Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Look Back with a Happy New Year!

I've been photographing for about 10 years now. During this time, I've explored many aspects of photography since digital is easy to not print the image, delete bad ones and learn from files on my computer. I've been creative, sort of creative, and "what-in-the-world-was-I-thinking-or-did-I-see" creative.

In years past,  I've participated in art shows, exhibits, and festivals.  Now, I photograph for several dog and cat rescue organizations and clients.   Further, I sell my artwork at my website, Allen Pearson's Photos.  My photography work is print on archival quality paper, on metal or canvas.  Prints are available as Art Note Cards too.

In celebrating the end of 2016, I took a look at the images which became my favorites over the years to share with you.

"Pacino!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
I was photographing for Ambassador Pit Bulls when I met "Pacino."  Our meeting was, at first, a frightening experience.  Not because Pacino is a Pit Bull, but because of the way he came to me to get some human loving and attention.  After his life experiences, he just needed a human to love on and hug him- he selected me to do that.  I will never forget this awesome fella and will stand against "breed-specific" laws as they are not right.

"Pacino" recognized me at an adoption event a month later.  He loved on me at this event too-  I wanted to adopt him but I already have a large dog.  Having two would be a challenge.

"Flames"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Over the years, I've discovered my passion for garden photography. I found using my Macro lenses and attempting to look at nature, particularly in my gardens, I could create some beautiful artwork of flowers, insects and other aspects of nature. I created a series of images, "Garden Perspectives" available as prints, paper. metal, and canvas suitable for hanging in your home.

"Splashes"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
"Splashes" is a favorite photo as it was created on a day I was reminded of a very valuable lesson, nature is always full of surprises, is ever changing and fog can enhance photography work.

The photo was taken at Great Falls National Park in Great Falls, VA.  At the time, I was working on creating galleries of my work at National Parks.  I went to Great Falls on a sunny fall morning, at least most of my trip from my house to the park was bright and sunny -a clear day was ahead.

However, upon arrival at the park, the fog was fairly thick over the Potomac River.  Thinking about turning around and heading home, I decided since I'd paid the entrance fee, I should explore the park.  The overlooks provided excellent opportunities to photograph the Potomac River in the fog. When the sun started to burn through the fog, I remember thinking, "no, not yet, am not done!"

"Bumble Bee on an Arizona Blanket Flower"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Before the plight of bees caught my attention, I was fascinated with the nectar gathering in my gardens.  My garden photography interests expanded as I captured the colorful images of bees gathering nectar.  

"Perspectives on a Strawflower"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Since the beginning of my gardening days, I've loved the Strawflower, particularly the yellow ones.

In my gardens, Annuals are used to highlight spots or corners of the property. Sometimes, I'll use them in flower beds to provide creative color.

Using my Macro lens, I discovered the beauty of getting close-up to the Strawflower which led to my "Garden Perspectives" Gallery.

"My Eyes on You!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

As part of my belief that everyone should give back to their community, whether it is a donation of your skills, buying needed items or supporting a charity financially.  If everyone did this, our communities would be better off. 

I support local dog and cat rescues through writing and photography as shared on Noah's blog, from The Dog's Paw, and my gallery, "Rescue[d] Dog and Cat Gallery."  The skills used have helped dogs and cats get humans to love and "Forever Homes!"

"CSX Going through Town!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Railroad Photography is my newest venture!  It's not easy to find places where you can sit and legally photograph trains going by while abiding by the laws which govern railroads so my gallery of work and experiences are limited. They will grow in time.

If you decide to learn Railroad Photography, be sure to learn and adhere to the Federal laws which govern the railroads.  Learn more at Operation Lifesaver

And finally, an area of interest that hasn't come together yet is Horse Photography.   My interest is to provide quality photographs to horse owners and the Tributes Session which is currently offered to dog and cat owners.  

Tributes Photography is a special photography session offered to pet parents of terminally ill animals. 

Thank you for sharing this look back with me.  I look forward to sharing 2017 with you!  

May God bless you in the New Year!  Happy New Year!

