This morning devotional from Intouch was wonderful, it hit on a subject I think we all need to consider, how hard it is to accept how much God loves us. I would love to share it with you, and then make a closing comment.
1 John 4:7-12 New Living Translation (NLT)
Loving One Another
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
Scripture tells us that love is the very essence of who God is (1 John 4:7). So if you don’t believe that He loves you unconditionally, you’ll never really know Him or have genuine peace about your relationship with Him.
How do you define “love”? It is Jesus unselfishly reaching out to mankind, giving Himself to us and bringing good into our life regardless of whether or not we accept Him. Romans 5:8 tells us that His care and concern are so immeasurable that He laid down His life for us while we were still His enemies. In fact, the Bible says that He first began to express His love toward us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-5). That means your actions had absolutely nothing to do with His love for you!
God’s commitment to us has absolutely no conditions or restrictions and isn’t based on whether we love Him back. Nor does He have more love for “good” people who may strike us as more worthy. He loves us even in our sin, even when we don’t repent. Does that give us license to disobey? No. It gives us power to live holy lives, walk obediently with Him, and learn to love Him the way He deserves. To follow Him is to receive the love He has been offering all along.
Every single moment, whether awake or asleep, we all live under the canopy of the Lord’s wondrous, absolute love for us. But to fully experience that love, you must receive it. Say yes to this amazing gift that God wants to pour out on you. Bask in it, and let it overflow to those around you.
Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy, you have incredible worth because God loves you and accepts you.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 at 6:35 pm
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I just returned from CNPA (Carolina Nature Photographers Association) annual meeting. this is one of the largest gatherings of nature photographers in America, with over 450 were in attendance for this 3 and 1/2 day conference. I worked the Nikon booth in the vendor area and talked with hundreds of folks and heard two specific questions over and over, and over!
Question One: Should I buy the D4 or the D800?
Question Two: Should I buy the D800 or D800e?
Let me attempt to answer these two questions and keep in mind I can only make suggestions based on which camera is best for a certain kind of user or use, the final decision, of course, is up to you!
Question one, D4 or D800? The D4 which cost $5,999.95 is twice as expensive as the D800, at $2,999.95. So what does the extra $3000. get you? The D4 is the fully armor plated, hockey puck tough, tried and true Pro DSLR for people that need speed and longevity! The D800 is also very ruggedly built, but not up to the toughness of the D4. The D4 has a shutter rated at 400,000 cycles, twice as long as the D800. The D4 fires at from 10 to 11 frames per second, over twice as fast at the D800. The D4 has 16 megapixels on a full 35mm film size FX CMOS Sensor vs the 36.3 megapixels on the same basic size sensor in the D800. Because the individual pixels are approx. twice as large in the D4 as in the D800 the D4 will be better at delivering low noise in very high ISO shooting, vs the D800. The D4 is larger and a little heavier than the D800 (*the D4 is lighter than the previous D3s). The D4 has a number of additional connectivity opportunities not found in he D800 like Ethernet and a direct Wireless transmitter connection. The D800 is a very high resolution camera, currently the highest resolution camera available in a 35mm camera body size camera in the world! (as of 2/13/12). This means extraordinary detail in images taken with the camera if you are prepared to use a high resolution camera, to it’s full potential.
To get the most out of the D800 you will need to do the following:
1. Shoot with the very best glass Nikon makes:
Does this mean that only these lenses will give excellent results with the D800? No, but it does mean optical performance will be critical to getting all the 36 megapixel sensor is capable of delivering! So get ready to acquire the very best lenses if you want all the performance this camera can deliver! * When I get my production camera I will run a test with a large number of lenses, old and new, and report, but I suspect I will find that this information will hold up. * This will be even more critical when using the D800e.
2. Be prepared to shoot at optimum f stops to get the best optical performance. The optimum aperture setting for most lenses is approx. three stops down from wide open, for example if you have a 24-70 AF-S f2.8 Nikkor lens three stops down from f 2.8 would be f8. Stopping down any further will cause de-fraction which will soften the image and will result in a loss of resolution, which is why you bought the D800 in the first place. This happens in all lenses, but when we get to the extreme resolution in the D800′s 36 megapixel sensor the effect is greatly magnified, because the resolution is “greatly” magnified. The result will be that if you often need to stop down to f 11, f 16 or even f 22 the de-fraction affects will be much greater than you have seen in the past with sensors of less resolution. Let’s take a real world example; If you are shooting a stream in the Smokies and need to stop down to f22 to get a long enough shutter speed to blur the water, you will definitely see a loss of sharpness, (resolution), if you stop down that far. You might use a variable neutral density filter to keep from stopping down that far and shoot at f 8 but then you would loose depth-of-field! Welcome to the cost of extreme high resolution.
