Blog Archive

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All I know about: Wedding Photography Topic No. 1

Taking the Plunge  copyright geoff thompson 2010

I have recently "retired" from the workforce and it is my intention to progressively post on this blog all I have learned since 1975 about wedding photography and other photography genres.If you are wanting to start a career as a wedding and social events photography then this progressive blog may be more than useful.If you have been doing it for a while then this also may be helpful to follow the blog.Wedding photography is something you can learn before "Taking the Plunge".There will be sample images and also contents of my notes I have prepared when conducting this course over the years with many "live students".Some have become very successful commercial photographers.I will have more time this coming Friday to start the process. I will welcome contact from people if you wish to email or speak to me by phone or in person.I have worked since 1964 in mainly people type roles such as Rehabilitation and Employment Counselling and Social Welfare Intervention.My photography career has always run parallel to my other activities.There are at times on this blog my thoughts about personal and spiritual growth via the Christian Religion. That is part of me so I make no apologies for things said you may agree or not agree with.My one focus in all I do is based on Love with a capital L.I have gained much from people over the years who have freely given of their time and knowledge.I am attempting to the same  now as I move into the so called 3rd age or sunset years.If people are fortunate with modern health treatments some of us can enjoy a longer sunset than others.My Dad's sunset was  at the age of 70 which was far to young. He was my first photography teacher although he was an accountant by profession.  geoff thompson

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Collared Sparrowhawk

A shot of a Collared Sparrowhawk in our weeping myrtle tree in the back yard.I've taken two series of shots over the last couple of years. It probably visits more often than we know. I detected it's presence this time by noticing fresh feathers on the ground and then looking up.It preys on small birds. An efficient hunter and likes to sit for a couple of hours after eating.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

King Parrot at Tidbinbilla

King Parrot

Black Swan
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
The King Parrot is a large Australian parrot found in Eastern Australia. The shot was taken at Tidbinbilla Wildlife Sanctuary near Canberra, Australia's capital city.Tidbinbilla is a great place for birds and typical Australian wildlife such as Kangaroos and Emus. The Galah ,Swan and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos were also photographed there.There are also platypus in the wetlands lagoons.I recommend anyone who is a birder or photographer to visit the sanctuary if you visit Australia and particularly Canberra.The wildlife is mostly very approachable and co operative for photography but you still have to work at it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Inner peace

Inner peace

From a sermon on tape from the 1970’s by Frank Hunting at
The Church of Christ, Grote Street, Adelaide.

I’m going to complete tonight, what I began a week or two  back and I’m talking to you about  this inner freedom that Jesus is able to give.

As you know there are all kinds of freedoms, many of us think that we’re free, we’re free to do all sorts of things but then we have our own impositions.

The things that bind us.

And we can’t get beyond them.

We’re  caged in by them.

And many of us are carrying these things around. They’re active all the time.

 They determine what we are.

They determine what we do.

 They often determine the decisions that we make.

And it’s about these things, these inner prisons or imprisoning things I think would be a better way of putting it, that I’ve been talking to you.

Now one of the things that I’ve tried to make very clear, has been that our salvation is really a much more wonderful thing than most of us realise.

And the longer I’ve though about it and the longer I’ve  meditated upon it, and I have certainly done that, the more it seems to me that every need that we have, God has provided for. Now you’ve heard that and that doesn’t seem to be the sort of  soul  shattering declaration .But it really is.

The psalmist said many years ago that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

There have been times in my life when I have cheerfully and most enthusiastically agreed with the fearful part!

I had plenty of it!

And that seemed to be a very real thing.

But we are wonderfully made.

But the salvation that God has provided,  is more wonderful, more than the making of us.

Now you’ll never understand yourself really, unless you realise , nor will you appreciate, nor will you enter into, all that God has for you,if you do not see very clearly, what the scriptures teach plainly but doesn’t come through for some reason or other, and I  suppose
it’s this.
There’s such a wealth in the Bible, that I feel that you can only in a long lifetime, touch little bits here and there.

