I’m working today, (Saturday), and so is Sherelene, so I’m blogging! Thought I might share a few random thoughts from the week with you. Most of these are things that came out of a question I was asked or a situation I found myself in, so here goes:
Dealing with other people’s view of the world. In my profession I deal with, and attempt to assist, a great number of people, and many are miles apart from my philosophy of life. I don’t let that affect how I try to deal with them professionally! However, I over heard a conversation recently between two photographers discussing news agencies. One of the photographers was complaining bitterly about how dishonest a particular news network was. They had a very strong opinion about how terrible this news provider was. What shocked me was when they started naming TV anchors and program hosts that they felt were the most egregious, everyone of the ones they despised, are the few I really trust. Now I’m sure they believe they are right, and I’m even more sure they are dead wrong. As a Christian how do I deal with people that believe things that are diametrically opposed to my strongly held beliefs? If someone says I’m Pro Choice am I to say that’s cool, I certainly wouldn’t want to offend you!!?? To me, if you are Pro Life it is a very strong stand that has a very narrow set of paramiters. How can you slide around something like that and look yourself in the mirror. Let’s go back to “What did Jesus do?” Jesus was loving and kind, but he set down standards and did not waver on them. I think it is critical today to know what you believe in and stand firm on it. I’m not suggesting you should offend others or make judgements about them, but I think if you believe something strongly, you must stand firmly, otherwise, you don’t really believe in anything…….
Is honesty always the best policy? Absolutely! I work as a tech rep and I am often asked to help photographers make buying decisions. If I was ever dishonest just to affect a sale, I would never be trusted again and would be of little use to my company. I sometimes have to give advise that may not make my company the most money, but then in the long run it probably will make them even more, because the customer feels confident that I won’t mislead them, leading them to be much more prone to buy and use my companies products. My dear friend, Scott Kelby has a great tag line, “You never make a mistake by doing the right thing….”
Does everyone need a small pocket camera? I sure do! I find myself very often in a photographic situation that does not allow getting out a big DSLR to capture the moment, in those times I love my Nikon 1, or P7100, or P300, yes I use them all for different things. The quality of point and shoot cameras have improved greatly in the last few years and these little cameras can make images that favorably compare to your expensive DSLR.
How did my shoulder bag experiment work out in New England? Not so hot. Mostly because of my previous shoulder surgery and second shoulder that is not doing as well as it did in my thirties! The bag is well made and it held everything I need but my rounding shoulders just couldn’t keep the weight in place. I will probably go back to the backpack and the real trick will be not to overload it. When you find a little empty space, you naturally think of one more thing you would like to have with you, the penalty is weight!
Dates and details on 2012 workshops? Hopefully soon!!!! I need to see what my Nikon schedule looks like and some other things, but I hope to have dates and details before the Hoilidays.
Comments section!#%$%#@$#^? I’ve gotten a lot of emails from friends saying how much they are enjoying the new website, but how frustrated they are with comments not appearing like they did on the old Pilgrim’s Chronicles site. Trust me, we are working on that and hope top have it working very soon. Word Press which is the program used to produce the website is a lot more difficult to navigate than iWeb (which is going away) that’s why among other reasons we moved to here. I promise you will be right back where we were on comments soon!!!
Have a blessed weekend,
This entry was posted on Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 at 3:45 pm
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When I look through a camera, focused on a tiny subject, covered with droplets of water, I’m awe struck! With all the man made objects, nothing is so elegantly simple, and beautiful, to me, as rain or dew drops on a flower or leaf. I’m reminded of just how precise God has made His world and how much beauty He has delivered to us in it. I enjoy so much just looking around closely at these beautiful little intimate scenes. It’s amazing how much we miss as we rush through out lives.
Even more incredible is that the God that made the Universe and all the microscopic parts of it, made us, and loves us more than all the rest of His Creation! To know that He cares about your worries and your concerns, your safety and your success. To know that He is aware of your every thought, your every dream, and fear. Even more remarkable is that He doesn’t just know, He deeply cares. He wants you to have the very best life can offer, life abundant as Jesus described it. Not just enough, not the bare necessities, but all the best things He can offer; love, security, grace, forgiveness, patience, hope, your needs and your desires, everything……
Why does He love us so much? He said, in His word, that He made us to fellowship with, that He desires for us to know Him and talk to Him. Imagine the Creator of the Universe wants to know you and wants you to know Him. For me the greatest mystery of all is that He knows everything about me, and still loves me. Only my loving Heavenly Father could do that…….
*Photo Note: D7000, 85mm Micro Nikkor f 3.5 VR lens.
This entry was posted on Friday, October 21st, 2011 at 4:43 pm
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Over the last few days I’ve received a half dozen emails from people that attended the New England Tour. Almost all of them have expressed the same points; they had a great time, learned a lot, made some wonderful images, but most of all were blessed spiritually. As Col. Hannibal Smith of the A Team used to say, “I love when a plan comes together….” My desire for His Light Workshops was that people would come to find great fellowship, great teaching, wonderful locations, and most of all, to be guided into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and their fellow photographers. As I expressed in yesterday’s blog entry, one of the greatest joys for me as a workshop leader has been the great fellowship with my co-conspirators in these tours and workshops. With the divine intervention of God, the plan has truly come together!
