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3 years, 5 months ago 2


As a football fan this is a big week, the NFL Draft is about to start.  For seasons to come the decision made in this draft will affect individual teams desire and progress to making the Super Bowl, and countless individual football players lives will be affected as well!  Naturally the sports talk shows and sports networks are all a buzz about who will go first, pretty much a knowns issue now, and who will take various top players from across the country.


I’m interested to know what will happen, but not riveted to the results, I am riveted to who is Number One everyday for me, Jesus.  The deeper my walk goes into my relationship with Christ, the less worldly things matter to me.  I love to talk cameras and lenses, sports, weather, travel and on and on, but honestly it all pales in comparison to the spiritual side of my life.  Who wins a Super Bowl does not even compare to the hope of leading someone into  life long relationship with Jesus!


Scripture teaches that we should turn our thoughts and minds to the things of God,  not rejecting all that goes on in the world but realizing it is secondary in importance to our spiritual health.  In the last few months I have been renting and watching Christian films more than the normal movies I have enjoyed in  the past.  I’ve found that centering my mind on things of God has made me a more peaceful and centered believer.  I’m not saying that to have a closer walk with God that you have to reject everything that is not specifically about Him, but the more we dabble in the things that are purely of this world, the more worldly we become, and the more worldly we become, the further we drift from His plan for our lives!


It is a delicate balancing act to be His and live for Him and still not make those in the world feel rejected and judged.  If you study the life of Christ, you will find that He  did not go around placing judgments on people, He let them know how much He loved them, that forgiveness was available if they woulds ask for it and accept Him.  He never twisted an arm, debated with people, or condemned them, He LOVED them!


Guess what, that is what He has called us to do as well, just love them!


the pilgrim



O.K. Yesterdays answers:


Top Shot of Buick Hood   D4


Cadillac Hood ornament    Coolpix P7100


Buick Eight Hood    D7000


Airplane Tail   D800

3 years, 5 months ago 4

This morning Tim did part two of his series “Who I am in Christ”  He hit another one out of the park!  This sermon was filled with factual encouragement right out of the word.


2 Corinthians 5:17

New Living Translation (NLT)

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!



Romans 8:1,2    I am free forever from condemnation.


Romans 8:28      I am assured that all things work together for good.


Romans 8:31-39    I cannot be separated from the love of God.


2 Corinthians 1:21    I have established, anointed and sealed by God.


Galatians 2:20    I am dead to myself; it is now Christ who lives in me.


Colossians 3:3    I am hidden with Christ in God.


Philippians 1:6    I am confident God’s work in my life will be completed.


Philippians 3:20    I am a citizen of heaven.


2 Timothy1:7     I am not a person of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.


Hebrews 4:16    I can find grace and mercy in time of need.


1 Peter 1:23    I am born again.  My new life is not from my parents.


1 John 5:18     I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.



When you fully accept Christ into your life He doesn’t want your best effort, your best effort will never be enough, He wants your complete surrender, nothing else will ever lead to the life He is wanting you to have!



the pilgrim


3 years, 5 months ago 12


I have been obsessing about camera bodies for some time, and the D4 and the D800 have just made things worse.  We have so many great choices today, it is mind boggling!  But that does not help me answer t he question of;   “If you can only own a couple, which two do you own?”  I had and interesting thought this morning and I want to share it with you.


If you were a NASCAR driver and you had a big race coming up, and you owned three cars, which would you drive in the race?  If you were running in a marathon, which of your sets of running shoes would you wear?  If you were going to a very important dinner with your wife, which suit would you wear?   I think the answer in each case would be “your best one”.  So if you are going to make photographs which camera do you use, your best one!


Now there is always the the question of which camera is best for which purpose, but I think we have explored that pretty thoroughly.  ( * A quick note, I work for Nikon, I have always shot Nikons, even before I took a job with them, so I only talk about Nikon in my blog, that is not meaning any disrespect to Canon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony, Samsung, Leica, etc etc  I just don’t know those other camera systems anything like as much as i know Nikon.)  Back to my thought, If you shoot sports and do photojournalism a D3s or D4 are the best choice for you.  For all the rest of us, we have a multitude of choices.


If I go out to make a photograph, I have one goal in mind, make the best photograph I can!  Since I mostly do, landscape, nature, close-up, fine art, Americana, and travel work, I don’t really need the speed of a D4.  I am most interested in image quality; sharpness, resolution, color quality, and to a lesser degree, low light ability.  Based on that standard, as of today, one camera best meets those needs, the D800.  Having said that, new cameras are alway being released, (that’s why I said today!)  Who knows what the future will bring, interesting things I’m sure, but for right  now I think the D800 is my ultimate FX camera.  The top of the line DX camera from Nikon is the D7000 and I love that little camera, it is an exceptional camera, and for the money, a real value.


