This is from Ian, please read his story. This was my reply to him:
Ian, this image is spectacular! And you are right, you and you alone did it! It keeps me wanting to go back to look at it time and time again. It is like it is giving me a hug, which I really needed today! Thank you for sharing your story and your amazing talent!

Broken Light Collective

Photo taken by Ian, a 52-year-old Welsh rugby fan who was diagnosed with clinical depression 10 years ago and bipolar disorder. It has been a hard journey, with laughter, tears, and heartache, but the support of his wife and two children, 5 and 7 years old has helped keep him going. Ian feels he has gotten an unexpected gift from his depression, and that was self-taught photography. When he first got his camera in 2006, he could barely fix the strap and put it on, but he kept working at it and learning until it became an important part of his life. At first he hated himself with a passion, and thought he was nothing, scum, you name it, but as he developed an eye and technical skills, he started using it to get out and have a purpose, and in difficult social situations. But the most crucial thing…

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OK, its been a loooong time since I’ve tried any nighttime lightening shots. It only took me 30 shots, and the only one that even came close to turning out, plus having lightening in it was the last one. Then the rain started and I gave up. It was a spur of the moment shot – couldn’t focus because it was so dark, but here it is. Did I mention that I love THUNDERSTORMS!

Fall thunderstorms in Oklahoma are a treat for the EARS, EYES and the NOSE!

🙂 Have a great ThURsdAy!

This was such an awesome image, I wanted to share it with everyone. If you don’t subscribe to Broken Light: A Photography Collective, you should. The images are stunning and the stories are compelling.

Broken Light Collective

Photo taken by Mitch Elder, a combat veteran retired from the USAF who has experienced depression, anxiety and PTSD. He lives in Oregon with his wife of 30+ years, and their two four-legged kids.

About this photo: “This photograph is called “Here There Be Dragons.” I took this photo with a 75 year-old camera and lens on 4X5 inch Velvia 50 slide film. It is of a root formation I found along the upper McKenzie River Trail. I love finding interesting things in nature to photograph. This root formation epitomizes this fascination. As a landscape photographer, you search your entire life for something like this and when you find it, it’s exhilarating. I photographed this four times before I got the shot I wanted, driving 70 miles each direction to get to it. It think it was worth it.” 


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting 

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Weekly Photo Challenge 5: Solitary Pt. 2

I forgot this image when posting my other solitary images. It is of a single sycamore leaf encased in a cocoon of shear ice following an early ice storm. It reminds me of Gulliver surrounded by tiny Lilliputians.


Weekly Photo Challenge 5: Solitary

As hard as I try, I cannot select just one image for these weekly photo challenges.

I was really going to try to stick with ONE SOLITARY image this week in honor of the challenge, but as I was perusing a few photos, I couldn’t help but chose more than one. Sorry. My first thought when I read the challenge, was the sun. Right now in Oklahoma, we have some really awesome sunsets. The sun is really big this time of year and often looks like a big burning globe as it makes its way to the horizon. I saw the perfect image day-before-yesterday, but alas, I did not have my camera with me (plus I was in the middle of Friday evening rush hour traffic. But it was spectacular. You will just have to take my word for it. I could have gone out this evening, but where I live, I have a ton of really large trees on the west side of my property and I cannot see the sunset properly. I was just too lazy to get in my car to scout out a better location. Perhaps another day.

My other idea was of one of my seven grandchildren – so many others have posted beautiful images of children in the angelic state of being alone. But with such a large family, I seldom ever see any of them by themselves, and which grandchild do I single out without hurting another’s feelings? So I decided to go with plan C; cull through the images on my Mac and find images that fit the bill.

Anyway, here are a few images that I have taken in the past few months that sum up this challenge for me. I hope you enjoy.

Caught in the early morning rays with morning dew still clinging to its form, this lone grape hyacinth bloom still remains one of my favorite images. What I find so interesting about this lone little bud is that it will produce hundreds of petals when fully bloomed.

A solitary monarch butterfly hitches a ride on the back of a Harley. I actually shot this one for a front page photo while I was working as a photojournalist. The juxtaposition of nature and machine has always made me smile.

We all do it. When faced with a garden full of beautiful flowers, we search and snap until we find that one solitary, perfect bloom. This is one of my favorites and although its original color was deep red, I love it in black and white.

In our family, at Christmas, stockings are a really big deal. This is not artistically beautiful in any way, but in a sad and silly way – it really fits the bill perfectly. With our large family, we have 17 stockings and it’s a big todo when we open them. Last Christmas, my son-n-law, Caleb, was sick and couldn’t come for Christmas morning. His forlorn stocking – stuffed to the brim – looked so sad all by itself on the mantle.

Not Enough Time

With the garage sale I did this weekend, I’ve gotten horribly behind on my emails.

I have several (about a dozen) blogs that I now subscribe to and it takes a while to read each one, especially when you get three days behind. Some bloggers actually blog everyday! I feel I owe it to each one of these creative people to at least read their words and look at their images, even if I don’t reply to everyone of them. And with my slow internet service, It takes a while for them to load, especially if they have a lot of photographs.

I had only made it through about one third  of them when I had to move on to something else. The stories were beginning to all run together, so I will save the rest for later tonight or tomorrow.

I spend so much time reading other’s blogs that I don’t have time to write on my own.

LOL Happy Sunday.

This image has nothing to do with garage sales or bloggers, but since I love flowers and adore purple, I thought I would share it with you.

