the bench family...

Finally had the chance to shoot some photos of the Bench Family this afternoon.  Tyler did most of the photography (the creative part anyway), but I shot my share of photos using my Leica M8 and Olympus PEN cameras.  This is one of the first shots that caught my eye.  It was taken with the M8 and converted to black and white using NIK Silver Efex Pro.  To me, one of the best part of having friends is being able to photograph them...

el rebano de jesus...

After my mission trip to Peru, I decided that I wanted to post something that represented a desperate need in that country.  I wanted the images to tell a story that would communicate that need.  I have struggled with the whole idea because I wasn't finding any of the numerous pictures that I took on this trip that were cohesive and good enough to post.  Most of this was my fault because I only took one lens to Peru and it just happened to be my new 50mm Summicron.  I also have a 35mm f/2 Biogon, but I left it at home so that I only had one camera and one lens to keep up with.  What I found was that it was very hard to capture a moment in a small area with a 50mm lens on an M8 (the lens was essentially a 65mm lens on this camera with the 1.3x lens factor).  The field of view was so limited, I kept missing the shots.  

Then I ran across the images of the kids/adults that were taken at El Rebano de Jesus.  On the last day, I took pictures of everyone at the orphanage for "To Every Nation" to use in some type of sponsorship program.  After the trip, during one of my flights for work, I slowly stepped through each of the pictures and studied their facial expressions and looked into their eyes.  I tried to recall their personalities that came out while we were at the orphanage.  I remembered how some of them were so shy and reclusive at first.  It only took a small amount of loving and playing with them for them to become a different kid.  How could I forget the last day...  As you can see from the pictures, most of the kids were fresh out the the shower.  They had just finished eating breakfast and they were ready to play.  What a special set of photos these have become.  I had a few pictures of each kid/adult.  I tried to pick the one that represented their personalities that I remember.  

So what is the desperate need?  Donations from To Every Nation and other churches/organizations keep the orphanages just like this open so that kids just like this can take a shower and eat meals every day.  People like Victor and Isabel have dedicated their lives to ensuring that these kids are taken care of.    These kids are fighting the odds of surviving in a sometimes selfish world, much less becoming productive members of society.  So the answer to the question above is "you".  You need to figure out what part of you.  Is it your prayers, your money, your time, your extra clothes or all four?  Your decision...

Put all of that aside and take some time to really look at these pictures.  Look into their eyes.  Imagine what is going through their little minds.  Imagine their fears, their needs, their dreams.  Imagine what makes them smile...

abigail - 9 yrs old

alondra - 5 yrs old

brenda - 11 yrs old

bresia - 6 yrs old

brisa - 9 yrs old

cindy - 12 yrs old

esteban - 4 yrs old

estrella - 5 yrs old

francesca - 3 yrs old

jesus - 7 yrs old

jhonatan - 12 yrs old

jonas - 4 yrs old

josias - 1 yr old

kassandra - 11 yrs old

kasumi - 3 yrs old

maicol - 1 yr old

maria jose

maria - 10 yrs old

michel - 8 yrs old

milagros - 3 yrs old

nahomi - 10 yrs old

nicol - 6 yrs old

noemi - 5 yrs old

pedro - 13 yrs old

stephanie - 20 yrs old

takachi - 2 yrs old

valeria - 7 yrs old

yanali - 10 yrs old

yessenia - 9 yrs old

miguel - 23 yrs old




just maci...

After I took the shot with Maci and Tyler, Maci wanted one by herself.  I never pass up the opportunity to snap another picture...  I turned the f-stop on the 35mm Zeiss lense down to f/2 to limit the depth of field and I let the lense paint this image on the M8 sensor...

maci and tyler...

Sometimes the pictures are just easy...  Maci and Tyler stopped by today to drop off Wilco on their way to Babies R Us.  Took a quick picture with the Leica M8 and the Zeiss 35mm f/2 (set at f/4) in the front yard.  Converted it using the "Ink" preset in NIK Color Efex Pro.  I like it when you don't have to really work for a good picture...