And even though you’ve spent such a great deal of your time, studying what God has done and what he’s declared and what he’s revealed, you’re only just touching the surface,over and over..

Now in this business of our salvation being a process, for most of us I think we would want to know that what the preacher says is biblically based.

And if you have the privilege of knowing the oringinal language, of course you see this very clearly. One of the wonderful things of this generation is we have so many splendid translations of the original greek which virtually mean, that any Christian can virtually know what the original is saying.

And one of the things that comes out very clear, very plain is, that no man or woman no matter how dramatic, no matter how wonderful the change may be when he becomes, in those initial stages of becoming a Christian, he doesn’t arrive.

He’s only started whoever he or she  be.

And actually some of the people that we think ,you know ,have had marvellous and miraculous conversions, what we think is so miraculous and so marvellous, is really only just the beginning.

Just a tiny beginning.

And in point of fact your conversion is just as miraculous as the most glaring sinner that ever you heard about.

And the grace of God was needed just as much to convert you as it was the vilest sinner, you know the kind of thing that preachers talk about when there are using illustrations and that sort of thing as to what God can do.

I’ve long since, and I’ve said this before I think, and I’m quite convinced of it personally, that the toughest person God ever has to get to is a Minister.

I’m quite sure about that, you might think that you’re pretty hard and tough for Him to reach, to really get to.

You might have thought that that poor fellow rolling around in the gutter drunk ,and now God’s straightened him up, and he was really hard to get to, but oh no, he wasn’t anywhere near as tough as a minister.
We’re a pretty tough lot and I can tell you one of these days why it is, for God to reach us.
Now look at what this says.
“So become more and more in every way like Christ.”
There is the process. Now you know every Christian should really jump up and down for joy at that prospect of becoming more and more like Jesus.
What a tremendous thing,that is, but I must warn you.
It’s pretty hard sometimes to see the real Jesus.
Even the best Christians you know have bits and pieces about them that misrepresent Him.

When the screen, and I think someone went along to see it recently, I think it was “The Greatest Story ever told” , somewhere or other it was being shown recently in this town.

Now I didn’t see that but I’ll guarantee you that there were more misrepresentations in that picture of the real Jesus than you could possibly count as it was flickering across the screen.

And we preachers have misrepresented Him.

And the artists have misrepresented Him.

And some of our songs have misrepresented Him.

Because you see all the time when we’re trying to see who Jesus is, it’s always coming through dark glasses.

We always see that because of what we are.

And we give the twist that belongs to me, I give Him the twist  and you give Him the twist, and that’s why so often the impression people get about about Jesus is misrepresented.

 But we are, and that’s why because of what we are , you know the kind of people we are, that we are more and more ,in every way to become like Jesus, like Christ.

This wonderful thing that God has said, that it’s a process, and it’s a progress.
This being a Christian, really if  God is good enough to give you and me normal faculties, to the very last breath in our bodies we should be
growing, and changing ,and becoming more and more like Him.

You never arrive!

Now that’s tremendous, you know that’s part of the wonderful news of the Gospel.The good news of the Gospel.

I mustn’t stay too long on this because I’ve got some very important things to say. Tonight.

Thank you Frank, this little, (diagram on overhead projector,triangle with line across small top section for the conscious mind and a much larger bottom section representing the subconscious mind) that you’re getting quite used to.

Now conversion, and I’m using this in the sense that you use it,
 it isn ‘t really the right word.

If we were to think more of change, or the life of Christ, now that has to happen in both these areas.

What’s there, and what’s here. The conscious level and the subconscious or the unconscious.

More and more on the conscious level, through the study and the meditation of the Word of God ,we are to learn what we are to be as Christians.

We are to discover through the revelation of God, and that has to come through this conscious mind.

We have to learn to think as God wants us to think.

You can’t become what you are to be, unless you see what you are to be, and   that can only come through the study of the Word of God.