3. Keeping motion blur to a minimum. With the advent of the very high resolution of the D8oo everything will be magnified, even camera movement! It will be more important than ever to use a very sturdy tripod, lock up the mirror, focus using Live view,and take any other preventive measures you can to eliminate camera movement. The pixel density in the camera acts like a long lens, magnifying any movement. I would say that anyone who shoots hand held will have to take extreme care to avoid soft images due to camera movement, much more so than in the past. We saw some of this affect in the D3x, it will be 30% more likely now.There is no free lunch, high resolution sensors will require high attention to preventing movement.
4. Focusing will have to be even more precise. Once again extreme high resolution gives a great gift, and extracts a great price. Precise focusing will be crucial to getting the full potential of the D800. Because the latest Pro cameras have the ability to adjust focus point, this should not be a problem, but it will have to be carefully monitored.
5. Adjusting the High ISO NR setting will help with sharpness. Once again because of the very high resolution of the D800/D800e the best balance to hold edge shrpness yet offer some noise reduction will be to set the High ISO Noise Reduction levels to Low or Off. More aggresive noise reduction will result in a higher visable amount of softening of the image.
6. File Size. The D800 will make files a little more than double the size of the D4. A RAW file right out of the D800 will be around 75 mb. So a 16 gig card will hold around 213 images, a 16 gig card in a D4 will hold about twice that, around 430. Your 1 TB hard drive would hold something like 1,300 D800 Raw files (no adjustments) and 2,750 D4 RAW files. Your computer will take more effort to push around the larger files, depending on the speed of your processor and the amount of RAM you have. Needless to say files from the D800 will require bigger hard drives, and more RAM. This will really come into play if you shoot HDR. A 7 stop bracket for HDR in RAW will yield over 500 mb of information for the final image. That’s both good and not so good, depending on your computer.
Which would I buy for the kind of work I do? Remember, I do general nature, close-up, travel, fine art, some aviation and limited sports, and I shoot hand held images out of a moving ultralight airplane! Most of my images are for LCD projection, or web use, and I don’t make a great number of very large prints. I do need to use the full range of f stops on my lenses because in many of my images extreme depth of field is very important, especially nature landscape and close-up work. Considering all of that, I’m leaning to the D4, however I will thoroughly test a D80o, when I get one and will update these thoughts then. I’m extremely excited about the D80o and can’t wait to wring it out on the kinds of subjects I shoot. One thing is for sure, even if I love it, and I suspect I will, it will not be a camera I will use casually, it will require extremely good technique to get everything out of it, that it offers in terms of detail and resolution! Keep in mind that the D700o is a 16 megapixel camera on a DX sensor which has much of the same issues, though to a lesser degree. The D7000 has a pixel density equivalent to the resolution of the D3x which is a 24 megapixel camera! Anyone who shoots and uses the D7000 has learned these same precautions are needed with it as well, though not to quite a high degree. I can imagine a D4 / D7000 system with the D7000 being the hi res camera!
Question Two, D800 or D800e? This one is a lot easier to answer. for 98% of all photographers the D8o0 is the best choice. The D800e is as very special application camera aimed at the very small percentage of studio users that have been using medium format studio digital camera. They shoot in RAW, they have very tight control; of color and light, and they are very aware of when to expect moier’e patterns. For general use in the field, the very small percentage of extra resoluton will likely not be worth the extreme extra care needed to get it! Can it be used with a degree of success in the real world, sure, but trust me it will bring with it a whole host of new issues, you may, or may not be ready to deal with. My advice stick, with the D800 it has more than enough resolution and sharpness!!!!! Now having said all of that, if you are a medium format shooter, and know the drill on control of color temperature, and moier’e pattern issues, you will love it! For all the test of us the D800 will be a much better choice!
* Editorial comment. I have studied these choices carefully, first because I want to be very honest with you guys, my friends, brothers, and sisters, and fellow photoholics. I have also been giving this a great deal of thought because the day that I am no longer working at Nikon is closer than ever. I want to retire someday with at least one FX body and one DX body. I’m having to make the same decisions you guys are! When I’m retired, I want this to be a place you feel safe coming to get the straight story on the latest gear, and I want to never mislead you, which of course, I won’t, I may not always be right, but I will always be honest.
