat in Freiburg we drove up to Schluchsee, a beautiful lake in the Schwarzwald. What I did not expect was the Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus. From the outside it appears a fairly traditional looking church, with a large wooden structure. The first hint of something different is the sculpture out front, “Kinderreigen.” It is four children holding hands going around a mitre and staff. The sanctuary itself is a gorgeous work of modern sacred art.
Now while I love modern architecture and like a lot of modern art and I have seen some of the most amazing modern sacred art rarely have I ever seen it work in a church or worship space. Usually it is too brutal and chilling, rather than inviting and affirming as I believe a place of worship should be. This church was very different. So far as I could tell almost all (if not all?) the work was done by Helmut Lutz, a native Freiburger, who did der Kreuzweg, the “Stations of the Cross.” I was only able to capture a few of them with anything like the power and energy of the originals. He clearly also did the altar pieces and even the chairs for the ministers.
While there I also lit a candle for Mack.
It was a beautiful, quiet and reflective space, made all the more meaningful due to the unique Kruezweg. If we had a car longer I would go back again.
The Normandie Hotel was clearly a gorgeous hotel in its heyday. Built in 1945 it has been closed for years. The toothless-man working the parking lot told me that it was being renovated. A quick look on the internet told me that this has been the case since it closed.
I love art deco and it there is a special kind of beauty to it in decay. B&W seems to bring that it in certain frames.
This spring break we took 72(!) students to Puerto Rico as part of our Leadership Academy. Of course it was also an excellent opportunity for photography. I took along my D810, 28-70, 80-200, and 50mm, along with a Nikon J1 with the underwater housing (which, sadly, was lost in a waterfall; I don’t want to talk about it). A few of the images are below.
I am traveling through the west coast, starting with Las Vegas. In at least 6 visits I have never so much as pulled the arm of a slot machine. But I have snuck out twice to take pictures at sunrise in the Red Rocks Canyon National Park. Yesterday I had a few hours so I was able to amble among the rocks themselves around Calico 1. Just beautiful and breathtaking. And still not enough time.
I am working from an iPad so these images have no or very little edits to them. Shot with D810 and Nikkor 28-70 f2.8 or Tokina 20-35 f2.8.
December 14th was the Worldwide Candle Lighting commemorating children who have died. Since there was not one within close proximity of our location in central PA my wife decided to organize an event on campus. It also happened to coincide with the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy; a student of mine shared a few words and read the names of all those whose lives were taken. Since I am in a few of the shots you can tell that I did not take most of these images. My good friend and the father of our son’s best friend took them. Thank you JC3.
Below is a portion of what I shared that evening. In the two short weeks that have elapsed since that night all too many have also left us. We remember each and every one.
When the tragedy of loss of life comes we feel powerless, overcome and overwhelmed. But we still have choices that we can make. And we have all made one, important choice tonight. We have gathered together in love to remember those who have left us too soon. It makes us sad, yes, but let us also find joy in remembering the joy that they brought into our lives. To do any less would be to allow death the final victory. Instead we allow their light to shine in our lives always, not just tonight, but forever. Zichronu livracha. May their memories be for a blessing.
Lam 3:19 The thought of my affliction [is bitter]!
20 My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
We give thanks for having shared in these lives, we pray that we may be good stewards of their memories, and we ask for blessing and peace, comfort and mercy.
May light perpetual shine upon them.
Every year I take a few shots of our ornaments, trying different things. This year I decided to be very mundane, I simply set up the tripod and tweaked aperture, ISO, and speed. This is the best way to learn, after all. I am still learning, in fact, my way around the D810 and I have to say, its ability to capture so much data, allowing one to pull out almost endless shadows in post, is simply amazing. Here a very few images. When I have time I may set a holiday task of taking a picture of all our favorite ornaments.