Behind the Photographs in the July/August 2012 Issue

by Beth A Richardson on July 12, 2012

Order a copy of the July/August 2012 issue, “Rest,” by calling 1.800.972.0433. Download the digital edition.


“This photo of the church was shot in Chinchiná, Colombia.

Ron Keith, about his photograph on page 3. Ron has photographed on five continents for over 35 years. He has a B.A. in Photography from Southern Illinois University and a Masters in Art from San Diego State University.



“This is my daughter’s favorite bear — a companion for life.”

Brydget Carrillo about her photo on page 3. Brydget has been taking pictures for fifteen years and loves capturing “moments” for perpetuity. She is a creative and grateful for so much beauty in the world.



“We think we see the true world around us, but even the crystal clear water of the Carribean distorts our view.”

Kurt Moberg about his photo on page 3. Kurt is a wilderness traveler and writer living in Nashville, Tennessee.



“The photo was taken off the coast of Oregon just after the sun set and the light was beginning to fade. I took over fifty photos that evening as the surfers were enjoying the waves and the sun was setting. This photo captured the end of this surfer’s day as he relished a moment of rest and reflection.”

Marie Nease about her photo on pages 6-7. Marie is a four-time award-winning member of the Roswell Photographic Society. Her expertise in photography is mixed with a passion that can’t be tamed. The love of photography spans multiple generations in Marie’s family. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia. Visit her website:



“This image was made on an early February morning as the very first rays of sunrise were piercing the low-lying fog in Warner Park, Nashville, Tennessee. This scene lasted for approximately two minutes. I feel very blessed by my Creator to have been given the gift of experiencing this scene. I smiled the whole rest of the day.”

Michael Moryc about his photo on pp. 8-9. Michael has been photographing creation for some forty years. This national award-winning photographer is based in Nashville and is a charter member of the North America Nature Photographer’s Association (NANPA), a field contributor to Nature Photographer magazine and teaches workshops and classes on Nature photography. Learn more about Michael and his work at


Big Bend

“This photo was taken at “Sotol Look Out” in Big Bend National Park, which runs along the Rio Grande in southern Texas. This is one spot my dog, Spirit, and I often frequent especially when Mother Nature pulls out her canvas and generously fills up my senses. It was the right time, the right light, the right luck — everything came together in harmony, including me (from the inside out). I’m grateful to have had the chance to be there.”

Ara Gureghian about his photo on pages 10-11. Ara was born in France 63 years ago, and, by way of Egypt, the Middle East, and Africa, arrived in the United States at the age of 28. He and his pit bull, Spirit, rescued each other about five years ago. Since then, they have been camping on the road full-time seeking answers to life after the passing of his only child and precious friend, Lance. For more on the continuing adventures of Ara and Spirit, as well as more wonderful photographs, see



“This photograph of horsetail was taken on a walk in Oakland, California. It is rumored the early settlers used the plant as scouring pads to shine up their pans. Horsetail is a member of the Equisetaceae family, the sole survivor of a line of plants going back three hundred million years.”

Dianne Griffin about her photo on p. 15. Dianne has been working in the film and video industry for over twenty-five years. She grew up in an extended household including grandparents, an uncle, cousins, occasionally her father’s employees, and a basement full of wild snakes. This cast of characters honed her sense of humor and taught her the fine skills of observation. Dianne’s latest documentary project is “Painted Nails,” about the hopes and dreams of a Vietnamese nail salon worker. She lives in San Francisco, California. For more about her work, check out .



“Living for many years in East, the beaches of Delaware were a welcome relief from the heat and crowds of Washington, DC. I was on my way to the beach late one afternoon and spotted a huge field of sunflowers with the sun setting behind them. I quickly pulled over and took a few photographs. It was good that I did because I never again saw another field of sunflowers on the drive. The lesson learned is to always stop and photograph what moves you — it may disappear forever.”

Eric Temple is a photographer and documentary filmmaker living in South Ogden, Utah. He has been an avid photographer since high school and has a profound love of wild country. He fell in love with the West since he was a student at Northern Arizona University in the 1970s. He befriended environmentalist and author Edward Abbey in the 1980s and, upon Abbey’s passing, made a PBS documentary about his life. After spending over 20 years in exile in Maryland, Eric returned to Utah in 2011 and is looking forward to many more photographic trips! Visit his website:


yellow flower

“There’s no real story behind this particular photo.  I just remember that I was at the right place at the right time with camera in hand as the sun came out from behind a cloud and lit a field of flowers.”