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday's Foto! A Visit to Horseshoe Curve

"A Visit to Horseshoe Curve"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
This past September, my wife and I went to Altoona, Pennsylvania to see the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark. I'd seen several videos on YouTube and photographs but hadn't had a chance to visit- so we did.

The Horseshoe Curve is quite an engineering feat especially since it was built by hand in the mid 1800's.  When completed it allowed the trains to cross through the Allegheny Mountains without relying on the Allegheny Portage Railroad. The feat was so well designed and built it is still in use today.

If you love trains or want to introduce someone to railfanning or to see trains go by, this is the place to go.  You can sit at one of the benches or picnic tables and watch the trains from the east and the west, one right after the other! We saw around 15 trains in 4 hours.

The entrance fee is minimal.  Unless you are physically fit, I recommend taking the funicular up the side of the mountain not the stairs.  A physically fit friend told me he had taken the stairs and it was much more difficult than it looks.

The park is open from April to mid-November.

Within the past several months, I have gotten into Railroad Photography.  A new type of photography for me to explore and learn.

What is your favorite type of photography and why?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Timeless Thursday! Sunny Fog

"Sunny Fog"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
The beauty of a foggy morning hike shines through as the sun begins to rise.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday's Words!

(C) Allen Pearson

"Give all your
worries and cares
to God, for he 
cares about you."

- 1 Peter 5:7 NLT

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday's Thought - A Christmas Gift

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Christmas on Sunday!  When I was a young sprat about a hundred years ago, I used to really be disappointed when Christmas came on Sunday.  It meant we'd have to wait until after church to open our Christmas presents which meant until 12:30 p.m.. Oh, and might as well have lunch first!  Torture for a young child looking so forward to seeing what Santa Claus brought me!  However, attending church when Christmas was on Sunday wasn't an option so we were there.
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I don't remember whether we got up very early to open our presents before church or not.  My guess is we got up really early, as was the tradition for my brother and I.  After all, we were two young boys and Christmas is exciting.

The Greatest Gift I ever received wasn't in a wrapped present under the Christmas tree.  Nor was it something my parents could buy and give me.  Though my parents shared it with me, its not something they could literally hand to me and I take it.  The Greatest Gift is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gift of Salvation.

God gave His only Son, Jesus Christ to die on a cross for our sins. All we have to do is admit, believe and confess as illustrated is this graphic:

(C) Allen Pearson
Interested in learning more? Please visit Peace With God!


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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas! The Nativity

"The Nativity"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, 
and shall call his name Immanuel."

 - Isaiah 7:14, (ESV)

May you have a blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday's Foto! Christmas Tree at Church

"Christmas Tree at Church"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

I created this photo at my church several years ago.  I was attempting to learn how to photograph in a dark Worship Center with minimal lighting.

As it's turned out, it's one of my favorite photos. 

Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Timeless Thursday! Reflections

"Reflections!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
After reading an article, I captured this image of fall colors on a tree reflecting on Walney Pond with the lilypads in the water.  Not quite the idea shared in the article, but, as artist, I loved the reflection.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday's Words!

(C) Allen Pearson

"Glory to God in the highest, 
and on earth peace among
those with whom he is
pleased!"

- Luke 2:14, ESV

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday's Thought

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 Another one of my favorite Christmas memories is my mother's ability to surprise us with something I wanted or had my eye on during the previous year.

Mom would start in January paying attention to what we like or wanted and would begin buying almost as early as February.  I guess it just depended on whether she thought I'd ever buy it for myself.

The closer Christmas came, the more excited Mom would get.  It would almost be like she was a child again looking forward to Santa Claus bringing her presents.
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Though Mom loved buying gifts for me at Christmas, she had a budget which she strictly stuck to over the years.  The amount of money spent bought less and less over the years but that didn't matter.  It was the heart of the giving and gift she'd bought that meant the most.

As my parents didn't seek to buy me everything in the universe that I wanted, they were sure to follow that at Christmas too.

My parents knew the true meaning of Christmas, the Birth of Jesus Christ, was the most important aspect of the season.  Through gift giving, Mom was modeling her love as the Wisemen when coming to see the Christ Child.