That is an important part of my walk with Christ. People come to me for advice and often make a buying decision because of my advice. I not only want them to get the best lens or camera or accessory for them, I want to be sure I don’t destroy my witness of being a man of integrity and honesty in the process. If I am to walk in His shadow, I must conduct myself that way!
What a fun time to be a Nikon Tech Rep!
Thank you Father,
This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 4:52 pm
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Over the last several days I’ve shared about how I believe God wants us to relate to others. Sitting behind a table full of camera gear and answering a bewildering number of questions is a good test bed for putting that into practice. For the most part my customers are really nice people, only a very small percentage are difficult to deal with. The group I’ve been working with this weekend are among the best I see anywhere in America. These folks are truly down to earth, easy people to deal with. The excitement about the D4 and D800/D800e was at a fever pitch with many of these folks. Even in a great group like this you have a very small handful that are not happy campers, that’s when you get a chance to see just how much the Lord has taught you!
When someone comes up with a problem and they feel it may be my company’s at fault it really gives you the chance to see how you can overcome their frustrations. I spoke to a man today that had a lot of problems with his camera, far more than is usual. He was convinced that he had a lemon and was fairly insistent that we needed to replace it! I asked him if he could walk me through the issues with all the details. I could tell that just having someone let him vent and express his frustration helped him. After we went through what the camera was doing, that it shouldn’t have been doing, we started to try to find out what the reason was behind the camera’s issues.
I suspected that his issues could be some menu items that were set incorrectly, rather than tell him that, I involved him in walking through the menus with me. Every time I found something that should have been set differently, I took the time to explain to him why it needed to be changed. After we found several incorrect settings, together, I asked him to try to replicate the problem, which was now resolved! He was a very happy camper and he understood why his camera was better. He walked away thinking we were now the good guys!
So what just happened. I listened, I worked with the customers to find the problem, and them let him become a part of the solution. Every- body won and that’s how you would love for all these issues to turn out. Sadly, sometimes a camera needs to go in for repair, or you have to give the bad news that the dropped and badly damage camera, may not be able to be repaired without a great deal of expense. Once again staying calm and being sympathetic does wonders.
As a tech rep, I know the same thing I know as a Christian, when people are frustrated or upset, sometimes what they need more than anything is a person that will listen and try to help them. I know that I can’t fix every problem, I do know that I can understand their frustrations, and do everything I can to help. Sometimes we all need just someone to care.
Christ cared for us so much that He gave His life for us. I’ve never been asked make that kind of sacrifice, but I surely can listen, and respond with respect and concern. I want to treat people that way He would.
This entry was posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2012 at 1:36 am
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After the show closed Friday afternoon I had the of pleasure of going to dinner with some great friends, and trying a new hamburger joint! Bob Krist, and his wife Peggy joined, their friend Deb Sandidge, my friend Tim Isaacson and myself for a cheeseburger expedition! Tim had found some reviews of a place called The Backyard Cafe out in West Columbia. It was one of those great little out of the way places that I’ve come to love over the years, a full parking lot and short wait for a table. The staff was fantastic and they served up a good meal while we all had loads of fun talking photography and telling tall tales.
The burgers were actually a pleasant surprise. I can’t tell how many legendary burgers I’ve had that never quite live up to the hype, this wasn’t one of them. it was done almost perfect, cooked just right, toasted bun, could have been better buttered, and they didn’t have American cheese, but it was still really good, and the company made it even better!
I can give this burger a solid 4.5 and as you guys know that is not a bad score. Fava’s, Shake Shack and Milt’s don’t need to be shaking in their boots, but the other burger joints in Columbia sure should be!! Well worth the drive. Burger hunting is dangerous business, the health police are always peeking around the corner to protect you, but I threw them off tonight, I order steamed broccoli instead of fries, admittedly a token effort, but, I think, worth an A for effort!
I once again had the pleasure of great company and as always being with Bob was a delight, as you know from previous posts, he is truly one of the great people in our business. Though I didn’t get to see Deb’s program it got rave reviews and I heard her work was outstanding. I’ve talked many times to Peggy when calling for Bob, and over the years have gotten to really like this great lady. Tim is one of kind, one of the nicest, kindest, and most giving men I know, we all enjoyed his company!
So after a long day of answering photo questions from a good group of photographers, over 400 in attendance, I was ready for this evening of visiting and sharing photographic fellowship. It was Grouch Marx who once said, “he would never join any club that would have him as member…..” So tonight I was thankful that this great group allowed me to tag along!
* The art????? My iPhone shot of the burger is still on my iPhone !*%$##$@ Gotta learn how to get images out of that thing!