Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Tonight my guys are going to be a part of a science fair at their school. -The Punisher- Cole's experiment was centrifugal force and - The Ice Man - Jacob's was watching ice melt on white and black papers. We had to put together little displays for them to set up, so I -Photo Guy- felt a need to photograph my kids. This one of -The Punisher - was taken at the part of the experiment where we swung a cup full of water around on a string. This was the slow version when the water fell out - though you can't see the water because it fell out during the previous rotation. This series of photos of - The Ice Man - actually made the display because there is not really much happening as you watch the ice melt. It is a progression of his amazing efforts to experiment by watching ice melt (experiment given by the teacher).


Whether you know it or not, I went to college to be a preacher. I was almost done when things didn't go exactly as planned. (East Texas Baptist University dumped my scholarships -free ride - because I hadn't been attending consecutive semesters. I worked as a missionary for a year.) As time has gone by, I have been intrigued by the idea of photographs, but the desire to be friends with God and give pointers on how others can be His friend has never left my heart. I love to study the Bible. God has given me a very unique church plan, that has been difficult to put together. I would guess it is because of one of these two things - or both

1. I am missing a few things to be prepared to lead a group of individuals

2. The people that I will be involved with aren't quite ready for the craziness that I have in mind

If you want to know more about that, email me and I will send you the church plan that I have been developing for a couple of years. Anyway, I'm saying all of that to say this little bit of info: Sometimes I don't study the Bible as regularly as I should - don't laugh, you know you feel the same way - So, from my (sometimes) daily Bible studies, I will post some of what has gone through my mind to keep myself accountable and give you some fun gems that I might have found. I'm studying in Luke until further notice. So here is chapter 21 verses 34-36 - where Jesus is wrapping up His talk about future events to the people in Jerusalem and future events for the world.
- read these three verses in your Bible first please -
- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

As you wait for these times, make sure that you guard your hearts and your lives because sometimes, the wait may be unbearable. When that happens, don't turn to the bottle. Don't get depressed because before you know it, that day will be here and if you are drunk or depressed, it will catch you like a mouse caught in a trap. Now that trap is so big, everyone that is on earth when it snaps will have to deal with it. But, stay alert! Keep your eyes on the prize and prayer in your hearts so that you will have the strength to escape what is about to take place. The main reason that you will be able to escape is because you will be in constant conversation (prayer)with the one that is going to cause the trap to snap. Then if you find yourselves not caught in the trap, you will be able to stand before "the Son of Man" (Jesus).

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The First Sixth Day Photo Custom Album

I have asked and the parties involved have given me permission to show you guys something very cool. I have posted the whole wedding album online and now you too can check out how cool it is. What it will be is a hard bound book that can be set in a library, where each page is produced as a collage photo, but is quite a bit more sturdy. So it's not the old - here's a 3-ring binder with slip-sleeves inside, no this is really cool. I'm not really sure about the price yet (probably a little under a million dollars), but as the idea of an album has been flipped a thousand times in my mind, these albums could have so many uses. Wedding is the first idea, but beyond that it could be used for a group of family photos over a period of time, or a baseball, football, basketball season could be set out like a story, or as a child grows he/she could be photographed each year and then as seniors, an album could be put together - I could even scan in snapshots through a child's life and put an album together ---- I guess you get the idea. Oh well, I pity tha fool that doesn't check this out!

Put this in the web address bar: www.pictage.com/269515

Once that page pops up, type in the info that it asks for and then click on the button that says 'view images'.

When the new page pops up, look at the bar that goes across the top of the page and click on the link labeled 'My Pictage'

Then in the box labeled viewed events look at the event row titled -Ritter- and look all the way to the right. You should see the word 'Album' and it is a link to the album. Click on it.

Last step -- now this page shows the available albums. Look to the right of the list and click on the word 'view'. Once you do that, flip on some groovy tunes then sit back and relax with a nice beverage. Soon you will see a new window pop up that has the album as a slide show.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pray for FINLEY

(Check out Psalm 13 at the bottom even if you don't read all of this)

A little dude (Finley) in Denver stopped breathing a few hours after he was born. The hospital is taking care of him and they seem to say that there is extra blood on his brain. That blood just happens to be applying pressure to the part that controls his breathing - so today he is unable to breathe on his own. So we pray.
To the people that are very close to the situation, what I am about to say may seem like a bunch of hogwash - the others might see it and say, "I guess I never thought of that."

A common thought is - This little dude hasn't even have a chance to live yet. Why would a God that is so loving do something like that? Why did I ever go to church? Why did I ever think that there might be a being that is in control of everything? Most definitely there is not.
There really is no flip side to that coin of thought, but let me share a few ideas that might shine a glimmer of hope in a miserable moment.

(My short version)
I was almost killed. I spent several months in the hospital. I don't remember most of it because I also had blood on my brain. Our lives seemed to begin swirling down the crapper the day that I was injured.
We didn't have much money at first and I was the bread winner = collection agencies galore
I couldn't go to work because I was hurt = loss of job
Broken bones = surgeries that painfully, I do remember
Special hospital where I stayed somewhere else = never feel at home

That's a pretty sorry story, though it is very true. Going through that has lent to us many rocks of God's truth . Just when we thought we could go no more, God showed us a handhold - just a little higher. I want to share some of those with you now.

