Some of this – some of that……

1 year, 1 month ago 7
Posted in: Uncategorized

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I just got back from two weeks with Jack out west, Oregon Coast and then in the Palouse. so much to share on so many topics, so let’s get started!!!  The picture?  All tied up in knots, the mood of today’s post!!!!


This Mornings Shooting in Washington.  When someone asks me why I have a Concealed Carry Permit and carry, I simply point at the tv, any tv, on any day.  Our world has gone mad, and our country has too.  The political fever is way out of hand.  It is good and healthy to have opposing views, it keeps a country balanced, but the way we are handling it right now is beyond even dangerous.  When my candidate looses, I am disappointed, but I don’t threaten people and vow to work endlessly to make the winner fail, even it it  hurts my country, no for me it is and always has been country first!  This has to stop, if  it doesn’t, I don’t want to even think about where it will lead!


Trouble out in Workshop Land!!!!!  In previous posts I have talked about how so many icon locations have become a “no go” because of crowds.  This past week in the Palouse I heard something equally upsetting.  The farmers and residents of the Palouse are among th nicest and most welcoming people in America.  Years ago when we visted the farm with the rusted implement wheels the lady and her husband that owned the farm had a picnic table in their small front yard, when we arrived she brought out freshly baked cookies and milk and a one page info sheet on the fencing her husband had so lovingly built!!!  He has since passed away and she is in a nursing home, and the house is now fenced off and has no parking signs.  While the farm is still open to the public the behavior of many photographers and groups has made it much less welcoming.  Jack and I heard endless stories about farmers that have asked photographers to leave, blocked roads and more than one farmer blew past us throwing up clouds of dust with scowls on their faces!  Yes they knew what they were doing!!!!  All of this and Jack has a great relationship with many farmers and our groups do not do anything to upset the land owners.


There is a gathering storm here, and not only in the Palouse, it’s happening all over the country.  So not to preach but here is my solution.  Let’s adopt a new atttiude, Do unto others as we would like htem to do to us.  This may mean that we don’t get a few shots we want, but the payoff will be a better relationshiip with the world.  This is not a suggestion, if we don’t we will slowly become  less and less welcome and shootng in the world out there will only get harder and more restrictive.  Need I say more.


The lens experiment!  A few days before I headed out for the past two weeks I told you guys that I was leaving the 18-135 at home and taking a large selection of other lenses and I thought you might like to know what I learned!  First, the 18-55 was far and away my most used lens and I was reminded it is superlatively sharp..  When I need a little more reach the 55-200 was my choice and it is more than sharp enough too!!  The 100-400 was extremely useful on Steptoe Butte and at harbors, very handy when you can’t float, fly or walk on water!!!  I did use the Fujicrons a few times and I love them all, but they were a duplicate since the 18-55 covered all those focal lengths.  I took the 16mm f 1.4 and used it a few times, nothing like it when you need it like below!


Wheat field 1

Fujinon 16mm f 1.4


Here are a few 18-55 shots that I was pleased with.


truck and red barn

Pumps monochrome


Barn and flag


One night on Steptoe Butte I didn’t take anything but a 18-55 so I could work with the students, the light went golden and Jack loaned me his 50-140 and wow is that lens tack sharp even hand held, that’s gonna cost me!!!!


folds 1


I also took the 56mm f 1.2 and the 10-24 and the 14mm f 2.8, and…..I never used any of them.  So “What did I learn?”  For this kind of travel/nature work, if you don’t need to get very wide, wider that 24mm. an 18-55, 55-200 and the 100-400 can get you through almost all fo it, the 50-140 and the converters would work too!!!




the Pilgrim

7 Responses

  1. Myles says:

    Mr. Fortney,
    As usual, you provide some wonderful counsel. I love your wide shot of the wheat field. The toning on that B&W of the gas station is superb.

    Regarding the photographer intrusion of farm land. In my day job, I deal with a lot of ranchers and farmers. Almost all of them are very salt of the earth and kind people. However, they are protective. Many times they own the land they farm, or as Ranchers have grazing rights to the State or Federal land. As such they have a duty to protect that land. There is nothing wrong with that either. I think many times what may happen is that photographers might be so entranced with capturing an image, they may not realize they are trespassing on private, State, or Federal land. Over time, if you have enough photographers doing this, there will naturally be push back from those farmers, ranchers, etc. Nine times out of Ten, the photographer will be met with kindness and success if they do a little research on where they are at. Find out who owns the land or oversees the farm. Talk to them, get to know them a little. Then, here is the most important thing, ask permission to photograph. Lastly, have a humble, respectful and kind attitude while doing all of this.

  2. Richard Browne says:

    On the Oregon coast workshop, I took far too much gear. Looking back, I used the 18-135 most, the 100-400 next, and the 90 and 10-24 each a little bit. I took, but didn’t use, the 35 f/2 and the 14 (of course, neither of those lenses added appreciably to my weight load). I shot with my X-T2, but I took my X-T1 as a back-up, and while I didn’t lug it around while I was shooting, I still have to carry it with me (maybe I should downsize my back-up to an X-T20 – same sensor as the X-T2 and if I have to have a back-up it would provide more consistency with the X_T2 and would weigh less than the X_T1 and grip). I think I’ve got to go through my entire list of gear and try to see what I simply don’t use and leave it behind (at least when I fly to locations). Your experiment has been useful to me in getting me thinking along the same lines!

    • admin says:

      I think owning it is fine, carrying all of it is nuts!!! I shoot better when I limit my choices at any given location!!!!

  3. Rodney McKnight says:

    Always great to hear how you are thinking Bill…thanks…I don’t know why but I get stressed when I take several lenses on a shoot…I think I worry too much about which lens I should pull out…I’v started going out some with just one lens and I’m calmer (lol). I miss some shots but enjoy my time out more…spend more time enjoying His creation too…

  4. Jerry R says:

    So any conclusions or recommendations between the 18-55 and the 18-135 as a basic go-to lens?

    Jerry R

  5. Bill,

    It was good to talk to you and Jack once again during your 2017 Palouse workshop, I hope it was a very successful one. Man, Jack has been doing that ‘Palouse’ workshop 22 years now, that’s a lot of workshops.

    I fit the Palouse area in with some ghost town exploring and photographing in Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. I only spent three days in the Palouse.

    I hope to join you and Jack in another workshop in the future. By the way, I too concealed carry, except for Oregon, which my permit(s) doesn’t cover.

    Take care.
    Warren Willis

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