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2 years, 3 months ago 6


I’m at one of my favorite meetings of the year but I’m grounded today!  I came down with a stomach bug late yesterday and I felt I needed to ground myself today and recover while the gang is out shooting.  I always really enjoy these field trips, but better safe than sorry.  The good news is that the Nikon prep work for future meetings never ends so I’ll have a day in my hotel room to both recover and get some work done, so it’s not a day off, but I’m not complaining.  My talk to the group went really well yesterday!  I was able to sprinkle some humor into an otherwise dry, death by powerpoint presentation.  Thank you Lord for laughter!


Scott Kelby was our special speaker and, as usual, he hit it out of the park!  What a great teacher, friend, and partner to work with. He taught on workflow techniques with Camera Raw and Lightroom 4 and they were fantastic pieces of information.  As I said in yesterday entry, this is a really special group of folks and they are a lot fun to work with. A few of my old friends from this group didn’t make this years meeting and I sure missed them, didn’t seem quite the same without them around.  No one worked harder yesterday than Francis Yeh, our repair tech.  Francis did a ton of camera cleanings, and as usual the recipients of his fine service were thrilled!


When I went to bed last night, not feeling very good, I dropped off to sleep thinking about something I wanted to share.  I was thinking about how much of my life could have been better if I had only listened to God’s voice and obeyed.  Once you tell God you want him to come into your life and live in you, He takes that invitation very seriously!  From that moment forward, He wants to guide you into what is best for you and most glorifying to His kingdom.  The hitch comes when we don’t listen or willfully choose to go another direction.  The result is always the same, failure.  God is not a “better” way, He is the “best” way!  It amazes me how often I think I understand what’s best for me and make decisions that don’t line up with His will, I always suffer from that mistake.  What is utterly amazing, to me,  is that I know better and yet, still do it over and over.  I would like to think that the frequency of my going off the reservation is reducing, but sometimes, I wonder.  God gave us free will and He refuses to stop us from making bad decisions.  I believe it is part of the learning process.  As the late Mark Twain once said, “A man who takes a bull by the tail, obtains information that will always be useful!”


Let me encourage you to take the “best” path and prayerfully ask Him for guidance in all your decisions. One thing is for sure, He loves you too much to ever steer you in the wrong direction, the important thing for us, is to listen………


the pilgrim


* Photo Note:  The AV-8B Harrier II, above, was shot at sunrise at Sun n’ Fun this year.  It was shot on one of the first days I used the new D800, which I’ve fallen in love with!

2 years, 3 months ago 0

I am in Norfolk at the International Symposium on Aviation Photography, in fact was one of the morning speakers for Nikon.  What a great group of folks, many old friends and lots of new ones too!  To me, this is one of the great joys in life, spending time with people of common interests.   I ran a workshop a few weeks back filled with fellow Christians and people that loved old rusted cars, we had a blast and the common faith and interest in things old, made it even better!  I actually love to go to gatherings like car shows, fishing tournaments, gun shows, you name it, if the group is all into the same thing they will be having a blast, and I will too!  I don’t even have to be excited about what excites them, I just love to see people having fun!  I think that is one of the best things I enjoy about workshops, see people pumped to be out having fun.


Having fun is not a sin!  I thank God that He wants us to have joy in our lives! Being with people that I care about is really a great pleasure for me.  I will get into real trouble if I start making along list, because someone will invariably be left out and the last thing I would want to do is hurt anyone’s feelings, but I simply must mention a few!  Of course my repair tech, and constant companion at many events like Sun n’ Fun and the Derby, Francis Yeh, just a great guy and very fine technician.  Jose Ramos was one of the guest speakers this year and is good friend and someone I really enjoy hanging out with.  At this year meeting I had the distinct pleasure of visiting with my dear, long time, friend, Jim Sugar.  Jim and I discovered many years ago on one of our first trips together they we are almost exactly the same age!   Jim was born February the 8th, 1946 at 9:00 p.m., I was born 9 hours later, February 9th, at 6:00 a.m.!!  One of my favorite phone calls of the year is calling him on his birthday and saying, “I’m sure glad I’m not as old as you!!!”  Jim is a genuine legend in the business.  Jim was one of the very best shooters, ever, at National Geographic, and he just gets better every year.  Jim is fireball of energy and enthusiasm, and I’m always better after i get to spend time around him!


Image by Larry Grace

Jim’s great family, left to right, Jim, his son Sam’s girlfriend,  Kira, Sam, and his wonderful wife, Jan.  What a wealthy man!


Of course the great people of ISAP are one of my very favorite groups!  Such classy people, from such varied backgrounds.  At this years meeting we have the honor of two of the Tuskegee Airman at the meeting!  I will post a picture of me with them after the break!


Does it sound like I’m having fun?  You bet!!


Thank you Father for blessing me with such great friends and associates!


the pilgrim


And oh yes, my new Tuskegee Airman friends!!  Left to Right, Hilton Joseph, myself, and O. Lawton “Wilk” Wilkerson.  Wow, what an honor!












2 years, 3 months ago 5

From time to time, as new gear becomes available, I change up what I carry into the field for general work.  With the advent of the D800, my system has slightly changed again.  Illustrated above and below is the same system in three different ways of carry.   Top, Domke shoulder bag, below, Think Tank Modular belt system, and the Lowepro Pro Trekker 300 AW,  the system is the same, a three zoom package with a lens for dedicated close-up work.



Nikon 16-35 AFS VR f4

Nikon 24-120 AFS VR f4

Nikon 70-300 AFS VR f4.5-5.65

Micro Nikkor 105mm AFS VR f2.8

Of course spare batteries, cable release, polarizers, and cleaning supplies.



AS I board a plane in a few minutes for Norfolka nd ISAP, this will be my shooting system for the next few trips to wring it out.


God bless,


the pilgrim



2 years, 3 months ago 16

It seems odd, but certain things are attractive to me, and one of them is old bottles.  When I got an email the other day from Raymond Jabola, he shared some images he shot at the Law Railroad Museum in Bishop, California, a spot we will take our group next month.  I loved the shots and found my self really anticipating getting to shoot them!  These bottle were on as shelf in an old restaurant we stopped in for lunch in New England, once again I was jazzed to see them and shoot them.  As I think about someday leaving my day job, and chasing old things like these bottles, I know they will become one of my favorite subjects.  You saw last week when in St Augustine, I found an old pharmacy and shot guess what, old bottles!


I’m glad we do not all gravitate to the same things, it sure makes photography a lot more fun, seeing how other people see the world!  Wednesday I fly out to Norfolk for the International Symposium on Aviation Photography.  Yet another subject I really enjoy.  I’m thankful that God has given me so many varied interests.


Tonight my heart is heavy, I want to ask for your prayers, I am visiting an old friend soon, he is just about the same age as myself, sadly he is battling cancer and it’s pretty serious.  I want to comfort him and I want to share the  most important information I posses, I want to do it in the right way, please pray that I do.  I’m never worried about what people will think of me, I’m only concerned that they get God’s message of love.  I know it is in God’s hands just as my friend is, but I just want him to hear what my Heavenly Father has for him!  I’m honored to serve Him and thankful to have such Good News to share. I always feel so much better knowing you guys are praying for His will to be done!


Be blessed,


the pilgrim