All images are copyright © 2008-2013 Russ Martin,
(unless otherwise indicated). All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

King of Kings

While on a business trip in Cincinnati I stopped by the Solid Rock Church in Monroe to get a picture of the King of Kings Statue.

The statue stands 62 foot tall and is reported to be the largest sculpture of Jesus Christ in the United States. The sculpture can be seen from Interstate 75.

It's easy to see how the statue has gotten two of it's nicknames, Touchdown Jesus and Big Butter Jesus. The comedian Heywood Banks made the statue even more famous when he wrote the song "Big Butter Jesus". The Big Butter reference comes from the statues resemblance to statues carved out of butter you see at the state fair.

The water was too choppy for me to get a good reflection shot. I bet this would make for a great night shot.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prayer of Saint Augustine to the Blessed Virgin

Outdoor statue of the Virgin Mary.
O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found the way to restoration. Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses.

Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners.

Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, O blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succor the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.

Picture taken at the Maria Stein Spiritual Center

Monday, May 25, 2009

May Weekly Journal 2009

The Weekly Journal

Welcome to my Weekly Journal. Each month I create a post to collect my thoughts and meanderings for the month. You can quickly find this post as it drops down the list by clicking on the Weekly Journal Link at the bottom of the Web Page.

May 25, New Stuff

Stations of the Cross - Well I still haven't made it to the Immaculate Conception Church in Botkins to get my Stations of the Cross pictures.

Share this Blog - I removed the Rate this Post and replaced it with a Share Icon to make it easier to share post.

Subscribe to this Blog - Along with the Follow this Blog you can click on the Feed button at the top to subscribe to this blog in various formats.

BUY PICTURES - I now have an online gallery where you can purchase Cross Tipped Church and other pictures. You can check it out by clicking on the Think Focus Click Gallery Picture.

Taking A Bit Of A Break - While not coming to a screeching halt, I am going to back off of the pace quite a bit on this blog. June is an extremely busy month for taking pictures. Not to mention I need a break from taking pictures of churches. I need to step back for awhile and come back with a fresh outlook.

Copyright Notice - I've added a copyright notice and as you have already noticed a water mark to the pictures I post.

Upcoming - I am working on a Web Page to tie in all my Online Endeavors. I am hoping to have a Download area to have Screen Savers and Wallpapers of The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches available for viewers to download.

May 17, What's Been Happening

Sunday Stations of the Cross Post - Well I had planned on posting one of these for the next 14 Sundays, but then I realized not only was I missing one, but number 3 was not usable. Rather than skip, I am waiting until I can make it back to the church to re-shoot. Hopefully this week.

I have been busy taking pictures just not Cross Tipped Church Pictures. I've been focusing on my Think Focus Click Blog. I was becoming a slave to the status/number of visitors to my Cross Tipped Churches Blog and found myself ignoring important things. I hate it when I get caught up in stuff like that. It's not that I don't care but, hey there are more important things in life than my blogs. I'm back on track now.

Latest photo outings - Road Trip to Michigan with my Permit Driving Son. We took State Route 66 as far as we could go then winged it the rest of the way. We ate and came back on State Rt 127. I took some pictures. Some with my Camera Phone....You can read about it in my Think Focus Click Blog.

Granddaughters Baton Recital - Got a great shot of the two youngest....yep it will all be in by Photo Blog.

Besides my Grand kids, my kids, family, and Cross Tipped Churches, I occasionally do a wedding or other event (Sports, Reunions, etc). I am setting up an Online Gallery for folks to make purchases. I am also setting up a web page that will direct you to that and other gallery's, and of course my blogs.

Summer Photo Show at Wilson Hospital. - It's always tough for me to figure out what I am going to put in a show. The hospital is one of our more public shows so I want to put in some nice work.
Besides the show I also have to put together a set of pictures for Photographer of the month for June for the Edison Photo Society. Oh I almost forgot--We have made wall space for BW photo's of my grand kids. Have to get those edited, framed/matted/printed and hung....Oh Boy! There's also the possibility of an entry in the Pyramid Hill photo contest...and the list goes on. Not too mention the ton of editing I am behind on.

