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4 months, 2 weeks ago 4

 

The Mullis family lost a loving man and mentor.  Most everyone I talked to that knew him well had the most marvelous stories to tell, and it was obvious that he was greatly admired, and cared for.  I only met T. Ray once.  I’d been told that on my 30 year search for the perfect cheeseburger I had to try the one from T-Ray’s Burger Station.  When I arrived at a converted gas station I could hardly get in for all the cars parked out front, and the long line at the counter.  Diane Oliver my sister-in-law took me in and introduced me to T-Ray, he treated me as if we had been friends for years.  I’m so thrilled that I got a picture with him and his son, and other members of their staff.  We had a great visit and I really looked forward to seeing him again!

 

The burger was fantastic, good enough to reign as the number one burger in America for a while. In honor of T-Ray, I’m ranking it Number One again today.  While my introduction to this family was through some ground beef, cheese, and a bun, obviously there was much more to this man’s life than a burger and fries.  In talking to his family and friends I could sense the deep loss.  Should it be said of us all that when we are gone from here, that we leave a hole in people’s hearts.  T-Ray’s life filled many hearts with joy!

 

I bet he is making some burgers on the grill tonight for his “Bull Dawg buddies”!  There has to be football in heaven!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Ray, Go Dawgs, and know we miss you!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

4 months, 2 weeks ago 2

 

I’m safely tucked away on Amelia Island with Sherelene enjoying a little rest after a fun filled, and busy week at the Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest Event!  It was one of the most fun events I’ve done in a long time, and very well organized and run!  I have to admit that one of the things I most dreaded was shooting horses on the beach, but the folks that did the riding for us were really nice people, and they worked so hard to make it really work.  Sadly the first two mornings the light was just awful and it rained off and on, which made it even more miserable.  In spite of the weather the attendees stayed in high spirits and the horse folks were truly troopers!  On Sunday morning our last trip to the beach,  we had a great sunrise and everyone blasted away!  When we finally lost our light we spent a good hour under the picnic shelter just talking photography, it was great way for my time in St Augustine to end!!!

 

 

 

My time at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm could not have been better, while we fought the elements we got surprisingly good shooting conditions as the thunderstorms rolled in and out! Even though the shooting was fun, being with my dear friend Vinny Colucci and his wife Annette was even better.  Vinny is a world class shooter, and teacher, and even more important to me a dear brother in the Lord, and my friend.  We had a great time just teaching and hanging out in the field.  it had been too long coming, something I will not allow to happen again!  Thanks Vinny for all your help!!!

 

 

 

 

Getting to meet Mike Matthews and photograph some of his friends, like the Leopard Gecko above, was a real treat.  Mike really knew his stuff and we are now really looking forward to a His Light Workshop in Naples in the winter of 2015!  Mike has already become a dear brother and we both had a great time working together, and I know we are just getting started!!!!

 

 

 

 

Best of all is family, Sherelene above, got to celebrate her birthday this week with her sisters, Brenda (left side of frame) and Diane (right side).  I got to spend time with not only Brenda and Terry, and Diane and Ron, but got a lot of time with my son Scott, Diane, and my two grandchildren (not children anymore!!!)  Hannah and Ben.  It has been a great week!  Scott went with me to my Keynote address Saturday night and it was wonderful having him with me!!!!!

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

4 months, 3 weeks ago 7

Today I made the shot that has always eluded me!  The Red Eyed Tree frog from Costa Rica!  Nope I’m not in Costa Rica, not going to be either….  So here is the story.  I’ve see this shot made many times, and always wished I could make it, but I have many friends that have gone and spent a week in Costa Rica, and came home without it, and in fairness a few that did get it!  But they hiked through rain forests, were eaten alive by insects, slept in beds surrounded by mosquito netting, no thanks!!!!!  I saw in the program for the Florida Birding and Photo Fest, where I’m teaching and speaking, that Mike Mathews was teaching a class on reptile photography, so I went this morning! To make a long story short, Mike was fantastic, really knew his stuff, the class was small, and I got to shoot a lot of wonderful subjects!

 

Turns out Mike is fellow believer, and we both have a common friend in Adam Jones, a wonderful photographer from Louisville!  I told Mike I would love to offer my His Light customers the opportunity to do a workshop like this and he said he does them every winter in Florida!  Plans are to set something up for next February or early March.  I imagine it would be a week long event that would include 3 days of reptile shooting and then Florida birds to include eagles, native Florida birds, and burrowing owls!  More details to follow when we announce our 2015 season in June.  If you would be interested in this kind of a shoot please fire me an email.  His events always sell out and we would have to limit it to a dozen attendees!  Here are some of my winners from today!!!!  I’m excited to do this with one of our groups!!!

 

Red Eyed Tree frog (Costa Rica)

 

Male Veiled Chameleon  (United Arab Emirates)

 

Face to face with a Bearded Dragon (Australia)

 

A juvenile Emerald Boa (South America)

 

A ball Python (Central & Western Africa)

 

Left to right, Austin Gehen & Wayne Louvers photograph the Python!

 

Pueblan Milksnake (Mexico)

 

An Orange Spotted Gargoyle Gecko (Grande Terre Island)

 

Mike was a great guy, an expert on these animals, and terrific reptile wrangler!  I can’t wait to team up with him for a wonderful wildlife event over in Naples, Florida next year!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

*Photo Note:  All images made with the Fuji X-T1 and the 55-200 OIS zoom, ISO 3200 and 6400, and with the Nikon 5T Diopter.   Tripod mounted camera.  No flash.

 

4 months, 3 weeks ago 2

Isn’t photography great!?  This morning my alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. yep, O:Dark thirty!!  I first showered and then drove the 35 minutes to the beach for our morning shoot with horses.  Met with the great folks that were riding for us, and providing the horses, and then waited for my participants to show up.  I was joined by Chris Klapheke, great shooter, owner of Outdoor Photo Gear, and my new friend, and my co-counsel, as it were!  The 14 people that attended our session were fantastic, really nice folks who had a good time inspite of absolutely awful light!  Which is why I got permission from the people putting on the event, to have them join me again on a better morning, either Friday or Sunday!!!  So we shot some horses, had some fun, and then moved on!

 

 

……and then again, we shot some early morning trees!

 

 

……and then again, driving back to the hotel to post this blog entry, I saw a tourist trap called the Oldest Store, which considering St. Augustine is the oldest city in America, it was worth the nine bucks to see what it was…….   $9. well spent!!  This was the original general store serving the young city of St. Augustine around the late 1800s.  You know me and old Americana stuff, this will be a definite stop when ouse run our workshop next year in St. Augustine!  Here is some of my mornings find!

 

Part of a well stocked grocery shelf in the General Store section.

 

Turn of the century medicines!

 

A classic metal Pillsbury sign!

 

Glass front seed cabinet.

 

Very rare, early Hershey’s Chocolate bars.

 

Turn of century, gear driven farm wagon.

 

Great old metal signs.

 

Antique hardware cabinet.

 

Hand made wooden gear.

 

Thanks to Mr C.F. Hamblen and his family for keeping this treasure trove of Americana!

 

And then again,

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

*Photo Notes:  All beach images with Fuji X-T1 and 55-200 and 56 f 1.2

 

Tree Image:  Fuji X-T1 & 55-200

 

Oldest Store Images all X-T1 & 35mm f 1.4 lens and hand held @ 3200 ISO.