1. John 11:35 - a verse I learned because it is the shortest in the Bible "Jesus Wept". Give those two words some thought and you might be very surprised. You see, Jesus was weeping, caused by a broken heart. An acquaintance had died and Jesus had shown up after his death. Jesus stood outside of the tomb weeping, not because Lazarus was dead (he could fix that), but because he saw and felt the hurt that the women expressed. Upon seeing their pain, His heart began to hurt.
2. Luke 23:44 - it talks about how it was about noon and darkness had fallen over the whole earth because Jesus was on the cross. Who has the power to make the whole earth dark? God. Jesus is God's son. When God looked down and saw what was happening to His beloved son, it seems that He couldn't bear to see it.

Do you recognize that God could have had control over both of those situations? He could have kept Lazarus alive - He could have kept Jesus from the cross.
How could He allow those things? However, you may say that maybe He didn't have any control over them.

Do you realize that after Lazarus came out of the tomb that John 11:45 happened? It says, "Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done, believed in Him." Now if we step back we can say, "Who cares who believes in Him?"
Now let's step forward again.
Do you realize that after Jesus came back to life, He had just defeated death? Though it seemed like God had lost His grip of control and allowed Jesus to die like that, He really did not even loosen His grip. He knew exactly what was going to happen because of what Jesus suffered through.

1st John 4:8 says that God is love. It doesn't say that God loves stuff or that God loves. It is saying that in loves' purest form, you would find God. He loved Lazarus and He loves His son Jesus and they definitely saw dark days. Any Christian is considered God's son (or daughter). He has a plan that has been set in motion. It is a good, no - great, no - fantastic, no - unfailing plan! As a human, I don't always know where His plan leads. Sometimes, bad things happen (death of Lazarus and Jesus, the Ben injury, little Finley in the Hospital) and sometimes good things happen (Glory to God and eternal defeat of death)- but you know, they are always His things. We must remember that we are not God. His thoughts are not ours. His plan is not necessarily always ours. So when the bad times supercede the good times, remember that we are a part of God's plan - not the focus of it.

One last thought, the one that really helped to give me strength. I love the stories of David in the Bible and my wife found this and showed me. I have loved it and it still gives me strength.

Psalms 13
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.


What is a Soft-Box?

Hey, I got a new soft-box from calumet and it is awesome. It is 36"x48" and it is enormous. This Photo of "The Girl" is my first attempt at using the soft-box. You can see a reflection of it in her eyes (the little squares in the top right of her eyeballs). Calumet doesn't make a soft-box to fit my brand of light system which is very sad. (RPS) But since I've already spent a ton of money on my light system, I thought that I would keep it. I did order a soft-box from the RPS people, but it was junk so I decided to rig my lights to fit the calumet system. The first two days were very disappointing. Nothing that I tried seemed to work. Then Like Joseph, my dreams showed me the future - the only difference is that his dreams were truthful and of a certain future - while my dreams are speculative. As a matter of fact, I pray that I don't have any dreams at all so that I can rest all night instead of having to rescue my lady from that dragon every night, or sometimes I hit baseballs all night, or sometimes I build a skate ramp in my backyard and skate on it with my guys, or sometimes I dream about doing my magazine work(the worst dreams), or sometimes I come up with solutions to the days problems.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

How the Peanut Changed My Life

Just so you know, I love peanuts and I love peanut butter. I recently had a hankering for some peanut butter fudge and since I hadn't ever made any, I called my all-knowing and wise mother of many years to ask for any recipes or ideas that she had on how to make it. What she conveyed to me seemed to remind me of the time on that movie when Moses was standing there in amazement watching the commands being burned into the stones. Remember however that those commands are much more powerful than peanut butter and any fudge associated with it. So I made it and I call it PBF. Since it has been made, I find myself returning again and again to the fridge to get another piece. I am feeling the effects of eating too much of it, but since the flavor is so magnificent it seems like the only stopping point will be at the bottom of the container when all PBF has been eaten. So I warn you, if you are on a diet or don't want your tummy to hurt, you should either not make it or you should construct a plan that would limit your PBF intake. Great is the Lord for His creation of the wonderful peanut and miscellaneous items that would be mixed with it to create PBF. My current 'batch' is about half eaten now and when it is gone I will probably wait at least a month before I make more. So here is how you do it:

If you decide to make this, and you get hurt, burned, or fat,
I take no responsibility for your injuries or girth.
You have been warned.

1 can of sweetened condensed milk 14oz.
3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
12 oz. white chocolate baking squares
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Obtain a microwave safe mixing bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients.
Throw all of the ingredients into the bowl.
Depending on your microwave - warm the mixture until the squares begin to melt, then stir the ingredients together with a spoon, spatch, or anything you choose.
--You will see the ingredients beginning to mix together.
Put the bowl with ingredients back into the micro and warm again until you see the ingredients begin boiling around the edge of the bowl. Once that occurs, pull the bowl with ingredients back out and stir again with your weapon of choice.
Back in the micro until you see it begin boiling again. Stop the micro, pull out the bowl and mixture. Stir it until it feels smooth, then pour onto a wax paper lined baking dish, or cookie sheet. Put that in the fridge and wait until it gets hard. Cut it with a knife into squares and store in a fridge safe container inside the fridge.

