Visual Psalmists

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Beautiful photography — visual psalms — grace the pages of Alive Now both in print and on our website. If you pray with your camera in hand, join our Visual Psalmists group on Flickr. (flickr.com/groups/visual-psalmists/.

Behind the Photographs in the July/August 2014 Issue

Order a copy of the July/August 2014 issue, “Transformation,” by calling 1.800.972.0433. Download the digital edition.
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butterfly

“Each year many butterflies grace the flowers we plant in our yard. One summer I wanted to photograph a greater variety and met a woman who has a very large butterfly garden. I visited her garden a couple times. She had quite a few butterfly bushes. This tiger swallowtail danced on several of the bushes as it sipped nectar from their flowers. The purple flowers on one of the bushes beautifully complemented the yellow colors of the swallowtail. I couldn’t help but be captured by its beauty.”

Pasquale Mingarelli, about his photo on the back cover. Pasquale worked as a newspaper photographer before joining the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as Cru), where he worked as a photojournalist with their magazine, Worldwide Challenge. He now has a ministry called The Creation Speaks (thecreationspeaks.com), which explores how creation speaks to our heart, soul & mind about God.

Pasquale is an award-winning photographer and teaches photography at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Metro Community College in Omaha, Nebraska, and at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. He lives in Bellevue, Nebraska with his wife Patti, their two children, Talitha and Pasquale, and their dog, Montana.

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caterpillar

“”When I visited the butterfly garden, the owner pointed out this monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant.”

Pasquale Mingarelli, about his photo on the table of contents page.

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beam of light

“This photograph is part of my ‘Pathways’ collection of photos I took preparing for Advent last year. I’ve also been taken with the walking/running paths surrounding Rice University. I had to capture this moment at the perfect time to soak up the natural light.”

Lanecia Rouse, about her photo on p. 3. Lanecia is currently project manager of The Art Project, Houston of Bread of Life, Inc. at St. John’s Downtown Church. The Art Project, Houston is a therapeutic art and empowerment program for men and women living on the streets of Houston, Texas.

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rain

“This photo was taken during a summer rainstorm from my back deck.”

Michelle Hall, about her photo on p. 3. 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. See more of Michelle’s work at michellehallphotography.com.

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abandoned car

“Bell’s Bend, between Nashville and Ashland City, is Davidson County’s largest remaining tract of undeveloped land. In 2008, the area was threatened with a massive urban development. I started photographing the landscape to contribute to the the conservation effort or to have a record should that effort fail. I found this old hull on one such expedition in the spring of 2009.”

Paul Schatzkin, about his photo on pp. 8-9. Paul is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. For more about his work, go to cohesionarts.com.

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cupcake

“Last spring, I paid a visit to Carytown Cupcakes, my go-to spot in Richmond, Virginia for satisfying all of my sweet tooth cravings. Upon entering the friendly, bubblegum-pink shop, my taste buds roused at the delightful aromatic scent of freshly baked goods lingering in the air. Now came the hard part. I focused my gaze on the attractive display of cupcakes galore, looking over the vast array carefully. After a moment of inner struggle, I caved and bought three: red velvet, carrot cake, and Oreo peanut butter. I hurried home with the shop’s signature bright pink box, excited to sample my confectionary treasures. Back at the apartment, I decided to take a quick photo of my treats. They were so cute and perfect, and almost too good to eat…almost.”

Kelsey Krupp, about her photo on p. 10. Kelsey is a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) studying Mass Communications with a concentration in Creative Advertising. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Kelsey hopes to be admitted to the VCU Brandcenter, a graduate program in advertising and communications. Aside from academics, Kelsey is also a dedicated student-athlete, representing the VCU Women’s Track & Field team in the pole vault. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys pursuing personal photography projects.

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blossom

“My wife and I prefer organic produce to conventionally grown produce. Not only do we buy organic produce, but we also grow our own. We tried our luck with an organic apple tree. The second spring we had it, it bloomed quite well and graced us with its beauty. I made sure I got plenty of photographs of the blossoms. Sadly, the photos are all we have left of our apple tree. We do well with our organic garden and berry plants, but not so well with the apple tree. It succumbed to a fungus and died by fall. I’m glad I took the photos when I did.”

Pasquale Mingarelli, about his photo on p. 14-15.

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stars

“I’ve always been amazed with stars. The vastness of space speaks more to me of the power of God than just about anything. When I go outside on a clear, moonless night I can’t help but look up and stand amazed. To capture that vastness in an image is really impossible. You can only get a taste of it from a picture. I’m fortunate to be in a location where light pollution is not yet a big problem. I would miss the stars if I were in a city or other light polluted area.

“You need especially dark areas if you are taking time exposures. This image is a three minute exposure. I wanted to see some of the Milky Way and also see the star reflections off the pond. Being alone in the darkness taking pictures of the heavens is a great way to ‘focus’ on God! To see God’s true light we need to be set apart – in a location where the lights of this world do not outshine the true light. A nice physical-spiritual parallel.”

Kevin Main, about his photo on pp. 24-25. Kevin is a landscape photographer whose photos have appeared in a variety of places, from scientific journals to religious publications to art fairs. His love of God’s creation is also beautifully expressed in his children’s book, I See You There: My Father’s Love. View more of Kevin’s work at lightingwild.com.
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blue sky butterfly

“My mom and dad’s garden in Meansville, Georgia is the setting for the butterfly on the Butterfly Bush (scientific name: Buddleia Davidii). This image was captured one perfect, blue-sky day in August.

As my Mom and Dad age, their garden isn’t as well tended as it used to be in their younger years. When I recently visited them, I worked in their garden, trimming and cleaning it up after a cold winter. Spring is such a time of transformation that reminds me of the transformation we go through in our walk with Christ! I will always treasure the moments in their garden, even when they are enjoying tending their heavenly garden.”

Marie Nease, about her photo on pp. 26-27. Marie is a six-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. Marie has published articles and short stories and enjoys expressing herself through creative writing and poetry. Marie is a mother of four wonderful young men and grandmother to six. She lives near the mountains in Cornelia Georgia. Visit her website, wingdreamer.com.

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buds

“Early mornings in my garden often serve as a place of quiet meditation for me. As I wander amid the glorious sights and sounds of nature, I also frequently carry my camera to record and preserve that to which my eyes are drawn. This image is one that reflects my reverent awe and respect for the simple beauty of nature.”

Sue Henry, about her photo on pp. 36-37. Sue is a widely published fine art photographer, retired music educator, and professional musician. She has been studying and practicing photography for a number of years and loves spending time with her three grandchildren.

About being an artist, Sue explains, “The Arts have been an integral part of my life from a very early age; first as a musician, and later in life as a visual artist. My passion for finding beauty in what may be sometimes considered unexpected places is very evident to the viewer. The artist’s eye sees colors, shapes, and details often missed by others. Photography is not so much about taking pictures as it is about creating art.”

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sunrise

“Over winter break last year, my sisters and I did a sunrise hike at Humpback Rocks, a popular trail located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Humpback Rocks is a fairly short, but steep hike leading to an amazing view at the top that overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was somewhat difficult walking on trail when it was still so dark, but the thought of missing the sunrise motivated us to get to the top as fast as we could. I took this picture just as the sun was making its slow and beautiful ascent into the sky. Getting up early to share this amazing experience with my siblings was definitely worth losing a few hours of sleep.”

Kelsey Grupp, about her photo on p. 40. is a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) studying mass communications with a concentration in creative advertising. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Kelsey hopes to be admitted to the VCU Brandcenter, a graduate program in advertising and communications. Aside from academics, Kelsey is also a dedicated student-athlete, representing the VCU Women’s Track & Field team in the pole vault. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys pursuing personal photography projects.

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prickly pear cactus

“I took this photo of the Prickly Pear cactus while hiking up a mountain in Arizona, just north of Phoenix. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and the mountainside was covered with Saguaros, Barrel Cacti, Cholla, and many more. My friend told me that the reason some of the Prickly Pear cacti are heart shaped is because javelinas take chomps out of the tops of them!”

Nancy Terzian, about her photo on p. 47. Nancy is Alive Now’s 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.

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water lilies

“I took this photo of water lilies in the back yard of a family member. I love shooting this subject because it’s a bit of a challenge. The lilies only bloom in the sun and the sun tends to mess up the color richness of photos (morning and late afternoon are the best times for shooting). I happened to capture this image while the blooms were still open and had the added benefit of still water and enough light to make some nice reflections. This is one of my favorite recent photos.”

Beth Richardson, about her photo on p. 48. Beth got her first camera when she was in 5th grade. She follows in the footsteps of her dad, a United Methodist pastor and avid photographer who set up a dark room in the guest bathroom of the parsonage. One summer when she home from college, her dad took her to the camera store to get her first SLR — a Pentax ME — which she still owns. She loves to pray with a camera in her hand — whether it’s her Nikon D90 or her iPhone. “Praying with a camera in hand helps me see things in a different way than I do when I’m just walking down the street. It makes my seeing full of holy moments. Taking pictures is about my favorite activity.

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