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4 years, 1 month ago 0

color |ˈkələr| ( Brit. colour)noun1

the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.


When I think about life, i think about what joys come into it.  For me as a photographer, I can’t help but think of those joys as brilliant, gorgeous colors that come into my life.  When I see a wonderful color, whether brilliant like the flower paintings above, or subtle like some of the old rusted cars I so often post, they are all beautiful to me.  In the same way some of the most beautiful colors in my life are the great blessings from God.  I got a text from a dear friend at Nikon today telling me I was missed at a big meeting taking place for most of my co-workers in Las Vegas.  It meant a lot to me that someone took a moment to say they were sorry I was not with them.  I work with a great group of people and I’m blessed to be a part of that team!  I’m married to an incredible woman, truly the love of my life, and she brings wonderful color into my life.


Over the Christmas season, all my family was with Sherelene and I and once again the fellowship was great!  I email and speak on the phone often with Chuck Summers, and Jim Begley and it is wonderful to have great friends like that, they truly color my life in a marvelous way!   I’m planning several workshops this year, and I can’t wait to see those fantastic friends we’ve made through photography and faith! Being in New Orleans this past week, covering the bowl games,  has been a color experience all in itself.  What I’m trying to say is that as a photographer I’m excited by light and color, and I see those things as part of the incredible joy that comes from belonging to Him.  I know He wants to give us really great experiences, that will bring us joy, and help us to draw closer to Him.  The recognition of these blessing is an important part of a walk with Him!  Thankfulness is expressing how wonderful He has made our lives and the sheer beauty we see in His plan for us!


I pray you are allowing Him to color your world in a beautiful way!


the pilgrim



4 years, 1 month ago 1


In the first few hours after the D4 was announced I was flooded with questions, and I thought some were very good ones!  So I thought I would attempt to address some of them, but first, this is why I’m excited about the image quality, Below are a full frame image and a 100% enlargement of a small portion of the file, I think you will be impressed!




O.K. I will let the images speak for themselves, now to your questions:


Question 1.  Is the D4 enough better than the D7000 to pay $5,999.95 for one?


Answer; I’m not trying to be evasive but that is an impossible questions to answer.  What I mean is for some photographers it’s worth every penny, for others it will definitely be over kill.   If you are a professional sports photographer or photojournalist, I would say I don’t see how you could live without one.  If you are a serious amateur and have and unlimited budget, once again, it’s well worth the price.  If your budget for equipment would be stretched to the limit to just buy the body alone, I would say a D7000 and few very good lenses might be the best answer for you.  Comparing the D4 to a D7000 is like comparing a Toyota Camry to a S Class Mercedes.  They both do the same things but at a very different level.  Both will get you from point A to Point B, but the trip is going to be very different!!!


Question 2.  How much better do think the D4 is than the D3s?  


Answer:  In terms of video, it is revolutionary, in terms of still photography I would say it is very evolved and significantly improved!  I say that while still believing the D3s was one of the greatest cameras of all time!   You have to keep in mind that the professional top model from Nikon is very specifically designed for a certain kind of photographer, and in that respect those shooters should be very, very pleased indeed! I would say that if extremely high resolution like the D3x is not necessary for what you do, the D4 just might be in your future.


Question 3.  How do you think it will compare to the New Canon X pro camera?  


Answer:  I have not seen the Canon camera, or used it, so making a comparison would be impossible, I’m sure their camera will be a fine machine, but working for Nikon I don’t spend to much time shooting with Canons!


Question 4.  If you compared the D4 to a D3s, or D700,or even a D7000, how much better will the images be?


Answer:  It is hard to address that because except for the D3s you’re comparing apples and oranges.  First, the D4 is going to be better than any of the camera you mentioned.  In terms of video there is no comparison.  For still work if images are not blow up very large, or not shot at extremely high ISOs (like 6400 and up)  I think the comparisons would be closer than you might think, however, at very high ISO and very large print sizes, the D4 is going to really shine by comparison.  The D700 is virtually equal to a D3, now two generations old, and the D7000 is a different animal altogether, the D7000 is a screaming bargain a 1/5 the cost of a D4 , but definitely made for different uses!


Question 5.  What has impressed you the most about the D4 in your first month of shooting it?



Answer:  That’s a great question!!  I love the solid no nonsense design and the way it operates, smooth, quick and very responsive.  I love the fact that it offers all the controls in a familiar way but with a lot of enhanced capabilities, like the much expanded bracketing options.  I love the viewfinder, and the image quality, even when blown up huge is very impressive.  In the film era the Nikon F5 was once called a mean picture making machine!  Among pro DSLRs I would have to say this is this generations Mean picture making machine!


Question 6.  Do you use the D3x much, and do you like the D4 better even though it has less megapixels?


Answer:  My work does not require the level of megapixels that the D3x offers, many people do want, and need that kind of resolution, I’m just not one of them.  I love the D3x, I just don’t find I need that extreme resolution that often.  If I did studio or fashion work and huge prints I would use one far more often.


Question 7.  When you retire from Nikon, someday,  do you think you will buy a D4 to keep?


Answer: I think there is very little doubt about that!


Hope those were helpful!


In Him,


the pilgrim


* PS:  Thanks to Ken Rockwell for the studio shot of the D4!


4 years, 1 month ago 0


You need a lot of things to survive in this world, Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love….


1 Corinthians 13:1

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.


