Recent Posts
2 years, 3 months ago 4



I have now had a D800 for about a month, actually 25 days to be exact.  I love the camera and can state it is like nothing I’ve ever shot before, but like all cameras it has it’s quirks, and I wanted  to take it into the field and do a practical test of how it would handle certain situations in every day use.  I chose to go up to Keeneland Race Track with my good friend and shooting buddy Chuck Summers.  there I could shoot some hand held and mono-pod mounted shots of action and just high resolution subjects at varying ISOs.  I will share some images and my thoughts, and let you draw your own conclusions.


The shot above was my feeble attempt at a racing shot, I say my feeble attempt because in the course of working for Nikon I cover the Kentucky Derby each year and have done several Breeder’s Cups.  At these races I work with and serve some of the greatest race horse photographers in the world, people like Skip Dickstein, Dan Dry, and many others, if they saw my shot above, they would be a long time getting off the floor from being doubled over with laughter!  Having said that, if I used the D800 to shoot a horse race this is about what I would get!  Except for the very contrasty light, and my having cut off the horses legs, something they hate for obvious reasons, it’s not a bad shot, and the D800 performed admirably.  Keeping in mind that the D800 is not a sports camera, for single frame shots it did the job.  When you consider this is a hand held shot shot at ISO 160, I was pleased with the results.


The other night in Lynchburg, at Liberty University we did and evening program for the community, Tim Isaacson’s son, Silas, shot some images with the D800 while I spoke the image below is one of his shots.   Several things to know, the image was shot hand held at 1/125th of a second with and at ISO of 6400.  It is pretty darn sharp, I sure couldn’t have held it that steady!  It was slightly underexposed causing the noise to pop a little, so I took it into a noise reduction program and pulled out the noise, even after that the rich detail kept the image looking very sharp, you can judge for yourself!



While we are talking about noise, here is another of Silas’s shots this one at ISO 5000 and with good exposure, it is pretty clean!



Going back to Keeneland, I wanted to shoot some images the way I usually work when I can’t have a tripod along, so I shot the image below of one of the trainers walking a horse.  The image is pretty sharp, which means it’s not tack sharp, in spite of my having shot at a very fast shutter speed of  1/8000th of a second.  I shot at ISO 1600 to be able have such a high shutter speed.  My conclusion is if Silas had shot it it would have been sharper, not the camera’s fault!!!



While on the subject of sharpness, I saw a white haired distinguished gentleman in the crowd and got a few head shots of him.  His white hair would be a good test of sharpness. The shot was made at 1/6400th of a second with an ISO of 1600, the lens for the shot and actually all of them, was my favorite 70-300 AFs VR  f 4.5-56. Nikkor zoom.  First you will see the full file then below that, the file at 100% sized to fill the frame, but still 100%!!!!!




Finally I wanted to see if I could get a sharp image from a hand held shot, remember this is a 66 year old man hand holding a very high resolution camera.  I shot this small section of the Rolex Keeneland clock with the 70-300 at 300 wide open.  I used a reasonable ISO of 800 and turned VR on, the hand held speed was 1/4oooth of a second.  I was very pleased with the result, hey I’ve still got a little of the juice!


To show just how capable this camera is, I blew the file up to a “ten foot wide” print file!!!!!  Look at the spider web  in the upper left hand corner of this segment of the huge print, wow!!!!!



Conclusion:  The D800 is the most fantastic high resolution camera I have ever shot, period.  The files are big, it will require large memory cards, it MUST be shot very carefully if hand held, and it deserves and needs to be tripod mounted whenever possible.  If you can live with all of that, you may just be looking at the most capable camera to ever come down the pike.  If you’re a photojournalist or sports shooter, you will be happier with a D4, with it’s faster speeds, and bigger buffer, and ridiculously low noise at high ISO.  If you are anyone else and can live with slower processing times, you simply can’t make better images with anything else…….


Have a blessed weekend, more to come!


the pilgrim



Hey, after that last shot, I’m feeling the juice!  Maybe there is hope at this age!