Busy, Busy, Busy.

May 6, Pyramid Park and Immaculate Conception Church

Well there was a break in the weather and I went on a club shoot to Pyramid Park this weekend. Pyramid Park is in Hamilton just north of Cincinnati. The park is made up of 250+ plus acres of woodlands, gardens, lakes and sculptures. It was a fun shoot and you can find out more on my Think Focus Click Photo Blog.

I took the long way back home US 127 North home so I could stop by the Immaculate Conception Church in Celina. I was too tired to spend a lot of time but I took a few pics to post until I make it back again. Great Church BTW.

Oh, and I did get my lawn mowed to boot.

May 1, More about

As you may have already noticed the post on the opening page have a Read more... option. This allows me to have more (5 post) display on the opening page without having to load all 5 complete post. My son Tyler is working on two graphics to help with this new change. The first is replacing the Read more... with a more noticeable button and a nice graphic to add to the bottom of my post to signify the end. If your on the main page and the post has the graphic at the bottom you know there is no additional text or pictures. As with all my changes this one effects the layout. So I have to be mindful of how I need to format my post. Also Read more... will only show if you start out on the Main Page and use the navigation buttons. It will also only appear on the post that have been configured to use it. Some of the previous post may not display properly. Feel free to leave a comment on how you feel about the change.

This weekend looks to be a wash as for taking pictures. If the sun does break free and bless us with some sunshine I've got plenty of yard work to catchup on. I may not get out to take any "The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches" pictures until sometime next week. I've got a few pictures in the archive I think I can use until then.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sidney First United Methodist Church I

It seems kind of silly to be taking all these pictures of the churches in our area and not have taken any of my own church. The Sidney First United Methodist Church is my home church. I serve and attend Joy church at the Alpha Community Center. This is just one of many post to come. So here are the five I liked from my first outing.

To The Glory of God

Eternity Candle with stained glass window background with the words To The Glory of God.

This is my favorite picture from the session. It was also one of the more tricky ones to take. I wanted just what you see here. The stained glass window vibrant in the background with the Eternity Candle well exposed in the foreground. I'll credit more luck than skill for my success but I still got the picture I wanted. READ MORE ...
Jeremiah 29:11

Small black gift boxes with Jeremiah 29:11 keychain.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Our church will occasionally give out a small gift to reinforce the message that was given. I found these leftovers from today's message piled up on one of the church pews and knew there was a picture in there somewhere. It took several shots and some arranging but I finally got the picture that I wanted.

Three Crosses

Three large crosses.

I found this collection of three crosses atop the church organ. I took the liberty to move them around a bit to take advantage of the back wall and the cool rim lighting from the window.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Two candles and a cross arranged in front of a stained glass window.

A little more creative arrangement on my part. I recreated the altar setting by combining these two candles and cross from several windows into one.

The church has a small chapel that my wife and I were married in. This last picture comes from there.

Grouping of tea lights and cross.

This was by far one of my more successful outings. I am looking forward to taking more pictures of this wonderful old church and relating some of it's rich history.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May, Mary's Month

The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and is celebrated in many Catholic churches by decorating the Altar of Mary. A fellow co-worker advised me that St. Remy in Russia follow this tradition. I finally made it out there this weekend with my son Tyler driving to take some pictures. READ MORE ...

Wooden alter staute of Mary and child decorated with flowers.
It was well worth the trip and as you can see I got a nice picture of the church as well.

Saint Remy Church

Thursday, May 21, 2009

St. Mary Immaculate Conception Church (Ottoville Ohio)

The front and twin spires of Saint Mary Immaculate Conception ChurchWhile Tyler and I were on our road trip to Michigan on St. Route 66. We stopped and stretched out our legs in Ottoville. Of course you couldn't miss the twin steeples reaching up into the sky. So of course I just had to take a look. I found the St. Mary Immaculate Conception Church to be very handsome indeed and a pleasant surprise on our journey north.

The picture here is a panoramic. That's why it is so tall and skinny. Its actually made up of two pictures.

