All photography copyright 2010 - Theresa Sismilich - all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Watch for Bears

On vacation this summer, my hubby and I were at Yosemite National Park. It was our first visit to the park and long before the fires in the area. We had a great time there and from a guide, we learned that when you spotted a ranger or park volunteer with radar equipment, there would be a bear close-by. They track bears in the area via radar to keep both bears and park visitors safe. 

Well, sure enough, the husband spotted just such a female volunteer after we had walked to Yosemite Falls. She was having trouble controlling the crowd where a bear wanted to cross the road so she called in reinforcements.

Before help arrived though, the bear appeared further up and off the side of the visitor path closer to the road. You could hear people saying with great excitement, "There it is! There it is!" As the bear got closer to the path, you could see it perk up its ears. Attached to the right ear was a purple ID tag.

Finally, the bear climbed through a fence barrier and then began to run. The photo below was taken just as the bear crossed the visitor path that ran next to the road. When the bear crossed the park road everyone was shouting - at first in delight but then in alarm as a car full of visitors came whizzing by and had to stomp on their brakes to keep from hitting the bear. The bear was quickly followed by the tracker shooting a paintball gun in the bear's wake. This is the National Park's reminder to the bear to stay away from humans.

I was really glad we were told about the radar. It told me to quickly put the telephoto lens on my new Sony camera when we spotted the volunteer tracking the bear. I never would have gotten these photos with my regular lens.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Optical Illusions

Once in a while, you just come up with a photo that is an optical illusion. I recently made the wedding cake for a friend and one of the pictures I took of it looks like it is ready to fall over.

In actuality, the cake was just fine although shortly before, someone had taken it upon themselves to put their own flowers on the cake.

Such meddling! Needless to say, I was not happy with their "additions" to the cake I had made and immediately set out to provide first aid. In the end, the cake was beautiful - especially with the dimmed lights to "hide" little flaws. And the bride and groom were delighted both with the look of the cake as well as the taste. Now that's success!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mist on the Water

There is something about wings that just fascinate me. Maybe it is because they remind me of angels. This is a close-up of a seagull from the ferry that takes you from Bremerton, WA to Seattle. I've made that trip twice and was enthralled both times with the experience.

The second time, it was early morning with thick fog. As the sun came up, the fog slowly burned off and the pictures were quite mysterious with sunlight only occasionally shining through on the water.

As we came close to the shoreline, the fall foliage peeped through the morning mist.

How can anyone say there is no God? This could never exist out of pure chance.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Eternal Now

I don't know why, but I have always liked this photo I took in Assisi, Italy in 2008. This was taken in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels. Like a photo I posted of a nun outside of the Church of St. Mary over Minerva, I just hit it at the right time. These religious are in the world but not of the world. That is the way we should be too. Sunday's Gospel about not worrying over what you are to eat or wear - that God will take care of us because we are of greater value than the birds of the air or lillies of the field - concentrates on just that. We must focus only on God and all will fall into place. Worrying about tomorrow solves nothing. We are guaranteed only now and God is enough for now since He is the Great I AM - the Eternal Now.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inspired Word

First of all, I have to admit that this isn't my photo, but my husband's - taken with an inexpensive Sony point and shoot at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But the result is awesome. The lamp used to illuminate the pages of the Lectionary seemingly glows with the inspiration of the Word of God. AWESOME!

Was this co-incidence? I think not. More like God-incidence!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Introducing My Granddaughter

How could I forget?!!!!! Last September, I became a Gramma for the second time and I haven't posted any photos. Shame on me!!!

My grandson has a baby sister. Although these photos aren't especially flattering to my beautiful granddaughter who was only about 3 weeks old, they do tell a story. Big brother loves his baby sister and when asked to give her a kiss, he did so without hesitation. But when you really just want to watch "Thomas the Train" and you've had enough of Gramma taking pictures, well . . . the photo below absolutely says it all.

"O.K. I'm done! You can have her now."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh Say, Can You See . . .

