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2 years, 9 months ago 11



I love Christmas, it’s my favorite time of year.  I love being with family and friends and celebrating our Saviors birth.  I do miss my Dad, William Pelle Fortney.  My father worked so hard to give my brother Homer and I great Christmas’, and birthdays, and summers.  He was devoted to his family and he tried so hard to never disappoint us, and he seldom ever did.  I guess that’s why I grew up to be the man that I am, I’m in a constant mission to be as good a man as he was.  On lots of days I feel I’m falling way short.  Parents are so important, they guide us and encourage us to be better than we would be without their help.  When we are young we can’t see it that way, we can’t understand why they just don’t understand!  The older we get the more we realize just how smart they really were.


My father taught me many life lessons, mostly by simply how he lived, how he acted, and how he responded to others.  When I was in high school he required me to go to work in the summers.  My friends were laying around the swimming pool while I was working in the Coca Cola bottling plant, loading the bottle washer or loading trucks.  I wasn’t to happy about this slave labor!!  One day at work, I was eating lunch, back then we brought it to work in a paper sack.  My father had been the manager of the plant some years before and the guys all knew him well and would often talk about him during lunch or breaks.  It became apparent to me that they really loved and respected my father.  I asked one of the older men one day why he thought so highly of my father.  He said, “Well your dad was the manager, the boss, he has the last word on everything, but he cared about us.  One day the bottle washer broke down, and we had to get it fixed, we couldn’t run the plant until it was fixed.  Your dad called your mom and said he was going to be late.   He took off his coat and tie and got a work apron and sat on the concrete floor and helped us until we got it running again!”  He didn’t have to do that, he was the boss.  He could’ve said get it done before you leave and gone home to dinner, but he didn’t.  You see your dad never said it but we knew he never asked us to do anything he wasn’t willing to do himself!”


Many years later when my dad was almost the age I am now I asked him about that conversation I had with the guys at plant way back then.  He teared up when I told him how much the men cared for him.  I asked him about what G George Riley said, (the old man I had talked with).  He said that’s just the way you should do things.  A leader is only a leader if he will stand in the same shoes as his men.   My father was kind to everyone, he genuinely cared when people were having a hard time and he did things, often, with out anyone knowing,  to help them.


I’m not sure how things work in heaven, I don’t know whether they can look down occasionally and see how things are going here or not, I sure hope they can!  I know he would be proud of my brother Homer, he is just like dad, a truly good man.  I know he would be proud of my children, Scott, Wesley, and Catherine, they have all turned out better than a father or grandfather could hope for.  He would have loved my grandchildren, his great grandchildren, he would have had so much fun playing with them, and they would have adored him.


I hope if he is looking down and can see me, I’ve done right by him, and all his lessons.  In case he can, here is my Christmas letter;



I love you, and I miss you.  Thanks for all those things you did to show me your love, even the hard lessons, I know now they made me stronger. Thank you for teaching me to be honest, to demand integrity from myself, and to forgive others.  Thank you for loving Homer and I, and Mom so much, you gave so much, sacrificed so much, and you never asked for anything in return.  I’m sorry I didn’t say this more when you were here with us. I know you thought that this photography thing was not a very good way to make a living, and in these days, it’s not, but it has brought me a lot of happiness and you always told me that happiness was more important than money!   You taught me how to be a husband, a father, and a man.   You showed me that the things people don’t see are even more important than the things they do see.  You taught me that giving to others in need, even when you don’t have much to give, brings a greater reward than you can ever imagine.   I wish you were here for one more day, I’d love to give you a bear hug and tell you all this face to face.  I will soon, when I join you there, till then Merry Christmas, I’ll bet the celebration up there is like nothing I could ever imagine!  Say Hi to Mom, and Ninnie, Virgil, and Nora, and Doug Blair, and all the family that has gone to be with you guys there.  I don’t know how often you get to see Jesus in Heaven, but next time you see Him please hug Him for me and tell Him, He has changed my life forever, and I can’t wait to give Him a hug myself.  I started to say take care of yourself, but I know there is no sickness, or pain or weeping there, so I’ll just say thanks again for everything, and I love you and I miss you!  See you soon.


Bill Glenn


Love those you care about while you can and make their Christmas special,


the pilgrim

2 years, 9 months ago 8

From time to time I want to produce a number of HDR images very quickly, so this is how I do it.  Before we start, let me state, with out question, that this is not the Jim Begley, R.C.  Concepcion, Trey Ratcliff, or Tony Sweet method, all these great photographers are masters of HDR.  This is the;  I’m in a hurry, don’t have time for layers, and masks, just want it to look cool, and I need it now method!!!!


Here we go,  step by step:

Step One I select  a series of HDR exposures of the image I want to work on.  This is a Cadillace logo on a car at Old Car City. Five shots one stop apart.  Shot on a tripod.