It was just a quick break to stretch our legs so I only got to take a few pictures. I had to be back for my Granddaughters Baton and Dance Recital at 6:00. For more on the who, what and why of the road trip you can check it out in my Think Focus Click Blogs Upcoming Post.

Inside I found this wonderful statue of Mary.

Head and shoulder picture of a statue of Mary.

I also got this sweet shot of the organ pipes in the balcony with the sun coming through the stained glass window behind them.

Balcony organ pipes with sun shinning through.

With little chance of making it back anytime soon I really hate it when I blow a shot. Pictured here is one of the most colorful stained glass window of St. Michael that I have ever seen. It's okay but it's not as sharp as I like.

Very colorful stained glass widdow of the the Arch Angel MIchael in battle againes Satan. Stained glass widnow of Jesus meeting his mother while carrying the cross.

There were plenty of windows but the only other one I took a picture of was Jesus Meeting His Mother while carrying the cross.

The arches were just awesome in this church. I have no idea how high the vaulted ceilings were but they were extremely high.

Close up detail of arch.Stain Glass in entry/exit doors of the church.

I'll close with the shot of the doors as we were leaving. "Immaculate Mary Pray For Us" is written above the doors.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Respect Life Memorial (Repost)

Large gray statue of Jesus holding children.I was really hoping to have made a few other post before re posting these, but this is the first place I've shot any pictures in The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches. I made a trip back determined to do better than I did the last time. This time I chose late evening. These daytime shots were actually shot just after 8:00 PM

There is a spotlight at the bottom of the statue and it came on just I was starting to shoot. I used a large white lid from a plastic storage box to defuse it. I cloned out the light and my lid for this and some other shots.

I was able to soften the harsh highlights in the night shots but the big improvement came in the pictures taken during the day. READ MORE...

Pictured here are the Day, Night and Scripture. For the night shot I used my Canon 430EX Speedlight mounted on a light stand aimed through a large studio softbox.

Engraving in stone Let the children come to me, do not stop them, for the Kingdon of God belongs to such as these.
Night shot of statue of Jesus holding children. Day shot of statue of Jesus holding children

This picture was taken with the statue's spotlight without diffusion.

Statue of Jesus holding children lit by spot light.

This time I tried a few close-ups.

Sepia tone close up of face of Jesus. Black and White close up of the face of Jesus

I also tried a few changes in composition for the Fountain and Statue Combination.

Large stone fountian with statue of Jesus holding children in the background.

Closeup of large stone fountain with statue of Jesus holding children in the background.

Large stone fountain with statue of Jesus holding children in the background.

I do think these came out much better than before, but it did help quite a bit that things were much greener.

Related Links: Maria Stein Spiritual Center

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Respect Life Memorial

All life deserves dignity from conception until a natural death.

Night picture of large gray statue of Jesus holding children.

The Maria Stein Spiritual Center Created this wonderful Respect Life Memorial.

Both the night shot above and the day one below show the statue of Jesus with the little children.

Day picture of large gray statue of Jesus holding children.

Besides the statue there is a large rock fountain.
The rock weighs 14000 pounds and had to be brought in by crane.
The rock was chiseled so that it's surface is completely covered
by water flowing down from the top.

Large rock fountain with the statue of Jesus holding children in the background.

Large rock fountain.

I am posting these but look for a post titled Respect To Life Memorial Re-Shoot. These are okay but I think I can do better.

This is one of those things that I didn't even knew existed until I found it on the Internet. Makes me wonder what else is out there that I have yet to discover.

Related Links: Maria Stein Spiritual Center

Monday, May 11, 2009

Christ Resurrected (Stained Glass)

Stained glass window of the resurrected Christ outside the tomb with angel and soldiers.
This stained glass window of the Resurrected Christ can be found in the Saint John the Baptist Church in Maria Stein. I wanted to post the Death and Resurrection of Christ. The church has this window with the Resurrection on the left side of the altar and Jesus' Death on the cross on the right. However, my photos of the Crucifixion did not come out so well. I had to do quite a bit of work in PhotoShop to get this window to display the way you see it. It was very skewed because the window is set at an angle and could not be shot straight on.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Stepping Up The Call

A Pilgrimage For Vocations
Children carrying banner Stepping Up The Call a Pilgrimage for Vocations.Tyler and I stopped off at St. John the Baptist in Maria Stein Saturday on our way back home so I could take a few pictures. We parked on the side of the church and as we came around to the front doors of the church we found this procession complete with police escort coming our way. I snapped a few pictures as they made their way toward and past us.