It is amazing what you can do with pictures using manipulation. This picture was taken on the sea of Galilee in November, 2010. The sailing crew raised the American flag for us and we sang the Star Spangled Banner. What you do not know is that I was on the opposite side of the flag and so the flag was backwards. By flipping the photo around digitally, it is as though I am on the other side of the boat taking the picture from the correct side of the flag. Nice trick, huh?

Again, it is in the eye of the beholder which is the better photo. The composition and camera settings are the same, but in the original picture, the perspective says, "This is wrong" because the flag is backwards. Which one is better in my eyes? Take a guess. Here is the original photo before flipping:

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ever Faithful and True

This photo was taken of the stained glass window behind the alter where we had Mass at the Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. Peacocks were a theme that ran through our pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Originating with an ancient legend that the flesh of the peacock did not decay, Christians adopted the symbol of the peacock to represent immortality and the incorruptability of the soul. Because it sheds its old feathers and grows new ones every year, the peacock is also associated with the resurrection of Christ. The peacock also symbolizes fidelity since they are faithful to one partner. Sometimes, the peacock is shown drinking from a vase. This symbolizes a christian drinking the waters of eternal life. In addition the " multitude of eyes" upon its stunningly beautiful fan tail, suggested the all seeing eye of God. Wherever I saw the symbol on the pilgrimage, it was associated with the Eucharist as it is in this photo of the stained glass window.

Mosaic floor in a church in Galilee where the multiplication of loaves and fish took place.

Top of one of the alter pieces in the Orthodox Church of Mary's Tomb in Jerusalem
where it is believed that she was assumed into heaven.

On our last day, we actually saw some real peacocks in Jericho.

And finally, we found prayer shawls with peacocks on them
 - a nice souvenir of our travels through the Holy Land.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Light of the World

This photo captures the sense of mystery. It was taken at the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Delight in a Child's Eyes

The look of wonder on a child's face is always a joy. This is my grandson at the apple festival on Sunday. I can't tell you how many times I saw this beautiful look of delight on his little face.

Tonight, we carved the family pumpkin. I missed getting photos but will always treasure his sense of adventure reaching into the pumpkin for the "fun, yucky stuff". Some things, even a picture cannot capture. When we were done, it was bath time and Dada carved Thomas the Train into the pumpkin. Soon, it was time to leave. Until January!.

In the Pumpkin Patch

October at the pumpkin festival / apple harvest festival. There were more pumpkins than apples. But, oh! The joy of watching my grandson in the pumpkin patch!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Three Tiers for the Bride and Groom

Nothing special about the photography. This is just the latest family wedding cake. The only way it could have been better was to put pearls of frosting around the base of each tier and place the bottom tier directly on the cake stand. I might have separated the top tier from the others with columns too. But it's a matter of personal preference. The gum paste flowers were gorgeous! Great job by my sisters!

I Thee Wed

Great wedding, but I really struggled with the backlighting. My flash wouldn't go off. When all else fails, there's always photoshop! LOL

This was a family wedding and we followed the family tradition of making the cakes and one of my sisters arranged the silk flowers. She did a great job!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Into His Marvelous Light

Banner for St. William CRHP Renewal Weekend 20, made by Team 19.

". . . like living stones, be yourselves built into a spiritual house, . . . that you may declare . . . Him Who called you . . . into His marvelous light." ~ 1 Peter 2:5,9

Monday, August 30, 2010

Experience the Rainbow

Skittles is my cat. She is about 6 years old. I saved her from certain death when she was but a few weeks old. She has striking markings and a great personality. We named her skittles because she is sweet, she is multi-colored and she is just a little skittish with strangers. She loves to sleep in my lap and lay with me on the bed. Meet Skittles, my little Rainbow.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Many Blessings!

My friend, Maria, at Castel Gandolfo to see Pope Benedict XVI. He will bless all our rosaries and other sacramentals!

