Recent Posts
3 years, 11 months ago 4

I’m off this morning for my annual cancer tests.  Haven’t eaten since midnight yesterday, If Sherelene doesn’t keep me locked in the car I might attack a McDonalds.  I’m so hungry I might even eat an egg, and I hate eggs!  I taught a workshop last night with Jim Begley at my church and the group seemed overly concerned about my tests, if they know something I don’t know, it beats me.  A lady asked me if I was concerned having had such bad news from former tests?  I really don’t think about that very much.  My life is in God’s hands, has always been.  When I was diagnosed with terminal cancer 31 years ago, He saw me through it.  When it’s time, it’s time.  I’m not a fatalist, I just know who has my back.


I write my entries in the hopes that someone that doesn’t know Him will meet Him here.  I was laying in bed this morning and the thought came to me, what if this entry were the last I ever got to write, what would I say?  It would be titled; “The No Risk, Limited Time Offer…..”


If you answer the knocking at your hearts door, there is no risk, and the only time we have to open that door is while we are still here.  Pretty simple proposition……….  and one I hope you will consider.


the pilgrim

3 years, 11 months ago 3

For every problem there is a solution and in photography I’ve found a number of solutions from Kirk Enterprises!  At the most recent Photo Plus I got a chance to visit their booth and catchup with old friends, I also saw some products I didn’t know I needed, but now own!!!  First, I’ve gotten a ton of emails asking about the Low Pod I used in the Close-Up Classes on Kelby Training, well here it is below:



This is the latest version of the Low Pod made by Kirk Enterprises.  It is  great stable platform for doing close-up work in the field or in the studio.  It runs around $150. and then you add the ball head of your choice.




Another item that really works for me is the Super Grip, that allows an affordable package for doing video work hand held with DSLRs.  This one is show with my D7000, 85 Micro lens, and Nikon’s Me-1 Microphone.   Another 1/4″ 20 thread adapter is available to add a out board video monitor.  This rig makes it easier to do video with a DSLR and move it steadily.   Many other manufacturers make rigs costing up to $3,000. and above, for my money this unit with all the attachments comes in under $200.!  Quite a deal!



When doing video with a small compact camera, I love the Nikon Coolpix P7100 for hand held video work the Quick Release Grip from Kirk works great.  At $80. it’s a steal for much improved video.




I love to work with small cameras but always want to have a good solid support and for cameras like my Coolpix P7100 and my Nikon D7000 the Table Top Tripod legs from Kirk and the BH-30 Compact Ball Head from Really Right Stuff make a dynamite combination.  I love this system for working low and for supporting cameras when you can use a full sized tripod.  This unit can be held against a wall for extra steady support when shooting from standing height!  The Table Top Tripod legs run $119. and the ball head from RRS goes for $275.  It may sound like a lot of money but both are made so well they are life-time investments.





I use a number of different Coolpix cameras and having the right Arca Swiss type plate for each one has becoming madenning, until now, the little PZ-130 fits my P7100, my Nikon J1 and my Nikon P300, it’s a great way to have any of my small cameras ready to hook-up with any Arca Swiss device.  $30. from Kirk.





Another field problem is how to carry long lenses?  If you use your cameras neck strap to support your camera and a long lens you will very likely end up with a bent lens mount on the camera or lens, and expensive repair.  If you insist on using a strap be sure it is one attached to the long lens, NOT the camera.  Kirk has a device that makes hand carrying a long lens and body a snap, it’s called Action Grip and I love how it  works and then balances the lens for hand held shooting.  It runs $125. and fits any Arca Swiss design plate.





For many years Mike Kirk, founder of Kirk Enterprises, was a good friend and his son Jeff and his gang including Kevin Crist have continued on his great work.  I really love their products and am always excited when they come with new solutions to photographers problems.  I have also loved working with Joe and Joan of RRS, they too have made us some great products!




the pilgrim

3 years, 11 months ago 0


I got home early this morning from the Breeder’s Cup, tired but glad to be home, I went up stairs to my office to put away my gear and threw my latest hat on the pile, standing there looking at the display of my hats, I thought they each tell a story.  Before I start, it’s Sunday morning and this is my devotional for the morning.  If a Genie had popped out of  a lamp when I was young and offered me any three wishes I wanted I would have asked for exactly what I’ve gotten!   More about that at the end!  Every place I’ve traveled I’ve bought a baseball cap as a reminder of that great experience, funny thing is I look awful in a baseball hat!!!  But, I love to look at my hats of which I have many more than what is displayed above.  Allow me to share with you a short description of the ones shown here.


