Dominoes Anyone?

I found these interesting dominoes laid out on a game table at Bulloch Hall.  Not sure if these are ebony and bone that would have been the mark of a finely made game set or some kind of reproduction like bakelite.  Looking at the surface of the pieces, I would tend to think that these are the real thing.

One of the most intriguing parts about this set are the raised pins in the middle of the domino.  I assume this is to allow them to be easily stacked but it’s something that I had not seen before.  Once again, the world up-close is always showing me new things!

Antique Dominoes
Bulloch Hall – Roswell, Georgia

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1 sec – ISO 200

Happy New Year?

Maybe this is a reminder for us to abandon the bad habits that we had previously thought acceptable and start the New Year fresh!

Another item I found in exploration of the vintage treasures from my grandparents is this Hallmark Christmas Card.  Somehow, I just don’t think this would pass in today’s market.  Maybe if you put a big red X through the middle of it?  It is kind of bizarre to think that this was appropriate material for Christmas cards not all that long ago.

Best Wishes for a New Year that is not stuck in the past.

Vintage Christmas Card
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX Nikkor
35mm @ f/8 –  1/6 sec – ISO 200

Vintage New Year’s

Is Vintage – New Year an oxymoron?

I pulled together this set of vintage tin noisemakers for my New Year’s Eve image.  It seems the holidays at year-end always remind me of some of the antiques that I was lucky enough to get from my grandparents.  It’s not the big things but the little ones like this that bring back memories for me and I think that’s how it should be.

Thinking back over the past year, I am grateful for all the blessings I have seen, big and little.  I hope that the year to come will be filled with many more and that I will we all will be able to see and appreciate those blessings when they happen.

Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year to you all !

Vintage tin New Year’s noise makers
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  5 sec – ISO 160

Aztec Dance

December 12th is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Catholic Church.  This feast is one of the most celebrated religious days in Latin American culture as it remembers the appearance of the Virgin Mary in Mexico.  The celebration begins on the night of the 11th and continues through the night and all day long on the 12th.  At our church, the feast is marked with re-enactments of the apparition, displays of Aztec dance, serenades and homages to the Virgin Mary and of course, mass in Spanish and English.guadalupe-6222

The story of the Virgin of Guadalupe is unique in that is the only apparition where Our
Lady left a miraculous image of herself unmade by human hands.  Second, it is the only universally venerated Madonna and Child image where Our Lady appears pregnant instead of holding the Infant Jesus.

Reproductions of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe are on display for the feast in many Catholic Churches including the one I attend.

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe
In the winter of 1531, a poor, 57-year-old Aztec Indian living five miles outside of Mexico City encountered a miraculous happening on his way to morning Mass. First he heard strange music coming from Tepeyac Hill, and then he heard a woman’s voice calling his name. Juan Diego climbed the hill and encountered a young woman, appearing to be of his own people in physical appearance and dress. The woman identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and told Juan Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to assist in the conversion of the nation and be a source of consolation to the people.

Juan Diego obeyed the request, but the bishop was skeptical regarding the message, even though he perceived that Juan was a humble, and well-meaning Catholic. Juan reported the bishop’s doubt to Our Lady at Tepeyac Hill, and she asked him to return to the bishop once again, bearing the same message. The bishop once again heard the story, and told Juan Diego to ask Our Lady for a sign that it was indeed herself that wished for the church to be built.

When he returned to the hill, Mary gave Juan Diego such a sign. Miraculously, roses appeared on the hill in the middle of winter, and Juan gathered them in his tilma, or cloak. Our Lady arranged the roses in his tilma with her own hands, and Juan returned to the bishop’s presence. When Juan released the tilma, allowing the flowers to fall to the floor, it was revealed that a miraculous image of Our Lady had imprinted itself on his tilma.

The bishop immediately fell to his knees, and came to believe in Juan Diego’s message. A church was built on the spot of the apparition, as Mary had requested, and 8 million people converted to Catholicism in a short period of time upon hearing of or viewing the miraculous image of Our Lady.

The tilma of Juan Diego has been the subject of much modern research. The tilma, woven out of coarse cactus fiber, should have disintegrated after 20 years, but although over 500 years have passed the tilma is still in perfect condition. The pupils of Mary in the picture reflect the Indians and clergy present at the time of the first revelation of the image. No paint was used, and chemical analysis has not been able to identify the color imprint. Additionally, studies have revealed that the stars on Mary’s mantle match exactly what a Mexican would have seen in the sky in December of 1531.

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Alpharetta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
100mm @ f/5.6 –  1/500 sec – ISO 800

Immaculate Mary

Advent Wreath at the vigil mass for Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Christmas Challenge theme for today is wreath so, when we went to mass last night and the Advent wreath was right there, I had my shot.  We were at mass on a Wednesday night because of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  (Note to all my Catholic friends – it’s a Holy Day of Obligation!)

For those who don’t know or are unsure about what this feast is, this is the day that we celebrate the Virgin Mary’s conception without original sin.  Many people assume that the Immaculate Conception refers to Jesus but that is not correct.  This feast is about Mary and focuses on the teaching that she was brought into the world sinless so that she could be the mother of Jesus.  Even priests get this wrong at times (as was mentioned in the homily at mass last night) so, now you know.

I didn’t haul my camera with me to church last night so, this is a cell-phone shot.  Not too bad considering that!

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Alpharetta, Georgia

Samsung Galaxy S5
31mm @f/2.2 – 1/30 sec – ISO 250

Holiday trimmings

I should be doing a lot more macro work now that Christmas season is upon us.  There are so many colorful and highly detailed decorations all around to capture.  This is an arrangement that I put together featuring a Waterford glass ornament set in a clear glass bowl filled with other old glass ornaments.  I lit these from both above and below to bring out the sparkle of the main subject and to have the background bright as well.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1.3 sec – ISO 400