Reach into the container inside the fridge and procure a piece between your index finger and thumb. Place that PBF piece into your mouth and as it is lain on your tongue, remember to continue to breathe and after a moment begin to chew. I guarantee that you will enjoy it and if you don't, you might want to see a doctor for that. As you enjoy that first piece of heaven, you might not want to move too far from the fridge because, like I said, self-control is easily overcome by those PBF squares.
May the force be with you.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tyler Business Expo

Hey-o everyone. Yesterday I spent all day (8:30 - 5:30) at the business expo and I must say, I think that I hit the Pen Lotto. I brought home a sack full of pens. I signed up for a few of their drawings and no one has called yet, but I'm hoping :-) I signed up for a 30Gb Ipod, a Nike Sasquatch driver (even though I love my 440 Cobra), and I signed up to win a billboard. If they draw my name, they will be setting up a giant billboard for my business for free. The concession stands in the convention center were open and I had the wonderful opportunity to have a greazzy, freak-show cheese laden chili pie and it was fantastic. The two models in the photo had one each. They actually had theirs first and when I saw them, I knew that I would also have to get one. I spent all day photographing the booths for the magazine, but my main job was to photograph these two former cover models with anyone that would donate at least five dollars to the humane society. You know, there were many guys that did it, but no girls. I set up my studio in the booth that had been dedicated for our use - background and lights. It was cramped quarters and I really couldn't set the lights like I wanted, but I think that I did alright, of course this probably is a photo when the girls were making their ugliest faces, right before they got their chili pies.
During the day, I had to go over to Hollytree Country Club and photograph an event there. It was a thank you dinner for clients of Feliciano Financial Group. The boss is named Jose Feliciano, but he does not sing Feliz Navidad. At that dinner, I photographed a couple of current Texas Rangers. Rick Bauer #30 (not related to Jack) and Wes Littleton #58.
Oh, I got some logos affixed to my truck so I took a photo and here it is. They look way more awesome in person, but you might see me driving around if you live in my general area of the world.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cold - In Texas?

Yep, you guessed it, today's high temp is just about freezing. Lots of rain and high winds make it very, very cold - er..hum... for Texas. I went out to photograph a Martin Luther King Day Parade and not many people showed up. Here's a couple of photos I took of some frozen stuff on a tree limb. I love the cold, but I don't love the wind. I love the ice and snow, but I don't love the ice on the road.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Hey guys,

Today is kind of rainy here. Since it is Saturday and I don't have any work today, we have just been sitting at home doing nothing. I watched a DVD from a company called pictage because we have been in contact - they want to do business with me. The more I find out about them, it seems that I won't mind working with them. They are an online host for professional photographers and they would help me out a ton, but I'll have to wait a few more days before I commit to signing with them.
I have finished designing the Ritter Wedding album - really it is a pre-design - which means that I have it all together, but I want to work with Brin and Jameson to get the final album design before it all goes to printing and binding. That way, they could always have something that they love and don't end up just stuffing in a box and putting on the top shelf in the closet so that ten years down the road, they can wonder - "Where did we put our wedding proofs? I just want to look at them and then put them right back." With the album, they could at least always keep it on a book shelf and when they look at it be able to reminisce about how wonderful that time really was. It was a wonderful wedding and we had some really weird / fun things come up and now that it has all passed, these photos augment the memories - "Turning Their Memories Into Legend."
Well, this is the very last page of the album that I've pre-designed. All the stuff in the middle is fantastic and someday soon, you'll just have to go and ask Brin to show it to you, or you may be able to see it online within the next two weeks.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tyler - Today

Today I had to go on assignment for the magazine that I work for (my day job). I do photography, and page design. It's a quarterly thing so four times a year, it gets really intense around here. Oh well, today I had to go out and photograph an Arbor Day celebration at one of the new elementary schools in Tyler. The mayor came out and was supposed to plant a tree, but was called away on business. You can check out the magazine on the web - www.tylertoday.com Here is a photo of a park ranger demonstrating how to plant a tree. I thought this one turned out especially good - though I don't know who he is or who the kids around him are. One of the groups of kids that I met were all speaking Spanish to each other (I caught like one or two words per sentence) then they turned to me and asked me, "Are you Peter Parker?" I slung some webs and then crawled away. It was pretty crazy.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Ritters

Hey-o people,

Alright - I'm working on a Fine-art coffee table memory book for Brin and Jameson. I'm pretty excited about it and I'm not sure that they know I'm working on it yet. So far, it is fantastic and the reason it has taken me so long to get to it is because it is a new process for me to work on, but it is something that I really wanted to make available to every couple, or family, or anyone that I photograph. So, this is my inaugural book and hopefully in a few days (weeks), I could get it online for everyone to see while it is being printed and bound. Here is the first page of the book and it seems to get better from here because this couple looks so great together.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Here we Go!

Benny and the Newtones