Monday, October 31, 2011

Brown Anoles and the Meaning of Life

Brown Anole or Cuban Anole
The Brown Anole is a native to Cuba and considered an invasive species in the US. This picture was taken outside my apartment in Florida. He is a cute and quick little guy. I doubt that he is aware that he is not wanted. To him the world is just bug and branches; sticks and stones. Oh to be oblivious to the implications of our existence, oh wait sadly most of us are.

Thought this ignorance is bliss for an animal of limited cognitive capacities, I find comfort in knowing: Who I am, Where I came from, and Where I am going. There is a child's song called, "I am a Child of God"(free mp3) sung by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. It succinctly states, "I am a Child of God and he has sent me here... teach me all that I must do, to live with him some day." Those few short phrases respond to questions posed by men searching for meaning for centuries all contained in a child's Sunday school song.

By Joshua Kirton

More on life: Family Focus

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Not in the Fire


"11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small  voice." 1 Kings 19

Photo By Aaron Kirton

Another Post By Aaron: The Price of Freedom

Friday, October 28, 2011

Purple Sunset

The thing about sunrises and sunsets is that there is no end to the colors that show up. I haven't seen many green sunsets, but that doesn't mean it can't happen (correct me if I'm wrong). This purple sunset was taken in Gainesville, Florida. One drawback to all the trees is that it is hard to find a good place to shoot a sunset. However I was able to catch this and several others through the trees.

This picture reminded me of a great quote by C.S. Lewis, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." More about Christ

By Joshua Kirton

Other posts with the sun: Sunrise in the great Smokey Mountains, Sunrise in Daytona,  and Windmills

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunrise in Daytona Florida

Sunrise in Daytona Florida
This picture was shot in... You guessed it Daytona, Florida. The beach is a funny place. It is where people go to relax by burning of the top layer of their skin with ultra violet radiation.

I think the early morning on the beach was my favorite time. The temperature was nice, and there were few people out.

As for photography if you shoot enough sunrises and sunsets you will catch a good one. There are a lot of tricks for getting the best shot and color possible. HDR looks good, but you can't have any motion in the picture because it is actually multiple pictures merged and you need a software package that can merge it for you. With long exposure single shot photography you can miss some of the color, and short exposure you get shadows. Just keep playing with it until the sun is to high or set. The experimentation is half the fun of photography.

By Joshua Kirton

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Black Bear

Black Bear
This “little” black bear is about 100 lbs or so and probably has about another summer before he’s out on his own. He was eating berries in a tree. After a couple of minutes or so, he climbed down to watch me curiously as I took photos. I didn’t see Mama Bear around anywhere but there was plenty of evidence on the ground that she was close by. I quietly took my photos and then I went back down the trail before his Mom came home.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Power, Love, and a Sound Mind

Bear Lake Utah
"7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"
2 Timothy 1:7-8

Photo By Joshua Kirton
Taken at Bear Lake, Utah

Interested in Contributing to Picture our World?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunsets and Simple Things

Sunset in Gainesville Florida
"6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." Alma 37:6-7

Photo By Joshua Kirton

Another Good Post: The Parable of the Sower

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Florida Mushrooms
There is a fungus among us. Mushrooms grow just about everywhere. Here are a few that I found out in the lawn. These grow up to the size of a small saucer. I am not sure what kind they are or whether they are edible. I just wish that they were portobellos of porcini mushrooms. I love some good mushrooms in my food, but I doubt these will be finding their way into my diet.

By Joshua Kirton

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sunrise in the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains at Sunrise

“Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.” Psalm 144:4-6

For anyone who needs strength renewed, visit the mountains at sunrise. There is something powerful, yet so serene about the sun rising over the rim of the mountains, brightening the day as it rises.


Other Posts By Teri: End of the Season and On the Lake

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flax Flower

This amazing little blue flower can make anything from linen to linoleum. Flax seed is also know as linseed. I took this picture in Rock Canyon in Provo, Utah. There these little beauties grow along side many other wild flowers.

By Joshua Kirton

More from Rock Canyon: Wolf Spider, Rusty Car, Purple Wild Flowers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Copper Basin Idaho

As Fall’s chilling grip tightens on Idaho’s Copper Basin, the mountains transform into a patchwork of color. Snow begins to fall on the mountain peaks as the Aspen and Maple trees explode into varying shades of red and orange. Few choose to travel into this remote and rugged landscape but those that do are rewarded with spectacular views, wildlife sightings, and the opportunity to experience Idaho.

