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1 hour, 25 minutes ago 0
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I love this time of year because I’m finished for a few months!!!!!!  I just did 5 workshops and drove 6,346 miles in 7 weeks!  I’m ready for a break!  But what a great 7 weeks it was!  Jim Haverstock and I did the Badlands with a great group of 7 folks, then Jack Graham and I did our fall Road Show; The UP of Michigan, Acadia National Park, and then topped off the year with a Fuji Summit in the Great Smokies and then a second Smokies workshop!  They all went great with a ton of very nice folks, a great way to end the 2018 workshop year!

 

Another reason I love this time of year is the thoughtfulness of some of our workshop friends!  Gale Stoner, one of my favorite guys out there, was kind enough to send me his annual photo calendar, this one was a collection of stunning flower images, I will enjoy it for the entire coming year!  Thanks Gale!  His work is outstanding!

 

I will have several new announcements about workshops and one on one field opportunities with me in 2019, so please stay tuned.  You can see more on mine and Jack’s stuff coming up next year at:    jackgrahamphoto.com

 

Here’s ours together for 2019:

 

March 17   Route 66 Tour  (Oklahoma City to Las Vegas)

 

April 25th-28th   Great Smoky Mountains in Spring

 

May 9th-12th   Olympic National Park  TBD

 

May 17th  Spring in St George, Utah Symposium 

 

June 6th   The Palouse Region of Washington State

 

August 8th  Mount Rainier National Park – Wildflowers and Landscape  TBD

 

September 26th  Fall Color in the Grand Tetons National Park

 

October 1oth  Fall Colors in the UP of Michgan

 

October 17th  Fall in Acadia National Park, Maine

 

November 7th   Great Smoky Mountains in Fall

 

Much more info to come, until then have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

PS:  Chester is comng home mid December, below him on top, the top dog!

Image sent by the breeder!

 

 

 

 

 

1 month ago 21
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

 

 

How do you feel about gardening?  No, not planting tomatoes or herbs in your garden, but arranging items in a composition.  We think nothing of asking people in a group shot to arrange themselves so everyone can be seen, or removing a soda can in a scenic. So why do we get the heebee jeebies when someone places a leaf somewhere, as in the image above?  I’ve spent the last ten days walking around with my eyes pointed down at the ground, it’s fall leaf season, and I love to photograph them where they land, and sometimes where I wish they had landed!!

 

I subscribe to the time tested axiom, “Do no harm to make a photograph.”  I would not pull up a living plant or remove a branch just make a better composition, but I would, and do, cleanup small distractions in a close-up image.  If a small twig or bright leaf is in a composition, and it will be distracting, I simply lift it out.  Some would argue that nature is special enough without our help, and this true, but I point out all the time, in image reviews, that a little content aware would clean up a shot, so why not just pick the stick up, or add a leaf?

 

I’m not sure there really is a good answer for this, maybe you would like to take a shot at it!  I just know it doesn’t bother me to do little gardening, if it bothers you maybe you should not do it, but is it fair to criticize someone that does, it’s a good healthy debate that, unlike politics, we can have and it won’t end in violence!  Sound off if you would like in the comments section below!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Now, about this shot above;  We had a attendee that was unable to walk very far to make an image.  They used walking canes and they expressed they loved the birch logs with colorful leaves, so we added a couple that had fallen close by, so she could get the shot.  If that was wrong I plead guilty, but it sure made her happy and allowed her a chance at the great image she had been dreaming of.  For me it was worth moving a leaf or two.  Your thoughts are welcome!

1 month, 1 week ago 8
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

The point of my experiment was to see if I could still choose a single focal length lens that would work for a situation and find it was:  (1) the right lens, and (2) it did work for the intended purpose!?

 

For the first three days in the UP I used mostly the 23mm f 1.4 and f 2, the 50mm f 2 and at the 90mm f 2, and for close up work the 60mm f 2.4 Macro (All Fujinon lenses).  I found that these focal length worked great for everything but distance shots which required either a 18-135 or the 100-400.  I did not use any of those zoom lenses until the fourth day.  Below is what I produced with the single focal length lenses.

 

 

Most of these images were made handheld, except the falls above, but the one below with the X-H1 was made at 1/2 second!!!!!!!  Still am shocked myself.

 

 

On the fourth day it became very windy and cold, and I switched to the 18-135 even for close up work.  Here are some of those images;

 

 

Conclusion:  It is good to use single focal length lenses to keep your distance, framing muscle memory loosened up!  The single focal length are easier to carry and I think a  tad sharper, but then the images from the 18-135 and 100-400 were tack sharp so there was nothing to complain about there!  In the future and next week in Acadia National Park, I expect to continue to mix both single focal length lenses and zoom lenses as the conditions allow.

 

One thing is for sure, Fujifilm is making some astounding glass and none of it let me down!

 

More to come…….

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

1 month, 2 weeks ago 16
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

For years I’ve taught a lot about lens selections, yet on every major trip I take, mostly the same lenses, almost all zooms. On this last trip to the Badlands and Black Hills, by the end of the trip I realized I had used only two lenses, the Fujifilm 18-135 and the 100-400.  I took the 10-24, never used it, took the 60mm Macro, never used it, the 90mm f2, nope stayed in the bag!  I used two zooms instead!

 

I fear I’m getting lazy, and zooms help me stay that way.  The thing about zooms is they allow you stand in one spot and zoom to compose, and sometimes that is great because you can’t really move in or back up, but it keeps you from exploring other angles!  I think that generally, in the Fujifilm system, the single focal length lenses are sharper and have faster wide open apertures, allowing more shallow depth-of-field affects.

 

So you ask yourself, “What if I go on a two week trip to the UP of Michigan and on to Acadia N.P. and you don’t take zooms and find you hate working with only the single focal lengths, what do you do???!!!  I really want to limit myself and force myself to make it work, but how???

 

Here is the plan;  I have filled a Think Tank back pack with most of my single focal length lenses:

 

14mm f 2.8

 

16mm f 1.4

 

23mm f 2

 

35mm f 2

 

50mm f 2

 

90mm f 2

 

One body:  the Fujifilm X-H1

 

In a second “LOCKED” bag, I mean it actually has a lock on it that has to be opened with a key is the 18-135 and the 100-400, and and extra body the X-T2.

 

I plan to shoot with only single focal lengths and make myself compose and move to get the shot and taking advantage of the faster lenses.  ONLY in the event of my feeling it is not working at all, do I UNLOCK the other bag and admit I really am a zoom freak!!!!  Trust me I ‘m commited to making this work and I’m excited to ee how differently iI work whenI limit myself to single focal length lenses!

 

I will post images and share my findings!  I leave Sunday a.m. and will start really shooting over the first days of next week, stay tuned!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim