Category : Uncategorized

2 weeks, 5 days ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized

From Christmas Day of 2019 to New Year’s Eve our family took a trip to Amelia Island in Florida to just be together and celebrate Christmas, a New Year and help each other heal from the loss of Wes.

I had a long time to think about my family, my children, grandchildren and my beautiful bride. Looking at all these grown and growing chidren I thought about what advise I would offer to a new father from the perspective of one, fifty years down the road. I hope these thoughts help you become the father you want to be!

  1. Nothing is more important than spending the time it takes to build deep relationships with your children and their mother!

2. The values you pray they will develop starts early and has to be modeled in your daily life, in front of their eyes!

3. Seek God in your day to day life and He will honor your prayers for your family! He wants you to succeed, and He is ready and able to help you, you shouldn’t try to do this alone.

4. Capture your children’s lives in photos, videos and voice recordings! You will be do glad you did! Scott found some old cassette tapes of him, Wesley and Catherine talking when they were very, very young, it was a delight to hear those precious vocies again.

5. Pray with and for your children. Let them see how important it is to talk with God and allow them to see how He answer your prayers. It will teach them how much God loves us!

6. Teach your children about responsibility and a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity and honor! Our world needs people that live by these qualities.

7. Always be honest with your children! Trust always begins with honesty.

8. No one is ever to old for a hug! Children, grandchildren, wives, and friends need your affection. Don’t ever be afraid to show it!

9. Go to church with your family, allow them to see the imporatnce of faith in your life.

10. Laugh, love, listen and stay comitted to your family, the dividends are enormous and priceless.

Blessings,

the pilgrim

1 month, 1 week ago 16
Posted in: Uncategorized
This is the first of my Authentic Portrait Series. We’ve had a rash of cold days in Kentucky and Chester and I have been in the house together, for several days. At 14 months and 79 pounds he is still a puppy, admittedly a big puppy! I sat in the floor with him and talked to him, something we both enjoy. I had my X-H1 and 50mm f 2 Fujicron at the ready and I made a number of images, but this is the one that showed the connection I was hoping for! When Sherelene goes to work I often have to talk him off the ledge, he loves her so much, it is traumatic to see her car pull away as she goes to work.

Cold winter days are our special time to bond, and I hope you are in the comapny of family and friends as we all prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior!

Merry Christmas!

Blessings,

the pilgrim

1 month, 2 weeks ago 11
Posted in: Uncategorized

I was reading Scott Kelby’s blog a few days ago and found a wonderful article by Chris Orwig. Chris is a professor of photography at Brooks Institute, one of the most prestigous photography schools in America. His article was on Authentic Portraits and it really struck a cord with me.

I don’t know how you are, but I need cosntant challenges, new things to study and attempt to master. I love people, my family, freinds and perfect strangers I meet in the couse of just living! I’ve alwasy wanted to be able to captutre them in truly authentic ways, this article and the purchase of his wonderful book Authentic Portraits has lit a fire under me.

As a photographer I want to always learn more and get better at the craft and this is an area I really want to work on. As a Christian, I want to share God’s love and be a blessing to others for his glory. I’ve mad some portraits that I think really reveal the person, but I want ot get a lot better at connecting with people, being more authentic myself and find the authenticity in others, and hopefuly capture it!

I’m sharing this because I may approach you someday and ask you to let me try to make an authentic portrait of you!!! I will with my family and, well you’re my friends!

Here are a few of my favorite efforts over the years, I hope, I can add your portrait to this collection.

Catherine and B.J.

Catherine in Ballet performance.

Catherine on a outing with dad.

David Middleton

Unknown fiddle player in Smokies.

Mike Ellison

Bill Pekala

Wes and Abigail

Scott and Wes their last photograph together.

Len Jr and his father Len Rue III

Scott and Ben.

The late great Hugh Morton and friend.

Legendary nature photographer John Shaw

Catherine and B.J. again.

Jack in the field at Five Guys!

Sherelene and my 50th anniversary shot (self portrait)

Well, I’m going to work on doing a lot more, you may be next!

Blessings,

the pilgrim

1 month, 2 weeks ago 18
Posted in: Uncategorized

Well maybe we can, but it is going to get a lot harder! The advent of the smart phone, social media and bus travel companies have all conspired to change our world of field photography.

From the top; Sunrise from Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon N.P. has become crowded beyond belief, The Navajo Nation has just closed ther photo tours, (use of tripods), to Upper Antelope Slot Canyon, Lower will be next!!! If you decide to shoot a sunrise at Schwabacher’s Landing in Grand Tetons National Park, be prepared to share the experience with 200 of your new “close” friends!

At Wormsloe State Park in Savannah GA they have placed white fences along the Spanish Oaks, imagine that shot!!!! Do I even need to talk about the crowds at Mesa Arch in Canyonpands N.P., well, just one example, last Christmas morning there were over 200 shooters in the space that could only handle 12 to get this shot!!! Arches is still doable, but it is getting so crowded they are considering establishing a shuttle system!

The Palouse has always been a great place to shoot but unfortunately because of the behavior of some workshop leaders and groups the owners of many farms are restricting access, it’s a shame and something our community needs to accept responsibility for. The truck above was moved to prevent photographers from coming on their property, used to be fine!

Going up on Cadillac Mountain for a sunrise used to be a great experience, no longer, the crowds are so bad that the park rangers block the road, to the top, as soon as the parking lot is full. If you happen to be there, you get the pleasure of shooting a scene with 300 hundred folks in the foreground.

I took a group to North Window and Turret Arch in Arches N.P. and 10 minutes before sunrise, a bus load of vistors from China arrived, fortunately they didn’t get to North Window until my folks got their shots, but only by a few minutes, could have ended differently!

I could go on, but you already know this yourself. So what are we to do???

  1. Find some new places to shoot! How many of you have been to the Great Smoky Mountains, or the Badlands, maybe you could try Capital Reef, (yes, I lead workshops to all these places, what a coincidence). There are many more, do some research, may I suggest Photograph America Newsletter!

2. Maybe we need to make sure our behavior in the field will never cause the next group to not be welcome!

3. Consider expanding your shooting list, take up Americana, and maybe people or street photography, travel might be fun too and most great small towns don’t require a permit to shoot photographs, this is starting actually sound like fun!

Folks, things change, they always have and always will, lets learn to think on our feet and make a new plan, we can do it, I know we can!

Blessings,

the pilgrim