By Beau Johnston

Other pictures of mountains: Family Focus, Still Waters, To Grandmother's House We Go.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall in New England

Nothing says Fall like the colors in the trees of New England.  This photo was shot in New Hampshire during the month of October two years ago.  The colors were just beginning to light up throughout the trees and in spots it appeared as if sections of the woods were on fire.

“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.” 1 Chronicles 16:32-34


Monday, October 17, 2011

What Are You Looking At?

Duck with red bill and red eyes
Have you ever had some one look at you as if they were trying to send you the message: what are you looking at? It happens to most of us occasionally. Usually it is when your gaze happens to meet that of a stranger. Don't be intimidated by this. Just smile and say hello and that look of perplexity of why are you looking at me will turn to a look of either joy or a look of more perplexity for why is this person greeting me. Either way it usually results in a smile and may even brighten somebody's day. So next time you get the the look of why are you looking at me, just let then know it was so I could make your day a little better. 

By Joshua Kirton
Another good post: Don't Stare! It's Not Polite.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Valley

Utah Valley is often referred to as happy valley. It is a beautiful place. No place is perfect, but any place can be happy. It is the perspective of the people who live in Utah Valley that makes it so happy. We all create our own happiness. The way we interpret our circumstance and the hope that a Christ centered life brings can make any place a happy place to live.

By Joshua Kirton
Other posts by Joshua: Meerkats and Family Focus

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple
This is the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. It is a magnificent sight. It sits in the middle of down town Salt Lake on a peaceful square, where people come from all over the world to visit both Mormons and nonMormons alike.
I took this picture with my phone. I am often surprised what the cameras on cell phones can do. Yesterday this photo was published on along with an article I wrote "Are Mormons Christians?" Give it a read. They did however stretch the photo out. It now looks like the temple has an additional five stories on top of it. Oh well.

By Joshua Kirton

Other posts By Joshua: Family Focus and In the Beginning

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pretty Little Pink Flower

Pink flower from Florida coastal dunes
Pretty little pink flower sitting prim and proper.
Pretty little pink flower I hope I don't drop her.
Show the world your colors bright and true.
Be your self, sweet, delicate, and bright.
Turn yourself to the light to grow.
Pretty little pink flower what a sight.
I love how you found your place and grew.
Pretty little pink flower sitting prim and proper.
Pretty little pink flower I hope I don't drop her.

Poem and photo By Joshua Kirton
Other posts by Josh: Family Focus and Parable of the Sower

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What's Up Dog!

 Prairie dog
This photograph was taken in Utah at the zoo. Zoos, parks, farms, and other public places all offer a large number of great photography subjects. Even boring everyday objects and animals can be exciting if you capture them in a new way. This is why people spend hours watching stupid pet videos on the internet. 

It is was really difficult to think of something positive or entertaining to say about a prairie dog to finish this post off with, so I am not going to try. Instead I am going to tell a completely unrelated joke shamelessly stolen from pop culture.

Person 1: It smells like up dog in here.
Person 2: What's up dog?
Person 1: Not much dog! What's up with you?

By Joshua Kirton

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spanish Fork Marshland

Nothing is more attractive than a swamp or a marshland. Ok maybe that is an exageration, but this marsh is quite beautiful. This picture was taken of a marshy area near Utah Lake in Spanish Fork Utah. This place is not only a good place to go for a nice vista, but there are a number of marsh and mountain bird species to be found in the marshes around Utah Lake. If you have never been to Utah you have missed out on some of God's greatest creation. The sky is as blue as you will ever see, and you can see anything from mountains to valleys, from marshes to desert to forest.

By Joshua Kirton
Other Pictures from Utah: Diamond Fork Canyon and Bear Lake Utah

Another good photography Blog.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Wasp

Wasp nest UtahHere is the beehive. Where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Soon they will come, creeping out from the hive;
One, two , three, four, five.

By Rebecca Kirton
Other posts by Rebecca: Circus Elephant and For the Beauty of the Earth

Friday, October 7, 2011

Red Eared Slider

Red eared sliders are a common scene in households across America. They are native to the South East USA, but are found outside their home range as an invasive species. This photo was taken in Utah on the campus of BYU.

When I look at this turtle I am particularly struck by the eyes. They are squinted and surrounded by lines. This creates and aged effect, also putting forth an illusion of a pensive or wise state.

