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3 years, 6 months ago 3

Forty three years ago I started on a journey struggling and striving for a destination of my own choosing.  I thought I knew what I wanted, and where I hoped I would be  now.  I didn’t end up there, I ended up here.  If I based my happiness, my peace and my joy on what I had dreamed for myself, I would be desperately depressed, but I’m not!!!  I’m filled with  joy and a peace that passes understanding.  I feel incredibly fulfilled.  I didn’t know what was best for me, but thankfully God does and did!


The world tells us that we need to be successful, famous, admired, rich, and oh yes, attractive too!  What a set up!  My father once told me to do what you love, and everything will follow. The enemy would like us to buy the first set of desires.  I would love to tell you that I came to my senses and changed my desires, but that is not exactly how it happened.  Over time, God worked in a lot of ways to help me to see that the path I had hoped for was not the best path after all.  From the moment  I started to trust Him the more He opened my eyes!  So I’ve arrived at exactly where He wants me to be.  So it didn’t end with me being successful, admired, rich, or attractive, just gloriously content!


You didn’t ask, but may I offer some advice?  Choose Him!


the pilgrim


3 years, 6 months ago 3

Every Memorial Day I slip off and watch the last 15 minutes of a great film., Saving Private Ryan.  If you haven’t seen it in a while in the last chapter the character played by Tom Hanks, Lt. John Miller, is shot and dies on a bridge in Germany.  As he is talking to Private Ryan who his men have saved,  many giving their own lives to send him home to his family, he pulls him close and whispers “James, earn this, earn it.”  It transitions to Private Ryan as an old man viewing the graves of his fallen comrades, he speaks to the grave of his fallen savior, John H. Miller, “to be honest with you I wasn’t sure how I’d feel coming back here, every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I’ve tried to live my life the best that I could, I hope that was enough, I hope that at least in your eyes I’ve  earned what all of you have done for me.”


In life we must earn much, with our sacrifice and call to duty, our duty as a husband, a father, and for me now, a grandfather.  Our duty as an American. In the spiritual realm we need not earn our salvation, in fact we never could, the pit is so deep and dark that nothing we could ever do would lift us out of that miry clay.  But Jesus did it all when he gave His life for us.  We can never thank Him enough, and all He asks is that we will give Him our lives so that He can make them more complete and blessed than we could ever do ourselves.


Have a blessed Memorial Day,


the pilgrim

3 years, 6 months ago 5

Yesterday afternoon, late in the afternoon, I went back down to the pool to try and make some test shots with the new D800′s HDR function.  This option is actually very versatile and has a good range of settings.  First of all it is best used in high contrast scenes where it would not be possible to hold highlight detail and still get some detail in the shadows.  The camera allows you to make a single image  with HDR applied, or set the camera to shoot in HDR continuously, until you turn the function off.  The HDR function actually does make two photographs, so using a tripod is highly recommended.  You have the choice of 1 – 2 or 3 stops of difference between the two exposures and Low, Medium or High degrees of smoothing.  HDR works best when shooting with Matrix Metering and the images must be jpegs, doesn’t work in RAW.


I have to say I was very impressed with what the camera was capable of producing with this easy to use system.  I don’t see this function as replacing shooting HDR with multiple exposures, but it sure can give you a much broader range of tones and exposure at the extremes.  I’ve labeled the images below so you can see the differences.  My advice is to play with the range 1-2 or 3 and the smoothing to your taste.  For me in very extreme contrast I like 2 or 3 stops and medium smoothing, but you may find another combination more liking to your taste.  There is no wrong answer, but this sure is a powerful feature that solves an often faced problem, high contrast light!  One more reason to fall more deeply in love with the D800!


While three stops looks less natural, it sure does show extreme shadow detail without loosing much highlight.  I can see times that shooting for 3 stops difference might save a shot! Experiment and see what works for you and please share your results with all of us!


Have a great weekend,


the pilgrim


Just for the record, here is the 3 stop shot processed to tone it down!


The Memorial Day Weekend Motto:



The opening shot, D800 with HDR?  Nope iPhone 4s……..


3 years, 6 months ago 4

Incredible photo by Richard Siggins, one of my favorite shooters!


I hope that all of you are gathering with family and friends for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend!  I’m with Sherelene in Florida and my work should be done later this afternoon, and we can enjoy some time together before we fly home on Sunday.  I’ve gotten to see some great clients, and old friends, and now I’m feeling ready to rest a little over the weekend, after that it really gets rolling.  I’m so excited about the Bodie workshop and then the Pylon School in Reno.  We have a stellar group coming to Bodie, many very dear old friends and some new people, I can’t wait to get to know.


After the wonderful news last night about my friends spiritual condition, I’m feeling a lot better!  Thank you for your prayers and emails of concern!  You guys are a great family!  I pray you have a wonderful holiday weekend, filled with peace and joy! If they have some good Bar-B-Q where you celebrate, have some for me, I’m in seafood country…….


the pilgrim