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6 days, 3 hours ago 0

Our workshop in Brown County, Indiana is off to a great start, wonderful group of people and the leaves are perfect!  Today we went down to Story and really had a great time.  A friend of Jim Haverstock’s brought over a beautiful Model A Ford and we all had a lot of fun shooting it in front of the historic Story Inn!  This is a fantastic part of the country with great fall color and lots of history!  A special surprise was a visit from Fred Sisson, my old Nikon NPS buddy who has been having a lot fun hanging out with the crowd!  Lots of great Americana stuff to shoot as illustrated below!



A word of thanks again to all of you that have purchased eBooks, our efforts are off to a great start!




the pilgrim


1 week, 1 day ago 9


Planning fall workshops is maddening!  A year before you run a workshop you have to “guess” when the leaves are going to be perfect!  Well, of course this is impossible, you make your best estimation based on previous years.  Fortunately we are going to have great color at Brown County, but it doesn’t always work that way!  The fall leaf peak in the Great Smokies can come anywhere from the first week of October to the second week of November, and I’ve see it happen at different times  across that entire span!  The good news is that early fall, peak color, and late fall can all be spectacular in their own way, and that is the secret to getting good images no matter whether the leaves go early or late!


So how are we doing on fall color for this fall at our workshops?  Brown County looks excellent, should be near peak, Acadia (which is less dependent on fall color, there isn’t much there), still looks good, it will be near the end with great leaves on the ground which is perfect!   The red ground cover on Cadillac Mountain hold s


s on so we should be good to go!  The Smokies will be iffy, but if the peak is over and much of the color is on the ground, it will be perfect for stream shooting which is a lot of what we do there!  The image below shows how good a stream shot can be with the rocks covered by leaves!  Colder nights will give us the chance of frost on colorful leaves on the forest floor, another great shot!  I suspect at lower elevation we will still have some nice color in the tress, which should be perfect in the Tremont and Cades Coves areas.  Nelson Ghost Town in Nevada, no fall color there anyway!!!



The preparation for a workshop starts a year in advance, but the most important prep takes place the first day of a workshop!  That’s when you access the conditions, the weather and then go over the locations you planned to shoot, pick the right ones for the right day, and then do the very most important thing of all, get positive!  The truth is that any condition, any place, “can” yield great images, if you spend a little time figuring it out.  The problem for all of us is we have expectations, what we think things are going to be like.  How many times have you had a terrible birthday, or Christmas, or summer vacation, because things didn’t go according to “your plan!”   Here is the trick, learn how to make lemonade out of lemons.  As a working pro for the last 45 years I’ve had less than perfect condition more often than perfect ones, and I’ve managed to make wonderful images anyway!  The biggest block to great images is not hanging on the trees, it’s stuck between your ears!  So get positive, don’t look at what you don’t have, look at what you do have!  Sounds like a coach trying to get the team ready to play, but it’s the reality of being a photographer!  So so photographers depend on perfection, great photographers find greatness in any condition!


What are my plans for this fall?  To go out an show people how to make great images!  ….and not to sound cocky, but I’ll do it!!!!  The Brown County Fall Workshop with Jim Haverstock starts tomorrow night!




the Pilgrim



1 week, 2 days ago 3



I announced the new eBook Store opening yesterday afternoon and the response had been overwhelming!  In just 18 hours I’ve had over 200 books downloaded!  While the free book is flying off the shelf, I’ve also sold a lot of the other books including a number of the compete sets of the Foundation Series!  When you set out to sell something, sales certainly make you happy, but I’m even more thrilled with the response I’ve gotten in emails from people that bought the books yesterday!  here are just a few comments I’ve received;



I just felt compelled to write you and thank you for publishing your eBooks. I just ordered the set of 6, and wanted to thank you for the free eBook. Although we have never met, I read your blog each night, usually one of the last things I do before going to bed. As a fellow Christian, I appreciate your testimony and willingness to publish your blog and state your stance. Regarding photography, my daughters (ages 16 and 18, teens you know) have been telling me I need a hobby. So, in 2010 I ‘bought’ a D90 with my American Express points and started my new hobby – photography! Since then, I have accumulated several thousand pictures, and although I have no formal training, I’m really trying! Earlier this year I started a new job that is giving me the opportunity to do quiet a bit of international travel, and I carry my trusty Nikon Coolpix in my briefcase. Even though it is a simple small camera, I’m learning to ‘look’ for the shot. I downloaded your eBooks in my iPad, and will be eagerly reading them as I leave for Belgium this Saturday.

Keep up the good work Bill, and I appreciate all that you do.

In Christ,



Bill, just got my eBooks, bought them all!  While I haven’t gone through every page of each one I’ve looked at a lot of several and I have to say you kept your promise, theses books provide a great understanding of the things  as you say “a photographer must know and be able to apply!”  I know I’m going to learn a lot and be better photographer for it.  Thanks for working so hard to bring these to all of us!

