Cropping, Comments, and Church Window…

Recently, one of my photo buddies used Facebook to discuss cropping – specifically, cropping the crap out of your life. Part of the subsequent discussion with my friend was about why we friend people on FB and whether those friends add value to not only the FB experience but to one’s photography. This discussion gave me a lot to think about, especially in light of the way social media is used these days.

Shortly after I read this, my lovely bride gave me a wonderful book, Zen Camera by David Ulrich. In this book, Ulrich “…draws on the principles of Zen practice as well as forty years of teaching photography to offer six profound lessons for developing your self-expression.” (From the back cover.)

I began reading the book and found the following in the chapter on Basic Principles and Methods. “I am careful about indiscriminately sharing all my photographs on…social media platforms,” Ulrich says. He continues, “I find that too many or not enough social media “likes” can either falsely encourage or discourage my search for clarity and strength of expression…One of the tools we use in the classroom is to avoid responding merely from “like” or “dislike” of an image. Always say why you respond positively or critically by noting the reasons you think a photograph is successful or could be improved. In any learning environment, we owe each other genuine and honest responses.”

Holy cow! Even more to think about! Why am I on FB and what is my purpose in sharing images there? More to follow on that one, but I’ve decided that when I ‘like’ an image on social media, I will always leave a comment. Hopefully, the comment will be encouraging and helpful to the photographer. This may result in fewer ‘likes’ from me, and also in fewer ‘likes’ for me. I’m prepared to accept that.

Well, that covers cropping and comments. Here’s a new church window:

The main Chancel Window, dedicated April 7, 1946. This window is on the south wall which means it’s lit up whenever the sun is shining. The Choir sits underneath this magnificent creation (I sat in the top row, on the left looking at the window. And no, I was never a good singer.). In a future blog, I’ll provide closer images of the window with an explanation of what it represents.


FPC Sanctuary Windows, part 2…

Today’s featured windows are located on the main floor of the Sanctuary, along the north wall. There are 4 small alcoves at the back of the Sanctuary. While I can’t say for certain, they were likely used as small group meeting or Sunday School rooms, but could handle overflow seating for the Sanctuary. These windows were dedicated in May 2003, and tell a story of Presbyterians in Wyoming and Cheyenne.

The panel on the left depicts Dr. and Mrs. Marcus Whitman and the Reverend and Mrs. Henry H. Spalding, Presbyterian missionaries who traveled through Wyoming in 1836 on their way to establish a mission near present-day Walla Walla WA. Mrs. Spalding and Mrs. Whitman are recognized as the first American women to cross the Rocky Mountains and reach Oregon by the overland route. The panel on the right shows Presbyterian missionaries Reverend Sheldon Jackson and Reverence John Gage, who formally organized the First Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne in 1869. Nine men and women signed the organizing petition.


Prior to constructing their first house of worship, the Presbyterian congregation met in a school house and the office of a lumber yard. The first church building (right panel) was built in 1870 on land donated by the Union Pacific Railroad located at 18th Street and Ferguson (now Carey Avenue). The prefabricated building was shipped to Cheyenne via the UPRR. The Rutgers Church of New York City donated $7,000 for this building, Apparently a member of that church had a son living in Cheyenne and wanted him to have a Presbyterian Church to attend.


The third window (left panel) shows the second church building, built in 1884 and located at the 18th and Ferguson site, and was known as the ‘Red Brick Church.’ The clock on the tower of this building was a painted facsimile. The hands always pointed to 11:20, the hour and minute when Abraham Lincoln was shot. The right panel shows the Wyoming State Capitol building, built in 1888. Wyoming became a state in 1890, the 44th state in the union. The Reverend Dr. John Y. Cowhick, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, gave the invocation. Church member and women’s rights activist Theresa Jenkins gave the first speech. (Note that Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote, earning the nickname ‘The Equality State.’) Church member Moses P. Keefe was given the contract for the first set of east and west wing additions on the Capitol Building, completed in April 1890. Church member William R. Dubois designed a second set of wings, completed in 1917.


The 4th window shows the current church building at 22nd and Carey, built in 1924, and designed by church member Frederick H. Porter. The Memorial Chapel was dedicated in 1948 (my favorite room in the church), and the Education Building was dedicated in 1961. Mr. Porter served as Head Usher for many years, and taught the Boy Scouts to usher and collect the offering on Scout Sundays. The right panel shows the official seal of the church denomination, adopted by the General Assembly in 1985.

I hope you have an idea of why I love this building, and are enjoying my photographic exploration of the stained glass windows. All information about the windows comes from the Church’s well written and informative book about these beautiful windows.


FPC Sanctuary Windows…

Continuing my exploration of the stained glass windows in the First Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne WY, today’s featured windows are in the balcony of the Sanctuary. These windows were dedicated in May 23, 2004, Heritage Sunday. There are 4 windows and each has 2 panels. Each panel has the same design and colors, except for the circle near the top of the window holding a specific symbol.

This window features an Anchor, a form of the cross symbolic of Christ, hope and steadfastness on the left, and a Ship, symbolic of the Church of Christ on the right. The Nave is the central part of a church building, intended to accommodate most of the congregation. In traditional Western churches, it is rectangular and is separated from the Chancel by a step or rail. The word Nave comes from the Latin word for ship.

On the left is a Harp, symbolic of music in honor of God. A Vine occupies the right panel, symbolizing the relationship between God and His People.

This is my favorite window. The left panel shows the Insignia of the Boy Scouts of America. The First Presbyterian Church just celebrated 75 years of continuous sponsorship of Troop 116, the longest such relationship in the area. This panel is dedicated to all the Scouts who have gone before and those who will follow. On the right are the Stone Tablets representing the Ten Commandments.

On the left is the Ark, symbolic of the Church, since in the Ark all living creatures found refuge. The Cross of the Rock, right, is a symbol of the Lord.