Recent Posts
4 months, 3 weeks ago 0
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

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Jack and I are very excited about these new Summits, we are working with the full backing of Fujifilm and these events are coming together wonderfully, we already have over 20 signed  up the first one in the Smokies!  If you want ot join us, please act quickly, we are sure both will be sell outs!  Thanks for considering joing us!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

4 months, 3 weeks ago 15
Posted in: Uncategorized

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When you get to be my age you either have most of what you want, or know it was never meant to be, or maybe you really never needed it anyway!  As we finally get the house and family shopping finished,  I’ve had time to think of a few things I would love to have this Christmas!  Bear with me, some of my list may seem like criticism, but it’s not!  I’ve passed every wish through one filter, my only filter;  “Would Jesus Wish For This?”

 

Wish Number One:  One of my first jobs was being a newpaper photographer, now they call them photojournalists.  I had an editor who was a straight arrow, a right down the middle provider of the news, not opinion, but the news.  He was so fair that even if his own mother had shown up on the local police arrest list he would have published it.  He believed that journalists don’t take side, they keep the pubic informed so they can draw      their own conclusions.  I wish we could get back to that.

 

Wish Number Two:  Wouldn’t be wonderful if we could get rid of political correctness, micro- aggressions, safe spaces and all that stuff.  And by-the-way when I say you guys, and women are involved, it’s not meant to be demaning, honest!!!  If we spoke to one another in love, Christ’s love, we wouldn’t be questioning what people “meant” by what they said.  If we didn’t like the way a person talked, we could try to be around them less, but then we might loose the opportunity to help them (or us) change! That’s not on your agenda???  Maybe it should be, just saying……

 

Wish Number Three:  Maybe we could stop awarding everyone that competes, win or loose.  It seems like the ultimate act of kindness to not make anyone feel bad, but it sets us up for something much worse than the pain of loosing, it steals the opporutnity for us to learn that loosing is part of life and we need to know how to deal with it, with strength and character.  My High School football coach insisted, in fact made us, get on our normal face and walk down the line and shake the hands of every player on the opposing team, even when we lost.  By the time you got to the end of that line you realized why you played the game and that’s why they played it to, and there can only be one winner. Everyone who gives everything they have is a winner, no matter what the scoreboard says, but still there is only one winner according to the scoreboard, just learn how to live with it.    

 

Wish Number Four:   That people would respect each other’s beliefs.  I saw a segment on Fox News this morning about a billboard sponsored by atheists that said,; Make Christmas Great Again – Skip Church.  O.K. My first reaction was anger, then I thought about it, God gives us free will.  We need pray for those that don’t believe, not in judgement, but because we love them (“Christ made that a requirement”)!  I wish that people that don’t believe would just not believe and not broadcast it, but then in all honesty,  I guess  they wish I would shut up too!  Fat chance of that, so I guess freedom of speech works both ways!

 

Wish Number Five:  As much as I deeply believe that we need to put Christ back in Christmas, I even more deeply  believe we need to put Christ back in our hearts, to stop the hate, the anger, the failure to believe that all lives matter, that black folks and yellow folks, and red folk and white folks an any other color you can imagin, all matter!!!  God loves all of us, and the way we treat each other, the ugly things we say, the lies we tell, the resentment we let build up in our hearts, it grieves him.  So my wish is simply this, Let us fill our hearts with the love and aceptance and kindness that the Savior of the world gave us over two thousand years ago.  Let us remember, every day of the year, that the forgiveness he gave us, the pardon, the release from all our sinful past, is available for everyone.  If He offers this as a free gift, can we refuse to offer to forgive.

Merry Christmas.

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

4 months, 3 weeks ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized

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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.

 

 

pekala

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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!

 

Blessings,

 

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!

4 months, 4 weeks ago 7
Posted in: Uncategorized

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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!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Some images I’ve been sent;

 

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Also check out   http://naturecallsphotography.blogspot.com/2016/12/come-back-to-smokies.html