Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We've moved...

We finally switched to using WordPress instead of Blogger. This opens more possibilities with developing our blog.  The URL remains the same: www.illustratedword.com

Monday, January 14, 2013

Family photo 12-2012

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We had our annual Christmas family photo.  By taking the photo the same time each year it allows us to see how much we've change from year to year.

We've made some adjustments over the years like no longer including the Christmas tree which we eventually blocked from view when the children grew up.  A new adjustment this year was not having the entire family together for the photo.  Heather (and husband Jonathan Pitts) are living back in the States.  While we miss her, we press on and keep the tradition going ... but we were so thankful Sarah and Rebecca could be home over their Christmas break!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wedding: Jonathan & Heather Pitts

You can view the wedding album of our daughter Heather to Jonathan Pitts.  They were married on June 2, 2012.
In the preview frame you can click to view full-screen.

Friday, May 11, 2012

BJU Graduation

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This past Saturday, Heather graduated from Bob Jones University with a BS degree in Health, Fitness & Recreation.  Her fiance, Jonathan Pitts also graduated from BJU with a Masters in Business Administration.  We’re so proud of them! 

Life is a bit crazy around here as we work on CEF ministry and wedding preparations are in full swing with the wedding right around the corner on June 2.  Add to that, Jonathan just found out yesterday he needs to get settled into his new job and find a place for them to live outside of DC ... all before the wedding!  Never a dull moment around here.

The next blog post will probably be wedding photos. :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Engagement photos – Heather & Jonathan

Below are a few of the engagement photos I took of Heather and Jonathan as we walked around Basel on Tuesday (Barfüsserplatz, Münsterplatz, Marketplatz, etc.).  We were thankful for the one clear, non-rain/snow day we had to take photos outside.  

The one "studio" image below was taken in Kilchzimmer in front of a white wall and the background altered in Photoshop.

Family photo – Christmas '11

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With our postings on Google+ and Facebook, I've slipped on updating entries to our family blog page.

Heather and Sarah were able to fly over for three weeks at Christmas, along with Heather's fiancé, Jonathan who arrived after Christmas. They fly back together to BJU on Jan. 9.
It was a real joy to have our entire family together again even if for a short time.

This is our annual Christmas family photo taken this week.  The apartment was a bit tight this year for moving furniture to set up a creative family photo so had to settle for a white wall in Kilchzimmer and then used Photoshop to add a generic blue-grey textured background.

Tech notes: Nikon D7000, Nikon 50mm, f/1.8 lens.  Edited in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Solothurn, Switzerland (time-lapse)

We are in Solothurn on Thursday evenings and I couldn't pass up all the great reflections from the rain to do a time-lapse video at the street corner outside the SBB (train station) – 9:00pm.

800 high resolution (camera raw) still images were used to create the video.  In case you were wondering, the light signals in Switzerland turn "green" not "blue" like in the video.

Go to our Vimeo page for more details on how the time-lapse was done and to view it larger in HD.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heather & Sarah's return flight

Heather and Sarah had an eventful trip back to school.  It began early yesterday morning with a 70 min. delay sitting on the plane in Zürich, waiting for a green light from Atlanta airport.  People were permitted to get off the plane then for rescheduling their flight or continue on, not knowing for sure where they would eventually land.  The final destination was still in question when entering US airspace – Chicago, New York City, Atlanta?

Of the thousands of flight cancellations at Atlanta airport, their flight was one of the very few permitted to land.  This made for a quiet, low stress evening with no crowds.  They would be stranded there for the next 25+ hrs..

Heather and Sarah still had to get to Greenville which was also covered in snow and ice.  The next available flight was at 5:37pm Tuesday.  After a 2 hr. delay at the gate and sitting on the runway to take off, they were brought back and rescheduled for a later flight, which was ... you guessed it ... delayed.  Their plane finally landed in Greenville (more white than green) a few hrs. ago.

The video above is one of several TV interviews Heather and Sarah gave during the night.  It was their 15 seconds of fame on Fox News Atlanta.  They were also interviewed by NBC Atlanta. CNN interviewed someone next to them so the airport seemed to be a popular hangout for news reporters.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Family Photo – Christmas '10

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At Christmas we have the tradition of a family photo taken in front of our Christmas tree.  Eventually the tree was covered up so now we take the photo without the tree, which has it's challenges trying to clear a space in an apartment or finding matching outfits.

It was wonderful to have Heather and Sarah home for Christmas this year and spending time together, especially knowing it may be a year+ before we are together again.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

View of Ankenballen - Kilchzimmer

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The view this morning (11am) from the room next to my office at Kilchzimmer.  Unfortunately, I have a sky window in my office so I only see blue, grey, or in the winter my slanted window can be covered with snow.