Another aspect of this photo that is particularly striking is how the head is framed by light, which fades towards the edge of the photo. This creates a halo effect again playing to the idea of wisdom and enlightenment. Go ahead ask him a question. See if he responds with a pearl of wisdom, then if he does get checked out because this is just a photo of a turtle.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What Today May Bring

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1 NIV

Each day I receive a Bible verse on my phone. This was today’s verse. This verse could not been more appropriate than at this point in my life. For over a month, my father has been very ill and in the hospital. A week ago, he appeared to be on the mend and we made plans for his release to a physical therapy center so he could re-build his strength. I spent the entire day planning with him. However, late that night I received a call that he had gone into respiratory arrest and was in critical condition. Within 24 hours, we were talking about whether he could survive the night.

As the week went by, we continued to have faith and continued to pray for God’s will in my father’s life and strength and peace in our own. The doctors explained that I needed to make a decision about keeping him on life support because he wasn’t getting any better. We made a decision to remove it on Saturday. Within a day, he was breathing on his own, sitting up talking, eating and catching up on what he had missed all week. Words cannot express the gratitude that I have for God for allowing me to have more time with my dad, whether it’s one day or 10 years. I will take whatever time I can have and be thankful for it. I choose this photo because it reminds me to slow down, take in the colors that God provides for us and enjoy life with those that matter.

Websites: and
Other Posts By Teri: Macro Photography and On the Lake

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

For the Beauty of the Earth

A lake surrounded by aspen in Utah
For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

2nd Verse of "For the Beauty of the Earth"
(To listen, get the sheet music, or words)

Photo By Rebecca Kirton
Other Photos BY Rebecca: Circus Elephant and Evanston Wyoming

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mr. Bill Goat

Today it is all about the picture. I took this picture of a goat in Spanish Fork Utah. Rural areas offer a rich number of subjects to photograph from farm animals to various domestic and wild plants. Don't make a trip out of the city without your trusty camera.

By Joshua Kirton
Turkey Picture and Family Focus

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Taking Pictures of Animals: The King Vulture

King Vulture
Photography of animals is easily done. You can find animals in your back yards, parks, zoos, and in the wild around you. Don't be afraid of letting the shutter close time and time again. Not every shot is gold, but by taking pictures you will get valuable experience in shot selection. Another reason to just keep taking pictures is that animals are rarely cooperative. To be sure you are going to end up with a good picture that is focused well, and is not blurry take a couple extra pictures.

It is good to be king. Long live the king. This guy is a king vulture found in Central and South America. I took this picture not only to capture the striking coloration of this bird but to capture the the majesty of this giant bird. He is truly a king among mere mortals.

This beautiful creature the king vulture, lives for up to thirty years in the lowland forests ranging from Mexico to Argentina. They occasionally make kills, but generally eat carrion feeding on the carcasses of anything they can find.

King vultures are not endangered, but are a rare find in the wild. Deforestation in South America has contributed to the rarity of seeing this majestic site.

By Joshua Kirton
Other animal photography: Meerkats, Snowy Egret, Eastern Great Egret, and Iguana

Interested in contributing to Picture our World?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How to Add a Signature to a Photo.

Putting a signature bloc on your photography is a must if you are going to put it on the internet. If you want any kind of credit for your work you to keep honest those who do not want to pay or acknowledge others. You will find your work all over the internet, without and credit if you leave this step out. You can use this as a good way to advertise as well, as your photos proliferate. Just remember to put it in a place that will ruin the photo if it is edited or cropped out. The are many programs that will facilitate putting a watermark, or signature of some kind on a photograph. Here are a few ways to insert a signature without purchasing an expensive program.

The first and easiest method is using paint. You can simply open the photograph in paint which is available with most PCs and use the text box tool to insert text. Depending on the resolution of the photograph you will want to change the size of the font. Using this method you can also choose the color and style of the font used. Here is an example using paint.
Flavor blasted goldfish, Oreos, and Pineapple still life

This photo is a modernized still life of college nutritional habits.

The next method will require you to have an account with Picasaweb. If you have a Google account just sign into Picasa with your info, and you will automatically have access to this tool, if not sign up for a free account. Picasa is both a downloadable and online software for editing photos produced by Google. You can set an option to automatically place a signature when uploading to your online album.

Another option is Picknik the online photo editing software by Google. This tool has many more options than the downloadable version, and can work in-sync with picasa. You do not need an account to use this tool. You upload your picture, double click on it to enlarge it. Click the action button, In Picnik you can add text in many more fonts than in paint. Just choose the font you like, the size, and color. If you use a white text you can simulate a water mark available in some of the more expensive software programs.
Flavor blasted goldfish, Oreos, and Pineapple still life

Have fun exploring what you can do to your photos with these free tools.

By Joshua Kirton
Other Great Posts: Focus and I Saw the Sign