Choices & Free Will

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Choices” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The network of steel ribbons lays out before me with all of its switches and crossovers. Just beyond the tracks route 60 runs in parallel with it’s two simple lanes. The warm humid air after the storm carries the scent of creosote from crossties. And just beyond all of the intersections is the local foundry.

As I look out over the scene I’m struck by the thought of how both pathways lead to the same destination but only one allows for free will.

The railway with all its complex switches requires someone externally to help the trains switch tracks. ( perhaps more modern trains allow the engineer more control but in general the switches are external. ) In contrast, the highway traveler has more control over his/her route. Even though they have to follow certain rules and regulations about how the vehicle is operated they can change routes on a whim. The highway traveler can even perform a U turn and return home.

The concept of free will is an important part of human nature. Free will is often referred to as the first gift from God. No sooner did God breathe life into Adam that he was given a mind of his own complete with his own desires. Some people would say that it was free will that got Adam into trouble but it was free will that made him special in creation. Not even the angels were given the ability to choose.

There’s definitely a lot of choices to make on this earth. Even if a person takes the more controlled path like the train tracks it was still a choice that they made.

One last observation before I close. The area here in the feature image is a place where the trains are often parked for the night. This is the place where people can choose to leave the train tracks and get onto the highway. Or (if this were not a freight train) they can leave the highway and board the trains. Which makes me think that there’s always going to be an opportunity to change the pathway and change your life.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

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Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!

Crossing After The Storm

Hello Friends!Tonight’s feature image is titled “Crossing After The Storm ” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Last night the wind howled across the ridge line knocking over trees like a child throwing a tantrum. Bright flashes of lightning splashed across the sky and thunder rattled the windows. My little buddy Scout alternated between cuddling with my wife and I for protection against noise.

Almost as suddenly as it started the thunder faded away over the mountains and the three of us sat by candlelight listening to the rain as it slowed to a halt. As the sound of rain hitting roof gave way to the chorus of frogs I was struck by how peaceful the night had become without the noise of technology. With the only light being that of an LED candle in the hallway we soon drifted off to sleep.

The next morning the electricity grid was still down and that means going to town for coffee. As I stepped outside the mountains full of songbirds and that special fresh scent that comes only after a thunderstorm. The storm left behind a mist the clung to the landscape and made everything look magical. This was the perfect opportunity for me to get out with my gear and visit one of my favorite subjects to photograph. The curved trestle bridge between Alloy and Deepwater West Virginia. As I carefully step beyond the foliage in full view of the river and the bridge. The azure sky was broken up by the remnant of the storm. The clouds are no longer dark and angry and seem to be drawn beyond the mist covered mountain in the background. Below the river runs high and muddy but otherwise the is flat and soothing. The long curved bridge draws my eyes forward into the land of the Adena where it said that ancient giants sleep beneath the forest in halls of stone. I have taken several shots of the bridge and while Fayette County West Virginia has a world famous bridge this one rivals it’s beauty.

Like the rivers and streams of my Appalachian Mountains I can’t really seem to stay in one place. I take several shots from multiple cameras and it’s time to make my way towards the big blue truck parked on the edge of the road and look for the next destination.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!

Defining The Question

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Passing Through “and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Tonight’s post examines the concept of a false dichotomy.

I was once asked “which is more important, the journey or the destination?” It’s one of those questions that’s supposed to bring perspective to life. It’s supposed help us see if we’re goal oriented or if we’re process oriented. The question doesn’t really have a right or a wrong answer. It just helps see certain aspects of ourselves. Or so I was told. But, the question is a little misleading. The way we’re expected to answer is intended to define us. There’s one problem with this kind of thinking. It built on a false premise that a person has to be one or the other. Goal oriented or process oriented. As if you can’t be goal oriented but still enjoy or even savor the process. Imagine that I have given you an ice cream cone in your favorite flavor. Most people will split the difference between consuming the ice cream before it melts and holding onto the cone for way too long. The question of eating the ice cream or keeping it sets up a false dichotomy. It implies that you must choose one extreme or the other. Now I know that there’s some creative person out the who thinks they’ve solved both sides of the issue with the idea of placing the cone in a freezer burried under a glacier at the north pole. That way you haven’t eaten it and it doesn’t melt. Even if you decided to put the cone in a deep freeze and keep it forever you have abandoned the goal because you’re not enjoying it forever and it’s not being eaten. If we’re honest about ourselves we’ll admit that most people would enjoy the cone for as long as possible.