My parents kept Christ at the center of our lives not only at Christmas or Christmas Sunday when many churches celebrated the Birth of Christ, but throughout the year.  Yes, we were one of those who was at every Sunday morning and evening services, Sunday School class, Wednesday Nights, Vacation Bible School, and revivals.  If the doors were open, we were there.

The greatest gift Mom ever gave me was making sure I was a Christian and was right with God and ready to go to Heaven at a moments notice. She did this by sharing the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  She knew it was the most important decision I would ever make.  She knew I had to make the decision to follow Christ, she could not do it for me.

Are you ready to meet Christ at a moments notice?  A moment, you will not know when it will be.  An appointment isn't available.  Planning for His Coming isn't known to even the Angels of Heaven or to Jesus Christ.  Only to God.  Man needs to be ready to leave this earth at a moments notice to be with Jesus in Heaven.  Waiting until the last second won't work as we don't know when that last second could be.  Further, you might be involved in accident or situation which leads to you leaving earth earlier than Christs Coming.

Would you like to learn more?  Please read through this graphic.

(C) Allen Pearson
To learn even more, please visit Peace With God!





Thursday, December 15, 2016

Timeless Thursday! Christmas Red Poinsettia

"Christmas Red Poinsettia" 
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
During the week after Thanksgiving, it's my wife's responsibility to decorate our church for the Christmas Season.  I have been going along to help her since I enjoy doing stuff with her and have a creative eye to help.

I captured this image at the church once we were finished.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday's Thought

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This week has been one of those non-stop crazy ones full of incredibly busy days which prevented me from getting stuff done.  I am not fond of too many days like I had this week.  But, hey, you can't always prevent what happens.

Though the week was crazy, I got to thinking about Christmas.  My brother being deceased now, I thought of him and the memories from our "growin' up" years.

One of my earliest memories of Christmas with my brother was with Santa Claus.  There were two times when Santa Claus caught our eye outside of visiting him at the local mall or department store.
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On our way home from visiting Grandpa, we were riding in the backseat of the car when we had to stop at a traffic light.  In the car next to us was Santa Claus!  We were so excited!  He waved at us which made the experience even more exciting.

Another memory which is my most favorite Santa Claus one happened at our home.   One evening, Santa Claus stopped by to see us.  He wanted to be sure we were being nice and not naughty. We were so excited.  It was a great and fun experience for my brother and I.

I learned many years later that the Santa Claus who stopped by the house was a good friend from church. When I learned that, I realized how much my parents church friends influenced our lives.  They were an important part of teaching and raising us.  Since they had the Christian values my parents had, we were taught in the way my parents would have wanted.

An important part of growing up which I learned from many of the church friends was God's Gift of Salvation.  God gave His Son Jesus so we would have eternal life in heaven with Him if we accepted Him as our Savior.  It's a simple as A-B-C with no "work" requirements- meaning, doing all the good things you could ever do, would not get you to heaven.  You must accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

To do so, please read and follow these A-B-C's:

Admit
Admit that you are a sinner, just like everyone else born into this world, until we  confess to Jesus Christ and ask His forgiveness:

"(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
24) and are justified by his grace as a gift,
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
- Romans 3:23-24, ESV

"(23) For the wages of sin is death, 
but the free gift of God is 
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 - Romans 6:23, ESV

Believe
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ:

(16) “For God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only Son, 
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life."
 - John 3:16, ESV 

Confess
Confess of your sins in a prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ:

(9) "because, if you confess 
with your mouth that Jesus is Lord 
and believe in your heart that God
raised him from the dead, you will be saved. "
- Romans 10:9, ESV

(13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  
 - Romans 10:13, ESV

Pray
"Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. 
I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation 
and to prepare me to dwell in your presence forever. 
Jesus, come into my life and take control, 
forgive my sins and save me. I place my trust in You alone
 for my salvation and I accept your free gift of eternal life."

Amen

Used by Permission,
GraphicStock
So now what?

If you prayed this prayer with your whole heart and believed what you did, you are now a Christian.  My suggestion is to find a local church and become involved.  Talk to the pastor about this experience and ask him to teach you where to go or what to do next.

