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2 years, 4 months ago 1

I started thinking about this on the plane yesterday, flying down to Austin.  I often challenge myself to see what I’ve learned from experience.  I think you will find this a unique list of thoughts, and I’m pretty certain, if you take them to heart, they will make a big difference in your work!!!

 

1.  Always have a camera with you.  Murphy’s law says, “the best shots happen when your camera is at home!”  Even a small pocket point and shoot or your iPhone will work fine in a pinch!

 

2.  Practice learning to see and understand light.  Where is it coming from, what is it’s quality, and most importantly what is it doing to the subjects around you?!

 

3.  Look for color that stands out from the background, both screaming color and muted tones, then crop down to just a photograph that is color for the sheer sake of color.

 

4.  If you can’t or won’t carry a tripod, work very hard on your handholding technique.  Learn how to use solid structures to brace yourself against.  Determine what is the lowest shutter speed you “know” you can hand hold and still get sharp images, and then discipline yourself to stay above that speed.  Practice exceptional technique!   If nothing else, consider a good quality small table top tripod that you can keep handy.

 

5.  Except when driving, use a zen like calmness to truly visualize your surroundings.  Take the time to find all the intricate patterns, line, color and light interplay that make for great images. You will find the more you look, the more you will see!!

 

6.  Shoot wide, tall, close, then even closer, and shoot from all angles, high to low.  I even learned to fly an airplane so my tripod could be 500 feet tall!

 

7.  One camera and one lens of exceptional quality are better than two mediocre cameras and 10 lenses.  It’s actually easier to make great photographs the less you have to think about the equipment.  Though quality equipment matters, it’s your vision that matters the most!!!

 

8.  Study the work of others, on the internet, like 500 pix.com, and great magazines like National Geographic, Geo, or old copies of Life.  Exposing your photographic soul to great work will inspire you to see differently, and expand your own vision and approach to the most common of subjects. When I need a visual pick up I study the work of Christopher Burkett, Bill Cox, Mike Moats, Scott Kelby, Jim Begley, and Art Wolfe.  I walk away every time convinced that I have so much room to improve!!!

 

9.  Practice, Practice, Practice.  My best periods as a photographer, over the last 43 years, have been the times that I was most active as a shooter!  Practice may not make perfect, but it sure makes you a lot better!!!

 

10.  Have fun!  The best work comes out of a great enthusiasm for the craft, light, and the incredible visual treat around us, that we call the world!  Smile, you’re behind the camera!!!

 

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 4 months ago 0

Always loved that song by Little Texas, later met the lead singer, Dwayne O’Brien, he’s a pilot!!  Anyway, love to be back in Texas where great friends love a get together and some of my finest burgers that have been scarfed down!!  A few years ago I had two breakthrough burgers in Texas; Pappa’s Burgers in Houston, and Hut’s in Austin.  Sharlie and I were back at Hut’s tonight and they haven’t lost a step!  Still a great burger joint!  You just have to love a place with steers head wearing a National Championship hat, Hook em’ horns!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people are great the burgers are good and juicy and the history makes it all the better!  Hut’s Burgers have been voted Number One in Austin for 26 straight years, and have also been voted TEXAS Best Burger in 2011!   In a state that knows how to make great burgers that’s a real statement.  Hut’s holds on to it’s 4.7 rating and remains one of America’s best burgers!!!   The company, my pal Sharlie and Butch (her husband) get’s a 5!

 

 

 

 

Wish I had made this last shot, but it was from there website, someday, after another “Dagburger”  (Double meat) I’ll try to stay up late enough ot make this shot!!!

 

God Bless Texas,

 

the pilgrim

2 years, 4 months ago 2

I got a call from one of my favorite folks at Nikon, Sharlie Douglass,  she is the sales rep for the Eastern half of Texas.  I always enjoy working with Sharlie, she is a former NPS Tech Rep, and really knows her stuff.  She called to ask me if I would pinch hit for a tech that is our of the country at the Olympics, an assignment I has asked to be set free from.  The Texas Legislature’s photo group are getting new Nikons and needed a little overview and some training, so I will fly down to Austin tomorrow and help them out.  The great news for me, other than working with Sharlie, is Austin is the home of Hut’s Hamburgers, one of the very best in America.  It has been several years since I’ve been there and I can’t wait to see if they are as good as I remember!