Top row,  left to right, America From 500 Feet, my first aviation book done with my son Wesley, one of the greatest experiences of my life, especially the 14 months of traveling with Wes and growing from father and son, into close friends!  I never look at that hat that I don’t thank God for that time together and all those wonderful flights!  Air Creation my one of my first and still favorite ultra lights, and the one Wes and I flew for the first book.   The team hat for the second book, America From 500 Feet II.   My new 2011 Breeder’s Cup hat, last one to go on the pile!


Row two,  The Blue Angles, bought at their headquarters in Pensacola!    Carolina Nature Photographers Association an organization I’m proud to belong to.  The hat I bought after flying over the Corvette Factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  A favorite burger place in the midwest, decent burger, great hat and nice people that run it.


Row three, CSI Las Vegas, gift form a friend that actually calls on them for Nikon!  OOOPs Cozy inn makes a second appearance!   My Dive Shop hat from Plantation Florida where I flew over the Crystal River to photograph the Manatees.   The original Gore Tex GAPW hat! (Great American Photography Weekend)


Row Four, Arlington Air Show Commemorative Wright Brothers hat, one of my favorite hats to fly in!  The hat my late, dear friend, Phil Fox had made to witness during his last months as he bravely battled cancer, when he gave one away people said is this your hat?  He said no, it’s not my hat or your hat, but His hat and one size fits all!  Masters Golf Tournament (I’ve worked 8), NASA, I’ve been privileged to photograph five shuttle launches.


Row Five, Midnight Miss III, the name of the T-6 Texan I got to take a ride in!  Life is Good, are you kidding look at these hats!!!!  Nikon’s basic black hat, what a great job this has been!   Jeep Camp, bought when my dear friend Rob Shepperd invited me to speak at this event.


Row Six, National Geographic Expeditions, gift from a friend and long time National Geographic photographer.  Only You, Smokey the Bear’s reminder to us all.  Reno Air Races Media Team hat, a treasured gift from a great friend at RENO, from this years race that ended tragically.  How great is it to represent a product that has it’s own fan club!!??


Row Seven, Ultra Flight magazine, now Sport Flight Magazine for whom I write a monthly column about ultra light flying.  Gift from some friends at the SPEED network I got to know at man NASCAR races, Predator, the name of my first Powered Parachute always reminds me of a great ultra light friend Scott Hughes.   State Department, Office of Security hat from a good friend in Washington.


Row Eight, FA-22 Raptor, a gift from the photo team at Lockheed Martin, makers of the F22 jet fighter.    Getty Images, one of the most successful picture agencies and the home of some of my favorite clients.  One of my favorite little restaurants near Zion National Park that serves great home made pies, before you draw the wrong conclusion, the people that made the sign outside the restaurant told the owners Home-Made would not fit so that thought they would be cute and use Ho Made, it has led to lots of wrong conclusions.  The hat was a gift from my boss Scott Diussa.  A favorite Disney World hat I bought while taking my grandchildren to the Animal Kingdom.


I don’t need a Genie to get “wishes” !   My heavenly father has given me the only three things I need or want;  (1) His love and forgiveness,  (2) the love of wonderful wife and family, and  (3) something fun and important,  to spend my life doing, and look forward too!


the pilgrim


P.S. I’m still with Nikon!!!  Got several emails asking when I left!!!  Just was being thankful, the parade goes on…


My favorite hat?  How about this one………..




3 years, 11 months ago 3


For years I’ve told a story that I doubt many people believed.  In my very early career there was this young photographer, just like me, that worked at the Courier Journal newspaper in Louisville.  He was a really talented kid who eventually won a Pulitzer Prize, and was the NPPA Photographer of the Year (National Press Photographers Association).  So anyway we knew each other pretty well and one day I got a call form him in a panic.  He had been offered an assignment with National Geographic and had never shot color film!  He needed to know how to expose for slides!  Of course he was an eminently talented shooter and it didn’t take much help from me to have him up to speed.  He went on to have a wonderful career winning many, many awards and accolades, but  he never forgot that I did him one small favor those many years ago.


So today when he dropped by the Nikon area at the Media Center, at the Breeder’s Cup he gave me a copy of his latest book, I am the proud owner of several, and this time he was kind enough to make it official in his note!  This really isn’t bragging, it’s more a chance to say that a career is the sum of all it’s parts, and both mine and Dan’s have been that, we have given as much or more as than what we got, and in the end,  when they add it all up, that counts for a lot……..


the pilgrim