If you are not familiar with a local church, a few excellent resources to get you started or who can follow up with you are:

Southern Baptist Convention

Additional resource in Virginia, Southern Baptist Conservatives

Peace With God

In Touch Ministries, Dr. Charles Stanley

David Jeremiah

Thru the Bible

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday's Foto! Fall Colors in Snow

"Fall Colors in Snow"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite photos of Fall and early Winter weather was taken by a neighbor's tree.  I love the contrast of the snow beginning to fall while the orangish-red leaves are still on the tree.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Timeless Thursday! Foggy Fall

"Foggy Fall"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Nature is an awesome force in our lives.  It's ever changing, you can go to the same place twice the same day or same week and see something different or see it from a different perspective as the lighting changes throughout the day or you see something you missed before.

I've been to Walney Nature Center and Walney Pond more times than I can count or even remotely remember! "Foggy Fall" has been on of my favorite photographs created in the Fall season as the fog creates a mysteriously beautiful scene.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday's Words

(C) Allen Pearson

"My flesh and heart may fail, 
but God is the strength 
of my heart and 
my portion forever."

- Psalms 73:26

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday's Thought

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Wow! It's the Christmas season again.  Seems like only a few months ago, I was putting the decorations away and preparing for a long winter hibernation.

Yesterday, as I was pulling out the decorations for the front yard, I heard quite a bit of noise in the area and began wondering what in the world was going on.  The neighborhood is normally quiet. Then, I remembered, there are Christmas parades, tree lightings and celebrations going on around the area.
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As I continued to decorate, Christmas memories of Christmases past began flooding my mind.

Back when I was a youngster, the first Saturday of December was the Manassas Christmas Parade.  Also, it was the day we finished decorating the front yard and putting up the Christmas tree in our home.  As a boy, it was so exciting because I knew Santa Claus was coming, after all- we just saw him at the parade, and I had a wish list a mile long!

Somewhere near the beginning of time, my parents handmade Christmas decorations for our front yard.  Designed after the "Charlie Brown Christmas," Mom drew the figures on plywood and Dad did the woodworking for them.  We had Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder and Lucy.  Each year, we put them around a huge Spruce tree decorated with Christmas lights.  A few years later, a Nativity was added to the decorations.  Those days are memories I will always remember.

At Christmas, the memories of a loving family and friends are plentiful. Before all the presents, tinsel, lights, and celebrations my parents taught me about God and the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ.  How God gave His Son to us so that we would have eternal life with Him in Heaven:

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 
- John 3:16, ESV

The greatest Gift given to me, is the Gift of God's Salvation.  A free gift for all people.  If you would like to learn more, please read through this graphic and follow these A-B-C steps-

(C) Allen Pearson
If you would like to learn more, and discover resources to assist with your walk with God, please visit Peace With God

Used by Permission, GraphicStock


Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday's Foto!

"The Engineer!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
When I was much younger, like 40 years ago, more or less, and yes, there were diesel locomotives back then, I would sit on the porch of my grandmother's house and watch the trains go by.

Most locomotive engineers would wave at my brother and I as they passed the house and saw us watching.  To me, that was awesome.

I took this photo of a CSX train going through Marmet, WV, a few summers ago near the spot where I would sit as a child and watch the Baltimore and Ohio or the Chesapeake and Ohio or the Chessie System trains roar through town.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Timeless Thursday! Red

"Red!"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved
Quite often on a rainy overcast or foggy day I hear the comment "Too bad the weather isn't cooperating so you can photograph!"  Or, "photographing on a cloudy, rainy or foggy day is a waste of time."

Nothing could be further from the truth.  While you must make appropriate preparations for your camera equipment on rainy or foggy days, overcast conditions are perfect for bringing out the colors in nature.  Covering your camera with a plastic grocery bag or a bag you can purchase at the local camera shop is an excellent way to enjoy the adventure.

"Red" has remained one of my favorite images as it was created on a foggy day at Walney Pond.  The fog pulled out the red colors and the dark of the bark in the trees.