Our girls were hoping for a white Christmas and it appears we will have plenty of it this month.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kilchzimmer wedding photos

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You could count on one hand how many weddings I photographed in my life and here we had two in one month.
I feel at home behind a camera.  Place me in the middle of a chaotic market in Kyrgyzstan and I know what to do ... but wedding photography requires a completely different approach and falls outside my comfort zone.

The daughter of our Kilchzimmer house parents (Felix and Diana Dürrenberger) was married this past weekend in a nearby village church and I was asked to take photos of the couple at Kilchzimmer – a great location ... when the weather cooperates.  My co-worker, Brent was a huge help as the VAL (voice-activated light stand) and the one who held the big reflector high in the air to keep the sun spots off the bride's dress.

These photo opportunities have been very helpful in learning how and when to use additional lighting tools in a fast moving situation under time constraints.  This was a tiring day but enjoyable with everyone feeling relaxed and having fun.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Daniel & Esther's Wedding

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We had the joy of attending the wedding of Daniel and Esther Boschbach this past Saturday.  The wedding was held in Weil am Rhein, just over the German border from Basel.

Sue's cake decorating skills have been raised to new levels ... literally.  This was her first four tiered cake.  Because of the size and weight (bottom layer was 16"), we had to transport the cake in two parts and added the flowers later when we assembled the cake.  It was cold and raining, which added other challenges with assembling the cake as well as photographing the wedding.  But the rain didn't dampen the spirit of those in attendance.

The day before the wedding (Friday) I was able to be at the civil ceremony held in a government building in Basel.  This is the official ceremony that's recognized and required by the Swiss government but most Christians also choose to follow this with a church wedding.  The civil ceremony lasted about 20 min. with a small gathering of immediate family and friends sitting in a beautiful room decorated with large oil paintings, a chandelier in the center and ornate trimming on the ceilings and walls.  The official sat up front behind a long desk with all the necessary papers to be signed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sarah (and Heather) – off to college

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This is Sarah's first year at Bob Jones University to study Mass Media and Print Journalism.  

Female students are required to have two dresses for formal events on campus.  
In August 2008 I took photos of Heather in her formal dress before she left for BJU.  Heather is now in her third year at BJU.  This summer it was Sarah's turn for photos.

They grow up so fast! [sniff...sniff]

Saturday, August 21, 2010

West Rockport, Maine

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This summer we’ve had the joy of traveling around to our supporting churches in Pennsylvania and this past weekend to Maine.  While there we enjoyed a fellowship evening with the congregation and sharing in the Sunday services at West Rockport Baptist Church.  When we stay with a family from the church there’s never a dull moment with seven girls in the house.
Our family has fond memories of camping at Cape May, NJ so the smell of salt water and “odor” of shell fish in the air was actually a welcome scent for us as we neared the Maine coastline.  The cool climate of Maine also made us homesick for Switzerland.  

While the girls were having a water battle at the house Sue and I had two hours on Sunday afternoon to enjoy a picture perfect day in the nearby seaside town of Camden.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WorldWidePhotoWalk 2010