And let me say something at this moment , we all of us have all sorts of tensions about us.

Some of them are good tensions , some of them are unhealthy.

Some of them you should have, and some of them you shouldn’t.

But there is a tension that you and I should have.

And it’s part of being a Christian and it should always be part of being a Christian.

You and I should always be seeing more of what we ought to be than what we’ve become.

In other words as we study the Gospels, as we study the New Testament ,we should be seeing more and more of  what Jesus wants us to be, and what he’s going to make us, than what we are.
 And there will be a gap there.
Now some people get down about that , and they get very despondent about themselves. 

And it may be that you’ve got to have a good old healthy look at that for you, because if you’ve arrived, you’ve come to the place  where what you see you ought to be as a Christian,
is where you’re living as a Christian,
 then you’ve stopped growing.

Something has gone wrong, you’re not reading the New Testament.

You’re not walking day by day with the living Christ.

You’ve probably got some idea of Him that’s yours and not what the New Testament is revealing to you.

And that gap must always be there.

It’s a healthy one, it’s a good one.

It’ll keep you growing if you do the right thing about it.

Now it’s down in this area(sub conscious) of course that most of our bother comes.

We can look after this (conscious mind)if we can be students of the Word and we meditate upon it,if we think about it, and let God talk to us through our minds.

Well, most of us know a little bit of how to handle that.

But when it gets down here(our subconscious mind or heart) our real bother starts.

And we’ve got all sorts of things there that jumble us up and we’ve got real problems in this area.

Problems sometimes because this is an area that we can’t get at, or we don’t know how to.

And it’s this area that we need to know how so desperately to be set free.

And there’s really no freedom at all for any person until it’s in this area we are made free.

And you know this is the area where we have our hates,
 this is the area where we have our bitternesses,
 and our attitudes and our prejudices,
all these things,
our hurt feelings our damaged emotions,
our very unhappy memories,
 that area down below, where these things can be so crippling.

That’s the area where our neuroses and all the other wonderful things that the psychologists and others talk about, it’s in that area that the crippling effects are taking place in the lives of men and women.

And very often in the lives of Christians.

Now last week I wanted you to know why we stay like we are.

I suppose one of the most tragic things in the whole of the Christian Church is that so many of us, we’ve been Christians for donkey’s years and we are just the same old people.

Just the same old people.

One of the thrills, the very real thrills that I had during the week was that somebody said to me ,over the phone, about somebody in this congregation, what a big change had come in that Christian’s life.

Now wasn’t that something wonderful to hear.

And I can tell you this is the kind of thing that makes you rejoice , that was one of the things that meant a lot to me on that day.

That somebody speaking of another Christian said what a wonderful change was coming into the life of that Christian.

And that’s how it ought to be with all of us, everybody ought to be seeing that kind of change about us.

And you know we stay what we are because we don’t want to be free.

There are many reasons for that and I’m not going into them again.

We won’t admit what we are.

No, we will just not admit what we are.

We have all sorts of excuses, we dodge it, we , oh we’ll do anything we can not to admit.

We justify ourselves.

What we are, and of course we stay what we are whenever we do these things, no change is going to come to us.

We excuse ourselves, we belittle ourselves, and you know we get all sorts of twists in our Christian living, we really think sometimes when we are belittling ourselves that that’s the right thing to do.

When as a Christian it’s absolutely the wrong thing to do.

Because what we are saying is God has done nothing for us.

And we are a terrible indightment on what He’s done.

We’ve no right to belittle ourselves, but we are so scared of something we ought never to be scared of, that we’ll go around strutting! with a great big swollen head!

That we’ll go around skiting about ourselves, no real Christian ever does that.

I’m not skiting when I tell you what Jesus has done for me because  its been everything that’s been done by Him, every bit of it, and that’s not skiting that’s giving the glory to the one who should get it.

Well we belittle ourselves,

 we blame others.

