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2 years, 3 months ago 8

My wife shared a powerful teaching with me.  Now I’m sharing it with you!


“A Trilogy”


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 packs three important commands into three tiny verses. Paul wrote,



16 Rejoice always17 pray continually18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”



What Paul wrote here is more than just three easy memory verses. Paul tells us three things that he expects Christians to do on a continual basis. It isn’t just that Christians need to occasionally rejoice or be “part-time pray-ers” or give thanks under selective circumstances. Paul says these are three things to do always, continually and in all circumstances. Instead of give you more things to think about I want to ask you to do something. I am going to give you three lists to rejoice over, pray over and give God thanks about.




  • That God has created you
  • That God has saved you
  • That God sent Jesus for you
  • That God loves you unconditionally
  • That God has supported you through His church/people
  • For the people God has put in your life
  • What else would make your list?


  • For guidance in your decisions
  • For the church to grow and reach more people
  • For God to keep working on your heart
  • For greater wisdom
  • For greater boldness
  • For the words to say to those who need God
  • What else would make your list?


Give Thanks

  • In whatever circumstances your life is currently in, whether it seems good or bad
  • For the way God has sustained you up to this point in your life
  • That God will continue to sustain your life
  • To God for family and friends
  • To God for whatever blessings you have…they all came from God
  • For God’s patience, mercy, and grace
  • What else would make your list?

It is important we make a regular habit out of doing these three things.




the pilgrim


2 years, 3 months ago 8

As the writer of a blog, it’s easy to fall into the guilt trip!  Everyday I share thoughts with you about faith and photography, and often I fail to live up to my own advice.  We all stumble and bust our knees, and then stay on them while we make amends and try to make course corrections, that’s a given.  It feels even worse when you make statements and then have a hard time living up to them.   Time to take some action! I have shared often about how to travel light and use less sophisticated gear to make images with less hassle.  I rarely can make my self do it. I’m not saying I never do, but not as often as I should.  Over the weekend I needed to call on the O. Winston Link Museum, in Roanoke, so I drove up Friday and Sherelene and I made it a weekend trip of it.


Now you photographers that travel with your spouse know that often our intense desire to get the shot and dragging two bags full of gear and a tripod gets old to our better halves!!!  So partly because of my desire to make my partner happy, and part out of guilt about stretching the truth with you, I went with one small compact camera, a mini tripod and some spare batteries to Roanoke. The point is, I’m sorry and embarrassed, so I took my own advice and it worked out just like I told you it would!  I’m a stubborn old bird and I honestly would have loved to have had my D800 and bag of lenses along, but then, maybe for once I took my own advice and without meaning to, I proved my point, even if it was with egg on my face!!!


Now a quick word about Roanoke!   What a town, I loved it, great old buildings, terrific museums, great people, tons of wonderful painted brick walls, fabulous food, and the best waitress I’ve had this year, maybe in several years.  We went to a famous spot in Roanoke called Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles, this is real southern comfort food, and GiGi, (pictured below), was a terrific waitress, a one person floor show! This lady was funny, warm and did her job with great finesse’.  I’m always thrilled to meet people that love what they do, and do it extremely well, GiGi sure fills that bill, what a great lady, and oh my heavens what incredible chicken and waffles!!!!


Asking for forgiveness,


the pilgrim


The South.  The Place where….  1) Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter.   2) Summer starts in April            3) Macaroni and Cheese are a vegetable.  4)  Front porches are wide and words are long.  5) Pecan pie is a staple.  6)  Y’all is the only proper noun.  7).  Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy.    8) Everything is Darlin’.  9)  Someone’s heart is always being blessed.  


Photo note, Yes all these were shot with a point and shoot!!!  Cha Ching! 


Just for the record thought you might like to see just how good these little cameras can capture, full size!


2 years, 3 months ago 1

I got a lot of email responses on the previous article and some interesting observations!  Several folks said they had purchased a D800 and were still struggling to get use to it.  I agree that the D800 is not the easiest camera to master.  It requires a great deal more care, but then it pays big dividends when you get it right!  Another person emailed that they had the D7000 and, “honestly, it’s all the camera I will ever need!”   I agree again, for many, it is truly plenty enough camera!  Thanks for sending me your thoughts, I appreciate your input!


The bottom line on the mega pixel race comes down to two things, do you need it or do you want it!!?? Both are valid responses.  Do we need 36 mega pixels, very few of us really do, but do we want it?  Well, the D800 is on it’s way to being the most successful camera in it’s class ever from Nikon!!!  Sales alone do not make for a great camera, but of those that have been fortunate enough to use the D800, virtually all agree it is something like we have never seen before in the world of photography!


I have recently been playing a little game with myself.  Since I have been a Tech Rep for Nikon for over 10 years, I have shot with virtually everything we’ve made since the D1 and D100.  I also have a pretty large master file of my favorite images.  From time to time I open the master file and open up a favorite image and then look at the EXIF data to see what it was shot with.  I have to be honest and tell you that very often I’ve been really shocked when I was sure a photograph had been made with let’s say the D3 only to discover it was made with a D70s or a D90!  My point is simple, any camera if used carefully on a good subject, in great light, with wonderful conditions, and composed effectively, is going to be a great shot, period!  Am I saying that some cameras are not better than others?  Of course not.  What I am saying is that photographers make images, not cameras.  If you have developed your skill set to a very high level, and if you know how to use light effectively, and how to compose your subject for maximum effect, then it’s time for a better camera.


We all want to make wonderful images, and we can by making ourselves better photographers, by improving our vision, and getting out during the best light!  Equipment matters, but remember the story of the father who took his son , an aspiring writer, to meet Ernest Hemingway.  The father’s question for Mr. Hemingway was, “What kind of typewriter do you use?”  I think he missed the point!!




the pilgrim


Photo Note:  Image above at Acadia National Park Gardens with D800, 55 Micro Nikkor manual focus  lens,  set at f 11 for 1/60th of a second.   ISO 200   –  Vivid   –  Cloudy White Balance .  It’s hard to argue with this kind of detail!


Image above at 100% crop




2 years, 3 months ago 0

One of the things I teach all my students is to always have a camera with them!  So this morning, in all my infinite wisdom, I headed out to deliver the laundry and passed one of my favorite fields to find spectacular light, a heavy dew lying in the grass, and thousands of spider webs….and  no camera!!!  Shame on me!!! Well fortunately my favorite field is only a mile or two from the house so I raced back got a D7000 and my 200mm Micro Nikkor and tripod, and cable release and headed back to do some wet knee photography!


What would I have done if I was ten miles from home?, missed the shot!  So here is a suggestion, keep a small utility bag loaded and ready to go with you every early morning and late evening you go out to run errands.  I could say always carry it, and I probably should, but to be honest I rarely shoot except early morning and late evening, however sometimes good things happen mid-day, so lets amend that to maybe just keep it in the car every time you go.  You can leave your tripod in the trunk always.  The best thing about outdoor photography is that the conditions, light, and subjects are always changing and it is very hard to predict what will happen when, so just be prepared!


What should be in the small ” I’m ready anytime” bag?  I would say a general purpose zoom like a 24-120 (36-180 on DX)  a wide angle Zoom, for DX I like the 12-24, and a telephoto zoom (70-300), some way to do closeups, automatic extension tubes, diopters or a Micro lens.  The automatic extension tubes with the 70-300 can do remarkable stuff as well.  Of course a tripod and cable release.  I love the little wireless release for the D7000 and the DX body is my favorite for closeups!  So there you have it, be prepared, get out early and late, have fun and get some great shots, and  by-the-way, isn’t God one incredible jeweler??!!




the pilgrim