I have long suggested to serious photographers that shoot Nikon that they should own both a FX and a DX camera.  It makes perfect sense to stretch the utility of your lenses.  So without any further confusing developments, I think my two body system will be the D800 and the D7000 ( at least for today!!!!!)


O.K.  Just for fun I will publish several photos below (all HDR shots from Old Car City and one not!), try to figure out what camera they were taken with, I  will reveal the answers Monday!



Good luck!



3 years, 5 months ago 4



I have now had a D800 for about a month, actually 25 days to be exact.  I love the camera and can state it is like nothing I’ve ever shot before, but like all cameras it has it’s quirks, and I wanted  to take it into the field and do a practical test of how it would handle certain situations in every day use.  I chose to go up to Keeneland Race Track with my good friend and shooting buddy Chuck Summers.  there I could shoot some hand held and mono-pod mounted shots of action and just high resolution subjects at varying ISOs.  I will share some images and my thoughts, and let you draw your own conclusions.


The shot above was my feeble attempt at a racing shot, I say my feeble attempt because in the course of working for Nikon I cover the Kentucky Derby each year and have done several Breeder’s Cups.  At these races I work with and serve some of the greatest race horse photographers in the world, people like Skip Dickstein, Dan Dry, and many others, if they saw my shot above, they would be a long time getting off the floor from being doubled over with laughter!  Having said that, if I used the D800 to shoot a horse race this is about what I would get!  Except for the very contrasty light, and my having cut off the horses legs, something they hate for obvious reasons, it’s not a bad shot, and the D800 performed admirably.  Keeping in mind that the D800 is not a sports camera, for single frame shots it did the job.  When you consider this is a hand held shot shot at ISO 160, I was pleased with the results.


The other night in Lynchburg, at Liberty University we did and evening program for the community, Tim Isaacson’s son, Silas, shot some images with the D800 while I spoke the image below is one of his shots.   Several things to know, the image was shot hand held at 1/125th of a second with and at ISO of 6400.  It is pretty darn sharp, I sure couldn’t have held it that steady!  It was slightly underexposed causing the noise to pop a little, so I took it into a noise reduction program and pulled out the noise, even after that the rich detail kept the image looking very sharp, you can judge for yourself!



While we are talking about noise, here is another of Silas’s shots this one at ISO 5000 and with good exposure, it is pretty clean!



Going back to Keeneland, I wanted to shoot some images the way I usually work when I can’t have a tripod along, so I shot the image below of one of the trainers walking a horse.  The image is pretty sharp, which means it’s not tack sharp, in spite of my having shot at a very fast shutter speed of  1/8000th of a second.  I shot at ISO 1600 to be able have such a high shutter speed.  My conclusion is if Silas had shot it it would have been sharper, not the camera’s fault!!!



While on the subject of sharpness, I saw a white haired distinguished gentleman in the crowd and got a few head shots of him.  His white hair would be a good test of sharpness. The shot was made at 1/6400th of a second with an ISO of 1600, the lens for the shot and actually all of them, was my favorite 70-300 AFs VR  f 4.5-56. Nikkor zoom.  First you will see the full file then below that, the file at 100% sized to fill the frame, but still 100%!!!!!




Finally I wanted to see if I could get a sharp image from a hand held shot, remember this is a 66 year old man hand holding a very high resolution camera.  I shot this small section of the Rolex Keeneland clock with the 70-300 at 300 wide open.  I used a reasonable ISO of 800 and turned VR on, the hand held speed was 1/4oooth of a second.  I was very pleased with the result, hey I’ve still got a little of the juice!


To show just how capable this camera is, I blew the file up to a “ten foot wide” print file!!!!!  Look at the spider web  in the upper left hand corner of this segment of the huge print, wow!!!!!



Conclusion:  The D800 is the most fantastic high resolution camera I have ever shot, period.  The files are big, it will require large memory cards, it MUST be shot very carefully if hand held, and it deserves and needs to be tripod mounted whenever possible.  If you can live with all of that, you may just be looking at the most capable camera to ever come down the pike.  If you’re a photojournalist or sports shooter, you will be happier with a D4, with it’s faster speeds, and bigger buffer, and ridiculously low noise at high ISO.  If you are anyone else and can live with slower processing times, you simply can’t make better images with anything else…….


Have a blessed weekend, more to come!


the pilgrim



Hey, after that last shot, I’m feeling the juice!  Maybe there is hope at this age!


Go listen the song I’ve been rocking to!



“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”


Listen Baby,
Ain’t no mountain high
Ain’t no valley low
Ain’t no river wide enough, baby
If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far, Don’t worry Baby
Just call out my name
I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry’Cause baby,
There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you…….