Recent Posts
3 years ago 9

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  


the pilgrim




Images from the workshop last week!






3 years ago 2

I stopped this morning on my way to the Mountain People’s Workshop in Somerset, Kentucky to pick up a diet drink and saw the publication above on sale at the counter!  I couldn’t resist picking a copy up to share with you.  It would be bad enough to get arrested and thrown in jail, much less have someone publish your picture!!!  I just thought it was too funny to pass up.   O.K. it’s not funny in the classic sense but to think someone thought to publish this proves that people sure are different.


Laugh hard today!  Hope this helped……


the pilgrim

3 years ago 0

Nikon never slows down and they recently released a new camera that is pretty cool!  i just got my hands on one and will give it a real report later but wanted to introduce it to you guys ahead of a full report.  The new Nikon 1 is a mirror-less 10.1 megapixel compact that takes interchangeable lenses.  The camera feels very solid in your hands and the lenses are tack sharp.  The built in VR (Vibration Reduction) makes it a great street camera or travel camera.  The package I tried was the body with the small 10mm f 2.8 (equivilant to a 27mm lens) great for walk around.


The build quality is impressive and focusing, and imaging is fast and solid.  Images seem to exhibit less noise than from similar cameras I’ve shot.   The LCD monitor a 460K-dot unit is bright and anti reflective coated. The camera is available in Black, Silver, Red, White, and Pink.  The lenses are also colored to match the body, pretty stylish!


The camera is loaded with features including 10 fps shooting rate, 1080P Hi Definition Video, with the capability to shoot full res images during video capture, slow motion video, very fast auto focus and very fast shutter response.  Many DSLR features abound like, Scene Recognition, Active D-Lighting, full Picture Control settings, and lots of Scene Modes.  For those that simply must have a viewfinder the V1 is coming very soon!


The camera was introduced with several lenses; a 10mm pancake type lens (Equivalent 27mm) f 2.8   A 10-30 f 3.5-5.6 zoom (Equivalent to 27mm-81mm),   A 10mm-100m f 4.5 – 5.6  (Equivalent to  27mm-270mm) and a 30mm to 110mm f 3.8-5.6 (Equivalent to 81mm-297).



None of this means a thing if the camera can’t shoot great images.  Below is a hand held shot of a D7000 on our display table at the Mountain People’s Workshop, shot at IS) 360, its crisp and has no noise.  More tests to come, but my first impression is;  Cool!


And now the best news of all!  Look below at 3,200 ISO!!

Low noise??  You bet!



3 years ago 1

Just like they write the script, perfect ending….  The remaining students went out for sunrise on Otter Point beach this morning and the sun co-operated, as it has all week.  Perfect warm light flooded the incoming tide and spectacular rocks along the shore.  When we got down to the beach there were about another 20 people all lined up for the sunrise so we took up position along the semi circle facing the far cliffs and the warm sky out to sea. About ten minutes before the sunrise a photographer walked out on the rocks, right in front of all 30 some odd shooters, right in our frame.  Most everyone waited to see if he came over to join us, but instead he kneeled down right in front.   Everyone was scratching their heads when the sun started to rise.  Now he gets up and walks back in front of everyone’s camera trying to find just the spot he wanted while blocking all of ours!!!!  Someone yelled out, “Hey can you move out of the way?”   He turned back to the assembled crowd and angrily said, “Where do you want me to go??!!”  I said, just come over and join us!  I wanted to say, “how about a mile out to sea…….”  It never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate some people are of other photographers.  On more than one occasion when my group has been the first to  arrive at a great location to secure the best spots, when others have come to late, I will help them interweave with my group so they don’t miss the shot!!  How anyone could step in front of other shooters and not seem to care is beyond me.


Being a photographer is often about setting up in the perfect spot, but I don’t  think it should ever be about ruining someone else’s shot just to get it yourself.  I was able to content aware him out of the frame, I just feel sorry for folks that go through life blindly unaware of others.  The real joy of this trip has been the fellowship, the laughter, the great times enjoying the craft together.  Anyone who misses that has missed it all!



The next time you go out to shoot, take a deep breath and enjoy, just being there, God has blessed us with an incredibly beautiful world, share it and enjoy it.


God Bless,


the pilgrim


Photo Note:   D7000, 24-120 AF-S VR lens.  First shot Nik Color Efex Pro 4.0  Sunrise/Sunset recipe,  second same software dark top and dark bottom of a 3 shot HDR image.