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2 years, 8 months ago 2


Sorry, I’ve been out of commission!  I had my tests on Tuesday and it seemed things went well, then Wednesday morning I started bleeding internally.  Spent most of the day trying to figure out what was the source.  By last night we had it stopped and I was wiped out.  All is well now, last night the bleeding stopped and I think we are past it now.  I felt awful not getting anything posted, but I was under the weather.


I really miss reaching out when something stands in the way.  I never realized how much blogging meant to me until I was not doing in for a day and half.  When God tells you to do something, and you obey, He opens up so many wonderful blessings from it.   It’s fun to share what He places on my heart and then see when He is blessing others.  I’ve always known that it isn’t me and that the kind of repsonses that come could only be from Him, but it’s still fun to just get to ride the bench for Him.


Today I had to have some more blood work done and sitting in the waiting area, (I hate sitting in the waiting area), a lady asked if I was Bill Fortney, turns out she used to live in Harlan where I’m from.  She knew some of my family and I knew some of hers, we had a really nice conversation.  In the conversation she mentioned that her mother had died about a month ago.  I could tell that it was helping her to talk about her and so I listened and shared with her.  By the time she left I think her spirits were lifted, I know mine were.  Everyday God gives us a chance to reach out and comfort others and He also has people reach out to you too.   What a loving Heavenly Father we have that He knows what our needs are and places people right in the right place at the right time to meet our needs.  Some people would say those kinds of things are only a coincidence, no way, it happens way to often to be anything but he Hand of God.


Make yourself available to Him, to be used and to be blessed……….


the pilgrim


*Photo Note:  Nikon Coolpix P7000.





2 years, 8 months ago 14


Today was not one of my best days, a lot of things went wrong, or happened, that upset me, or angered me.  I was not at my best.  Now before anyone gets the wrong conclusion, my annual cancer test results seem to be fine, so no bad news was learned there.  I won’t go into any of the details but lets just say that I felt this was a pretty awful day.  I was very upset, and acted pretty much like a child about it, until I got home. Please let me explain.


I hit the door feeling awful and was just about to plan, and throw a big pity party,  when I turned on the TV.  I switched over to ESPN in hopes that a little sports would get my mind off the other experiences of the day.  I wasn’t ready for what happened next!  ESPN had a special on an athlete I’ve always liked, Randall Cunningham.  He was a quarterback some years ago that had some really good years before he retired.  In the piece they went through some of the ups and downs of his career and there was a number of both!   The story went on to tell how he found his faith and endured some tragedies few of us could survive.  Randall and his wife lost a 2 1/2 year old son to a drowning and of course, they were crushed by the loss, but the faith they exhibited, and their trust in their Heavenly Father was a deep witness to me, and reminder of who I am supposed to be, and who God can help me to be.  I was so touched that standing in my kitchen I wept and asked God to forgive me for my actions, thoughts, and forgetting that we are not alone, no matter what we have to face.


Those of you that come here and read what the Holy Spirit inspires me to share deserve my complete openness and honesty, I know that days and weeks go by and I sound so positive,  and on top of my game, but you need to know how badly I stumble, and how short I fall, not because you need to know that about me, but because you need to know how faithful He is to pick us up.


God never promised us that every circumstance would be easy, or fair, or comfortable,  He did promise us that we would never face any of it alone…….


the pilgrim


*Photo Note:  My dear brother Kent Irvin in Arches National Park.  Nikon D3s, 28-300 AFS VR lens.


Below is a short excerpt from the film, if you can find the full program I promise it will bless you, as it did me.

2 years, 8 months ago 4

I’m off this morning for my annual cancer tests.  Haven’t eaten since midnight yesterday, If Sherelene doesn’t keep me locked in the car I might attack a McDonalds.  I’m so hungry I might even eat an egg, and I hate eggs!  I taught a workshop last night with Jim Begley at my church and the group seemed overly concerned about my tests, if they know something I don’t know, it beats me.  A lady asked me if I was concerned having had such bad news from former tests?  I really don’t think about that very much.  My life is in God’s hands, has always been.  When I was diagnosed with terminal cancer 31 years ago, He saw me through it.  When it’s time, it’s time.  I’m not a fatalist, I just know who has my back.


I write my entries in the hopes that someone that doesn’t know Him will meet Him here.  I was laying in bed this morning and the thought came to me, what if this entry were the last I ever got to write, what would I say?  It would be titled; “The No Risk, Limited Time Offer…..”


If you answer the knocking at your hearts door, there is no risk, and the only time we have to open that door is while we are still here.  Pretty simple proposition……….  and one I hope you will consider.


the pilgrim

2 years, 8 months ago 3

For every problem there is a solution and in photography I’ve found a number of solutions from Kirk Enterprises!  At the most recent Photo Plus I got a chance to visit their booth and catchup with old friends, I also saw some products I didn’t know I needed, but now own!!!  First, I’ve gotten a ton of emails asking about the Low Pod I used in the Close-Up Classes on Kelby Training, well here it is below:



This is the latest version of the Low Pod made by Kirk Enterprises.  It is  great stable platform for doing close-up work in the field or in the studio.  It runs around $150. and then you add the ball head of your choice.




Another item that really works for me is the Super Grip, that allows an affordable package for doing video work hand held with DSLRs.  This one is show with my D7000, 85 Micro lens, and Nikon’s Me-1 Microphone.   Another 1/4″ 20 thread adapter is available to add a out board video monitor.  This rig makes it easier to do video with a DSLR and move it steadily.   Many other manufacturers make rigs costing up to $3,000. and above, for my money this unit with all the attachments comes in under $200.!  Quite a deal!



When doing video with a small compact camera, I love the Nikon Coolpix P7100 for hand held video work the Quick Release Grip from Kirk works great.  At $80. it’s a steal for much improved video.




I love to work with small cameras but always want to have a good solid support and for cameras like my Coolpix P7100 and my Nikon D7000 the Table Top Tripod legs from Kirk and the BH-30 Compact Ball Head from Really Right Stuff make a dynamite combination.  I love this system for working low and for supporting cameras when you can use a full sized tripod.  This unit can be held against a wall for extra steady support when shooting from standing height!  The Table Top Tripod legs run $119. and the ball head from RRS goes for $275.  It may sound like a lot of money but both are made so well they are life-time investments.





I use a number of different Coolpix cameras and having the right Arca Swiss type plate for each one has becoming madenning, until now, the little PZ-130 fits my P7100, my Nikon J1 and my Nikon P300, it’s a great way to have any of my small cameras ready to hook-up with any Arca Swiss device.  $30. from Kirk.





Another field problem is how to carry long lenses?  If you use your cameras neck strap to support your camera and a long lens you will very likely end up with a bent lens mount on the camera or lens, and expensive repair.  If you insist on using a strap be sure it is one attached to the long lens, NOT the camera.  Kirk has a device that makes hand carrying a long lens and body a snap, it’s called Action Grip and I love how it  works and then balances the lens for hand held shooting.  It runs $125. and fits any Arca Swiss design plate.





For many years Mike Kirk, founder of Kirk Enterprises, was a good friend and his son Jeff and his gang including Kevin Crist have continued on his great work.  I really love their products and am always excited when they come with new solutions to photographers problems.  I have also loved working with Joe and Joan of RRS, they too have made us some great products!




the pilgrim