Okay, I’ve shown you a picture of train tracks and I’m talking about ice cream so let me bring it back around to tonight’s feature image. In most of my posts I use tracks and roads to symbolize the idea that life is a journey. The original question was which is more important, the destination or the journey? Even though there’s not supposed to be wrong or right answers I have to consider if there are wrong and right questions. The right questions change perspective tremendously so let’s rephrase the question a bit. Is the journey independent of the destination? The answer for most of us is no. The destination is the ultimate goal but it’s the journey that gets us there. As I stared down the train tracks that pass through town I began to understand that even though the tracks end somewhere that pass through many places along the way. And that it’s possible to visit those places without giving up the goal of reaching then end of the tracks. It’s enjoying the process without giving up the goal.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the contact form

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊

Refilling

Hello Friends!Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Ready For Refill” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The thunder of the steel wheels and diesel engine quells to a rumble as the brakes screech. The train is approaching the tipple ready to carry another load out of the mountains. Empty cars clatter as they bump into each other when the train slows down. One by one the engine pulls them into position under the chute to be filled by the men who pull light out of the darkness.

There’s always going to be those days when we’ve given it all we’ve got and there is no more. We start of with a full load of whatever it is that we have to deliver. For the most part a trainload of coal will be delivered to a single destination but for the purpose of the illustration let’s suppose that the payload is divided up between several places. The train starts off with a mile of cars in tow. It stops and drops a few cars here and a few cars there. Sooner or later it will need to return home to refill.

We as humans start off with a load of whatever it is that we have to provide for those in need. All of it can be defined as one form of energy or the other. It could be spiritual energy in the form of prayers for those in need, or food for the hungry. Perhaps it’s simply our labor that we sell a little piece at a time to an employer. But whatever form it takes it’s a certain amount of our life’s energy infused into a token. Sooner or later it will run out and will need to refill our cargo and refuel the engine. We need to return home. For me that’s seeking God in the quiet time. It’s rest for mind and spirit as well as my body. I hope that it’s the same for you but however you get refilled it’s a necessary part of life and something that should not be ignored. If we find ourselves just going through the motions then it’s probably because we need to fill up again.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook or use the contact form on my website and tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊

Blood,Sweat And Steel

Hello Friends! Tonight’s image is titled “Curves In Repetition” and if you want to purchase a copy please see the instructions at the bottom of the page.

When I think about workers laying down the tracks the image in my mind is of burly men with sledgehammers driving the steel. I can hear the hammer ring and feel the sweat of hard labor in the afternoon sun. The air is humid and thick with the smell of the creosote on the heavy wooden crossties. A civil engineer maintains a careful eye on the transit. Being off by a few inches now would mean missing the mark later. The crew works as single unit. Each takes his turn with the hammer in sequence with perfect timing. Somewhere along the way another team welds the sections together into a perfectly seamless pair of ribbons. Everything they do comes at price of aching muscles and stiff backs. The result is a web of steel, wood and concrete that stretches through mountains and valleys and across rivers in a way that adds romantic beauty to the landscape. They are artists and their medium is blood, sweat and steel.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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All images are my original work and are available as prints. You can request a print by using the Contact Form on my website athttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/contact/or via Facebook Message athttps://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

Just A Little Farther

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “A Little Farther Down The Line” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website or by messaging me Facebook. Links to each are provided below.

Just a little farther down the line, a new day dawns.

Just a little farther down the line, a new hope waits.

Just a little farther down the line a door opens.

Just a little farther down the line a friend welcomes.

Just a little farther down the line a dinner has been prepared.

Just a little farther down the line a celebration is in revelry.

Just a little farther down the line a family is reunited.

Just a little farther down the line it’s all there.

Step by step. Breath by breath. Day by day. We get there from here by not stopping, but by pressing a little farther down the line.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Go to https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/lloyds-lens-valentines-day-merchadise-page/ to support this blog by purchasing Frameable Valentine’s Day Cards

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The Distant Mountain

As I stand next to tracks looking out across the Kanawha River I’m drawn to the mountains in the distance. The winter has just started and I’m already developing that strong desire for far away places and new experiences. I look deeply into my photos and try to project myself into a quiet spot in the distance. I wonder where the great spots are on that mountain. Surly there’s a place where you can sit quietly on some moss covered stump and watch the squirrels play and romp through the leaves. I’m betting that if you sit there long enough a chipmunk will poke his head up out of the duff and scold you. Perhaps somewhere at the end of the curved Bridge an owl rests in an old snag, napping in spite of the noise below. I think about what must be behind that mountain. Perhaps there’s a waterfall on the other side that empties into a deep pool. And behind the falls maybe there’s a cavern with secrets not seen for one thousand years. Whatever is out there beyond the village on the other side of river it will have to wait for another day. Today all I have is curiosity and a wonderful view of the tracks.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

Ring this bell for Facebook

Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of theWelcome Page

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “The Curved Bridge At Alloy In Black and White” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on my website.

(Note, I do not share or sell contact information. EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.