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On July 24th, 33,500 people in 1,111 locations around the world came together in groups of 50 or less and took part in the World Wide Photo Walk.  Sarah and I (photo 1, 2) joined a group of 9 photographers who took a two hour walk (9-11am) around the city of York, PA.  We then met up at the end to chat at a local pizza shop.  We took hundreds of photos and will each need to choose one photo to submit for the competition.  While the prizes are nice, the competition is secondary to just getting photographers of all skills together for a fun day to learn from each other and enjoy the morning taking photos.  We had a lot to choose from in York.
York is a historical city.  The city has underwent extensive renovations in recent years.  (photo 3) Large murals cover the brick buildings and even the parking meters are mini works of art.  In this photo you see a mural referring to York as “Muscletown USA” (Bob Hoffman “Father of World weightlifting”, home of Mr. America ’40-’41, Tommy Kono - America’s greatest weightlifter, etc.).  
A chaplain from York was one of the four chaplains, who in 1943 were aboard the troop carrier USS Dorchester and gave up their life jackets to others on the torpedoed ship.  As the ship sank in the cold North Atlantic, the four men linked arms and died in a heroic expression of self-sacrifice.  This was remembered in the one mural.
Another mural commemorates the use of the print shop and printing press in York, first used by Ben Franklin in Philadelphia.  Back in the late 1770s the press printed the Proclamation of the first Thanksgiving, the Journals of Congress, Continental Currency, and other congressional documents.
York, PA is considered to be the first capital of the United States (before Washington D.C.) as this is where the Articles of Confederation were drawn up and signed by the Continental Congress and it was here the country was officially called the United States of America for the first time.  The C.Congress chose York because they had just been driven out of Philadelphia by the British.  York is also where general Lafayette met to sign the treaty to bring the French into the war of Independence.  (photo 4) Sarah captured an excellent photo of this historical colonial log house – it’s the photo of the candle in the red framed window.  Sarah's photo is a good example of how you don’t need an expensive DSLR to take a good photo.
In (photo 5) you can see by this vacant store window that there are still areas of York in need of fixing up.  This is one of my favorite photos from the day as it makes me wonder what used to be displayed in the window (perhaps it displayed the latest hats and fashions during the roaring 20s, etc.) and now it’s empty – only a faint dusty memory like the reflections in the dust covered window.  I like photos that tell a story.  For (photo 6) I like the conflict between nature and urban development, and the contrast between the visually organic intertwined roots and the geometric shapes of the sidewalk.  Where there’s conflict or contrasts there’s a story! (Photo 7) is an example of the many old abandoned brick buildings near the new sports stadium that used to be busy with activity at one time in history.   (Photo 8) is one of my favorite photos showing the old historic Valencia Ballroom.  I wonder what it was like to be there in the early 1900s?
Sadly, in a city like York there is evidence of poverty, and people with scars from a lifetime of various addictions, etc. (photo 9)(Photo 10, 11) are just a few of the many examples of the beautifully renovated homes and offices we photographed in downtown York.  It’s been many years since I last walked around downtown York so the Photo Walk was a great experience to not only share the morning with other photographers but to rediscover the hidden treasures of downtown York, PA.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Enjoying the rain

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We had a heat streak pushing the thermometer to 105F/41C ...in the shade!  The temperatures caused an overload on the electricity and blew out a nearby transformer, cutting electricity to a large area (including us).  We were eventually cooled off by heavy rains that caused the creek by the house to rise.  Our electricity went off again.

Sarah and Rebecca decided to make the best of the situation and enjoy a soaking romp through the newly formed “pond” in the field.

We're thankful to be able to stay at the same place as we did in 2008, on Camp Betty Washington Rd. in York, PA.

World Cup Finals

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We had the challenge of finding a website that was showing the World Cup Finals streaming live.  We huddled around the laptop, watching a small highly compressed video stream and sitting through the heat so we could see Spain go on to victory!  

...and I should add that Switzerland was the only team to beat Spain!  ;-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sarah – green belt in Judo

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Sarah was excited to earn her green belt in Judo back in May.  
I photographed her with a smile and a more serious look.

Tour de Suisse 2010

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The Tour de Suisse, one of the top multi-day road cycling tours in the world drawing top cyclists from around the world, ended yesterday with the final stage in the nearby town of Liestal.  The stage was an individual time trial looping through the hills behind Kilchzimmer (a few minutes from home) so I couldn't pass up seeing it.  The day was overcast with a slight drizzle.  I stood at the inside tight corner at the bottom of a descent for part of the race which allowed me to use a wide angle lens and get up close while the riders leaned toward me into the corner – I did wear bright yellow so they'd see me.  I had a split second for a photo with riders flying by within inches of my lens.  That's my excuse for cutting Lance Armstrong's head off (bottom right)! The right center photo is of Levi Leipheimer(?), a familiar name to those who followed road cycling over the years.  

The final standings of the tour were close with Fränk Schleck (top left photo) beating out Lance Armstrong by 12 sec.  You may remember watching the "Schleck brothers" surprise everyone in last year's Tour de France.

This made for an enjoyable afternoon despite the weather.

[all photos by Tim Shirey®]

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BCF Sunday School Camp, June 4-6

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Our church's annual Sunday School Camp was held in Kilchzimmer from June 4-6.  Several months of preparation went into the camp program.

A medieval castle theme was used to help teach about guarding your heart against the attacks of Satan, with the Bible lessons and entire program written especially for the camp.  The children performed a play for the BCF congregation who joined the children on the last day (Sunday afternoon) for a grill and fellowship time.  After a week of cold rainy weather, the skies cleared up for a beautiful weekend.

Picture (top): Group photo with staff and children.
Picture (bottom left): "Pigs trough" ice cream was a first for most of the children.  They did a good job of devouring it.
Picture (bottom center): Rebecca sewed her medieval dress from scratch.  Several of the teen girls wore hand-made medieval dresses.
Picture (bottom right): Small group discussions following the morning Bible lesson time.