Cynthia Staples about her photo on page 20. Cynthia is a freelance writer and photographer. Currently living in Massachusetts, she was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her muses are many, including nature and her family. For work and pleasure, Cynthia has been lucky enough to travel the world. Those travel experiences as an African-American woman continually influence her creative work. Her photography has appeared in Alive Now, Creativity Portal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and other journals.

Her website is Cynthia’s blog is Words and Images by Cynthia: A Place of Creative Expression.



“Point Lobos State Natural Reserve near Carmel, California. It was a quiet, overcast day, and apparently not a good day for the birds to be out and about fishing in absence of clear sunlight. Either that, or … they were all just resting.”

Jefferson Braswell about his photo on page 27. Jefferson’s interest in the visual arts was stimulated by a great deal of global travel, both growing up as well as professionally. He was motivated to actively produce visual works while living at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains, traveling to Asia as a publisher of limited edition prints of the original works of several fine artists, and spending time in Puerto Rico and Europe in order to produce live music recordings for his small indie label Tahoe Records. He is  also a musician and composer with his own body of work of musical compositions and recordings. When he is not doing what he enjoys most (arts and music), Jefferson provides consulting and advisory services to the financial industry in the areas of enterprise risk management and information technology.



“I took this photo in Italy near Monterosso in the Cinque Terre area. This cross is at a switchback on a trail up to a Capuchin Monastery, built in the 17th century on the hill of S. Cristoforo. The view was spectacular from the path. At one point, we could see up the Mediterranean coast to all five villages that make up Cinque Terre. (On October 25, 2011, Cinque Terra was hit by torrential rains that flooded Vernazza and Monterosso. Over 20 inches of rain fell in a short time and filled the villages with 13 feet of mud. The area has worked hard during the last several months to recover, but more work is to be done.)”

Beth A. Richardson is the editor of Alive Now. Beth is a photographer, writer, and has the honor of sharing life with Jack, a very wise Scottish Terrier. A clergy member of the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church, she is the author of two Advent books from The Upper Room — Child of the Light and The Uncluttered Heart. Follow Beth’s writings here or on her blog.



“When my daughter was three and her brother was still an infant, we shared a box in the community garden behind our new house.  On this particular day, we were on our way to water our plants and weed.  I was in a hurry because I needed to get dinner on the table. But, my daughter poked along through the rose bed stopping to smell and touch each one because they all seemed so delicate and magical to her. That ten-minute diversion had only a small impact on my dinner timeline but a huge one on my well-being. She reminded me to literally stop and smell the roses.”

Tessa Lemos del Pino about her photo on page 35. Tessa is a writer and photographer who loves learning and is always reading something. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her family.



“Taken at the Stinson Beach overlook in western Marin County, California. I was hiking with a friend along this beautiful trail  when I spied this perfect frame. The California poppies on each side of the trail with the gorgeous Pacific down below just summed up one of California’s magnificent sights. I shot the photo using the Hipstamatic app for my iPhone.”

Nancy Terzian about her photo on p. 47. Nancy is our art director and graphic designer. She has designed several book covers and interiors for Upper Room Books as well as other clients via her Nashville-based design studio, Buckinghorse Design. Before starting her own business 9 years ago, Nancy was the art director and designer for several magazines in the San Francisco Bay area including Yoga JournalElectronic Musician, and Frisko. Nancy is a singer/songwriter, nature-lover, runner and yoga enthusiast. To see some of Nancy’s other design work, visit and



“This photograph is one in a series that I call Prayers and Offerings. Creating these photos helped me stay sane one day when I had a really bad rash all over my body. Taking the pictures became a meditation that kept me focused more on what was sacred to me and less on the misery of my itching.”

Michelle Hall about her photo on page 48. Michelle lives in Nashville, Tennessee and works at the Oasis Center with older adolescents who do not have a safe place to live and/or are living on the streets. At work or at play (and the two often intermingle), Michelle makes sense of her world by finding the beauty in the present situation. In November 2011 Michelle was given a “real” camera and she began literally focusing on beauty by learning photography. This has made her very happy.


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