Category Archives: Photography

American Road Trip West, Part 1

Road Trip 1
South Dakota

“See the USA in your Chevrolet.” This advertising jingle, sung by Dinah Shore in the 1950s, called Americans to the road. We answered and haven’t slowed down since, no matter what the price of gas.

So Dave and I jumped in our Ford truck and away we went. From southern Wisconsin turn west on I90 and set the cruise. Last stop, Nevada City, Montana.

As Road Trips go, ours was relatively moderate—2,800 miles. We met a couple driving from western New York to Oregon. That’s a road trip!

We hadn’t done a Road Trip for a number of years, and we were reminded, again, of the varied beauty of our country. And of the people who settled the land.

We often thought of the pioneers as we followed their footsteps West. I imagined the pioneers standing on the eastern bank of the Missouri River saying, “Now what!?”

Road Trip 2
The Missouri River at Chamberlain, South Dakota

On we went to the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, Virginia City and Nevada City in Montana, to a ranch in the mountains in Montana, and then over the Beartooth Highway.

Ride along on this travelogue.

Beautiful?

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This wisdom was penned by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford in her 1878 book Molly Bawn, though the phrase has floated in some form through our literary history since about the third century BC. Truth in the perfectly crafted sentence.

Example: My dad thought his pug dog was beautiful. Sorry, but there’s an ug in pug. (Don’t go all schoolmarm on me—I know it’s u-g-h.)

Glaucous-Winged Gull
Glaucous-Winged Gull

Another example: My brother-in-law refers to seagulls as “winged rats.” True, they’re messy, noisy, and pesky, but I  find them captivating.

The day I took this shot, I must have taken a dozen photos of the raucous Glaucous. Then I tweaked and cropped those photos so I have enough for a gallery show.

Last example: I’ve actually heard snakes called beautiful by some misguided, weird, downright blind people. Believe you me, you won’t find a picture of a snake on this blog!

More England and a Bit of Scotland

This is a lazy person’s post, or busy—we’ve got company coming for the weekend.

Here’s what I have to offer: more pictures of England, with some bonus Scotland pictures thrown in. Saudade tonic. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read last week’s post—Saudade, A Deep Longing.

To see the slideshow, click on any of the photos and enjoy.

Cristine Eastin © 2012

“…Pray…and Heal Their Land.”

“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
This passage made a jaw-dropping impression on me when I took Henry Blackaby‘s Experiencing God course. “Called by My name”!—exclamation point mine. What greater privilege could there possibly be?

An octogenarian friend said that what helped her memorize the verse was to think alphabetically: humble themselves, pray, seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways.

Second Chronicles 7:14 is one of those pesky “if…then” verses. “…then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Pray for the people of the Arabian Peninsula!—exclamation point God’s.

The other knock-you-between-the-eyes thing I got from Blackaby was, “Look what God is doing and join Him.”

Okay, we did. It’s too long a story, but joining Him meant that my husband and I got involved in work that on occasion puts us in these very hot, desert countries–and we’re not hot weather people! The very short of it is that it has been an extraordinary experience.

“The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9  If you want to see what God is doing in the Arabian Peninsula read Reema Goode’s Which None Can Shut and follow her blog where she keeps the reader up to date with wit and wisdom.

On my last trip I met some local people through friends. When I left, I was given gifts by the women of the family—tokens of hospitality. It was a gift seeing the genuine trust and affection between my friends and this local family.

It may be hot and dry in the Arabian Peninsula, seemingly not fit for man nor beast, but it’s not a Godforsaken land. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that.

Here’s a link to a website: Praying Through the Arabian PeninsulaLook what God is doing and join Him.

Cristine Eastin © 2012

Buck Up, Little Camper

We all need encouragement now and then. I think this seldom-used, maybe archaic phrase is so cute. “Buck up, little camper.” I picture a little kid getting a parental chuck under the chin. The kid’s lower lip pulls back in place, and parent and child smile warmly at each other. “Now run along and play,” says the parent.

This picture of grandpa and grandchild that I took in Mevagissey, Cornwall, England, has that sweetness about it. (Hurray for telephoto lenses.)

Today I read Christian author Jan Watson‘s blog. She talked about “recharging” in God’s Word when your battery’s low.

Here’s the verse I’ve been plugged into lately, reading it over and over—Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I relax when I get to “by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I’m reminded that I can’t get there myself and therefore don’t have to. Ah, what a thirst-quenching drink.

Then, since we are what we think, I repeat “trust, joy, peace, hope” to drill those words into my thinking and thence into my doing.

But what do you do when you’re too tired to even drag yourself to the well? Tired unto tired out. No self-condemnation, no despair. Lift your chin toward your heavenly Father for that encouraging, “Buck up, little camper.” And lean your tired head into the Father’s hand and rest.

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BTW—to you women who love Christian historical fiction, you MUST read Jan Watson. Her series starts with Troublesome Creek. Jan is clearly anointed to write for us.

Cristine Eastin © 2012

Get the Picture You Want

If a picture says a thousand words, here’s the story behind this photo, taken while on a walk in Lyme Regis, England.

In the dark age of cameras I used a single lens reflex camera, and I got pretty good pictures—I knew how to get the photo I wanted.

Reluctantly and belatedly, I joined the digital era and decided to try a digital happy snapper. It was light and easy to travel with. But frustrating. I’d see the photo I wanted, push the shutter release, and by the time the message got to the pea computer brain of the camera to actually take the picture—the moment was gone—and I got some other photo. Like the one below.

I did my research and switched to a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR). It’s heavy, but worth its weight. Duh, most of you are thinking. Bear with me.

Then the other photography problem I’ve always had needed to be dealt with—just take the darn picture and stop hoping for something better, before I lose it altogether. So when the calico cat looked at me in a mirrored pose of her concrete buddy, I immediately snapped the photo without worrying if her eyes were in focus or if I had it composed the way I wanted. I got it! A little post-photo cropping, and I had a photo I was thrilled with.

The two photo examples were taken with my DSLR. In this case I actually did want the shot with the kitty’s head in the fountain. I decided I’d better shoot before the cat jumped down and I lost the opportunity for any cute shot. And then I was rewarded with her look at me before she took off.

There’s a metaphor for life in here somewhere. Take the darn picture—make the decision—and don’t over-fuss with getting the details right, or the opportunity may pass—or something like that.

Cristine Eastin © 2012

New—Photo Gallery

I’ve added a new page—Photo Gallery.

My father was an avid amateur photographer. Like father, like daughter. Dad even did his own black and white developing.

Dad was like a squirrel—anything bright and shiny got dragged into his nest—so I got his hand-me-down cameras as he bought new technology.

I’ve enjoyed taking pictures since I was a kid.

For a long time I felt like I was seeing our trips through the lens of a camera, always going for that best shot. I thought maybe I should stop that and enjoy the trip more. The solution was to buy a happy snapper camera. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that camera, but I quickly ran up against the limits of its creativity. Back to the digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. I rediscovered that seeing a trip through the lens of a camera was a big part of how I enjoyed the trip!

How does my photography pertain to my writing?

Places I’ve been, experiences I’ve had, people I’ve known—grind it all together—and out comes a story.

Hope you enjoy the photos. I enjoyed taking them.

© Cristine Eastin, 2012