Recent Posts
3 years, 2 months ago 4


Every January the KNPA (Kentucky News Photographers Association) has their annual meeting in Lexington, Kentucky.  My wife, who works for Baptist Hospitals, always has a corresponding meeting close by.  We always look forward to going up for this weekend together, she works during the days, as do I, and then we can enjoy some time in the evenings.  One of the few meetings where I don’t have to travel alone.  The kicker that makes this trip extra special is that the Marriott for the meeting is the Marriott Griffin Gate.  Now if you stay in Marriotts a lot you become a Premier Member, then a Platinum Premier, and finally a Platinum Premier Elite member,  If  you stay in Marriotts 75 nights in a year you make the top rating, last year I had 179 Marriott nights!!!!


So the very gracious manager of this hotel always puts me in the Presidential  Suite, once stayed in  by George W. Bush (thus the name), plaque below, other famous guests have been Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen,  and other celebrities that have visited Lexington.  This weekends guest, not so much!


As I said, I’m certainly not bragging, more like saying how fortunate I feel when I get to share a good time like this with my wife!   God knows what our needs are, and even the desires of our hearts and I think he wants us to all feel special sometimes, as long as we don’t start believing we belong in a place like this!


So I will tough it out and try to manage to get by in such a humble abode!



Till Monday, the suffering pilgrim sends his blessings……


the pilgrim


3 years, 2 months ago 3

Several years ago I was invited to see a film with a Christian brother called Facing the Giants.  It was made by a Baptist church in Georgia and it has since become one of my favorite films.  They followed that film up with Fireproof,  another great Christian film. Yesterday I watched their latest, Courageous and I can highly, highly recommend it, to everyone, especially fathers and grandfathers. It’s about the lives of four sheriffs deputies and their struggle to become better fathers. Break out the tissues, you’re going to need them. This film is a call to fathers to be; the men God has called them to be!


A high point in the film is when they take an oath before their chruch to become Godly fathers, this is the oath,


I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children. I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home. I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me. I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength. I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly. I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy. I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion. I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family. I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged. I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God. I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will. I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.    Joshua 24:15.


I challenge every father and grandfather, to watch this film, and take that pledge.


Have a blessed weekend,


the pilgrim

3 years, 2 months ago 5


I shared yesterday about a chance, (actually a God planned),  encounter with some people in the Sky Room on my way home from New Orleans.  In the conversation the older of the two gentlemen ask me a question that has resurfaced continuously since it was asked,  “What do you want in your future?”   I couldn’t stop thinking about that question.  The more I mulled it over in my mind the more I realized what an important question it was.  I decided to pray about it, consider it, and come up with a list of what I really want in my future!  I even shocked myself!  I would pose the same question to you,  ”What do you really want in your life?”  Here is what I came up with in order of importance;


1.  I want to find myself closer and closer to my Lord Jesus Christ every day.  I want to develop a deeper relationship with Him that makes me more of what He wants me to be.  I want my closeness to Him to spill over into the world around me.  I pray that people I meet and get to know,  want to get to know Him because of what they see He has done in my life.  I want Him to get all the glory.


2.  I want to see others the way God sees them.  I want to feel the compassion, and love my Heavenly Father feels for others.  I want any judgement I may feel to fade away and be replaced with the same love, and gentleness He has offered me.


3.  I would like to wake up more mornings next to Sherelene!  I travel way too much, and I miss my bride.  I want to not only spend more time with her, but I want to be a better husband.  I want to consider her feelings, needs, and wishes more carefully, and work harder at being the kind of man she needs in her life.  I want her to know how very much I appreciate all her sacrifices and hard work, love and devotion.  She deserves the very best husband I can be, and more.


4.  I want to spend more time with my children, grandchildren and brother Homer.  I love my family, and this life keeps me too busy and too separated from all of them.  I love the time I do get to spend with them, I want more of that in my life.  The Christmas season reminded me again of just how much joy they bring into my life, how very proud I am of each of them!


5.  I love being with my friends, and sharing our love for photography and our faith.  I want to have more time spent in their company. When I’m feeling tired, stressed, or over loaded,  all I have to do is close my eyes and go back to New England, or Shaker Village, Savannah, or Arches/Canyonlands and remember all the great times with my brother Homer,  Jim Begley, Chuck Summers, Richard Small, Snake Barrett, Chuck Barnes, Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, Jim & Sue Haverstock, Raymnond Jabola, Ricky Skaggs, Tim Isaacson, Susan S., Lynn R.,  Larry W., the Obers, and I better stop now before someone gets their feelings hurt.  I truly love the folks that share and learn with us at the workshops, I am so looking forward to the ones to come and more time with my buddies, brothers, and sisters!


6.  I want to have more success at taking care of myself.  I need to exercise more, eat better, and get enough rest.  I’m totally at fault for not doing a better job at that, I need to put a better plan into action!  God has miraculously kept me on this side of the grass with little help from me!


7. I want to be the kind of employee at Nikon, that when it is time to leave, they will genuinely be sorry to see me go.  I appreciate my job and the people I work with, I want to make them glad they hired me ten years ago!  I know we do important work and I appreciate getting to be a part of this team.


