Recent Posts
2 years, 12 months ago 7

You may remember, if you’ve been with me from the beginning that the Pilgrim’s Chronicles was first published during the Reno Air Race Pylon School two years ago (June 2009).  It really started with a trip I took with my wife to Louisville, the previous December.  It was late afternoon as we drove North to Louisville and the light streaming through my driver’s side window show my hands in graphic detail, every wrinkle, crease, and scar.  I looked down at my hands and spoke even before thinking, “Whose hands are at the end of my arms!”  It was the most stark realizations of of age I’d ever had.  I was starring at the hands of my father.  Age and time slips up on us.  I can remember in the last years of my fathers life, just how much older he seemed, now I was looking at the hands of a man that was the same age.  My father died at age 66, I’m 65 and 5 months away from my 66th birthday.  When I look in the mirror I don’t see my father at 66, then again I’m not sure how much of what we want to see is, what we actually see?!

 

I’ve never been a person that worried about getting older, I’ve always known it was inevitable and have a peace with it.  I never looked like Clark Gable, or Cary Grant, (that sure shows my age!), so it’s not like  I went from being a hunk to hulk.  It sure would be good to have a few days feeling as good as I did at 30, but then I wouldn’t give up the wisdom that comes with age for that.  No, life is good, it really is!  I still enjoy the things tht matter most to me, I’m still mobile, alert, and on this side of the grass, what more could you ask for!  Just please keep me from being “Old and in the Way!”

 

Father, as I prepare to though my gear in the FJ to head to the airport, bless my team, bless my friends that are joining us in bangor tomorrow afternoon.  Watch over our travel, our vision, the weather , the leaves, guide out every step!  Please allow us to enjoy the joy that comes from fellowship with old and new friends.  Father please part the clouds some for Sherelene, Catherine, Cassidy and Cade as they travel in the opposite direction to Florida for Fall break.  I pray they will have a great and safe trip as well.  Thank you that you’ve given me almost 66 great years, I will stay here as long as you have need of me!   Amen

 

2 years, 12 months ago 4

 

Today I’m reprinting the daily devotional from Intouch in it’s entirety.  I felt this entry from my friend Charles Stanley was just to powerful to change in any way.

 

John 6

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

 1 After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

 7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

 8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

 10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

 14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”

 

God’s Word is a treasure for many reasons—one being that it’s so practical. The stories and principles found in the Gospels are just as applicable today as they were in Jesus’ day. We’ve all experienced times when our backs are to the wall, our problem seems to have no solution, and we don’t know what to do. When that happens, we need to remember that impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.

 

God’s supremacy trumps human resources. When Jesus asked, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” (v. 5), Philip quickly recognized his own inadequacy. Although Christ knew all along what He would do, He was teaching His disciples that the perfect plan and the power to implement it come only from God, not from human solutions and resources.

 

The Lord often requires our participation. Even though Christ could have spoken bread into existence, He chose to use people to achieve His purpose. Andrew scouted around for food, a young boy gave up his small lunch, and the disciples organized the crowd and distributed the food Jesus handed them. Each step required trust and obedience, especially since Christ’s method seemed so illogical.

 

God knows how to solve your problem, but He may choose to require your cooperation, possibly even asking you to do something that seems unreasonable. But whenever we yield our flawed solutions and meager resources to Him and step out in obedience, He does great things in us and through us.

 

*Postscript, I’ve learned in my own life the truth in that last paragraph, God does know how to solve our problems and he may well choose have us be a part of that solution, and when He asks you to do something that seems unreasonable, remember what He could do with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish!

 

the pilgrim

 

*Photo Note:  Nikon D7000 with the 24-120 AF-S VR.

 

 

 

 

2 years, 12 months ago 2

 

 

 

Ever since I did my Kelby Training close-up classes, (yes a part II is on the way).  I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking what is the least expensive way to get into doing close-ups.

 

I assembled a kit that will cost about as little as you can spend and still get high quality images from infinity to 6 times life size!  The kit includes the 85mm Micro Nikkor DX f3.5 lens, a set of automatic extension tubes, and a couple of diopters, mine are the long discontinued Nikon 3T and 4T, but several other manufacturer still make diopter in the 52m size  required by the 85 Micro.  With these few tools, you can do a great variety of close-ups.  Because the lens will be used on a D7000, or some other Nikon DX body, the “effective” focal length with be 127.5 mm.  Working distance is good and the complete set will run you around, $800.  The diopter I would recommend if you can’t find the Nikon ones, would be the Hoya 52mm +3 Close-Up Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass filter.  This is a 2 element diopter unlike the simple single element +1, +2, +3 kits which I would avoid!  Below are the images with each part of the system.  Image one is for size perspective, it includes my thumb.  The next is with 36mm of extension and the 5T.  Remember you can stack the diopters and you have two more extension tubes, (12mm & 20mm).  The bottom line; great close-up possibilities with a reasonably affordable system!

 

Want to save even more?  One other route is to use the same extension tubes and close-up diopters on a very high quality zoom lens.  If you own a 70-200 Af-S VR f2.8 version I or II, you could add a 77mm Diopter and the same automatic extension tubes and do wonderful close-ups.

 

One last thought is, once again if you are a Nikon shooter, the older manual focus lenses will still work on the D7000 on up.  I picked up a great mint condition, 105mm Micro Nikkor f 2.8 for less than $300.

 

Learn good technique and acquire the gear you can afford, and have fun!

 

 

2 years, 12 months ago 2

IMPORTANT NOTICE   “How the Comments Section Works”

 

 

 

 

 

I just figured it out, the comment section to the new blogs have had me vexed.  Here is how it works; If you look above you will see two things circled in yellow.  the number to the right is the number of comments that have been made to this blog.  If you click the small symbol to the left of the number, it will bring up all comments and give you a box to make a comment.  I still haven’t figure out how to keep them open all the time, but I’m working on it!

 

When I was packing  my duffle last night I was thinking about one of the last times I shot in Vermont and New Hampshire.  I remember it well, doing a workshop with my dear friend David Middleton.  We walked up into a stream in Vermont and shot the image featured here.  I can remember the peace of the moment like it was 15 minutes ago!  The sound of the stream the beauty of the fall color, and the rich golds of the rocks in the stream.

 

Shooting in a beautiful landscape  location is more than just a great subject, with great conditions, under perfect light, it’s also the ambiance of “being there”!  There is something about just the environment, the company and the moment that add up to such a great memory.  It is an immense honor to to have been a photographer for so many years shooting such wonderful scenes, in the company of such great people!  I don’t see it as something I have earned or that I deserve because of anything I’v e done, no I see it as a blessing.   But, what is a blessing?

 

Blessing

blessing, (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, divine will, or one’s hope or approval.

 

I believe a blessing is God’s way of saying, “I love you so much, and I want to give you something that I know will bring you great joy!”    Why would God do such a thing??!!  Did we do something to merit such favor?  No, God’s love is unmerited, it is given free and clear of anything we have done to deserve it.  It has been said that as hard as we try, we can never understand the depth of God’s love, that in fact, God IS Love.  If God loved us so much that he gave His only Son that we might have eternal life, why wouldn’t He give us a cool afternoon by a beautiful stream in a magical place called New England.

 

It’s not only o.k., but quite proper, that we should be excited with anticipation when we know one of God’s blessings are on the way.

 

the pilgrim