Weekly Photo Challenge 4 – Everyday Life Pt. 2

In Oklahoma, we love our college football; and our local Crest Food Store likes to display the team spirit equally with LOTS of cases of cola. And I do mean lots. I’ve always admired their colorful life-size displays made from cartons of colas, boxes of crackers and cookies or whatever else fits the bill, but I had never seen what it takes to make these monumental displays. This was taken with my iPhone (its what I had).

This side of the HUGE display is dedicated to OU the other side was OSU. Can you tell who I root for???? Notice the floating football going through the uprights .

Weekly Photo Challenge 4: Everyday Life

What is everyday life?

It is different for everyone. Your age, your sex, your ethnicity, your economic status, these all play into an average day. What might be everyday for you may not even come close to that of someone else.

Honoring those who have passed is common place to this woman

Passion plays a big part in everyday life, whether it is art, work or play

Children’s everyday life encompasses, playing, eating, sleeping and learning – especially learning. For even if they are not at school, children are in a constant state of learning. Likewise, a young mother’s day is full of things that are very different than say that of a career woman. It doesn’t mean that it is any less important or stressful – just different. Being a woman who has done both – stay at home mom and career – they are both equally as stressful, with maybe that of a mom being a bit more nerve-wracking.

Being a fulltime mom is one of the toughest jobs around.

Everyday life for a college student involves, tests, books, parties, exams, parties and how to pay tuition, oh and did I mention parties. And that of the working man can range anywhere from hard manual labor to balancing spread sheets.

Everyday life for this man consisted of hauling this very small house down the road.

So what really is everyday life? For one of my grandchildren, Isabelle, it is coping with cancer, taking meds, being a spokesperson for the blood institute and participating in cancer walks. But for my other grands, it is what toy to play with and how crazy can we make the cat today. Sometimes, everyday life is how much fun can three people have on a fantastic cruise and the wonderful people who work around the clock to make sure all of our needs are met 24/7.

Being silly is a big part of our family’s everyday life, we can’t help it!

Isabelle helped lead the cancer walk this last weekend.

Isabelle and one of her favorite nurses, Kendall

I don’t have a clear answer what everyday life is, but most of my photos I have center around a wonderful cruise that my youngest daughter treated my husband and me to last fall. I will throw some other images in as well, but here is my best interpretation.

For about a week, everyday life for Clint, Micah and me meant someone taking care of our every need around the clock!

The life abroad a cruise ship means long hours, seven days a week – now that’s everyday.

Everyday life for these locals meant putting on costumes to entertain passengers

What can be more everyday than a shave?

This is so beautiful as is the story.

Broken Light Collective

Photo taken by Tiger Lillies, a 48-year-old woman located in Ontario who suffers from deep depression, psychosis, and agoraphobia, all while raising her 2 young grandchildren, 4 and 6 years old. Thankfully she has a supportive partner Rick who helps make daily life with children possible. Her grandchildren, as well as her recent love of photography, have become her saviours and kept her from succumbing to the negative temptations that regularly haunt her. She has tried to commit suicide several times in the past, but thankfully is still with us. Her hopes are to get past her illness, as well as glaucoma, and become a professional photographer.

About this photo: “This is a picture of my little ones hand taken 2 years ago. We were sitting out back in the late fall, and she came over to me with the leaf in her hand just like this. Like most of…

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I purposely don’t watch the news, because I hate getting riled up only to realize that there is really nothing I can do. But there has been a couple things that I caught on the evening news that got me steamed and writing is my only outlet (for we know that voting doesn’t really help much).

The first bit of news that my husband recorded and forced me to watch was concerning the lawsuit that Hobby Lobby filed against the Obama administration. According to a clause in the Obama Care bill/law, companies are forced to provide their employees insurance to purchase the “Morning After” abortion drug. “By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder, said in a statement. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.” After listening to the news report, and more importantly the “people on the street” comments, I was really upset and confused.

Firstly, everyone knows that Hobby Lobby is a Christian based business – hello, they don’t open on Sundays (remind you of a chicken firm?). The comments made by people on the street were full of, “Its a woman’s choice” and “everyone has a right to these medicines.” I won’t argue this point (mainly because it won’t do any good – I am a Christian, so you should know my opinion on this issue). Fair enough, I’ll grant that it is every woman’s choice, and I do know that there are cases of rape and incest, which would warrant such a decision although I personally do not agree.

If we all agree, for the sake of argument, that it is a choice, shouldn’t the business owner also be allowed the same choice not to cover this medicine without being fined $1.3 million a day? After all, the government doesn’t get involved if your place of employment chooses not to cary dental or vision, so why must they get involved and force people to purchase insurance for a very controversial drug? It is just one more way they can suck God out of a country that was founded under Godly principals.

The next news story concerned the terrorist attack on the US consulate in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11, killing four including the ambassador. I don’t know all the details, or if the propaganda I’ve seen is true or false, but I do know what I feel. And, that is that our current leadership is an insurgent plant to tear our country apart from within. I know, I sound like a looney conspiracy terrorist. But look at the signs, look how far away from any kind of Godly principals our country has traveled in the last four years. I know, we really weren’t that close to Godly principals before, but now we are even further away.

Frankly, I fear and worry. For my family, my country and for my freedoms that are being trampled every day. Our country – with every apology to every terrorist country – is becoming weaker by the day. Occurrences like 9/11 are likely to become common place as no one fears or respects us anymore. Terrorist will die for their belief in their gods, but our country chooses to pretend like we don’t have one in hopes that we won’t offend anyone.

Everyone has the right to their own beliefs and choices, everyone that is except Christians. There is something horribly and fundamentally wrong with this picture.

So much more than our rights are being bombed, burned and trampled. Everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe except American Christians; our government thinks we should apologize for being a Godly nation.

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