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3 weeks, 3 days ago 3
Posted in: Uncategorized

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I’ve lived in Photography’s past, it’s present and hopefully will see some of it’s future. Here’s what I know.  “I’m not a prophet or a sage…. I’m just a better prognosticator because I have a base of knowledge or I believe I do!”

 

If age has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t “know” very much.  Experience gives us insight to predict what will happen based on what we already know “has” happened.

 

The history of photography has taken us from metal and glass plates, to film emulsion on celluloid and on to imaging sensors of the digital age. There has always been one thing that is common no matter the method of captue, “to capture and image!”  Remember  that, we will be coning back to it!

 

Let’s talk about what is happening to photography.  Camera and lens sales have been in a steady decline for over a decade, to the point that some camera makers are in financial distress.  Many major photo magazines have ceased publishing. Newspapers are laying off staff photographers, camera stores are disappearing, even from major cities.  ….and worst of all the average age of  “serous amateur photo hobbyists” is now about 68 years of age.  It is important at this point to define “Serious photo hobbyists”   If you are a photo hobbyist and you  have a camera bag, a tripod and one of two cameras bodies and at least three lenses you are what the market defines as a “Serious Photo Hobbyist.”  That market is aging and is not being replaced in equal numbers by the photographers in the age classes several decades younger.  The photo hobbyist class is in decline, serious decline.

 

In the last two years more photos were made than in the entire rest of the history of photography!  How can this be if the photo hobbyist is in serious decline???!!!  The vast majority of people today that make photographs, do them with a smart phone. The biggest selling accessory for photographers today is the selfy stick!  Check Amazon, they offer over 150 different models.

 

Should we be distressed?  For me, it’s sad that photography as I have known and loved it, is slowly fading away, but things change and nothing, no matter how much it is loved, lasts forever.

 

Back to the statement near the top, the point of photography is to capture an image, the shot at the top of the post was made with an iPhone!  All things change, and photography will too, but as long as we are capturing images, there will always be photogrpahy, maybe not like we enjoyed it, but the craft will live on.

 

Sure some photo hobbyists will still exist and will have access to millions of very usable used cameras and lenses and the infrastructure to continue on as more serious shooters will exist, but our numbers will be smaller.  Unless, like vinyl records, there is a big comeback!  Who knows, we can only hope!  But keep imaging, no matter what you use to do it!  The craft can, and will survive, just in a different form.

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

1 month, 2 weeks ago 8
Posted in: Uncategorized

The Well

 

 

I just had a fantastic two weeks in the most unexpected way!!!  You already know about how everything was wrong but ended all RIGHT in Buffalo with a great bunch of photographers!!!

 

I went on to Akron to join Jack Graham for our Semi-Annual Amish Country Workshop, well there was NO color, it was bald sky sunny everyday, but once again a  great group of students worked hard, improved everyday and we had a wonderful time!

 

Tired and sick, I trudged down to Liberty University where I had promised to speak to classes for Tim Isaacson, (head of their photo department, and a dear Christian brother), and to do an evening community wide program.  I came within a hair of cancelling, but the Holy Spirit said, “rest and I will hold you up, you’re here for a purpose!”   I was obediaent.  The program went great but the real blessing came on the morning before I spoke when Tim took me to the Convocation program held three days a week for students, I walked into a beautiful basketball arena to find the 9,000 seats filled with students singing and praising!  An American college campus in 2017, with more than half of the student body there to workshop and it’s not mandatory!!!!!  My heart was filled with joy, and it carried me through all the classes and evening program!  I took a trip to the Well!!!!

 

This song by Casting Crowns tells it all!

 

“The Well”

 

Leave it all behind,

Leave it all behind,

Leave it all behind,

 

I have what you need,

But you keep on searchin,

I’ve done all the work,

But you keep on workin,

When you’re runnin on empty,

And you can’t find the remedy,

Just come to the well.

 

You can spend your whole life,

Chasin what’s missing,

But that empty inside,

It just ain’t gonna listen.

When nothing can satisfy,

And the world leaves you high and dry,

Just come to the well

 

[CHORUS:]

And all who thirst will thirst no more,

And all who search will find what their souls long for,

The world will try, but it can never fill,

So leave it all behind, and come to the well

 

So bring me your heart

No matter how broken,

Just come as you are,

When your last prayer is spoken,

Just rest in my arms a while,

You’ll feel the change my child,

When you come to the well

 

[CHORUS:]

And all who thirst will thirst no more,

And all who search will find what their souls long for,

The world will try, but it can never fill,

So leave it all behind, and come to the well

 

Yeah

Leave it all behind

 

The world will try, but it can never fill… leave it all behind

 

And now that you’re full,

Of love beyond measure,

Your joy’s gonna flow,

Like a stream in the desert,

Soon all the world will see that living water is found in me,

Cuz you came to the well

 

[CHORUS:]

And all who thirst will thirst no more,

And all who search will find what their souls long for,

The world will try, but it can never fill,

So leave it all behind, and come to the well

 

[Outro:] leave it all behind, leave it all behind… [repeat]

[Outro:] leave it all behind, leave it all behind… [repeat]

 
Make a trip to the well, and be blessed,
 
 
the pilgrim
1 month, 4 weeks ago 3
Posted in: Uncategorized

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I just did a one day seminar in Buffalo, New York, actually Hamburg and it may have been the most enjoyable one I’ve ever done, “for me!”  The Frontier Camera Club Council brought me in and Fujifilm partially sponsored the event as well.  When I arrived in town I went over to the meeting room facility, as I always do, to check out the room.  To my shock it was set up for 125 people in big round tables!!!  Additionally the club member that was suppose to bring their 14 foot screen had gone on vacation and didn’t arrange for anyone to get it!!!  I was really stressed, I only had a 70″ X 70″ screen which I feared would never work for that size room and everyone spread out!!!!!!!

