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6 months, 1 week ago 4
Posted in: Uncategorized

Wes Card 1wes card 2

 

It has been a morning of encouragement!  Sue had a good day yesterday, Wes had a good day yesterday, Deb and Bryan had a good day, and the sun rose this  morning and I discovered I had no tag attached to my big toe!!!!!  Sherelene bought this card for Wes, but I wanted to share it with  you too, this is a card for all of us!  Then we did our Intouch Devotional and it tied right in, more words of God incredible love for all of us, so it is below!

 

Lamentations 3:21-23

 

We have been examining the nature of faith. But on what must we build a strong faith in the Lord? Let’s look at seven aspects of the foundation:

 

1. God is. Faith must be built around the simple confession that the Lord is—that He is real and that He exists and is indeed God.

 

2. God is love. Not only is God real, but He’s also intimately concerned with your life and wants to engage in a relationship with you.

 

3. God is just. You never have to wonder whether or not the Lord will treat you fairly. His justice is absolutely perfect—even when He hands out His loving discipline.

 

4. God is all-knowing. He knows your heart, your pain, and your questions. You cannot shock or surprise Him.

 

5. God is everywhere. You never have to wonder where He is; in truth, you cannot escape Him. Wherever you are, He is right by your side.

 

6. God is all-powerful. There is nothing greater than God. No matter how enormous the challenges and heartaches in your life seem to be, you can overcome them in His power.

 

7. God is faithful. That is, He is utterly and completely dependable. Because of this truth, God’s children know that they can always count on Him for the others. No matter how far you stray, He remains at your side. Regardless of what you have done, He will always welcome you home.

 

Use the above list as a prayer guide, recognizing each one of these characteristics of God and offering your faith as a sacrifice today.

 

Need I say more????

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

 

6 months, 1 week ago 4
Posted in: Uncategorized

2017 Promo Card Front2017 Promo Card Back

 

I’ve gotten some emails asking if I think Novemebr 1-5 is a little late for fall color in the Smokies???  While no one can predict this far in advance, the past two years the best color was in early November, so based on that I think these are good dates!  I like it just after peak, when some leaves are still in the trees but a lot are on the rocks in the streams, maybe we will get just that!  Either way, as always, the fellowship will be great, lots of great new speakers and our usual family reunion atmosphere.  Hope I see you there!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

**** By-the-way:  My new Pre-Con on Master Photo Field Techniques is an all inclusive,  new program on how to prepare for a trip, research the area, scouting literature, using the internet to scout, then lots of new info on field tehniques (getting maximum sharpness, great color, and winning compostions) plus lots on gear and packing methods.

6 months, 1 week ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 6.28.23 PM

 

In the film photography era.  Leica had a wonderful series of lenses for their M series rangefinder cameras, maybe the most loved were the Sumicrons, and they were all equipped with a maximum aperture of f 2.  They were small, very well built and exceedingly sharp!

 

When the X PRO 1 was released many users wished for similiar series of lenses for this marvelous, updated rangefinder styled camera.  It took a while and in the meantime Fuji updated the original X PRO 1 with the much imporved X PRO 2.  Now we have three supurb f 2 lenses that are great focal lengths for the rangefinder type camera.  I’ve now had the chance to use all three and have some editorial comments on each.

 

XF23mm f 2 R WR   The 23mm (35mm full frame equivilent) is the most useful focal length.  The 35mm is a classic lens that can serve many purposes.  It is the perfect lens for travel, envirnonmental portraits, and general street photography. The Fujifilm  f 2 version is a spectaculalry sharp lens and it a joy to use.  For those of us that like to manually focus, the focusing ring, as it is, in all the rest of the Fujicrons, is silky smooth and joy to focus with.  The aperture ring has satisfying solid click stops.

 

 

XF35mm f 2 R WR   The 35mm (53mm full frame equivilent) is the second useful focal length.  The 53mm is what has often been called a normal lens.  I guess all lenses are normal, but that term referred to the normal perspectrive of the human eye, the area of visual concentation.  For that reason teh 50mm equivalent lenses give a very natural appearance to images.  Just as with the 23mm, this lens is super sharp, and the physical properties are the same, first class.  The big bonus for all of these lenses is theri very compact size, once again a perfect fit for the smaller Fujifilm bodies.

 

 

XF50mm f 2 R WR   The 50mm (75mm full frame equivilent) gives the shooter a moderate telephoto.   I would have much preferred a 60mm (90mm equiv. ) or a 70mm (105mm equivilent). Maybe that will come later!?  The 50mm is very useful when you want to move in closer, optically.  The images from this lens are bitingly sharp and once again the lens is such a great size.