 

I’m betting they will rise in the rankings, I’m a more seasoned cheeseburger critic now than I was then!  I will definitely get some pictures and do a review.

I found a great book reviewing burgers across American an so far I concur on many of the authors picks, we have raved about some of the same spots, I now keep the book in my iPad for reference as a travel.  I can highly recommend the book!  Which brings me to an interesting email I got some time back.  The writer said they admitted they really enjoyed the reviews and the Cheeseburgers in Paradise Blog, but they wondered how I got so enamored with burgers??!!  I figured some other folks might have the same question, and then thousands out there could care less, but for those want to know here goes!

 

When my brother Homer and I were growing up in Harlan, Kentucky my Dad sometimes was in charge of supper and he made a great Cheeseburger, as I went to school and later got out of college it was just always one thing I really liked. Later in life when Sherelene and I  formed a company called the Great American Photography Weekends I started to travel extensively to run workshops all over America.  Back then I would drove from Corbin, Kentucky to every place we did workshops, consequently I drove over 70,000 miles a year and was away from home over 200 days each year.  I really missed my family so I created fun games to pass the time; I collected funny road sign images, looked for all the brilliant color for color sake images I saw along the road, and started to search for the “perfect” cheeseburger.   It became a habit to ask friends in different town where the best burger was and then I would drop by those places to see how I like it.  I had a newsletter that went out to the mailing list of the GAPW customers and I would, from time to time, review a particularly good cheeseburger.  The more I did it the more I enjoyed the process of learning about the people and places and the history behind some of the long time favorite burgers.   People started knowing me as “that cheeseburger guy” so more recommendations kept coming in. When I met Jim Begley and we started to teach workshops together and travel to many Americana locations more great burgers started to pop up!  Now it has taken on a life of it’s own.  I guess it’s better than hanging out in bars!  But hey a few bars have been good burger locations.

 

So if you were wondering, there is the story, and if you weren’t, well I’ll try to get back to something more relevant soon, but expect a splash tomorrow night, or Thursday about Hut’s!

 

the pilgrim

 

2 years, 4 months ago 0

It is said that their are three dimension to human interaction; Time, Place, and What Happens.  In the spiritual realm we must add a Fourth, How we Respond. My Pastor preached on the life of Joseph on Sunday, actually he has been preaching on Joseph for several weeks. The story is found in Genesis.  Joseph was Jacob’s son and he experienced many trials but never lost his faith in God.  It took 13 years for Joseph to learn all of God’s lessons, but he was faithful to God and he eventually was made the ruler of Egypt.  I would encourage you to read Genesis chapters 36 through 42.  What you will discover is  a rich treasure of how to please God.

 

Joseph was thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers,  accused of crimes he did not commit, was thrown in prison for 13 years, yet he did not go the route we have often been guilty of in this life,  He did not allow bitterness, to enter his heart, which grows to anger, hatred, and finally a hardened heart.  Instead he looked outward and sought to serve those around him even when in prison.  It was very difficult to experience what he went through, but his response prepared him to be a great leader.

 

Do you want to be a great father, and husband, or wife, and mother, or leader in your community, or your church?  Humble yourself before Him and ask Him to give you the strength to respond in Love and Kindness, even when your enemies attack you.  Take heart from the songs lyrics below, You Are My King.

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim

 

“You Are My King”

 

I’m forgiven because you were forsaken
I’m accepted, You were condemned
I’m alive and well
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

 

I’m forgiven because you were forsaken
I’m accepted, you were condemned
I’m alive and well
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

 

 

Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king. would die for me
Amazing love, I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
Amazing love how can it be?
That my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do
I honor you

 

 

I’m forgiven because you were forsaken
I’m accepted, you were condemned
I’m alive and well
Your spirit is within me
Because you died and rose again

 

 

Amazing love how can it be
That you, my king would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
It’s my joy to honor you
Amazing love how can it be?
That you, my king, would die for me
Amazing love, I know its true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you

 

 

You are my king
You are my king
Jesus, You are my king
Jesus, You are my king

 

Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king, would die for me
Amazing love, I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do I honor you
In all I do honor you