Step Two:  I drop the files into Photomatix Pro and click OK that I want to make an HDR image by merging the images.



Step Three:  Click OK that these are the five images I want to merge.



Step Four:  Select Align Source Images as shown in the illustration below and Reduce Ghosting Artifacts/Automatic and then click PREPROCESS.



Step Five:  This will bring up the  preprocessed image and give you a series of choices for the effect you would like.  I usually use Enhancer/Painterly, and then simply click PROCESS.



Step Six:  This will yield a processed image, which is somewhat flat and washed out.   It will look like the image below:




Step Seven:  Now the image needs to have the contrast and saturation adjusted so I take it into Photoshop CS5 and use the middle slider (mid-point) to adjust the contrast and color depth to my taste.  I move the slider to the right both darkening the image and increasing the contrast.



Step Eight:  I now sharpen the image.  I think sharpening is highly personal, you can see my settings below for this type of image.  I experiment and then look at the image at 100% to get the most sharpening without adding artifacts or halos.




The final HDR image:



Sometimes I want to make the image look a little more grungy, depending on the subject, so if I do,  I drop the image into Topaz Adjust and apply the Spicey Filter.  ( I also use other filters as well but that is the one that usually give me the affect I want.)



Which gives you this final image:



So, the bottom line is, you can go through this entire process in about two and a half minutes depending on the speed of your computer.  The results won’t match the careful results of my friend Jim Begley’s art, but they are pretty cool for such a fast, quick and dirty method!  I also get great results from NIK HDR Efex Pro and in about the same amount of time.


If you’re a “reality based” based photographer, forgive me for even bringing this up!!  If you don’t mind taking a few chances, and stretching your artistic juices, it can be a lot of fun and great way to breath life into old images……..


the pilgrim











2 years, 9 months ago 4


I just got back from this great place and can’t wait to get back for some more shooting.  So here is the deal, in early March, exact date coming very soon, Jim and I will hold our first Americana Workshop of the year in White, Georgia for two fun filled days of shooting at Old Car City.  The plan is to arrive Thursday evening, have a evening meeting, and get together, and then shoot for two full days, (Friday and Saturday), at Old Car City.  There is a beautiful, full service,  Holiday Inn just 2 miles away and they are offering us a great rate of $69 per night.  We will take 20 folks and work the lots of OCC in teams of five plus  an instructor.


We will fellowship and do processing, and do show and tells, and critiques, in the evenings. Everyone can depart Sunday a.m.   The workshop fee will be $350. and includes all entry fees to Old Car City!  I will work up all the plans and post them right after Christmas, but anyone interested can email me and reserve a spot.  I expect this will fill up very fast.  If you love old rusted cars this is hog heaven!


Full details about the team and other arrangements will be coming soon.  White Georgia is about 45 minutes north of Atlanta right off  of I-75.  Exit 293.


Tommorrow I hope to post a Learning Center Article on how I do HDR, down and dirty. Not to be confused with the Mastery of Jim Begley.  Someone asked if I would tell how I process these images, and I’d be happy to share that with you.


For now, enjoy the great scenes of old American at Old Car City.


My best,


the pilgrim







2 years, 9 months ago 2


Driving home today from White, Georgia, I heard the words of a song over and over, it reminded me of just what incredible peace I’m enjoying in my walk with Him.  Let me share the words from Kenny Rogers song, Peace;


I have come from so far away
Down the road of my own mistakes
In the hope you could hear me pray
Oh, Lord keep me in your reach


How I’ve longed through these wasted years
To outrun all the pain and fear
Turned to stone from my uncried tears
And now it’s Your grace I seek



Love won’t compromise
It’s a gift, it’s a sacrifice
My soul renewed and my heart released
In You I’ll find my peace



Oh wondrous child of whom the angels sing
Know my joy, feel my suffering
Shining star make this love you bring
So bright that I may believe



That my way will not be lost
From now on, ’til that river’s crossed
My soul renewed, my spirit free
In You I’ll find my peace


In You I will find my peace, how liberating it is to know that He is there, that He loves us with a love that passes our understanding.  In spite of all the train wrecks in my life, He was there with His arms spread wide to accept me, an undeserving sinner, lost, alone, crushed by the world, yet He was always there, He was always waiting.  We have such a hard time believing that anyone could believe in us, and love us that much, after all we often don’t love ourselves.  His love can overcome even our lack of faith in ourselves. He loves us that much, and more…..


I want to encourage you to spend some time alone and think about just how much He has given you.  Take time in this season to praise and honor Him.  If by chance you come here and still don’t know Him, if you have not asked Him to come into your heart, what a wondrous time it would be to meet  Him, face to face!   Imagine celebrating your “first” real Christmas in the knowledge that the baby that was born in Bethlehem, was born for you. May the Peace and Joy that is Christmas fill your heart………


In Him,


the pilgrim