Go listen the song I’ve been rocking to!



“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”


Listen Baby,
Ain’t no mountain high
Ain’t no valley low
Ain’t no river wide enough, baby
If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far, Don’t worry Baby
Just call out my name
I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry’Cause baby,
There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you…….


2 years, 3 months ago 15



I just returned from a few days in Lynchburg, Virginia at Liberty University!  Jim Begley and I spoke to several of Tim Isaacson’s photography classed and did a program for the the community on Tuesday night, we had a blast. I apologize for missing a post, I was pretty sick when I got home last night, and I really needed to crash and rest.  I feel better today, but still am fighting a spring bug of some kind.   On the way back from Lynchburg, Jim and I stopped in Roanoke to visit the O. Winston Link Museum.  Winston Link was a commercial photographer from New York who took a great interest in the steam engines commonly running on the Norfolk and Western Railway in the mid 1950′s to the mid 1960′s.  He saw and era coming to and end and he committed to make over 1,000 trips down to the region to record the great steam engines all over the line.  Viewing his images was an amazing experience, especially knowing he shot them with an 8X10 view camera and lit all his subjects with massive numbers of flash bulbs in large reflectors!  His work is utterly amazing!  The shot above copied from a  post card, is of a typical old country store scene along the rail line.  If you  love trains and black and white, you must get to Roanoke and visit his museum.  My father-in-law, Virgil Scott,  worked on this very railroad and the images have special meaning to me.


The entire trip was great, wish I could have felt better!  I am safely home and trying ot heal up, I awoke this morning to beautiful fog in my back yard tgrees, feels wonderful to be home!  God is good!


the pilgrim



Winston Link and his camera gear!!! Wow what a guy!


2 years, 3 months ago 12


I have to speak to about three hundred people today and woke up with almost no voice!!!   What an opportuity for God to show his provision!!!  Pray for the poor people that will be sitting in front of me today, thank goodness Jim is here to save the day!   O.K. on the drive up yesterday jim and i made up a three to four year plan for His Light Workshops.  Thought you might like to see what is coming soon!


His Light Spiritual Boot Camps:

This July ( date coming)   Townsend, TN  (Grat Smokies and Cades Cove)  Friday – Sunday

December  same location!


American Workshops:


Nashville, TN

Shaker Village, KY

St. Augustine, FL

Old Car City, GA

Amish Country  (or Pennsylvania)

Eastern State Hospital, Philadelphia, PA   (Special HDR Festival)

Mystic Seaport, CT

Bodie Ghost Town  (June 2012)

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

Boston Freedom Trail, MA

Civil War (Re-enactment)  TBD


Legends Workshops:


The Palouse Region/Olympic N.P.   WA

Glacier/ Waterton N.P.  MT

Acadia/ New England

Grandfather Mountain/Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Arches/Canyon-lands N.P.  UT

South West tour/ Monument Vallley/ Page  (November 2012)  exact dates soon!

Tetons/Yellowstone N.P.


Skill Sets Workshops:


Sound Synch Productions   (August 2012 – Corbin, KY)  Exact date soon.

Close -up workshop (location TBD)

HDR Workshop (TBD)


Can’t wait!!!!!


the pilgrim



2 years, 3 months ago 3


My pastor Tim, delivered a wonderful sermon on Sunday, a great teaching session!  I would like to share it with you!  The question was asked, “Who am I in Christ?”   The answer is wonderfully revealing.  When we accept Christ as our Savior, we become three things immediatley:


I am accepted!


I am secure!


I am significant!


The Word teaches us some astounding truths about our relationship with Him.


John 1:12    I am God’s child!


John 15:15    I am Christ’s friend!


Romans 5:1   I have been justified!


1 Corinthians 6:17    I am united with the Lord in one with Him in spirit!


1 Corinthians 6:20    I have been bought with a price and I belong to God!


1 Corinthians  12:27    I am a member of Christ’s body!


Go to sleep knowing that if you have accepted Him, He has accepted you in all these ways!!!!


the pilgrim