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4 months, 3 weeks ago 23



Age is just a number!  Well that’s what I’ve been telling myself all day!   Today I turned 69 and there is a little bit of apprehension in that, but not very much!   I am  having a blast in this life, and expect to have even more fun in the next life!  I have really been blessed.  My family came and had dinner with Sherelene and I yesterday to celebrate my Birthday and Cade’s my grandson.  We had a great time and it reminded me just how fortunate I am!


I’ve never been a more enthusiastic photographer, and life is just pretty dang swell!  So I’m going to take the rest of fay off and enjoy being  69!




the pilgrim

4 months, 3 weeks ago 7



I read an article this morning that I found compelling thought!  How I Found My Vision by Cole Thompson. 


Cole Thompson is a very talented fine art photographer based in Laporte, Colorado.  This article has some great thoughts on how to find our VISION!


My favorite line from his article is reprinted here, it is serious food for thought!




During the last review of a very long day, the reviewer quickly looked at my work, brusquely pushed it back to me and said “It looks like your trying to copy Ansel Adams.” I replied that I was, because I loved his work! He then said something that would change my life:


“Ansel’s already done Ansel and you’re not going to do him any better. What can you create that shows your unique vision?”


Those words really stung, but over the next two years the message did sink in: Was it my life’s ambition to be known as the world’s best Ansel Adams imitator? Had I no higher aspirations than that?





One example that Cole shared  in his article was that in a effort to find his vision he laid out his 100 favorite photographs and divided them into two piles, those he “really loved” and the rest.  He studied the ones that were his most prized and came to a realization that they spoke to him, that the subjects and light had spoken to him, he got as glimpse of his VISION!


I did the same this morning and came up with the image above.  I have thought about if for while now and have come up with some fairly quick reactions.  It’s simple, it’s graphic, it’s to the point, and I have a affinity for the subject matter.  I am pretty sure that if I picked a few other of my most treasured images I would pretty much come up with the same list!


I post articles all the time about gear;  bodies, lenses what’s new, what is rumored, etc. etc.  The simple answer is that I’m a gear freak, I love the gear, I love testing and playing with it. ….and sadly, I buy a lot of it too!  It’s fun, it’s not sinful to like the gear, but it is not photography, cameras and lenses, tripods and accessories are tools, nothing more.  Will a legendary lens make you a better photographer?  Will more mega pixels improve your images?  No!  In another article by Cole, I’m spending more time on his Blog, he showed a pie graph that says if succinctly!


A Great Image Consists of:


First a big thanks to Cole for helping me clarify some things I needed to think more about.  Second I would highly recommend you visit his website;   I plan to purchase one of his Fine Art Prints, but it’s going to take me a while to pick one from among the many truly wonderful images!


I’m an addict, and I will continue to talk about gear, but I’m going to be ever mindful that gear is the hobby, but the passion is improving and enjoying my VISION.




the pilgrim


One  more favorite.


4 months, 3 weeks ago 6


Canon has announced that they will have two new camera models released by June, the 5Ds and 5Dr  both 50 mega pixel full frame censored cameras!  Equally shocking the price,  The 5DS is $3,699 and the 5DR is $3,899.  The difference?  The R model has the low pass filter cancelled for more sharpness.  * I bet Nikon has something similar waiting in the wings,  (No I do not know anything, I have no inside information, but this is how the industry works!)


Here’s a list of the specs (from Canon) * Thanks to Scott Kelby for this info.:


> Newly designed 50.6 Megapixel full-frame CMOS helps deliver ultra-high resolution images for large-scale printing and extensive, creative cropping, while Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors enable spectacular image quality and processing speed.


> EOS Scene Detection System features a 150,000-pixel RGB+IR Metering Sensor for excellent precision.


> 61-Point High Density Reticular AF including up to 41 cross-type AF points and EOS iTR allows for high precision autofocus.


> Advanced mirror control mechanism and new user-selectable shutter release time lag helps suppress camera vibration for reducing image shake.


> Anti-flicker helps compensate for flickering light sources and provides consistent exposure and color during continuous shooting.


> Built-in intervalometer and bulb timer helps deliver expanded creativity.


> 1.3x and 1.6x crop shooting adds superb flexibility, while still delivering high resolution images required for demanding applications.


> Intelligent Viewfinder II with approximately 100% viewfinder coverage.


> Full HD 30p movie capability and Time Lapse Movie function, which takes still photographs at set intervals and combines them into a Full HD movie file.


> High-speed continuous shooting up to 5.0 fps allows you to capture fast action.


> 3.2-inch ClearView II LCD monitor, 170° viewing angle, 1,040,000-dot VGA, reflection resistance with multi coating and high-transparency materials for bright and clear viewing.


> Customizable Quick Control Screen allows you to quickly change frequently used camera settings and functions.


> Support for USB 3.0.



So here is my take.  Who needs 50 mega pixels, or 36 mega pixels, the former reigning champ before today?  I  know what you think I’m going to say! Nobody, actually no, that is not true.  I personally t think that the number of photographers that actually “need” this kind of resolution is minuscule, but some folks can take full advantage of it.  Commercial, landscape, and product photographers that are going print print extremely large, say 12 X 18 feet, and larger can certainly take advantage of that kind of resolution.  I imagine that it will mostly be bought by people that want to shoot something and then look at it at 400% and then feel the rush!!!  I have high regard for Canon  gear, I had to compete with them when I was  at Nikon and I’m sure they took the time to get this right!


I think the industry is furthered by these exercises in stretching the limits.  Research brings progress and progress brings us better cameras.  Is this new 5DS or 5DR good for someone that really doesn’t need that kind of resolution?  No.  It is going to tax your computer to the max, requiring massive storage, (if you shoot very much), and if you think getting sharp result from a D810 is tough, wait till you try to eliminate camera movement with this bad boy!  It will be even harder to tame.  I can’t imagine and holding it at less than 1/2,000 of a second.  I could be wrong, but my experience with the Nikon D800 series says this is going to bring a whole new lesson on discipline to it’s new owners.


Am I even in the least tempted?  Not one bit.  But then the new D810 which I know to be a wonderful camera didn’t tempt me either.


For me, at my age, and shooting what I shoot, the Fuji X-T1 at 16 megapixel is a high mega pixel camera.  Some the best images I made in my life were made with a D3 or D700, (same sensor), clocking in at 12 mega pixels!


Rod Planck said it best, “Technique beats equipment, every time!”


But then, if you get one, let me know what  you think!!!!




the pilgrim


Now available at the bookstore:




4 months, 3 weeks ago 0


Image by Mark Alberhasky of me flying at sunrise.


Hey Guys, thanks so much for joining my campaign!!!  Seriously when I did the America From 500 Feet I & II I really got a charge out of publishing some of the images of Wes and I flying,  I’d love to share a few of them with you!  We had a blast!


Wes landing in Tennessee.  My image.


Me flying over a farm field in Texas, shot by a friend in another Powered Parachute.


Wes’ self portrait flying over the Sawtooth Region of the Rockies in Idaho.


My self Portrait flying over Hombre Hills in California.


I thank God I got to see America from this vantage point!!!  It was fun too!





the pilgrim