While we do these things neither God nor anyone else can help us become different people.

And there we stay.

Now you can choose any one of those, you can live your life according to those.

If you want to.

 And the sad thing is that so many of us do.

And here we come, we come Sunday  after Sunday, and we listen to the Word of God and we sing marvellous Hymns, sometimes the atmosphere in this place is electric          with the presence of Jesus!

It’s just absolutely wonderful!

We listen to music as we listened to tonight, that if you are really listening to it and responding to it, it can lift you right up to the Saviour Himself.

And we come and we sit, and huh! you know, nothing’s happening.

We are not actively responding.

That’s sad and it maybe because we’ve got these things in our lives.

You’ve got them,I’ve got them, and we’ve got to watch out for them,

if  you’re not going to be controlled by them.

Because nobody needs to be.

Now I want to talk to you tonight about the real thing!

And that all that I’ve talked about for the last few weeks is leading up to.

Because this really is the most important part of it all.

God’s provision for healing, I’ve put it that way because so often it is actual healing that we need.

You know I do need healing don’t I?

Very real healing, if I’ve got deep down bitterness in my heart.

I need healing!

If  I’m an insufferable extrovert, I need healing!

And if I’m a suffering introvert, I need healing!

I really need healing!

And these things that are about us things that we need healing.

The whole meaning of salvation is the meaning of making men whole.

And wholeness is just healing, in those areas where we need it.

Well the first thing we’ve got to do if we need God’s healing,
Christ’s healing, the Good News really operating, in us is to recognize what is below.

Now the below is that part under the conscious level.

In the subconscious. the deep mind, the sub conscious, the unconscious.

We need to recognise what is below.

Now I said earlier, you know, we as Christians are likely to get on to one little aspect of the gospel and you know we’re not able very often to see the fullness of the whole Gospel.

And one of the things we often do when we start to think in this area of  being saved, of being healed, of being made whole, we tend , and I’m hearing this over and over, wherever I go, we tend to think only and always in terms of sin. That the only thing that needs to be dealt with in us is sin!

And I think that we evangelical Christians are particularly prone to that.

That we put everything under the one label. Sin!

Now we do a lot of damage by doing that.

And we do a lot of harm.

Because that isn’t so!

That isn’t true! That isn’t it!

God knows, and you know, just how much of a sinner you are.

But that isn’t all the story.

And this healing that needs to take place ,as I’ve said, down below in the subconscious, may need to be in other areas than God’s forgiveness and God’s pardon.

Tremendously important as that is, and boy I would never say one word against the importance of that.

But if that becomes the whole universe of discourse, all that a Christian knows about, well he doesn’t know half the story.

That’s all. Simple as that.

And the New Testament makes it very clear only we’ve never seen  new testament doing that.

But it does.

When we think only in terms of sin, we always make the person responsible for what they are.

Did you hear that?

When we think only in terms of sin, only in terms of sin, we make the person responsible for what they are.

And ,they may not, be.

They may not be!

That may not be so. We make them responsible for what they are.

If the person themselves thinks only in those terms, they may make themselves the only responsible people, for what they are.

And that may stand very definitely in their way from receiving the freedom, that Jesus can give.

Oh I feel very much, you know when I see even good people, even people who are very sound on the word of God, when I see or hear teaching that’s alien to this word coming across, and it’s stopping someone from meeting Him!

Now that’s serious isn’t it!

That’s serious when that happens.

Sometimes we all have just a little bit of a hand in doing just that.

We can teach people, we can make suggestions to people, that keep them from coming face to face with Jesus.

You see when that happens the person makes themselves responsible for what they say or did.

But a person may be sinned against.

And that may be why they are what they are.

They may not have been the sinner at all.

They may have been in the way we put it in our modern language, on the receiving end.

It may be what was done to them, that has made them what they are.

Let me illustrate for you, I’m using these illustrations because they are if you will realise it ,can happen in all sorts of areas, and in all sorts of ways, for all sorts of reasons.