 

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I always try to make my programs as effective as possible for my audience, but this was a disaster, or so I thought!!!!  I finally decided the only thing I could do was “suggest” everyone grab their chairs and move in to a close to the screen as possible!!

 

This is where the miracle happened!!  This group was great, they got into the spirit of the situation and came in close and we had a great day together, lots of laughing and learning.  By the end of the day it was obvious, God had laid his hand on the event.  Mike Dziak was a wonderful host and the entire club and guests were a real delight to be with!!!  This morning 25 of the students signed up for a field event at a local train museum with me, and once again, it was a great experience for me, and I feel sure they felt the same as many of them expressed that to me!!!

 

I’ve often said that when this is all over for me, it will be the people that mean the most, this weekend’s experience certainly underlined that!!!

 

Thanks guys for a great weekend for me, I pray it was for you too, you truly deserve it!!!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Shot at the top was at the train museum, Fuji X-T2 and 50mm f 2 lens!!!

 

2 months ago 29
Posted in: Uncategorized

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An open letter to the NFL players,

You graduated high school in 2011.  Your teenage years were a struggle.  You grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.  Your mother was the leader of the family and worked tirelessly to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate.  Academics were a struggle for you and your grades were mediocre at best.  The only thing that made you stand out is you weighed 225 lbs and could run 40 yards in 4 .2 seconds while carrying a football.
Your best friend was just like you, except he didn’t play football.  Instead of going to football practice after school, he went to work at McDonalds for minimum wage.  You were recruited by all the big colleges and spent every weekend of your senior year making visits to universities where coaches and boosters tried to convince you their school was best.  They laid out the red carpet for you. Your best friend worked double shifts at Mickey D’s.  College was not an option for him.  On the day you signed with Big State University, your best friend signed paperwork with his Army recruiter.  You went to summer workouts.  He went to basic training.
You spent the next four years living in the athletic dorm and eating at the training table.  You spent your Saturdays on the football field, cheered on by adoring fans.  Tutors attended to your every academic need.  You attended class when you felt like it.  Sure, you worked hard…you lifted weights, ran sprints, studied plays, and soon became one of the top football players in the country.  Your best friend was assigned to the 101stAirborne Division.  While you were in college, he deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice.  He became a Sergeant and led a squad of 19 year old soldiers who grew up just like he did.  He shed his blood in Afghanistan and watched young American’s give their lives, limbs, and innocence for the USA.
You went to the NFL combine and scored off the charts.  You hired an agent and waited for draft day.  You were drafted in the first round and your agent immediately went to work, ensuring that you received the most money possible.  You signed for $16 million…although you had never played a single down of professional football.  Your best friend re-enlisted in the Army for four more years.  As a combat tested sergeant, he will be paid $32,000 per year.
You will drive a Ferrari on the streets of South Be ach.  He will ride in the back of a Blackhawk helicopter with 10 other combat loaded soldiers.  You will sleep at the Ritz.  He will dig a hole in the ground and try to sleep.  You will “make it rain” in the club.  He will pray for rain as the temperature reaches 120 degrees.
On Sunday, you will run into a stadium as tens of thousands of fans cheer and yell your name.  For your best friend, there is little difference between Sunday and any other day of the week.  There are no adoring fans.  There are only people trying to kill him and his soldiers.  Every now and then, he and his soldiers leave the front lines and “go to the rear” to rest.  He might be lucky enough to catch an NFL game on TV.  When the National Anthem plays and you take a knee, he will jump to his feet and salute the television.  While you protest the unfairness of life in the United States, he will give thanks to God that he has the honor of defending his great country.
To the players of the NFL:  We are the people who buy your tickets, watch you on TV, and wear your jerseys.  We anxiously wait for Sundays so we can cheer for you and marvel at your athleticism.  Although we love to watch you play, we care little about your opinions until you offend us.  You have the absolute right to express yourselves, but we have the absolute right to boycott you.  We have tolerated your drug use and DUIs, your domestic violence, and your vulgar displays of wealth.  We should be ashamed for putting our admiration of your physical skills before what is morally right.  But now you have gone too far.  You have insulted our flag, our country, our soldiers, our police officers, and our veterans.  You are living the American dream, yet you disparage our great country.  I am done with NFL football and encourage all like-minded Americans to boycott the NFL as well.
National boycott of the NFL for Sunday November 12th, Veterans Day Weekend. Boycott all football telecast, all fans, all ticket holders, stay away from attending any games, let them play to empty stadiums!
* Note, I did not write this letter, it was sent to me by my dear friend Richard Small, however I agree with every line of it!  Please share this with your friends, and show your support by posting a message here, I am joining you in the boycott!!!
Blessings,
the pilgrim
* A personal note:  I love football, played in High School, and have followed  both college and NFL my whole life, I have watched every Super Bowl except the one year I was in the Galapagos Islands.  This breaks my heart, I used to live for this time of year, now I can’t force myself to watch even part of an NFL game! I still have college, but I don’t recognize my country anymore!!!!!  God help us!