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3 years, 9 months ago 2

I made it about 5 hours up the coast today and had a great visit with Mark Hilliard.  We went out to the Pawley’s Island Pier this evening and did some long exposure works, something Mark excels at, actually,he excels at a lot of different kinds of work!  I’ll spend the night ion the coast tonight and then head for Cartersville, and Old Car City.  I shot a few things today and had a good time, miss Sherelene, but she is with her sisters and I know they will have a blast!










the pilgrim

3 years, 9 months ago 6


The Mullis family lost a loving man and mentor.  Most everyone I talked to that knew him well had the most marvelous stories to tell, and it was obvious that he was greatly admired, and cared for.  I only met T. Ray once.  I’d been told that on my 30 year search for the perfect cheeseburger I had to try the one from T-Ray’s Burger Station.  When I arrived at a converted gas station I could hardly get in for all the cars parked out front, and the long line at the counter.  Diane Oliver my sister-in-law took me in and introduced me to T-Ray, he treated me as if we had been friends for years.  I’m so thrilled that I got a picture with him and his son, and other members of their staff.  We had a great visit and I really looked forward to seeing him again!


The burger was fantastic, good enough to reign as the number one burger in America for a while. In honor of T-Ray, I’m ranking it Number One again today.  While my introduction to this family was through some ground beef, cheese, and a bun, obviously there was much more to this man’s life than a burger and fries.  In talking to his family and friends I could sense the deep loss.  Should it be said of us all that when we are gone from here, that we leave a hole in people’s hearts.  T-Ray’s life filled many hearts with joy!


I bet he is making some burgers on the grill tonight for his “Bull Dawg buddies”!  There has to be football in heaven!






Thanks Ray, Go Dawgs, and know we miss you!




the pilgrim

3 years, 9 months ago 4


I’m safely tucked away on Amelia Island with Sherelene enjoying a little rest after a fun filled, and busy week at the Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest Event!  It was one of the most fun events I’ve done in a long time, and very well organized and run!  I have to admit that one of the things I most dreaded was shooting horses on the beach, but the folks that did the riding for us were really nice people, and they worked so hard to make it really work.  Sadly the first two mornings the light was just awful and it rained off and on, which made it even more miserable.  In spite of the weather the attendees stayed in high spirits and the horse folks were truly troopers!  On Sunday morning our last trip to the beach,  we had a great sunrise and everyone blasted away!  When we finally lost our light we spent a good hour under the picnic shelter just talking photography, it was great way for my time in St Augustine to end!!!




My time at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm could not have been better, while we fought the elements we got surprisingly good shooting conditions as the thunderstorms rolled in and out! Even though the shooting was fun, being with my dear friend Vinny Colucci and his wife Annette was even better.  Vinny is a world class shooter, and teacher, and even more important to me a dear brother in the Lord, and my friend.  We had a great time just teaching and hanging out in the field.  it had been too long coming, something I will not allow to happen again!  Thanks Vinny for all your help!!!





Getting to meet Mike Matthews and photograph some of his friends, like the Leopard Gecko above, was a real treat.  Mike really knew his stuff and we are now really looking forward to a His Light Workshop in Naples in the winter of 2015!  Mike has already become a dear brother and we both had a great time working together, and I know we are just getting started!!!!





Best of all is family, Sherelene above, got to celebrate her birthday this week with her sisters, Brenda (left side of frame) and Diane (right side).  I got to spend time with not only Brenda and Terry, and Diane and Ron, but got a lot of time with my son Scott, Diane, and my two grandchildren (not children anymore!!!)  Hannah and Ben.  It has been a great week!  Scott went with me to my Keynote address Saturday night and it was wonderful having him with me!!!!!






the pilgrim

3 years, 9 months ago 7

Today I made the shot that has always eluded me!  The Red Eyed Tree frog from Costa Rica!  Nope I’m not in Costa Rica, not going to be either….  So here is the story.  I’ve see this shot made many times, and always wished I could make it, but I have many friends that have gone and spent a week in Costa Rica, and came home without it, and in fairness a few that did get it!  But they hiked through rain forests, were eaten alive by insects, slept in beds surrounded by mosquito netting, no thanks!!!!!  I saw in the program for the Florida Birding and Photo Fest, where I’m teaching and speaking, that Mike Mathews was teaching a class on reptile photography, so I went this morning! To make a long story short, Mike was fantastic, really knew his stuff, the class was small, and I got to shoot a lot of wonderful subjects!


Turns out Mike is fellow believer, and we both have a common friend in Adam Jones, a wonderful photographer from Louisville!  I told Mike I would love to offer my His Light customers the opportunity to do a workshop like this and he said he does them every winter in Florida!  Plans are to set something up for next February or early March.  I imagine it would be a week long event that would include 3 days of reptile shooting and then Florida birds to include eagles, native Florida birds, and burrowing owls!  More details to follow when we announce our 2015 season in June.  If you would be interested in this kind of a shoot please fire me an email.  His events always sell out and we would have to limit it to a dozen attendees!  Here are some of my winners from today!!!!  I’m excited to do this with one of our groups!!!


Red Eyed Tree frog (Costa Rica)


Male Veiled Chameleon  (United Arab Emirates)


Face to face with a Bearded Dragon (Australia)


A juvenile Emerald Boa (South America)


A ball Python (Central & Western Africa)


Left to right, Austin Gehen & Wayne Louvers photograph the Python!


Pueblan Milksnake (Mexico)


An Orange Spotted Gargoyle Gecko (Grande Terre Island)


Mike was a great guy, an expert on these animals, and terrific reptile wrangler!  I can’t wait to team up with him for a wonderful wildlife event over in Naples, Florida next year!




the pilgrim


*Photo Note:  All images made with the Fuji X-T1 and the 55-200 OIS zoom, ISO 3200 and 6400, and with the Nikon 5T Diopter.   Tripod mounted camera.  No flash.