If I use the word incest or sexual assault on a girl, you know that may leave her, and she may limp through the rest of her life into old age, seriously and permanently because nobody is able to help.

Damaged! Emotionally!

A terrible thing! Now the sin hasn’t been hers!

It was somebody elses!

Yet that person may struggle through life with guilt and fears, a hatred of men, sexual mal adjustment in marriage, making people unhappy,        the family unhappy in all sorts of ways.

Because somebody sinned against a little girl.

A child who feels rejected by mother or father       can grow up one of those odd difficult people that everybody finds so hard, so difficult to get along with.

Were any of you looking at the ABC television last night. Did you
Stay up long enough to watch softly, softly.

If you did you saw little boy blue, that little fellow that was rejected by his mother, never knew his father, and went off on his own after his peers at school, had been cruel as kids alone can be cruel, and he went off to the only place where he’d ever found love.

And he went in the night and fell in the creek and was drowned.

Little Boy Blue, now that’s not as rare as you may think.

Where somebody in this area, in someway, was sinned against.

They have all sorts of feelings, all sorts of mal adjustments to life.

A child made to feel inferior by adults or other children, can produce all sorts of damages in that deep area.

Many years ago a Mother came to me about her daughter who was then about 17 or 18 years of age.

And this daughter used to flake out at work.

She was working in the library at Ballarat, and every time she was sent up on her own into the room to paste and mend the books, put them together again as they’d come in a bit damaged, she’s flake out.

Just go right out and this was a great concern to her ,her boss and her mother and it was her mother who came to me about it.

And you know, I talked to the girl over quite a period of time and tried to discover why this happened.

But she was always extremely vague and could never remember, and I knew that the problem must be back in her childhood somewhere.

And so I sort to probe as best as I could into her childhood.

And on one occasion I thought I’d got on to where the trouble lay.

Because as a child her father used to take her along to, of all places, to see horror films.

Not quite the place for children but any rate that’s what he did.

And at first I thought that this was where the trouble lies.

But I questioned her very closely about the horror films that she’d seen.

And very closely about her reactions and her feelings and how she had handled them really and I came to see that really  although it wasn’t a place to take a child, that the problem wasn’t there.

There was no response because of them.

And it seemed there was nothing that could be discovered.

There was nothing she could remember.

There was nothing at all up on that conscious level.

It had been buried, very deep.

So in desperation after talking with the mother at different times ,getting all the background I could, I said to her I want you to go right back, to anything at all as far back as you can remember about M, and anything that comes, I want you to tell me.

That comes to you, that you can remember in her childhood.

And this is where I believe prayer and the Holy Spirit helps so much, if we go about it in the right way.

Because He is able to recall, He is able to help, and in this case He did.

And the mother could remember that as a tiny child, of about 18 months of age, one night the little lass, M, was sitting up in a high chair, at the table, waiting for the father to come home for tea, and everything ready just waiting for him to come in.
And the mother went in to do something in another room.

And the little fellow next door, about 6 or 7 years of age, suddenly in the frame of the wire door, the bottom part was blacked out, you know it had a three ply sheet across the bottom part, and the flywire was up the top, he jumped out from  behind this on the upside of the kitchen door, and let out a blood curdling scream as only kids can, and had a great big mask over his face.

Now the thing that was happening to this girl was this, whenever she was alone there was always something dark, and frightening,  and fearful.

And she never knew what it was.

And if she was left alone the fear became so great, she would just flake, flake right out.

Wherever she went, if she was walking along with the family, she would always be turning around to see where this dark, frightening, she described it as a square thing, she was always expecting it to come.

Now when the mother told me what she told me, there was the clue, that was where it happened.

And I was able to help her resolve it altogether so it had no more power over her.

Now we have got to recognise what is below.

There are 3 things that God has given us that enable us to do that.

And I want to talk to you about these, you know we get theoretical, but I got here tonight by means of a motor car.