Pilgrimage Silhouette

John was our guide on our pilgrimage in Italy in 2008. As we waited for permission to have Mass in this little church, I turned to see John's silhouette in the doorway. Outside, you can see someone in a car. Interesting symbolism here. Our faith prepares us for the journey - beginning with Baptism. The entire journey is a sort of pilgrimage. Notice the font on the left side of the doorway. In this Church is the body (without the head) of St. Catherine of Siena. Her head is in Florence, I think.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Speaking of Perspective

Speaking of perspective, I posted a photo of the Southwest view of the Grande Teton mountains in Wyoming from my airplane window a while back. The photo was taken looking back at the mountain range. This one looks toward the mountain range from the Southeast. I had never seen these mountains in the winter. It was breathtaking!

Perspective Matters

I know that I've posted a number of photos of St. William Catholic Church. This one is taken at a different angle from the others and just proves that something looked at from different angles looks, well, different.

When you are struggling with seeing things from another person's point of view, remember that perception matters. We need to put ourselves in the other person's shoes and look at things from their perspective. Only then can we indeed perceive the situation differently.

When photographing an image, look at it with many different sets of eyes. Photograph the image from many different angles and at different times of day. Even photograph small parts of the larger image. You will be surprised at what you will find!  In taking an interesting photo, perspective matters.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Three Flags Unfurled

The flags are country, state and church. The Vatican flag flies closest to the Church. I caught these children playing at the base of the flagpoles and just had to snap some pictures. The quality would have been better if I hadn't been shooting into the sun. It was good to see the wind blowing the flags. The whole scene is full of energy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

901 Main Street

Also taken in Telluride, Colorado, the rows of houses were often a series of various colors. The majority of these are rented out to tourists.

A Unique Flower Bed


Taken in Telluride, Colorado, this gives a whole new meaning to the term flower bed. I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Archtecture and Old Lace

Reflections often make an interesting photograph. This was taken in Macerata, Italy in 2008. Macerata is a quaint little city. Old government buildings are reflected off a window in the piazza. The contrast of angular structures with the curves in the lace is striking.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Child of God

This photo was taken at the train station in Rome. This little girl was just precious. I asked her parents if I could take her picture and they said yes. So, here she is. Don't you just love her big brown eyes and here little puckered lips?
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. ~ Matthew 18:1-6

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

This photo was taken in Assisi, Italy outside a little church called Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The church was built at the site of a temple dedicated to the Roman goddess, Minerva. You can still see the ancient columns of the temple. The site is now dedicated to Our Lady. As I walked up the street, I saw this nun coming down the steps and thought it would make a great picture. I did not see the man in the shadows until later. There is lots of interest in this photo.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  ~ Matthew 5:1-16

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Third Cross

This photo was taken at dusk outside the Sacred Heart Chapel at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock. It made me ask myself the question, "Do I live in the shadow of the cross?" Our suffering here on earth is a mere shadow of what Jesus suffered for us on Calvary. We are called to unite our sufferings with His. That is pleasing to Him and it gives our suffering infinite value.

Faith Afire

Another photo of my church just as the sun was setting. Our faith in God should be all ablaze as symbolized by the lighting in the photo. Is my faith on fire? What do I do to build the kingdom? Am I a good disciple?

Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame." To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, "The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner," and "A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall"; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy. ~ 1 Peter 2:4-10

Sunday, August 15, 2010


A chandelier and ballustrade in the Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX

On a Summer's Eve

Taken from the top of the Drury Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, TX - on a Summer's Eve

Friday, August 13, 2010

San Juan Skyway

Only the telephone lines and house mar the landscape. The clouds in the sky were just beautiful! What a view!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Midsummer Night's Dream

St. William Catholic Church one summer evening

Winter at Grand Teton

An aerial photo of my most favorite mountains - the Grand Tetons in Wyoming - caught out the window of the plane on a trip to be with my grandson on his 2nd birthday.

Drake the Man

What a smile! My grandson.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jesus, Remember Me

The crucifix behind the main alter in St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, TX. I could have centered myself a little better in front of the crucifix but the drama of this shot is obvious anyway.

River Walk

Taken on the San Antonio River Walk on August 6, 2010.