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3 years, 8 months ago 8

Dr. Charles Stanley at North Window and Turret Arch


Sorry I missed yesterday’s blog entry, been rushing around getting ready for the Arches event!!!  I am personally excited about this event for many reasons, not the least of which is the wonderful team we will have in place!!  I will be joined by my long time friend and former boss at Nikon,(and now also retired), Bill Pekala, my partner and brother Jim Begley and our team member, “Snake” Barrett, and some important surprise guests!  I love Arches/Canyonlands and I can’t wait to share the parks with these friends, and our wonderful group attending the workshop.  Many of our attendees are long time friends and His Light customers already, so that makes it special as well!  * (just fixed about ten typos, not sure where my head was, sorry!!!!)


This event will feature night time photography of the Milky Way over some of the fantastic stone monoliths in Arches, and that should be a lot of fun!  Regular early and late light locations are also great in these two parks!  If all that were not enough, a trip to Milt’s Stop & Eat (one of the very best cheeseburgers in America), is worth the trip alone!


I have a very special request for those of  you that read this blog entry.  Our first event of the year last week in Old Car City was a great event and the spiritual aspect of the workshop was on of the most profound ever.  When Jim and I started His Light Workshops it was with the expressed purpose to not only help people improve their photography and have a great time, but to also lift them up spiritually!  Our hope is always that anyone that goes on a workshop with us will leave renewed both photographically and spiritually.  By that I mean that they will go home with a deeper commitment to serve God in their family, with their friends, an co-workers, but also to deepen their walk with Him.  The workshop company does not belong to us, it belongs to Him.


Please pray for the folks that are joining us, and for our team, that we will be obedient to Him and make people feel welcome and encourage them to find a deeper walk in the spirit!  Also please pray that those attending, that they will come with an open heart to what God  wants to teaches during our time together!


Thank you for your prayers, on many occasions I’ve reached out to my readers and He always responds in miraculous ways to your prayers and I know He will again!


I will keep you posted with images and updates through out the week!  Thanks again for taking a little time out of your day to cone and visit with me here, I will always strive to make it worth your while!!!




the pilgrim


Workshop update & spots available for the remainder of 2014:


March  26-30    Arches/Cayonlands    SOLD OUT

May 28-June 1   Grandfather Mountain and Blue Ridge Mountains     3 spot available

June 12-15  Columbia River Gorge, Oregon with Jack Graham    4 Spots available

June 19-22  The Palouse in Washington State   with Jack Graham    SOLD OUT

July 30-August 3   Ricky Skaggs Workshop in Nashville TN   6 spots available

September 23-28  The Badlands/South Dakota Tour    6 spots available

October 15-19  Fall Color in Brown County Indiana   SOLD OUT

October 21-25 Acadia N.P. with Jack Graham   4 spots available

October 29- Nov. 1   Fall in the Great Smoky Mountains   SOLD OUT

November 6-9  Nelson Ghost Town (Las Vegas, NV) with Jack Graham   5 spots available


To sign up for the Jack Graham workshops, contact Jack at


3 years, 8 months ago 9

I’m getting ready to join my team in Moab for the Arches/Canyonlands event next week!  I’m honored and thrilled to have a long time dear friend, and my former boss at Nikon as a member of the team in Moab!  Bill Pekala was the head of Nikon Professional Services for almost 4 decades and there is not a person in the pro community who does not know him and very few Nikon shooters he hasn’t pulled their fat from the fire at some time in their career!!!!  Because Bill was hips deep in running our department he didn’t have a lot of time to shoot, but he always was, and when he got back in practice showed what an excellent shooter he truly was!  I thought I would share just a few images he made when we did one our favorite assignments, the Reno Air Races!


Our favorite activity was dawn patrol, getting up before sunrise and shooting the fantastic planes on the tarmac in that great morning light!!!  Here are just a few of his images I had in my files from our previous shoots togetherI know our group in Moab is going to enjoy his company, and learn a lot from him, I always did!!  ….and if you are coming to Moab, get excited!  Enjoy!!





I’m honored to get to work with such great shooters, and people as Bill, Jim, and Snake, can’t wait for Wednesday and our opening night!!!




the pilgrim



3 years, 8 months ago 18

Yesterday post unleashed a flurry of questions, many coming to me in emails, so as always I will share my answers with all of you!  Just an aside, it is perfectly o.k. to post your question right on the blog!


(1)  Fred asked, yesterday, what brand were my lens and body neoprene  pouches?


Several are shown above and here they are from HDE, Bluecell, and Photo tech.  Here is the link for them on Amazon.


Google:  Amazon Neoprene Lens pouches




(2)   What are your most used lenses of those listed in your field system?


