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2 years, 6 months ago 8


It is a part of the New Year to make resolutions, we all have made a 1,000, and broken 900 of them, so this year I’m “resolved to”….(like that?), make better resolutions!  I want to make resolutions that matter and don’t set me up for failure.


Here  is my list to start today:


1.  Get healthy.  Be more active, trim off some pounds, take better care of myself.  Rest more, (I love naps)!!!, and generally keep God’s temple in better repair so I can be a faithful servant for Him!


2. Make it a goal to brighten everyone’s day I come in contact with!  I generally do this,but I’ve noticed that sometimes I get my mind focused on other things, or get perturbed by something, and others don’t get my best!  I’m going to really try to be more aware of my outward projection of His love!


3. Learn something new everyday!  I am planning to read the Bible from front to back in a year, take some online classes from some of the folks I admire so much at Kelby Training, and work hard to improve my performance with various software programs I need to be better at using!


4. Spend more time on my knees.  I want to set more time aside to wait quietly and humbly before the Lord, and listen to His instructions, and then pray for the strength to accomplish the tasks He will give me!


5.  Love Sherelene the way Christ loved the church.  Listen to her, and study the ways I can make her life better.  Support her, cherish her, and help her be the woman God is calling her to be.


6.  I vow to never be too busy for any of the little ones in my life.  To stop what I’m doing, clear my mind, and listen to them, and hug them every day we are together!  I have few other more important duties!


7.  Strive for excellence in all I do.  I want this to be a year of great improvement in my relationship with God, my family, and all the other people that I care so much about.  I also want to take my photography and my photography teaching to the next level!


8.  I want to be more thankful.  I have so very much to be thankful for, I want to constantly remind myself of that, and live like a man that knows how blessed he truly is!!!


9.  Start producing the dozens of eBooks that are flying around in my head and want out!


10.  Remember my favorite quote everyday!   “I know to irrefutable facts, there is a God, and I’m not Him!”


Tomorrow a photography lesson, that I promise, will make you a much better shooter!!!!


Happy New Year!


the pilgrim


Yes, if I can do all that,  I’ll be that roaring bear!


2 years, 6 months ago 5

Happy New Year a few hours early, or if you read this after midnight December 31st, 20112, Happy New Year for real!  Let me take a moment befeore I get into some thoughts to thank you so much for coming to the Pilgrim’s Chronicles and spending a few minutes of your time with me!  I also want to thank all ofyou that comment or shoot me emails, it is a great encouragement and I do genuinly appreciate ydour efforts!


So I was having a  phone conversation with Mike Moats today and some really interesting things came up in the conversation, I would like to share the most important things with you!  If you are not familiar with Mike, and I am sure you are, he is one of the countries best close-up shooters, in my opinion!  Go to 

After a trip to his website I think you will join me in a deep appreciation for his work!  What I appreciate even more is that Mike is one of those kinds of people I really like, he is a straight shooter.  Mike doesn’t pretend to know stuff he doesn’t know, and he does know a lot, but he is honest and forth right with his students and friends.  We were discussing how many people feel they have to own much more expensive equipment that they really need.  We both agreed that there are pros with very serious need for a lot of the high end gear, but that most of the people that just shoot for the shear pleasure of it, can do great work with a lot less.  The particular thing we were talking about was just how incredible the Nikon D7000 is, and how capable it is of producing stellar work!


This whole conversation grew out of mistake I made.  The other day I visited a antique shop, actually tow of them in my hometown that I’ve been wanting to shoot some images in.  The owners were kind of enough to let me roam around Alley Stuff, and McBurney’s Design Center to just have a little fun, and boy did I have fun!  I will share some of my favorites in a minute!  I decided to keep it simple and shoot everything with a D7000 and the 85mm Micro Nikkor f3.5 lens.   I did use a tripod and a wireless release and then went hunting, so before I finish the story here are some of my favorite images!


So to finish the story, I told Mike that when I examined the shots above , especially the one at the very top I thought I detected just a little noise, which I have not found the be present in anything I shot with the D7000 in the past.   When I checked the EXIF data, I found that they were all made at a ridiculously high ISO, (1600)!!   Wow, my mistake!  The more I looked at the files, I didn’t think it hurt things that much at all!  We both got as good laugh out of it and vowed in 2013 to be alot less of a pixel peeper.  Actually Mike and I are not peepers at all, we are proud to say we are photogprahers, we use cameras, not to just test them, but to make images!!


Happy shooting in 2013!


the pilgrim

2 years, 6 months ago 1

As we come down to the end of 2012 I have a bunch of unrelated things I wanted to share, so let’s just call this “a little of this…a little of that…Friday!”


A big thanks….  I want to thank “Snake” Barrett for doing so much to help the His Light Workshops this year!  He built our new website, you need to check it out, he is doing as great job as it continues to grow!   He also led the way in teaching night photography and time lapse.  He is always there when we need to know what phase the moon will be in, or what angle the sun will be on the arches, if it’s technical, he is our man!  Snake is a pleasure to work with, a joy to fellowship with and always is laughing about something, Jim and I are thrilled to have him on our team!


The dream continues to come true…..  When Jim and I met in my office, and talked about this idea of making His Light become a reality, and then prayed that it would be what God wanted it to be, we never dreamed He would do such fantastic things.  Not that we didn’t know that God can do anything He pleases, it’s just as humans we seldom see just how magnificant His plan is, until we find ourselves standing in the middle of them!  Now, a couple of years later we see everyday how He is changing lives, and we get to be there to see it happen!  Not a day goes by that I don’t receive emails and calls from someone telling me  just how much what happens there and on the blog is changing their lives!  Listen, seriously, please listen carefully, I’m just a guy who lives in rural Kentucky,  there is nothing whatsoever special about me, except that I love the Lord with all my heart and I really and truly try to be obedient to Him.  All this that is happening is because of Him!  ….and Him alone.  It was my dream, a dream I dared to dream, but He has made it a reality….


