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 March/April 2015 Issue
“Like many of us, I love observing birds and their activities. This capture is from one such bird watching trip to a sanctuary in Rajasthan, India.”
- Savvy Gulia, about her photo on p. 8. Savvy, a freelance photographer living in New Delhi, India, decided to pursue her dream of being a photographer a few years back. Most of her images are about people, capturing life in their seemingly negligible moments. Her pictures provide an opportunity to absorb a gesture, a smile, or a frown through her vision. Savvy’s forte is travel photography, but when not traveling she enjoys capturing portraits too. Read more about her at savvygulia.wordpress.com
“Every summer, Richmond invites local artists from around the world to participate in the “Richmond Mural Festival.” While wandering around one of the mural sites, I stopped to take a picture of the puddle. It had rained and the light was just right. I liked the way the clouds were reflected in the puddle. If you look closely, you can also see the shape of a face in the right-hand section of clouds.”
- Kelsey Grupp, about her photo on p. 9. Kelsey is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) studying mass communications with a concentration in creative advertising. Upon completion of her degree, she hopes to become an art director at an advertising agency. To learn more about her and the projects she is working on, go to kelseygrupp.com.
Aside from academics, Kelsey is also a dedicated student-athlete, representing the VCU Women’s Track and Field team in the pole vault. In her free time, she enjoys pursuing personal photography projects.
“This is from one of my most recent visits to Mussoorie, Himachal Pradesh. This was clicked on a cold, yet beautiful, rainy morning. This spider web catches water droplets from rain. Such macro shots urge me to view our nature’s intricate patters so closely.”
- Savvy Gulia, about her photo on pp. 16-17. Savvy, a freelance photographer living in New Delhi, India, decided to pursue her dream of being a photographer a few years back. Most of her images are about people, capturing life in their seemingly negligible moments. Her pictures provide an opportunity to absorb a gesture, a smile, or a frown through her vision. Savvy’s forte is travel photography, but when not traveling she enjoys capturing portraits too. Read more about her at savvygulia.wordpress.com
“It’s so easy to focus on what’s empty, what’s not there. Instead, why not pray over that space and imagine what God could put there? That’s the story of redemption and it’s waiting to ring out loud and true in each of our lives.”
- Lauren Richwine, about her photo on p. 18. Lauren is an artist, photographer, and writer. When she isn’t changing diapers or cooking, she is the creative force behind “Portrait of a Lady,” visually telling the stories of women’s spirituality and beauty. Lauren lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband, daughter, and sister. See Portrait of a Lady on Facebook
“This house was a location I scouted for Godfrey Reggio’s film “Visitors.” Located in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans this picture was taken in late 2010, five years after Hurricane Katrina.”
- Craig Aspen, about his photo on pp. 20-21. Craig has had his photographs published nationally. As a musician, he is a member of the roots rock band, The Believers. In 2010, Craig took a year off from music & photography to help produce a film for acclaimed filmmaker, Godfrey Reggio. He recently started his own production company, Wild Magnolia Films.
“While visiting my elderly father in rural Illinois, I woke up one morning to discover a dense, heavy, low-hanging fog that created a mysterious and moody atmosphere. Having grown up in the small community, I felt comfortable driving the back country roads leading to the old family homestead some ten miles out of town. As I headed out the door my father said, “Be careful. Don’t get lost in the fog.” Little did I know how insightful his advice was. The fog did indeed present challenges in navigating the otherwise familiar roads. More than once I questioned exactly why it was that I wanted to go exploring in the fog. When I processed my images, I knew the answer.”
- Sue Henry, about her photo on pp. 24-25. Sue is a fine-art photographer, retired music educator, and professional musician. She has received instruction in photography from well-known and talented Western Kentucky artists and has attended photography classes at the Paducah School of Art. Sue continues her education by surrounding herself with photography books and examples of the works of others, attending photography workshops and seminars with nationally recognized photographers, and taking advantage of a multitude of online learning opportunities.
She 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 sometimes be 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.”
Sue currently resides in the greater Nashville, Tennessee, area, where she enjoys all the benefits the area offers. She loves spending time with her three grandchildren!