Once inside the church Tyler's curiosity led him to surf on his phone what just went by as I went about taking my pictures. He found
The Catholic Times web paged that gave the following explanation:

Based on the ancient religious practice of prayer combined with walking as a spiritual discipline, the pilgrimage—held rain or shine-- aims to increase awareness that every person has a “vocation,” or call from God. Celebrating all vocations, including marriage and single life, “Stepping Up the Call” puts a special emphasis on the call to be a Catholic priest, deacon, sister or brother.

The weather was cool and windy but they all looked to be in good spirits as they passed us by. Lunch was their next stop at the Maria Stein Center. This is an annual event and one I was happy to stumble upon. One never knows what one will find when touring The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches.

Friday, May 8, 2009

St. Francis Mercer Ohio

Saint Francis ChurchSaint Francis is located in Mercer Ohio and is one of The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches. I have been to this church a few times but had yet to get a decent picture of the church. I manged to fit in a quick stop as I made my way back home from taking pictures at Pyramid Hill Park in Hamilton Ohio.

The church is named after St. Francis who was born at Assisi in 1182. After a care free youth, he turned his back on inherited wealth and committed himself to God. Like many early saints, he lived a very simple life of poverty, and in so doing, gained a reputation of being the friend of animals. He established the rule of St Francis, which exists today as the Order of St. Francis, or the Franciscans. He died in 1226, aged 44.

Church Historical Marker with church history.

The historical marker gives a brief history of the church. Left click the picture for a larger view to read the sign.

St. Francis is featured in one of the two main stained glass windows. Here is a picture of the window along with the Prayer of St. Francis.

Stained glass window of Saint FrancisPrayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Adam's First Breath

The sculpture "Adam's First Breath" is also in my Think Focus Click Blog.
It is just a wonderful piece made out of bronze and granite and can be
found in the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum in Hamilton Ohio.

Bronze Sculpture of Adam taking his first breath.

The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Related Links:
..... Pyramid Hill
..... Think Focus Click

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Immaculate Conception Church (Celina Ohio) III

Large stained glass window of the resurrected Christ in the clouds with angels,and the deciples and Mary below.

Since we are still celebrating Easter I thought this beautiful large stained glass window of the Resurrected Christ would be a fitting post. I had to shoot this at an angle to avoid a hanging light. I was happy that I was able to adjust it in PhotoShop. You have to love that Skew Tool. This church has a lot of stained glass windows and I will try and post as many as I can but that's all for now.

Picture of stained glass window taken at the Immaculate Conception Church, Celina Ohio.

LEFT CLICK the picture for a gorgeous view.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Immaculate Conception Church (Celina Ohio) II

Relief on white alter with gold leaf of the resurrected Lamb of God.After spending most of the day in Hamilton Ohio, hiking and taking pictures in Pyramid Park, I decided to take the scenic route back home via State Route 127. I wanted to revisit the Immaculate Conception Church in Celina and hopefully get some inside shots. It's one of the few of "The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches" that had never been inside. All I can say is it is beautiful and large. It will take several visits and many post to properly cover this church. Pictured here is a close of of one of the carvings on the main altar with the Lamb of God. (Click Read More to Continue)

Main white alter with gold leaf.

I plan on doing a post just featuring the altar pictured here for now this teaser will have to do.

Above on the ceiling is this beautiful mural of the Immaculate Conception. It is very large and covers the entire domed ceiling. Pictured here is just a part of it.

Ceiling mural of the Immaculate Conception.

My artistic shot from this visit came from looking up. I saw the round stained glass window and chandelier and new it would be a pretty cool shot. The trick was focusing on the glass and not the chandelier. It also took a few tries to get everything lined up.

Celing round stained glass window with hanging chandaler in the middle.

That's all until the next time.