Another thanks……  Jim Begely has been a great partner in the workshops, a wonderful friend, and a rock in our spiritual growth. I can’t tell you how many times we wrestle with big decisions about what direction we are to take our little company, and Jim always takes it back to where it belongs, at the foot of the cross!  His life is an example of taking God’s word, and living it. As a man I can’t think of a more valuable asset in life than this kind of friend and brother!


The last big thank you, and it’s a big one…..  Over the holidays as I got to love on all my family, I couldn’t help but think about a simple little wooden sign our kids got us several years ago.  it sits is in the middle of our countless family photographs, it simply says  “all of this, because two people fell in love…” Did I ever, and 44 years later I’m still madly in love!  I love you Sherelene.


Camera wars……….    I work for Nikon and I love my job, but I’m mad at Nikon!  They have made it way to hard for me to decide what camera or cameras I want!  In the last 40 years I’ve always owned the F camera or in the digital age the D single digit pro body!  I’ve owned F’s, F2s, F3s, F4s, F5.s and a F6 (O.K. I never owned the F6 but I had one of Nikon’s for  a while)  I’ve had D1s. D2s, D3s and now I have a D4 (in my consignment)  All have been state of the art for their period, but now it’s not so easy, with the monster resolving D800 and 800e, and now the very reasonably priced D600 which is the second highest resolving camera on the market in a 35mm body size form factor,what is a man to do???!!!  I’ve been doing a ton of tests, which is part of my job, but also a labor of love, and I’ve come up with a simple answer…you can’t go wrong with any of them.  It all comes down to your budget, your needs, how much weight you are willing to carry, and what you need to do with the resulting files.  Once you figure that out, if you can keep your emotions out of the decision, you will know what is the camera for you.  Only one factor remains, what is coming next!!!!!!


A lazy man’s HDR formula!  I greatly admire Jim Begley’s HDR images, and R.C.’s, Raymond Jabola’s, and a number of others that do very protracted things to get just the right image!  I’m not that guy, I work fast and don’t have the patience to work through layers, masks, and such, but for those that are  like me, I’ve got something you should try!  I am giving an example below, take a shot you would like to appear as an HDR, a straight one frame image.  Then go into NIK Color Efex Pro 4 and apply Tonal Contrast filter, use the sliders on the top right to  get the level of HDR effect you want.  It should look a little gritty.  Now apply Glamour Glow in the same Nik program, Wow, pretty good for something that takes less than a minute!



I did Tonal Contrast twice, yes you can layer them to increase the affect!  One more thing the original shot was made with a  point and shoot camera!  What did I say about testing and worrying about which camera!!  Yes, the image at the top was done the same way!


Breaking His Light news…….  We are in the process of finalizing plans for a great workshop in October of 2013.  We will be bringing Dave Black to His Light 

Dave is one of America’s premier sports photogprahers and also a master of light painting, his class in Shaker Village will be a light painting workshop, and until you’ve studied with Dave, you haven’t seen great light painting technique.  This will be a very hands on workshop with both outdoor large scale light painting, and small scale studio type light painting.  Strictly limited to 14 participants!  It will be late October when the Kentucky fall foliage should be spectacular in Shaker Village.  The workshop is expected to be $899.  Contact us as soon as possible if you want to join us, I expect this one to fill up very fast!  Yes, Dave Black is an amazing brother too!





A new Point and shoot I love!  Nikon’s new P7700 is a great point and shoot!  It has a very well made with a good heft, but still small enough to stash away in a coat pocket.  It is a 12.2 mega pixel sensor compact with a great zoom lens, 28-200 f 2.8 to f4 lens that is very sharp!  It has a fold out  LCD panel which makes shooting from low and high much easier, it does not have  a viewfinder, which I miss, but the LCD panel works great and is very contrasty and sharp. It shoots RAW and has a usable ISO range from 80 to 1600.  It also shoots Full HD,  1080p movies with stereo sound!  I took it down to the local antique shop the other day and made a few image handheld, (it has great vibration reduction built in!)  I was impressed, take a peak!


Pretty nice work from a camera you can put in your pocket!!!!


Haver a great New Years weekend, I will be spending it with my grandchildren, Cade and Cassidy, see you Monday, God Bless!


In Him,


the pilgrim

2 years, 6 months ago 8

Over the holidays, I’ve been editing images and thinking about what a great time I had at the workshop in Red Rock country last month.  The other day I got the image above from  Jim Begley that he shot of my son Wes at Horseshoe Bend.  I love the shot of Wes,  it is not only a nice portrait, but it is where he is happiest out in the wilderness!  You can see it on his face, nice portrait, Jim!


I think it is because of Wes, and Jim, Snake, Chuck, R.C. and all the great people that were with us that these workshops are so much fun.  The scenery is spectacular, and the opportunities to make nice images are endless, but it is even more the fellowship that you remember, after it is all over and you get back home!  My wish for everyone is that they experience that kind of friendship and fun in life.  Many find it at the tailgating before the big game, or during a fishing trip, or in Sunday School, but it is a vital part of our lives to have people whose company we really enjoy, and new friends we add to our most important circle!


I wish  you a Happy New Year and the blessings of friends,


the pilgrim