 

What’s next:  If Fujifilm is listening, and I hope they are, let’s  complete this series with two more lenses!!??  How about a 16mm f 2  (24mm) and either the 60mm or 70mm.  That would give you 24mm to 90mm/105mm in five fast single focal length lenses.  Both 90mm and 105mm wpould ahve it’s benefitys, I think for the rangefinder X PRO 2, the 90mm might be beste, butr I would be thrilled with either one.

 

Here are a few images from these lenses!

 

KFC VERT

50mm

 

Dixie

50mm

 

ss_bill2

23mm

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 4.59.13 PM

23mm

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 9.21.52 PM

35mm

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 5.08.46 PM

35mm

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 4.05.21 PM

35mm

 

If you have a Fuji body, especially the X PRO Series, this is a wonderful trio of Fujicrons!!  Life is so simple with small and compact gear like this.

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

6 months, 1 week ago 5
Posted in: Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.31.59 AM

 

The joy of Acros on the Fuji X PRO 2

 

 

One of my favorite shooters of all time and fellow Nikon Tech Rep was, and is, Sam Garcia.  Sam has a great eye, impeccable technical skills and  vast knowledge of the photo industry.  When Sam speaks, I listen.  I got this from Sam today and I wanted to share it and make my own additional comments.  Sam’s original post is in blue my comments in red!

 

 

I simply love shooting mirrorless cameras. They’ve made photography a genuine delight again.  Me too!  
For those who have asked, no, I don’t consider using another company’s gear as disloyal to Nikon.   Me either.
When and if they get a professional mirrorless on the market I will be the first to get on board if it measures up to their (currently) significant competition.
 
Nikon’s seeming inability to recognize the sea-change aspect of this technology is especially frustrating since my personal involvement with mirrorless goes back over ten years to the Coolpix cameras. Shooting such ‘pocket’ cameras seriously when most photographers considered them to be essentially toys taught me there was another way.
Nikon assignments allowed me to start shooting–and liking–mirrorless cameras.
The Nikon 1 showed me where might go. (The “1” series should have been APS sized sensor driven, at the least. That it was not doomed it before the first box was opened in the US.  He is one of the best Coolpix shooters you will ever see!!!!
The company should have shot the whole series in the head by year two in the US, and moved along. The series was more successful in other parts of the World. It goes like that sometimes.)
Cell phones showed the industry that customers were willing to accept ‘cameras’ in any number of different enclosures.  So true!
 
Nikon CAN make a competitive answer to both Sony and Fuji. But they got scared, and fear has cost them a good five year lag getting into the game.
Yes, their current models are good and sell well.
But
Eastman Kodak, back in the 90’s: ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah…digital is interesting. But have you looked at the sales numbers?! You know, my friend, we sell one HELL of a lot of film…!
And believe me, that market’s not going anywhere anytime soon.’
 
Just my personal opinion: the failure in the US market of the Nikon 1 system (sales nowhere near what was originally desired) made the company gun-shy about introducing yet again, another system which would require years of support, and an entirely reconfigured lens line. The financial ‘bet’ would have been enormous. I think that is an excellent analysis!
 
Or rather, will be, since, reluctant or not, everything I know about the industry says the company must get on this track if it wishes to generate future success comparable to past success.
Conventional dslr cameras aren’t going away in the immediate future, but their days are clearly numbered.  Most people do not want to hear this, but it’s true!!!
All quibbles about this or that being different on a mirrorless are simply distractions from a larger certainty:
 
Conventional dslr cameras are the, “dead man walking”, of photography.
A one eyed blind guy with a bag over his head can see that.
 
The Sony and Fuji cameras I have been using have changed the way I shoot. And the cameras have been delightful to use.
(Well, with the exception of the Sony menu system which was clearly laid out by a Sony engineer who suffers from dyslexia, and was coming down from an LSD high when he laid them out.
Unquestionably all Sony A7 menu series meeting were held under the influence of hallucinogens & saki.)  Both hilarious and true!!!!
 
[Oh, and what moron put the on-off switch on the Leica SL on the back, left hand side…? Idiot.]
 
But I digress.
All I really meant to say when getting this shot set up to go out was: mirrorless makes black and white fun again.  Amen!!!
It makes experimenting fun again.    Amen!!!
 
I’m guessing nobody at Nikon is having a great deal of fun lately and that saddens me more than you would believe.   Me too Sam!
Now, I think that answers almost all the questions from the last 4 years.
Actually I still have a few, but this was a wonderful article!
 
Sam
Excellent food for thought Sam!
Blessings,
the pilgrim