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3 years, 4 months ago 5


I just watched a film that begs just that question, What if?  I’m a big fan of A Christmas Carol, and the films that in some way offer the same message, like; It’s a Wonderful Life, The Family Man, and now this film.  All these films save for a Christmas Carol, asks the question what difference would there be in the world if you had not been in it?!   The film I saw today is a Christian film starring Kevin Sorbo,  (Hercules), John Ratzenburger (Cheers), and actress Kristy Swanson.  In one very impactful scene Kevin is asked to come to the hospital to help a old man that is dying.  The old man doesn’t want to be helped, he feels he has done too many bad things in life to deserve forgiveness, but Kevin pushes on and shares the story of Judas and how Jesus wanted to forgive him, even after he had sold him out to the Romans for thirty pieces of silver, such was the depth of His love and His forgiveness.  The old man realizes he wants forgiveness, and Kevin, leads him to salvation, but in the process realizes he is praying the same for himself, a revelation has taken place in his heart and life!


We all need that revelation, the revelation of the fact that God loves us, that we matter to Him, and that He really is standing waiting for us to come to Him.


I’ve had a great day, knowing how much He has given me,  including a second chance, for letting me make things right, undeserved as I am, I want to be His and His alone.


Joshua 24:15

“….as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


the pilgrim

3 years, 4 months ago 6


I knew it would happen, in fact, to be honest, I kinda hoped you would!  The D800 has been the source of more excitement than any camera I’ve ever seen.  So since you have questions I’ll give it my best attempt to answer them, and thanks again, you came up with some good ones!


1. Is there a time that, that much resolution is a disadvantage?  Not often, it’s kinda like being too thin, too good looking, and too rich!  Now you can have a lot more resolution than you need, but truthfully that is hard to imagine as well.  Just because you have a ton of resolution it doesn’t mean you have to use it!   The only disadvantage is, will the file being that large, be a problem for you?   If you can afford some larger cards and some ram for your computer, and fixing a turkey sandwich while some files crunch, you have no problems at all!


2.  Really, how much does movement affect sharpness with this sensor?  A little more  than with other sensors, movement costs sharpness, no matter what camera, this sensor just ups the ante some.  The bad news is you can’t be sloppy, the good news is you shouldn’t be sloppy anyway!!!  So use great technique, and get great results!  Nobody ever said everything in life would be easy!


3.  I shoot mostly sports but would love that resolution, should I consider the D800?  I think the D4, D3s or D3 are far better choices for the sports shooter.  The D4 has a lot of resolution and more than enough for almost any kind of sports work.    If  you do sport portraiture or feature story sports a D800 would have a good place in your bag!   The D4 just has so much speed and agility, it just begs for action!


4.  How much difference can you see in images where their is not a lot of details or smooth gradations?   Not as much as when those things are present, however sharpness is sharpness, and everything will have more bite with the D800.  Even straight nature subjects will have more subtle details, and that is a very good thing.


5.  I’m ready to spring for  a D800 is there any reason why I shouldn’t make that my main FX sensor camera?   I just wonder if it is the best all around choice?  I understand  your concern, it is a radically different camera than we have seen before, but if resolution is important to you and speed is not as important, it is still the way to go, in my humble opinion.


6.  Is the focus as fast as in the D4?  It should be almost the same, if not identical,  it uses all the same systems for autofocus system, the Multi-Cam 3500FX module, and the same Expeed 3 processing chip.


7.   Is there anything that you like more about the D4?   Yes, battery life, build quality, speed, the feeling that only the big Pro D camera can give you.  It is close to indestructable and the files are very sweet!  The only thing it lacks is the “extreme” resolution of the D800.


8.  If you could only have two cameras to use for everything you do, which two?    In digital SLRs I need two cameras one to make the best possible image, resolution, color and control over the photographic situation; D800, and one that is still very high resolution, but lighter and easier to carry for travel and in the DX format to stretch my longer lenses; D7000.  You may hold me to that until new cameras are released!!!



9.  I noticed you mentioned larger cards and you said 32 and 64, why not 128 gig cards?  I think it is better to have a few more smaller cards than one very large one.   If you use your 128 gig card you’ve lost the entire shoot, if you loose one of your 32 gig cards, you’ve at least cut your losses!  Plus the  128 gig cards are very expensive.


