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4 years ago 2

I have to admit something, I’m a big kid when it comes to Christmas!   love Christmas movies, Christmas decorations, the way people smile and wave, and wish each other well!  (I live in Kentucky, we actually do those things here!)  I know they do that other places too, but in some places people are in a big hurry and don ‘t take the time!  So let me offer a suggestion or two on how to make this a great Chrismtas!


*  Find someone everyday to embrace and wish them and their family a very, Merry Chrismtas!


*  Take part in a service at your church that reaches out to others, a toy drive, a Christmas dinner, or the delivery, or assembling of Christmas baskets, it will raise your spirits!


*  Spend some alone time in the word reading the Christmas story, and watch a good film that depicts the story of Christmas, and the birth of Christ.


* Find a good version of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.  (I like the 1957 version starring Alstair Simm as Scrooge!)  If you take it to heart, it is a life changing message!


* Gathering your children or grandchildren around the tree and read them “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, and watch their eyes sparkle!


*  Give your spouse a personal gift, and take the time to thank him or her for loving you, for another year.


*  Celebrate the greatest gift of all, the birth of our Savior, Jesus!




the pilgrim

4 years ago 2




It is my opinion, that one of the most effective ways to show detail,and make photograph appear life like is  emphasize texture.  But how do you make the most of the natural texture that exists in the subject?  Let me walk you through several steps I consider when photographing,  each with an illustrating shot;


(1.) Start with a subject that has interesting surface texture, like the rain drops on this leaf. Smooth surfaces have very little discernible texture, but  droplets,  from a sprinkler,  add texture to the surface of the leaf.




(2.)  Be sure that the light is at such and angle that it casts shadows, in most instances shadows are the best indicator of surface texture as in the name plate on and old Hudson car in Old Car City.  The second image of a hood name plate on a fire engine shot in monochrome is receiving much stronger light and thus revealing even more texture.






(3.)  When light is overcast and thus no shadows appear, the contrast in color will help reveal texture as in the two images below shot on overcast days.  The old license plates on a textured wooden wall below are perfect because of the already rich texture in the subject.  The  shot below that of the garage door with the peeling white paint, derives it’s contrast from the stark black, grey, and white surface, which highlights the texture.




(4.)  Another form of contrast is color contrast, which leads to the accenting texture as in the old gas pump below that I found in Sturgis, South Dakota.  I added NIK Color Efex 4 filter, Tonal Contrast to even further pop the contrast in the texture.






(5.)  In the image below the two types of surfaces in the flight jacket, smooth leather and the wool lining set up a comparison of textures.  This image has very slight side lighting which helps the smoother textures stand out.





(6.)  Rough surfaces are often the most effective for images in which the real subject is the texture!   I found the sled held up by a large rusted chain in an outdoor art gallery of metal works just outside the borders of Mount Rainier N.P. in Washington state.  We had 20 students and five instructors and everyone came away with great texture images!





A good habit to form is making yourself aware of the texture around you as you walk around looking for images.  You will find that the pursuit of texture will be a rewarding experience and the possibilities are endless!


A daily walk with our Lord will add the texture to life, that makes it so much more meaningful!




the pilgrim



Photo Note:  All images with Fuji X System cameras, and Fujinon lenses.


I love rusted metal for contrast and texture!



4 years ago 13

Most of 2013 I have been learning a new system, the Fuji X System.  My first exposure to Fuji was an X10 that I picked up as a light, easy to carry, walk around camera at the beginning of my shoulder issues.  I was shocked by the results I was getting from the little X10, in fact the only thing I wasn’t thrilled with was the noise above ISO 800.  Then Fuji came to the rescue with the X-E1!   I’ll spare you the rest, but as you know I own a ton of X System goodies, and over this year have really enjoyed my results.  As you know I’m a generalist, and this light system has worked well for me.  Here are some of my favorites from the year’s take!



I love everything about this stuff, the color, the lens quality, and the wonderful monochromes right out of the camera!  At the end of this year, I’ve had more fun shooting,  gotten better results, and have less shoulder pain than ever before!  Can’t wait for 2014!




the pilgrim


Couldn’t help it, a few more!



4 years ago 2


As Christmas grows near and we rush about buying gifts for those we love, I want to share something I feel led to address.  When I was a young child my parents were very giving and loving and went way over the top providing sumptuous Christmas mornings for my brother Homer, and I.   I know they did it out of love, but for many years it had a negative affect on me.  Christmas became all about what I was going to get!  I have some very bad memories about a few times that I was disappointed and handled it badly.  I was young but I was also spoiled and I lost all sight of the meaning of giving.  When I grew up and got married I followed their path for a while, then it dawned on me just how misguided such emphasis on the material aspects of Christmas was.   I’m not against giving gifts, I’m against loosing sight of why we really celebrate the day!  Maybe one of the only great things about growing older is maturity runs you down, and  forces you to grow up, and see things in life in a much different way.


The highlight of my Christmas now is the candlelight service depicted above in our church Christmas Eve.  We sing traditional Christmas hymns and then, as we sing Silent Night, we light candles and the sanctuary is aglow with the light of His love. I now know that He was the greatest gift ever given to the World!




the pilgrim