A few years ago, as I started to think about retiring some day, I wondered what I would do when I could set my own schedule. I didn’t want to go sit on the porch and read a good book, though short stints of that seems like a pretty good idea, no I wanted to stay active. But active at what? Well, I’ve been a photographer my whole life and I am more excited about it than ever, so I certainly wanted to continue to do that. More importantly, in the last dozens years I’ve been drawn closer than ever to my Saviour. I’ve experienced an intense urging from God to serve Him more faithfully, to follow His lead with more discipline. I’ve been called to Obedience. In the time that I have dedicated myself to rely on His strength, to answer His call, and I’ve had the greatest peace and joy of my entire life. I have been more blessed than I ever thought imaginable! The wonderful people that have come into my life have brought me great strength and companionship.
I’m often asked by people that have wandered onto the Pilgrim’s Chronicles, “How do you live like a Christian and find this joy!!??” My answer is simple;
1. Know that God is real, that He knows you intimately and loves you more deeply than you could ever understand.
2. Know that He loves you so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay the price of your sins. Because of this ultimate act of love you can now be free from any penalty by accepting His free gift of forgiveness.
3. Once you have accepted forgiveness, you can live a life free of guilt and condemnation, and you can enjoy the indescribable benefits of being a child of God. Peace, Joy, Forgiveness, Grace, Comfort, and Fellowship.
4. Having received such a rich inheritance, you can now love others with Christ’s love and lead them to the same wonderful life you’ve found in Him!
Why would someone step out into the public light and share this kind of information? I there risk in being so open? Regardless of any risk I cannot hide the Light of the World under a basket. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ, and it cannot be hidden from view. His light streaks through all efforts to hide it! I not only would not try to keep it to myself, I couldn’t. How great is my love for Jesus? He took away all that was terrible about me, and replaced it with His Love, and Grace, I would never go back to the life I knew before. For the rest of the time He gives me here on earth, I will try to love others with His love, and urge them to come to know Him and accept Him! Is their a risk? Yes, I would be eternally ashamed of myself if I failed to share His Good News………
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 2:13 pm
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I was thinking sitting in the Bangor airport Sunday, reviewing my images, why do I teach workshops? I was dog tired and glad to be heading home, but also still filled with the exhilaration that came from being with our group. So why do something that takes so much out of you? Because of what it puts back into you! Teaching is both exhausting and exciting. After some thought I think I have the answer, at least for me. Let’s start with the obvious; it’s profitable. While I’ve never met anyone that got wealthy teaching photography workshops, some money can be made, and none of us has an endless supply of finances. It’s profitable though in a much more important way than financial. It’s profitable in the great friendships that develop. I think that most of my best friends are people I met through teaching workshops, from fellow instructors, to participants and their families. I say families because the kinds of relationships that come out of teaching often introduce you to entire families.
Many of my most treasured friends have grown out of relationships that started at a photography workshop. For me teaching photography is a great joy, because of the great joy photography has brought into my life. I love the process of seeing, the process of capturing an image, and the joy of sharing the images I’ve captured. I also love to see the images others have captured! I learn more from looking at others images than all the books I’ve studied about photography. My wife has often joked that if I were a burglar, I would be arrested on my first break in sitting in someone’s bedroom floor looking through their shoe box full of family and travel images, I’m so captured by seeing others work! I love teaching photography because of the incredibly diverse people it places me with.
I’ve met, doctors, lawyers and indian chiefs, really I actually had an indian chief in one of my classes! I’ve met astronauts, rocket scientists, financial wizards, military, and law enforcement people, fishermen, engineers, artists, and entertainers. The simple fact is that people from all walks of life get interested in photography, and I’ve had the rare pleasure of helping them. Some of my former students are now well known and respected photographers in their own right. I’m not suggesting that is because they studied with me, but it does give me great pleasure to rejoice in their successes. One of the great things I’ve learned over years of teaching is that you can find as much pleasure in the success of others as in your own success. It takes some time and maturity to come to that place, but when it comes it makes the joy of photography all the sweeter.
When I was a young photographers I wanted desperately to be better than everyone else. I soon learned that was not very healthy and a real set-up for constant disappointment!! Once you start comparing yourself to others, you will always find those that do photography better than you do, if you can’t accept it and just try harder, it’s an impossible emotion to deal with. I found that just trying to be better than myself each day was enough of a challenge and one I could at least win! Photography is one hobby that can actually affect the happiness in the rest of your life. The way you learn to see and observe what so many miss can make every day a “visual” adventure. Photography has opened up so many wonderful adventures for me, I couldn’t help but share it!
The joy that comes from seeing others learn how to make great images and share them is equal to, if not greater, than the joy of capturing a great image yourself. At the workshop that just ended in New England we has a exceptional group of people. The skill level was very high and the cordial nature of the group made the entire experience fantastic. So once I rest up and get my feet back under me, I’ll be excited to start planning the next few workshops.
God has richly blessed me to be able to support my family (along with a lot of help from Sherelene!), doing something I would do on my days off from work! How much better could it be than that…….
Thank you Father for enriching my life with such great people and such a great hobby/profession! Amen
Images from the workshop last week!