10.  Is the new metering system in the D800 a big improvement?  Yes, it works fantastic!


Hope that helped, it’s slow at the Masters so I had plenty of time to take your questions!


the pilgrim





3 years, 4 months ago 9


I’ve now had my D800 for two weeks and have really worked it hard, and thus have come to some “initial” conclusions.  I say initial, because over time one’s feelings about a camera can change, but usually in subtle ways. So after a good workout, what are my thoughts?  Here goes;


1.  The D800 is the most “complete” camera I’ve ever held in my hands, and that takes into account that I’ve worked as a photographer for over 43 years!!!!  Complete?  It has he most gorgeous, rich, smooth gradations I’ve ever seen, period.  Images of any subject with a large range of tones, looks significantly different than with any other camera, made by anyone.  The D800 is so spectacular that it makes you not want to shoot with anything else, because you know you’re going to see the difference.  A good problem to have!


2.  The D800 is the right size.  It is very rugged and feels great in your hands, but it’s not burdensome.  It is, at least for me, the perfect compromise between a sledge hammer and something that doesn’t feel substantial enough. The weight and size are very close to the D700, though it feels a little thicker in your hands, which if you have large hands, feels just right.  It feels like a camera that will stand the test of time.


3.  My fears about the difficulty some may have getting it’s full potential have only partially been realized.  It has tremendous resolution and “does” require more care than anything else you’ve ever shot with.  However, it is very possible to get outstanding results even when hand holding.  My recommendation would be use a tripod whenever possible, when it is not possible crank up the ISO enough to give you a shutter speed that will assure sharpness.  the old rule at National Geographic used to be that your hand held shutter speed should be twice the focal length of the lens.  So if you were shooting with a 105 mm lens the closed shutter speed would be 1/125th of a second, they demanded that you go up one stop to 1/250th of  second.  I would suggest that the same rule apply to the D800. Each of us knows how steady we are, and how much VR helps us, but my “strong” suggestion is that with the D800 you should increase your shutter speed as much as you need to, to regain that sharpness!  The reward will be breathtaking images!  The big surprise has been that cranking up the ISO does not bring on disaster.  For me, and this will always be an individual determination, I think it is very usable with very low noise out to 3200, and can be used at 6400 with the post application of only moderate amounts of  noise reduction.  The big plus is that because of the extreme amount of sharpness, even applying noise reduction and reducing the sharpness, doesn’t really change things much, you have so much sharpness that the reduction of it by even 20% leaves you with an image that is still extremely sharp!


4.  O.K. not all is perfect.  The image files are large.  The computer will slow down in most normal operations, even saving files like jpeg fines. HDR crunching is two to three times as long.  Now, I’ve been using a laptop (3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro with 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 ram), the newer Quad Core machines with 8 gig of faster ram should improve that situation some.  My 27″ iMac at home has 8 gig of ram and I hope to see an improvement there.  But the fact is to get the sweet files this camera produces, expect things to slow down in the pipeline!  I have to admit, I am less irritated than I would otherwise be, because of how wonderful the resulting files look!  If the spinning beach ball drives you crazy, it’s your call!


5.  How does it perform with anything less than the best Nikon glass?  Can’t say, I’ve been on the road for almost three weeks and all I have with me are my prime zooms, 16-35 and 24-120, and with both of them it has been stellar.  I have shot a few images with my beloved 70-300 AFS – VR f 4.5-5.6 and fortunately the images have been razor sharp so at least that once feared, lost lens, is still very good.  When I get home next week I plan to shoot sample images with every lens in my arsenal (29) and will have a better idea then.  Based in my experience so far, I would tend to say that if a lens has been tack sharp for you in the past it will work well with this camera.  But, that is a guess at this point.  More testing to come….


6.  The Intangibles:  I am a gun owner and have found that I always shoot better with guns that I know are extremely accurate.  At first thought that would seem dead obvious, but I suspect that at least some of the great results comes from the point that I am “expecting” great results!  I believe the D800 has the same affect on me, I expect stellar performance and so I usually get it from this camera.  This camera makes you work like you were shooting a 4X5 film camera, you know what it can do, and work hard to get the most out of it!  One you’ve seen the images it produces, you don’t want anything less, and thankfully now you don’t have to settle for less!