My best,



Stop apologizing for how simple these books are!!   *(She bought the entire foundational set).  I’m a beginner to intermediate photographer and to be honest even after several classes I still didn’t completely understand aperture and depth of field, your simple lessons made it clear for me.  I’m thankful that someone is taking the time to write books for people like me!

Keep it up,



I hate admit that I didn’t buy any books, “until” I downloaded the free one!  That book is worth a lot more than $4.99 and I can’t believe you gave it away!!!!  So, about and hour after I downloaded the free book, I bought everything else in the store!  I can only say I’ll be checking the store frequently to buy anything else you publish.  Bill, I admire your Christian stance, and deeply appreciate your sharing your years of experience and talent in such an affordable way!  Please keep them coming!



Mr. Fortney, using your own words; Cut To The Chase Publications,   ” These are books for people that simply want to know how learn about photography and make better images!  Simple, to the point, clear and concise and minus all the mumbo jumbo! “  You delivered just what you promised, I will be a steady customer!




Wow guys I’m busting with pride, probably not a good thing, but I really did want this kind of response and you guys have certainly made my day!  Please know I’m not bragging, I’m being thankful and honor the Man that make all this happen in my life!


O.K. so several important things I need to share.


First:  Yes many more titles are in the works.  I will be teaching workshops for the next four weeks in Brown County, Indiana with Jim Haverstock, then Acadia National Park with  Jack Graham (who inspired my eBook kick, by-the-way!) then it’s on the the Great Smokies with my dear friend Jim Begley and His Light, and finally Jack and I will teach a workshop at Nelson Ghost town in Nevada with a side trip to the Neon Sign Museum and Red Rocks!  Finally I’m thrilled to be doing another KelbyOne class at Nelson on EXTRACTION, something that has been requested for a while now!  That puts me back in Kentucky for the rest of the year starting November 15th!  I plan to spend a lot of my time the rest of the year producing a number of new titles!


For now please click on MY E-BOOKS  (at the top) or to the right VISIT MY E-BOOK STORE and get your free book, The 7 Steps for taking it to the Next Level.  It’s the last book in the list and all you have to do is enter in the Coupon space in the cart FREE4ME  (All caps).


Finally, I have to share something a lot more important with you.  Yesterday’s sermon at church was one of my Pastor’s best ever, it is something each and everyone of us need to know and apply!  Please consider deeply these words of wisdom!



Don’t Worry…….


“Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere!”


“Every evening I give all my worries to God, He’s going to be up all night anyway….”


God has your back.  He loves you.  He gave His only Son for you.  If He would do that, is there anything He wouldn’t do for you?!  When we come to the realization that we have nothing to fear  when we are in his sheltering arms we see life so differently!


My quote:  “If I could live life over; I would worry less, take more chances, refuse to live in fear, Trust more, love more, laugh more, and eat more ice cream!  I would seek first the Kingdom of God!  I would remind myself every moment how much God loves me, and I would be thankful for His love and all the great gifts of this life!  I’m not thankful for what I have, I’m thankful for Who has me!”"


The only peace you don’t receive is in the area you haven’t surrendered to God!


Surrender that area……




the pilgrim


See yesterday’s post to learn how to navigate the eBook store!



1 week, 3 days ago 6



Hey guys, good news, the eBook store is open early!!  My dynamite web person did a great job and she got us up and running before Wednesday, so you can enjoy browsing the site now!  The site is fully functioning and you can order books now!  Please go and enjoy the free book from me.  I want people to see what the books are like so I’m offering one free for anyone visiting the eBook store.  It’s easy:


Click on either of the two buttons that take you to the eBook store.  One is in the Menus at the top, the other just to the right of the start of blog entries, look for the stone cross it right under that.


When you click on either button it will take you to the store, where you will see all the current books listed.  First the FREE book!  The last book in the list, the book titled  The 7 Steps to Taking it to the Next Level is free!  Simply add it to your cart and when you call up the cart it will say $4.99, so  in the COUPON space just below enter FREE4ME, update the cart, that will enter a $4.99 discount and you can simply push Continue Checkout.   Fill out the three information fields and push CONTINUE and you will receive an email with instructions on how to down load the book!  It will take you to a screen where you simply click download and it will be on your desktop in no time!  We’ve worked hard to see that the process is simple and quick.  *Please let me know what you think!

The free book offer lasts until the end of November!


Also note that the Foundation Series (highly simplified basic photo knowledge), are in 6 volumes, covering the most important concepts for beginning photographers.  They are $4.99 each and the entire set can be purchased for $24.99, a savings of $4.99.


In the coming months more advanced books will be released, please keep in mind these are starter books aimed at the photographer that is just getting into photography.  While the future nooks will go into a lot more depth, my goal will always be to keep them to the point!


One other navigational point.  When you go to the store where all the books are listed you will notice a button at the bottom that says VIEW MORE By clicking there you will see a more thorough description of the book and few sample pages, you can add books to the cart from there as well!


Hope you enjoy the new books!




the pilgrim