And that’s very practical, and very workable, before I got here my wife had done something at the gas stove, now that was very practical and very workable as far as I was concerned. 

And she dished it up to me before I got in.

In case you don’t know it she’s a champion maker of sandwiches, she calls them, you know those cakes that they put cream in the middle of.

That’s why I am so fat and healthy.

I have a piece before I come here and that’s why you get good sermons on a Sunday night and I have a piece when I go home and that’s why I sleep well afterwards.

Now all that’s practical.

And these are as practical,make them what you will.

You can call them tools, you can call them instruments, you can call them what you like.

But if we work them they work!

The same as sitting at that wheel and driving that car got us here.

The same as what my wife did in making that cake produced the cake!

And warmed up the tea and made it all lovely and delicious.

If we walk in the Light, wonderful things happen.

If we do walk in the light , we begin  to learn the kind of person that

we are and when you know what you are, something wonderful can happen.

The most wonderful thing in the world.

If we confess our sins, we are learning what we are, we are admitting what we actually are.

And you can do something about it.

Something about it.

Now God has given to His children ,and the Protestants have kicked this out!

 I don’t know what they do when they read their Bibles!

Because there it is, written large over it in all sorts of ways, but no, we

don’t like what Rome does, and I don’t like some of the things Rome

does , but when God puts it in His word let’s have it!

And not decide that we know better.

In James 5:verse 16 He gives us one of the most workable things for knowing about yourself, that only modern Psychology is un-earthing.

And it’s been there for two thousand years.

Confess your faults, confess your sins one to another.

But we won’t have a bar of that and I’ll tell you why.

Because there’s pride! the deadliest of all sins that stops us doing it.

Nothing else!
Just pride!

That’s the thing that stops us.

Now I can assure you, if you put those three things together and

make them practical, and if you live out in the open as to what you

actually are, just what you are, you will know what you are, and that’s

what you and I can take to Jesus.

The real person.

And it’s the real person that He changes.

When I dodge my sins, when I won’t face up to my faults, when I

pretend about myself, that’s where I stay.

Just like that.

But as I see what I am. As I see my need, as I see where I need help,

And there is plenty of it, that’s what I can take to Jesus.

And what do you think happens?

Jesus is always saying to you and to me, “Come unto me.”  “Look

unto me.”

“and be ye healed”

“look unto me” that’s what we need to do.

Do you know one of the rarest things among the Christians that I


Is that they do in fact , go to Jesus.

To the Saviour.

Ahh they knew , they knew in the days of the new testament to go to


The leper, he knew who to go to.

“if thou wilt thou can make me clean”

And Jesus touched him.

And you know my brethren I’ve watched Jesus touch guilt that has crippled.

Jesus touched that lass that I told you about and set her free.

Just before I came over here, 12 months or so ago, she had moved

away from Ballarat many a year.

And boy did I get a welcome when I met her down at Bayswater.

Because she had been set free and I was the agent, that was all.

Yes, when we take our fears to Jesus,  He takes them, when he takes

the knots that are inside of us , He takes them out.

When we take to him the hurts that cripple us, He heals them.

He heals them.

Go to Him.

Go to Him.

But you can’t go to Him until you know who you are.

And what you are.

You’ve got to take a real person, someone who is actually you and

that’s the person He changes.

Not what you ought to be, not what you think you should be,

But what you are, that’s what He changes.

You and me,



That is the GOOD NEWS.

I offer you Jesus tonight.

Anybody here, we all need him,  every one of us. And if you haven’t

begun , that’s what I’m talking about if you haven’t received Him.

Do it as we sing the first two verses of hymn no 499

“Our gracious Father we ask for the freedom , the healing, the wholeness, that is found only in Jesus, use every reading of your word, every communion we have with you, every time we are in real
prayer, to bring this about, in our lives.
And now may the Grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God,
And the communion of the Holy Spirit, be yours this night, and always. Amen.”