8.  I want to do more Kelby Training Classes.  Nikon has asked me to not teach anymore, until after I retire.  They see it as a conflict with Nikon School and other classes Nikon offers. I have really enjoyed doing them and look forward, in the not to distant future, to resuming.  I still have one unreleased class that will be coming up this year, after that I hope to continue adding to that list of classes well into the future!


9.  I want to become a better teacher.  I love photography and I really enjoy sharing that love, and my experience, with other photographers, I want to work hard to get better and better at it.


10.  I  don’t ever want to loose my enthusiasm and love for the craft and art of photography.  It is a wonderful thing to get to this age and still be so excited about photography.  I hope I stay this motivated until the moment I go home to be with Him!


* Bonus one:  11.  I want to get better and better as a photographer.  Not better than any other individual, just increase my skill, vision, and joy!


So there are my top ten + 1!  I know the more I think about the more things will be added.  Give it a try, start thinking about what really matters the most to you and make your own list!


Be blessed,


the pilgrim


3 years, 2 months ago 3


Got into Knoxville, at midnight, an hour late, stayed over to drive home this morning, Delta, gotta love em’……  I’m not going to rant today, too much more important to touch on anyway.


I’m teaching a webinar next week for some friends and associates at the Bio Communications organization.  The title of the class is “Taking a Break from Reality!”  The class will encourage those that can get by the emotional trauma to try doing some interesting things with their photography, HDR, filters, radical color and tone changes and Black and White conversions of all kinds.  I have a good friend who is an exceptional photographer and he is a very traditional shooter.  He thinks this stuff is awful, I won’t repeat the word he uses, but trust me, he makes no bones about how wrong he thinks it is to do all this stuff to a straight image.  It’s interesting because his images are very artistic, but just without manipulation.  My favorite line to him is, “if you don’t like it, don’t do it!”


Everyone has their own personal philosophy about what is fair game in photography, I’m sure some people go way beyond what I can allow myself to do, and some won’t leave the “photographic” straight and narrow, my a millimeter!  I enjoy being able to do things with my photography that I was never able to do in the past.  In the history of photography all mediums, glass plates, film, and now digital have all had limits in terms of the range of light they could capture and display.  Then along came HDR and we were able to capture a far greater range of shadow to highlight detail.  It has opened up exciting new worlds, if you are open to it??!!


Walking closely with our Lord will also opens up an infinite world of joy you have never experienced before.  To receive all that God wants to give you, you have to be open to it, prepare for it, and expect it!  Simple, stay in His word, stay on your knees before Him, and pray constantly for Him to intervene in your lives, and the lives of others!  It is an adventure you want to have happen to you!  Please trust me on this one!


Last night in the Sky Room in New Orleans, (Delta’s lounge for frequent flyers,) I got a diet coke, and found a quite corner in hopes of just letting the day start to fade away and relax.  I saw Bill Frakes, a dear friend, and acclaimed Sports Illustrated photographer/videographer, across the room, so I got up and went over, gave him a hug, and we chatted for a few minutes, then I started back to my nice quite corner.   As I was walking back two business men in animated conversation walked into my little corner of the room and took the two seats opposite of where I was planning to relax.  I looked around and the room was pretty full so moving would not have helped.  I’m glad I didn’t.  I sat down and quietly went back to sipping the diet coke, when one of the men asked me a question.  As you can imagine, a conversation ensued, and I soon learned they were top executives of a very prominent photography company that I often work with.  I shared some images with them on the iPad, and then gave my usual short witness.  They both lit up they were dedicated believers as well.  This led to an even deeper conversation now on faith and out Lord.  It was a marvelous time, I think God knows when we need that kind of fellowship and He served up a great one.  One of the gentlemen had to leave to catch his flight and the other young man and I continued to talk, and it got even better.  Soon a well known photographer,  who I know, mostly by reputation, (and  he is an exceptional shooter), who had been overhearing the conversation, joined us and the good times continued to roll.


He was on the same flight with me to Atlanta, so we continued to talk as we walked to the gate.  Fast forward to this morning.  Having gotten into Knoxville in the early morning hours, I decided to sleep in this morning, about 8:30 a.m. my wife called and it awoke me, but it was time to get up and get going anyway.  Laying in bed I started my day the way I always do, I prayed and thanked God for;  Being safely back, close to, home.  I thanked Him for the great show, the not to difficult travel, and especially the wonderful company of my fellow Nikon friends, and the new friends I made in the Sky Room last night and as a bonus seeing an old friend on the plane to Atlanta, and making some more new friends all of who were up lifting to visit with.


Yes this is an advertisement!  Yes, I want you to have such a fulfilling life!  And yes, I’m selling something….  Jesus!  I want everyone I meet to get to know Him, to become very, very close to Him.  I want everyone to know the incredible joy of having Him direct your path.  It is an awesome thing to see events unfold right in front of your eyes, because they are the will of God!!!


We have an Awesome God,


the pilgrim