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1 week, 4 days ago 20


This will be epic, gotta join us!!!




the pilgrim

1 week, 6 days ago 1



I am doing workshops with Jim Begley with His Light Workshops and with Jack Graham and his Jack Graham Photography Workshops company.  I’m thrilled to be working with two such great guys, and wonderful shooters!  More details coming,  but since both His Light and Jack takes small groups, usually limited to 12 attendees, I need to get this info out so you can decide which you may want to attend!


This is the basic schedule  *Some additional workshops may be added, but for now, these are a go!


February 4th – 7th  Photo Expo in Florence , Kentucky


March 5th – 12th, 2016  -  The Route 66 Tour    ( Oklahoma City to Las Vegas, and includes Nelson Ghost Town and the Neon Sign Museum in Las Vegas)  Led by Jim and I.  Cost:  $895.  Explore the Mother Road and shoot tons of Americana, stay in historic hotels, and eat lots of burgers!!!!


March 16th-20th, 29016  Arches & Canyonlands  National Parks  Jim and I,  cost $895.  A Red Rock festival!


April 6th – 10th, 2016  His Light Spring in the Smokies Workshop.  Jim and  I,  $895.  Catch the early spring greens and streams as the leaves come out from the winter months!


April 13th-17th  _  Jack Graham and I will hold one of our Fuji Workshops in the Smokies!  See Jack’s website for details.


April 20th – 24th, 2016The Great Smoky Mountains Christian Photographers Seminar,  Townsend Tenn, more detail coming soon!!!  Dr, Charles Stanley leads a stellar group of Christian Photographers!


April 27th – May 1st  The Roanoke. Virginia Americana Workshop.  Jim and I will lead t his fantastic American workshop in historic Roanoke VA.  Cost $895.a


May 11th – 15th  Jack and I will lead another great Fuji Event in Olympic National Park.


June 1st – 6th   Jack Graham and I will lead a tour of the Oregon Coast!!!!


July 24th – 290th  Our Annual Rick Skaggs Nashville Workshop!  Led by Ricky, Jim, Nick Coury and I,    Cost $895.


September 26th – October 2, 2016   The Badlands – South Dakota Tour, includes the Badlands N.P. Custer State Park, the Black Hills and Spearfish Canyon!  Cost $995.


October 7th-16th  Newfoundland with Jack Graham and I!!!  Fishing villages and coastal color!


October 19th – 23rd  Acadia National Park Fuji Event with Jack Graham and I. 


October 26th – 30th  The Second Annual Smoky Mountain Photographers Seminar in the Great Smokies.  Details coming


November 1st – 6th, 2016  Zion in Fall, with Jack Graham and I


Well that is a outline of the 2016 schedule, I expect to add another His Light Event hopefully with Joe McNally, more on that later!!!!


To register for Jack’s events reach him h is website:

To register for His Light Events  or more info you can call  Jim Begley at (606)-524-3270 or email him at:

All workshops are on a first come first serve basis, we are sold out for the rest of th is 2015 season. for His Light Workshops!!!




the pilgrim


2 weeks ago 27



Have I got your attention???!!!  More about this great event in a moment!!!  FIRST, I am still alive, sorry I’ve been missing action!!!!  My wife made me promise to give our family all my time for the last ten days, (I did slip in one blog entry), but we had all our kids and grandkids!  We had a great time, but I’m slowly getting back into business!!!


O.K. I’m breaking  great news for my readers, and there will be much more soon!  A dear buddy of mine, Wilson Reynolds, world famous for his extreme fishing and hunting show on the National Geographic Channel, and a great photographer in his own right, has invested in a beautiful Lodge in Townsend, Tennessee, The Tremont Lodge and Resort,  and his goal from the beginning is to establish a base camp for photographers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The lodge is first class with great meeting facilities and will be a wonderful home of a new event he is starting. The last week of October, (prime color time for the Smokies) the 28th through November 1st, 2015 (YES this year!!!)  We will debut The First Annual Great Smokey Mountains Photography Summit.  This is destined to become one of the great annual events in photography!!!


This Seminar will feature some of the top photographers, teachers, speakers in the field today!  The list is still being finalized, but we expect to have; Scott Kelby, Rob Sheppard, Tony Sweet, Matt Kloskowski, Jack Graham,  Len Rue Jr., Bill Lea,  Ken Jenkins and Jim Begley, Wilson and I will be speakers too!  The event will have lost of break out sessions, the chance to shoot early mornings in the Smokies during great fall color, vendors displays, and lots of great times around the fire pit!  Every attendee will also get a great Comfort Colors t-shirt, these will be collectors items as each year a new volume of this event will be enjoyed!  The fee for all of this will be $450. but if you register early, you can save $75. and attend for just $350.  Much, much more details to come, but mark those dates now and joins for a fantastic new photography event in the best place, at the perfect time of year!