7.  Who is it for?  First let me tell you who it is not for.  If you shoot sports and need frame rate in the 8 to 11 fps range it’s not for you.  If you want a camera that is the absolute example of ruggedness and you might be tempted to drive a nail with it, it’s not for you, though it is a pretty tough character.  If you shoot for the web, or newspaper print or conventional magazine stock, it has more resolution than you need.  If you want a bigger, heavier camera, it’s not for you, though you can add a battery pack to make it feel bigger.  It is for you if;  you want all the resolution and gradation possible, if you don’t mind buying some larger memory cards (32-64), and if you don’t mind adding some ram to your computer (I think 8 gigs of ram, is going to be minimum).  It’s for you, if you want to make enormous prints (think feet instead of inches).  It’s for you if you get a real kick out of looking at images at 100% and have your breath taken away!  It’s for you if making the best possible image you can make is all you will accept!   That’s why it is definitely for me!


8.  The price.  Nikon has made two cameras in the recent past that have prices I find hard to believe.  The D7000 at around $1,195. and the D800 at $2,999. are both simply, screaming bargains!


The “last slice” of Humble Pie.   I’m not going to admit to my overly aggressive reservations, ever again!  I now have seen the light, the D800 is everything I hoped it would be, and more, and lot less trouble than I had feared.  The 36.3 mega-pixels have a great deal more impact on my photography than I would have ever guessed!  Save some new revelation, which I’m not expecting, I feel certain, I’ve found the camera that will be my constant companion for years to come, naturally, someday, the next model will come and we will see what we think then……..



the pilgrim



Cropped image from above, gotta love it!






3 years, 4 months ago 2


This morning I had a conversation with a very well respected, killer shooter, for a major golf magazine.  In his profession he is a star, but you would never know it, he never projects it!   It’s a conversation I’ve had before, actually many times before.  Why do some people allow their heads to get blown our of proportion?!  This morning the subject was a pro golfer, on other occasions the conversation has been about a photographer, a celebrity, or even doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs!  The point of the verbal exercise is to obsess about why some people come to the conclusion that they are far better than everyone around them?  I can imagine that if you are a pro athlete, actor, or singer, and you get tons of attention, actually have fans that worship you, you can soon come to accept that as your reality!  Then again, how could you come to that conclusion??!!  Let’s assume that everyone started the same way, just another baby, not to your parents, of course, but certainly to the world. You were a child, like all children, you grew up an started to become the person you are today, somewhere along the way something changed, you were seen “differently by others”!  But does that mean you are different, or that people perceive you as different.  I know it is said that perception is reality, but is it?


My contention is that it is not, in all cases.  Because some people treat you as special or better than others does not actually mean you are better than others!  I once interviewed Roger Staubach, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, he was a big star in football at that time, but he didn’t act like he was.  He was very approachable, sincere, attentive, and treated his fans with respect and as equals. Why, because he knew the “big” secret!  We are all, more or less, the same.  We are equals.  Yes some of us make more money, and some of us are more recognized in public, but we are all impacted by the same things.  You can be famous and have a marriage break up, you can be famous and be in a accident, or get a fatal disease.  When the doctor says you have cancer, it won’t matter how famous you are, you will still face the same battle as anyone else.  You can be wealthy and loose it all.  You can be famous and respected, and become disrespected and much less famous.  So where am I going with all this??


Life is not about what you have, who you are, or what others think of you.  Life is about how much you love, and are loved, and who you love and trust.  If you trust the world, money, power, and the acceptance of others it can all be taken from you.  If you trust God, it can never be taken from you! Not a novel concept, but well worth repeating!


The world says we should desire all the things that are fragile and can disappear in and instant, how wise it to follow the instruction of the world?  God says, I love you, I will never forsake you, and I will meet your needs, and if you follow me, will give you even the desires of your heart. You tell me which is the better deal?!!   God gives peace which is not dependent on the world, the world gives happiness which is completely at the whim of the world, and your circumstances!  Which do you want?!


John 14:27

New Living Translation (NLT)

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”


What I love about this profession is that over the last few days I’ve visited with a half dozen of the best sports photographers in the world.  You’ve seen their images grace the covers of every major sports magazine, many times.  Every single one of them are as nice, and down to earth as you could ever imagine.  Given the choice, and I do have a choice, these are the kinds of people I want to be around!


the pilgrim


Photo Note: D7000, 24-120 AFS-VR, F11 @0.6 shutter speed,  85mm focal length, ISO 400   processed with Nik Color Efex 3.0 – Glamour Glow software filter.