The vast majority of my field work is best served with the two zooms and a ultra wide lens,  the 55-200, 18-55 and the 14.  The new 10-24 zoom is due out any time, and it will very likely replace the 14, though I truly love the 14, it is so spectacular, but then the new 10-24 is likely to be as well. One of the things I have loved about the Fuji X System is that every single lens is so good that I don’t have to choose one over the other based on which are sharper!



(3)  Laura says, “It seems your single focal length lenses are duplicates of the focal lengths you already have in the zooms, and any reason for that?”


Actually there is a very good reason for having both!  The three lenses above are my speed lenses, and I would use them when I was doing available light work, say a jazz club in New Orleans, or family pictures in a normally lit room.    Another reason for the high speed lenses, f 1.4 and f 1.2 is the wonderful bokeh when shot wide open. That is one advantage that the other Micro 4/3rd cameras don’t offer, a full set of speed lenses!




(4)  Sam says, “I love the Fuji lenses, but I hate their hoods, have you found any solution?”


Actually I feel the same about most of them, for me the problem is the bayonet on hoods have to be removed to use a polarizer which I do all the time.  So above is a sample of what I’ve worked out.  For instance the new 56mm (85mm equiv) is a 62mm filter thread. and as chance would have it the lens hood for the Nikon 85mm f 1.8 fits it perfectly and you can screw it right into the polarizer.  Speaking of polarizers I use Singh Ray polarizers!  One more nice thing, the hood is capped perfectly with the Nikon 77mm lens cap!!!  The 23mm f 1.4 is used with a vented lens hood I found on Amazon (just Google Amazon 62mm screw in lens shades).  By the way the same lens hood and 77mm lens cap that I use on the 56mm, works fantastic on the 55-200.   Amazon to the rescue again Vello makes an identical hood to the Nikon HN-23 for a reasonable price!  Just Google Amazon Vello HN-23 lens hood.  Nikon’s HN-23 is much more expensive.




(5)  Stephen asked,  “I know you do a lot of close-up work, how do you deal with the short comings of the 60mm Micro being the only Fuji offering in that area?”


Wow, you’re right, this is one area that Fuji has not come through with more great lenses!!  Now having said that the 60mm Micro, other than focusing to slow, is exceptional and I use it a lot, however honestly it is not enough, so for now (until Fuji give us a 105mm or 150 mm Micro?  ***Please!!),  I have a solution.  Fortunately, with an adapter I can use my Nikon 200mm Micro (my all time favorite close-up lenses), and it works absolutely fantastic!!!  I do hope that Fuji gives us another longer micro that focuses 1:1, but until then, I’m getting along just fine.  One last solution, diopters works really well on all of the Fuji lenses, and I use them often.




(6)  John asked,  “I see you have the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye, is it any good?”


I rarely use a fisheye lens, but since the Rokinon was only $300. and I wanted to have a fisheye, I just dropped someone on one, and surprisingly it is pretty sharp, very usable.  Is it as sharp as say the Nikon 10.5 or 16mm fisheye lenses?   Nope, not really, but as I said three hundred bucks.




(7)  Tom asked, “Why did you choose the three cameras you chose?”


This is a tough one, I started with the Fuji X10, which I loved but wanted a bigger sensor, so the X-E1 was my first serious Fuji X System body.d it and would have been happy there for ever, but it doesn’t work like that, Fuji improved the X-E1 dramatically with the X-E2 so of course  I got one.  Once again, the X100s hit the market and though different it was wonderful and so I picked one of those up too!  Hate to admit it, but every one went on and on about the Fuji X-Pro 1 and so I added that body too.  I really like it but it is very different and I still don’t use it very much.  Then the big bomb dropped, the X-T1, which I love so much, will likely be the one, from now on… Ha!! do we really believe that, hey, I’m a photographer and that is spelled fickle!




YEP, this is the one!


Hope this is helpful!




the pilgrim


3 years, 8 months ago 17

One workshop over, another one about to start!!!!  The 100 lbs. of Audio Visual gear was shipped out yesterday, so now it’s time to turn to the camera gear fro this trip.  Since this workshop will cover landscape and night time photography I will be using by Fuji X System and I travel with it and my laptop in a Think Tank Airport Security 2.0.  the following is my standard kit as of today!


Three Cameras

Fuji X-T1 with battery grip and RRS L bracket

Fuji X-E2 with RRS L bracket

Fuji X100s



Samyang 8mm f 2.8

Fujinon 14mm  f 2.8

Fujinon 23mm f 1.4

Fujinon 18-55 f 2.8 – 4

Fujinon 35mm f 1.4

Fujinon 56mm f 1.2

Fujinon 60mm Micro f 2.4

Fujinon 55-200 f 3.5-4.6

4 Spare batteries for X-T1 and X-E2

4 Spare batteries for X100s

4 chargers

Apple Macbook charger

Macbook Pro 17″ laptop

Western Digital 2 TB portable fire wire drive


That covers the one rolling bag, more packing info later in the week!




the pilgrim