Stay ruined for more info!!!!


Now,  tomorrow I will announce the 2016 Events Jim and I will do with His Light for 2016 plus details on some of my workshops with Jack Graham Photography as well!!!


So I’m back!




the pilgrim


P.S.  Please keep Jim and Sue Haverstock in your payers, they are rushing back form a Hawaii vacation as Jim’s mother past away yesterday.  Please lift them up!

2 weeks, 6 days ago 10



FIRST – A SIDE BAR:   It is very, very important to me that you know that when I express an opinion about gear or anything, for that matter,  that is comes from the heart, and is not influenced by my business relationship with any company or individual!  Please believe that!!!  If you don’t, nothing I share would be worth a dime!  Now let’s settle this for once and for all, I have winced as I’ve seen an occasional harsh comment about Zack Arias being in the tank for Fuji, because I imagine the same is being said of me!  I know Zack well and he is a man of real integrity and I believe he would never promote a product,  even from a company he does some work for, unless he really believed it!  I believe that Zack shares exactly what he thinks!  When Jack and I were named X-Photographers, which we both really appreciatied, we asked the official that informed us of the nomination and selection to that group, if accepting the honor would, in any way, affect our being able to express our real feelings about Fuji’s products and we were assured that was exactly what they wanted us to do, positive or negative!!!  I say this because I am beginning to do some events for Fuji and being paid to do so.  If I thought my doing work for them compromised my ability to be honest with you, I would have not accepted the X-Photogrpaher offer and would refuse to work for hire for Fuji.  I’m very proud that I can have the kind of relationship I enjoy with them.  Why such a long diatribe????

Because the praise I’m about to heap on the new 90mm f 2 would otherwise test your confidence in my being, unbiased!!!



So the new 90mm f 2 in a word is;  the sharpest telephoto lens made by Fuji.  Yes I said that, sharper than the 56mm f 1.2, which is extraordinarily sharp? Yep, and the 16-55 Zoom?  Yep, sharper, how about the very, very sharp 50-140 f 2.8 zoom?  Sorry, but the 90mm is even sharper at 90mm!!!!  So should you buy one?  That depends.  If you need a 135mm focal length equiv. portrait lens or telephoto with a fast f 2 aperture, and want very beautiful bokeh, you bet!  If you like to do close-up with some nice working distance?  This is the lens.  This muddies the water as I wait for the 120mm f 2.8 Macro from Fuji, but then I will love the added focal length and working distance, but make no mistake about it, this 90mm could almost be called a macro lens!!!!  Below I’ve shown the closest the lens will focus on a target, my faithful miniature Route 66 license plate with a penny for size perspective


This shot is made at the minimum focus distance, which is 2 feet.



Next I added a Fuji  MCEX 11mm Auto Extension tube.




Now I shot the 90mm with the Fuji  MCEX 16mm Auto Extension tube.



Finally I added the 11mm and 16mm together an shot one last image at a distance of about 8 inches for the subject.




If you happen to own the Nikon 5T and 6T diopters they work great with this lens as well!!!


What about general performance?  Here are few more of my alley images and then my final comments!!!







So the 90mm f 2 is solid, maybe the most solidly built Fuji XF lens so far.  The aperture ring has nice firm 1/3 stop detents and the focusing ring is butter smooth for manual focusing!  The size and weight have just the right amount of heft for me, and it work wonderfully on the X-T1 with, our without, the battery compartment.  It works very well on the X-T10 too, maybe just hair large, but very manageable.  Focus acquisition is very fast and no hint of hunting.  (tested on a X-T1 with firmware 4.0).  One thing I’ve noticed,  now that I’ve had time to shoot all the Fuji XF lenses,  is that they seem to be optimized to be as sharp wide open in the center as stopped down.  I could see no real difference, other than added depth, when I stopped the 90mm f 2 down from f 2 to f 8, but then the more I use the XF glass, I see the same performance with all their lenses.


Color when shot in the Provia film simulation setting (standard) was spot on.  The lens seems to be in  that wonderful sweet spot of just enough contrast for sharpness, but not so much as to look harsh, especially with skin tones.  While I will keep my 56mm f 1.2, this 90mm will be my new go to fast, portrait lens.


So I will make it official, this is my new favorite Fuji lens in the XF line.  I expect it to be a constant companion, even when I’m carrying zooms that cover it’s focal length.  Swell done Fuji, keep em’ comin’!!!!!




the pilgrim