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3 months, 2 weeks ago 2
Posted in: Uncategorized



I’m not sure how you check out lenses, but I test them, shoot real world images with them and, I admit, I read the test reports too!!!  That last thing has fooled me more  than once.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some very reputable places that test lenses and, for the most part, I think they accurately portray what they have discovered!


There are a few things they do not take into account.


  1.  How well made is the lens?  Will it continue to perform several years later after heavy use as it did right out ot the box?  In my 48 year photo career I’ve only found three manufacturers that, to this very day, still make metal,. highy hand assmbled lenses that remain exeptional, even after years of use! Leitz, Carl Zeiss and Fujinon.  Early Nikon and Canon lenses would make this list too, but lenses made over the last 20 years have a great deal more plastic in them.

2.       All lenses are not created equal, even within the same model dsignation.  Let’s say you buy a Fujifilm 18-135 lens.  You may get a spectacular one, or a very good one, but rarely, but still sometimes, you could get one that is not as good as the average.  Fujifilm has an excellent quality control group, but it is enevitable that a dog still slips past every once in a great while. Should you worry about this?  No, but test your new lens and if you are convinced it is not up to speed, return it and get another copy. I have a great deal of respect for the testing done by  I have found their assesments to be spot on!  However they really panned the 18-135,  so I did my own tests, and I’m convinced they had a bad copy.  The images below was made with the 18-135, and I’ve made many others that are tack, tack sharp, so I still believe in that lens!



The bottom line is trust, but verify!


The image below was, by-the-way, my first still shot from the DJI Mavic Pro, makes me excited to get to some good locations!!!





the pilgrim

3 months, 2 weeks ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized


I believe that the best way to stay sharp and keep our skills in great shape is practice, study and challange yourself with the new things to learn!!!   A few months back I was asked to shoot the new Fujifilm 80mm Macro for Fujifilm and I enjoyed shooting with  it, it was not the lens I had hoped for, in terms of focal length, I really wanted the previousy announced 120mm (180mm equiv.) but it was tack sharp and worked great.   I wrested with what to do, I already had a perfectly wonderful and much, much smaller Fujifilm 60mm Macro, which I love!


So, as usual,  I caved and ordered one through the company.  Well that was a long time ago and all my friends already have their’s, but mine has never arrived.  Don’t take this wrong, I was buying it, X-Photographers get a nice discount, but we often have to wait until all the regular orders get filled.  I’m sure they are still trying to get those to the people who ordered them early!  So, frustrated, and wanting to try something “completely different”,  I cancelled by order for a 80mm Macro and X-E3 and instead bought a drone!!!  I got the DJI Mavic Pro because it is very compact yet extremely capable of making great stills and 4K video.  As you can see below, if I trim up my still gear, it and the controller fit great in my Think Tank Advantage roller for trips where I have to fly, when in the car, I have a lot of ways to carry it including a supplied pelican type case that holds it all, (below).



The DJI controller is made to use your smart phone, but I upgraded to a new iPad Mini 4 128gb model so I can see what the camera on the drone is seeing, more clearly!


I’ve taken it our to the kids soccer field once and got a little flying in, It is a learning proccess but it is coming quickly and I can already tell I’m really going to enjoy this!!!  Now, I must learn Final Cut Pro X to edit some cinamatic video!  More info coming soon!  I promise to publish some results here when I have something worth showing!


In Him and blessings,


the pilgrim

3 months, 2 weeks ago 2
Posted in: Uncategorized


My daughter, Catherine, posted this on her facebook page, I love it, and it is pretty much what my father taught me growing up!!!  Who ever wrote it knew my father, I hope I learned well!!!!


Rules For Sons:

  1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
  2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.
  3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.
  4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.
  5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.
  6. Request the late check-out.
  7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.
  9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
  10. Play with passion or not at all…
  11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.
  12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
  13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
  14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
  15. You marry the girl, you marry her whole family.
  16. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.
  17. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.
  18. Never be afraid to ask out the best looking girl in the room.
  19. Never turn down a breath mint.
  20. In a game of HORSE, sometimes a simple free throw will get ’em.
  21. A sport coat is worth 1000 words.
  22. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.
  23. Thank a veteran. And then make it up to him.
  24. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
  25. Eat lunch with the new kid.
  26. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
  27. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
  28. See it on the big screen.
  29. Give credit. Take the blame.
  30. Write down your dreams.
  31. Always protect your siblings (and teammates).
  32. Be confident and humble at the same time.

Copy and paste. Post a picture of your son (sons).


Have a great weekend, and blessings,


the pilgrim


Why the Coca Cola image, my father was a manager of the local Coca Cola bottling plant when I was growing up.  I never see anything Coca Cola related that doesn’t remind me of him!

3 months, 3 weeks ago 9
Posted in: Uncategorized


Well it’s a new year and everyone is making resolutions!  I guess that is normal, a new start does casue us to think about what we wish we had not done in the previous year or maybe done better, and that leads to promises.  May I suggest a really important promise to head your list?


I want my spiritual condition to supercede all other conditions.  This morning Dr. Charles Stanley’s In touch Daily Devotional was the very answer I was looking for, please allow me to share it and then make a few closing comments.


Proverbs 3:1-4

Jesus Christ told His disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit” (John 15:5). As we carry out the Lord’s plans through the power of His Spirit, our lives will have significance, and two practices will characterize us.

 1. Treasuring God’s Word in our hearts. When we value something, we think about it often, study it regularly, and learn all we can about it. By studying the Bible, we learn many important things about our God, including His character, plan, and promises. Regular Scripture meditation develops our ability to think biblically and deepens our relationship with the Lord. One of the indications that we treasure His Word is a change in behavior: Decisions will increasingly be guided by His principles, and actions will reflect the fruit of the Spirit. (See Gal. 5:22-23.)

2. Adorning ourselves with kindness and truth. These two virtues are to be our constant companions on the Christian walk. God’s truth has the power to expose ungodly attitudes and behaviors. When this happens, the presence of kindness helps to protect relationships from damage; it can also prevent discord and division in churches. The Lord wants us to speak the truth to one another—but to temper it with loving compassion.

The Christian life is a journey filled with temptations, obstacles, and difficulties that are common to man (1 Peter 4:12). At the same time, it is to be characterized by the fruitfulness that comes from following Jesus Christ, our guide.


How can I display that fruit in my life?  First the study of God’s Word shows us who Jesus was, how He acted, what He did and What He said.  We simply follow that example.


Let me share a simple way to show His love, His compassion, and His forgiveness.  I was in the grocery store during Christmas weekend and I was in line when an old lady pushed her cart in after mine, I had a lot of items and she only had a few and I couldn’t help but notice she was counting her meager funds to be sure she had enough to pay for her few items.  They were two thirds through scanning mine so I leaned in to the clerk and said, “add hers to my bill please.” I was pushing my filled cart out of the way when she found out hers were covered, she walked over and said  “thank you young man!”  I said being called a young man was worth far more than that!  She said again thank you, why did you do that?  I said, “well you know, I’ve been celebrating a very special birthday of a man who loves me and you very much, he asked me to do it, for Him.”  She looked puzzled, I said  “have great day, Jesus loves you, and Merry Christmas!”  The look on her face was worth a hundred dollars worth of groceries.  It feels great to offer a random act of kindeness, it’s what He did every day, and what we need to learn how to do too!  Trust me, it’s worth it!


If we follow His lead every day in every situation we will have a richer life and make others lives richer too, give it a try!!




the pilgrim