“When I visit New York City, I often take the express bus from La Guardia airport to 125th street in Manhattan. I love to walk around Harlem because of its wide sidewalks and lovely brownstones. On a walk a few years ago, I noticed a film crew at St. Nicholas Avenue and 122nd street. As I got closer, I saw what they were shooting: a large bronze statue of a solitary woman, with a greenish patina. I began to see the raised images in her full skirt: shoe prints, keys, faces, chains.
The plaque beneath the statue displayed the title of the piece, “Swing Low,” and the name of the sculpture, Alison Saar. This is a heroic depiction of Harriet Tubman. She is known for her work with the 19th century “underground railroad,” which was the system of moving slaves from the Southern states to freedom in the North the days before and after the Civil War.”
- Mark Allan Peterson, about his photo on p. 31. Mark’s forty-five years of peering through a camera eyepiece have led him to the conclusion that surprise and beauty are much closer to all of us than we might think. His many thousands of film and digital images are the product of assignments to shoot music album covers, school groups, home building, public events, outdoor art, travel, hospitals, medical instruments, churches, weddings, political rallies, and sports. Ever curious, Mark’s artistic motto is: “We overlook the commonplace at our peril.” teaches religion, philosophy, and English at the college level. He also serves as pastor of the Presbyterian church in Badin, North Carolina.
“The road through the woods at night is actually our driveway lit by the headlights of the car.”
- Dan Wray, about his photo on p. 33. Dan teaches religion, philosophy, and English at the college level. He also serves as pastor of the Presbyterian church in Badin, North Carolina. He lives on a farm in the Piedmont of North Carolina with his wife and two daughters. See some of Dan’s work at his website: danwrayphoto.com.
“I have visited this stone chapel numerous times, always finding the chapel doors closed, yet never having found them locked. Sometimes I am greeted as I am entering by someone who is leaving. And on occasion someone I will find someone inside exploring the surroundings. The chapel beckons a quietness, a reverence as the light is filtered through the multi-colored glass falling on pews and the stone floor in many hues of color. Sometimes I wonder how much of God’s light filters through me in its many different shapes and hues.”
- Susan Hay, about her photo on pp. 34-35. Susan devotes much of her spare time pursuing her passion and interest in photography, which has increased her awareness of how photography helps us “see God at eye level.” She also enjoys leading retreats and workshops for persons of all ages on photography as a spiritual practice.
“My wife and I live in a fairly rural county, and occasionally we go out for a drive just to spend some time together. We will sometimes find a spot along some back road where we can stop and pray. There are lots of cattle ranches in the area, so there are many places where you can watch the sun set across a pasture. I like to take the time to do that.
In Psalm 27 we are told to “Wait on the Lord.” My wife and I have gone through many struggles and it is so hard to wait for relief. Yet we trust God’s word to be true, so we wait. The blessing will surely come, like a bright sun sinking into a vibrant shade of the color of the Creator himself!
So we watch the sunset. And we pray and thank God for the blessings we have even in the midst of trials. His promises are good and they give us the strength to echo David’s words,”I am still confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.”
- Kevin Main, about his photo on p. 36. 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.
“This photo was taken from the deck of our home during a violent storm.”
- Dan Wray, about his photo on p. 41. Dan teaches religion, philosophy, and English at the college level. He also serves as pastor of the Presbyterian church in Badin, North Carolina. He lives on a farm in the Piedmont of North Carolina with his wife and two daughters. See some of Dan’s work at his website: danwrayphoto.com.
“Watching the sunset across a pasture.”
- Kevin Main, about his photo on p. 43. 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.
“Sometime in late February or early March, dozens of bald eagles gather at Lake Manawa State Park in Iowa. One cold morning in late February I drove to the park hoping to photograph some eagles. I didn’t see many eagles that morning, but I did encounter an incredible hoarfrost spread across the ground and on the trees. I didn’t get any great photographs of soaring eagles that morning, but I definitely got some awesome landscapes photos of a winter wonderland. Sometimes God doesn’t give us what we want; we get something better.”
- Pasquale Mingarelli, about his photo on p. 48. Pasquale is an award-winning photographer who 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, which explores how creation speaks to our heart, soul, and mind about God. Pasquale approaches nature as an artist and not as a scientist. He looks at how it touches our soul on a theological level and our hearts through its majesty, mystery, and beauty.
Pasquale 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.