Category : Uncategorized

8 months, 2 weeks ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized



I got a  photo, postcard, Christmas Card, Seasonal wish from Sam Garcia.  It is a self portrait and a good one.  The accompanying letter was, as Sam’s communications always are, cryptic, funny and touching.  Sam does not take compliments well, but that never stopped me!  For the 11 years I worked at Nikon and for decades before that, I counted Sam as one of a handful of pbotogpraphers that really affected my work.  As would be expected from a guy who is best firends with Jay Maisel, Sam is a remarkable shooter.  I’m not bragging, o.k. maybe a little, but I’ve worked with and become close to many of the greatest photographers of our era.  Sam is among the best I know.  His vision and his ability to reach well beyond the obvious is a talent I truly admire and long for.  It was once said of Karsh, the famous portrait photographer, that he, “could captute the person inside the subject.”  When Sam photographs those he knows best, he can do the same.


One of my only regrest about my time at Nikon is I missed tha last big gathering of the NPS team just before I retred.  At  that assignment Sam made portraits of our closest friends in the department.  He produced a little book (The Last Picture Show in Texas),  for each of us and only 20 copies were made.  I’m the fortunate owner of 1!   I leave it on my desktop and pick it up frequently and leaf through it to remember the great friends I worked with at Nikon and knew for years before that.  I want to show off Sam’s revealing portraits, but I cannot fail to mention some loving thoughts about each of these imporant people in my life.





Bill Pekala was my boss at Nikon and for many years before,  a dear friend,  I couldn’t begin to tell you all the great things Bill did to help me through out my career.  We still stay in touch and I cherish his friendship more than I can say, he’s a great shooter too!




Mark Kettenhofen is my brother from a different mother, which is what he calls me too!  We had a lot great times together and shared our sorrows and victories, our faith and our adventures.  Twice Military Photogpraher of the Year, Mark is an exceptional shooter and wonderful guy!  I miss him a lot.





Scott Diussa was my direct report for half my time at Nikon and I really enjoyed working with him.  He was a great teacher and photogpaher and he really enjoyed the fun of being an NPS manager. We got along great but I know it was a relief, for him,  to see me retire so we wouldn’t have to wrestle my passwords anymore!!!  I really appreiate Scott!




Mike Corrado is a very talented shooter and NPS rep.  I met Mike many years abgo during the GAPW days (early 90s) and we have remained friends to this day, I love him and his family, they’re great people!





Steve Heiner was a manager at Nikon.  I met him back when I met Mike Corrado (they were Nikon School teacher who worked together), and attended GAPW events. One of the funniest, nicest and most classy people I have known.  Steve always addresses me as, “Mr. Fortney”, which I’ve always appreciated, I respect him a great deal!  As you might suspect, a great shooter too!





Ron Taniwaki – Where should I start?  More hair-raising stories have been told about Ron than anyone I’ve ever known, many people doubt they are true, but I’m here to tell you, they are!!!  Ron is one great guy, and blast to hang out with, a cigar, and trout fishing expert and one of the best forensic folks in the photo industry!  Another real force as a shooter too!


So, thanks Sam for the memories!




the pilgrim


Note:  All images are copyrighted to Sam Garcia.  They have all been used with out his permission!  Sam, your attorney knows my address!

8 months, 3 weeks ago 7
Posted in: Uncategorized



The devastating fires in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge continue to burn.  Total acres burned is up to 15,653.  The current number of deaths associted with the fire stands at 13, but officials say they fear more deaths will be discovered as they work further back into the burned areas.


The fires spread down into Wears Valley but did not get to the Townssend Area, Cades Cove or the Tremont area.  Reports say that Elkmont Camp ground was not affected.  I’m still trying to get reports on whether the fires reached the Greenbriar area.  The fire started near Chimeny Tops and worked it’s way down the valley, destroying the Chimney Tops picnic area and other forests down the valley.


It is very heartening to see how the outpouring of help has come to the aid of the victims and  their families.  The Tremont Lodge, where we hold our photo events,  has opened rooms to all victims of the fire and their families.  Dolly Parton is givng $1,000. per monh to all families in the affected area to help them as the are recovering.  Amazing stories of love and kindness make you proud to live in this region.


While thousands of acres were affected much of the park was spared and the burned areas will recover over time.  Please pray for all those that lost their homes and the many businesses affected.  God will provide!




the pilgrim


Some images I’ve been sent;








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8 months, 4 weeks ago 10
Posted in: Uncategorized





I got my Fujifilm X-T2 just before my three workshop swing in October and early November.  I had come to love the X PRO 2 and in fact had bought a couple of them.  I was thinking that might be my body of choice!  The X-T2 has really grown on me, and in fact is my go to body now!  Don’t feel bad for the X PRO2 bodies though, they still  are still in my bag and I use them often, and still love their own special feel and class!


Why has the X-T2 come to the front of the line?


  1.  The 24.3 mega pixel sensor has more resolution than it’s rating would suggest. I continue to be amazed as the rich detail and files form the camera. (O.K. the X PRO2 has the sums sensor, so this applies to that camera to!
  2. The dual folding LCD is just so handy and I use it all the time, and really miss it when I’m using the X PRO2!
  3. The Speed of operation is amazing.  Focusing speed, download speed, the operational parameters are all much quicker.  The camera feels very fluid and seamless in operation!
  4. Te shutter release is heavenly, so smooth and so easy to use to get tack sharp images.
  5. ng ISO dial is a great feature.  It’s easy to unlock and change an then you have the assurance of it being locked and not moving until you’re ready to move it!  I like the ISO dial on the X PRO2 and in spite of the criticism, I don’t think it is so bad, but the X-T2 is much better.  I wish the exposure compensation dial had gotten the same treatment.
  6. When shooting vertically the Battery Booster is great for improving handling and performance. 







When I first joined the Fuji X-System family I knew I had found a camera system that simply worked, and worked great for my style of  photography.  The lens family is simply stunning and now we have two bodies great enough to take full advantage of them.  You might say I’m a real happy camper!!!




the pilgrim

9 months ago 1
Posted in: Uncategorized



The Fujifilm X-Photogrpahers Summit web page is now live!!!!  The address is:  


Please stop by and check it out and even better, go to the registration page and claim your spot.  The Summits will feature 4 X-Photographers and will be limited to 60 attnedees.  On  first come, first serve basis, please join us!!!


Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,


the pilgrim