Walking around in the French Quarter this evening after dinner, I saw this little painting in a store window and went in and asked if I could photograph it, the lady kindly said, no problem!  My grand daughter, Cassidy, loves owls and I thought she would like it!  As I continued to walk back to the hotel, I thought just how much wisdom is in the scripture above, and the little painting.  I think how much I prepare before going on an assignment for Nikon or leaving on a long trip.  Countless hours of deciding what I will really need, and what to pack, and how to carry it.  We need to take more time to decide what we need to survive each and every day on this journey called life!


We definitely need Faith.  We need to know that God is truly in control, that He has a plan, that He has, in fact, already set His plan into motion and that His plans can’t fail, never fail!  Faith is counting on things that the world says you can’t count on!  Faith is “complete” trust and confidence in Him.  We can’t walk our walk with Him without Faith.


We are wired to need Hope.  We all have expectations of what we believe will happen.  When we start to doubt that God’s love can see us through we loose Hope.  Hopelessness has wrapped it’s ugly arms around our society, the enemy wants us to sink into despair, but we can have Hope,  because He lives!


The Greatest of these is Love.  Love prevents a multitude of sins.  We cannot cheat those we love, we cannot steal from those we love, we can’t take the lives of those we love.  We will be honest with those we love.  We will think the best of those we love.  We will show respect to those we love.  We will pray for those we love, we will seek to lead those we love to Christ.  We can do no harm to those we love.  God does not love, God IS LOVE!  God’s relationship with us is based on His great love for us!


We can have all three, we can have Faith in Him.  We can know He is in control and we can have the Hope that comes from knowing He is working out His plans in us!  Most of all when we are filled with His grace and compassion we will exhibit His Love.


Make 2012 the year that you start living in midst of His great gifts; Faith, Hope, and Love……..


In Him,


the pilgrim

4 years, 1 month ago 8


Last night the worldwide release took place of Nikon’s New Flagship Pro camera, the D4.  I have actually been shooting with the camera for the last month and I can say it is very high on the Wow factor scale.  My apologies for those that have asked hundreds of questions about the new camera everyone was expecting, you must understand that prior to the release of any new camera, we are strictly forbidden from discussing any information, until it is officially released it doesn’t exist…. Now I’m happy to fill you in on the details!  For the last several years I’ve felt that for those willing to carry a heavier camera the D3s was the camera n the market in terms of out and out image quality at all ISO’s and in all situations requiring speed of operation.  The D4 is the next logical step in this evolution, and a huge step at that!  I personally was not sure I wanted to carry such a robust camera, before it was released, after several weeks of testing,  I will definitely be using the D4 myself, a great deal, it’s simply the most complete camera I’ve ever held in my hands! I’ve never shot a more responsive camera, or one that produced more magnificent files!


Of course for the video producers the new camera is a massive leap forward with more capabilities and much higher quality video files than anything previous from Nikon.  The control of exposure, focusing and sound while capturing in multiple frame rates at full 1080p makes this camera a fantastic machine to produce Broadcast quality video.  New features include HDMI support for off camera video file capture, headphone out, exceptional in camera sound quality, and many other key features for the DSLR videographers.


On the still side, I can say without any reservations that I’ve never shot a camera that produces nicer, cleaner, sharper files.   Many of the test images I’ve made, (some samples below), are so rich with detail that no matter how much I have enlarged the files they remain crisp, clean and highly detailed.  Noise performance at High ISOs has once again been improved, even over the D3s which was so spectacular that many thought not further improvement might be possible, trust me it is possible and is accomplished in the D4!   For those of us that like to work in HDR, one very valuable new feature is the broad range of bracketing options in the D4.  The camera will allow 3-5-7-or 9 exposures in either 1/3 – 2/3 – 1 full stop, plus 2 stops and 3 stops!!!!  The possible dynamic range capture for very difficult HDR situations has been massively increased!  The D4 also features a quick HDR feature that makes an in camera file based on a overexposed and normal frame.  Nice for increased dynamic range in a quick and easy fashion.


Other key features include:


* A 3.2 inch 921,000-dot LCD with ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the LCD visibility according to the environment.


* 51 AF points delivers fast and accurate AF detection.  15 are Cross-type sensors in the center detect contrast for both vertical and horizontal lines for lenses f 5.6 or faster.


* 10 Frames Per Second in FX-format for up to 200 frames.


* A new Nikon FX  (36 x 23.9 mm) CMOS sensor with 16.2 effective megapixels. 


* Nikon’s first 91,000 pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering III.  Highly effective in field use.


*  ISO range from 100 to 12,800 that can be set to from 50 to as high as 204,800!


* While the basic operational controls remain located as in the D3s several valuable new controls have been added, two sub-selector joystick make moving and setting autofocus points more responsive to your fingers touch, and they are positioned for optimal control for both vertical and horizontal operation.


*  Lighted control buttons for better operation in dim light.


* Expeed 3 image-processing engine for exceptional speed and performance.


* A battle hardened – weather sealed – fully magnesium body with a Thermal Shield finish that protects the camera by dissipating heat in direct sun conditions.


The list goes on and on and I can assure you  that it you have been a very happy D3 or D3s shooter you are going to love the D4.


For years I’ve said things like I love the Nikon F, I’m not interested in the F2 only to adopt it and use it with much love and success, the trend continued through the F3, F4, F5 and finally the F6! Now the D1, D2, D3 and the D4 is the very best yet.  You would think I would learn………..


the pilgrim


Here are some sample shots with the D4, they are HDR’s and the shot below each is a small portion of the same file:









Trust me, these files blown up to 4 X 6 foot don’t look any different!!!!