Recent Posts
7 months, 3 weeks ago 4



Early next month I’m headed to Peoria for a one day seminar and then on to my long awaited Route 66 trip!  After I mentioned it here on the blog, several very nice folks stated sending me images they shot  along Route 66and where they were, wow, what a great photo community we live in!  I want to thank Robert Jenson, Jeffrey Stoner, Jimmy Upton and Dan Greenberg, (who I called and he went over the top to help me!)  So anyway I’m asking for your help out there!  I plan to cover the part of Route 66 from the News Mexico East border to the turnoff to Las Vegas on Highway 93 from Route 66/I-40.


If you have driven this section of the Mother Road, and have suggestions please shoot them to me by email  I’ve been known to offer a free eBook as a way of saying thank you!  I have 2 and half days to cover this section of the road, and I know I can’t hit every spot, but the ones I’ve been sent so far are all on the list!  I plan to blog all that week and share my adventures from the road.  Shortly after that I will be the guest blogger on Scott Kelby’s blog and tell the Route 66 road trip story!  that starts, Monday,  March 16th.


This shot by Robert Jensen is one of my favorites, can’t wait to work it over!



Let’s get this ball rolling!!




the pilgrim



Flash!!! Mountain man braving the winter discovered in Bloomington, Indiana!



7 months, 3 weeks ago 8



I stole this shot!  Well I didn’t steal it, but I saw on very much like it and loved it so much that I called the photographer that  made the photograph to find out where she shot it!  She very graciously told me all about the location and I then caught a cab the next day and road out to the Gas Pavilion in Chicago to try to see what I could find.  This is where you step beyond duplicating what someone else did.  When I got to the pavilion, a rather simple structure, I went into the middle of it and sat down on he ground and just starred at it from all angles, soon the ideas started to flow, I was in the zone, and the images came in rapid succession!


Here are some of my favorites;



High Art?  I have no idea, but fun?  You bet


…..and all from this,





Back to yesterday, have fun, it’s just that simple.




the pilgrim


7 months, 3 weeks ago 10



I’ve seen this done a lot better, but it is still a thrill to see the light cast these shadows in my own yard!


Better?   What does that mean?  I look at the work of lots of other photographers and I often say, “man I wish I’d shot that!!”  Just the other day I was looking at Rick Sammon’s work, “Wish I had shot that!”  Then some of Ian Plant’s wonderful landscapes, “Sure wish I had seen and shot that!” Jack Graham and Guy Tal, you bet, same response.  So what’s the point?


I can tell you what the point isn’t, outshooting any of these folks!  The world doesn’t need another Guy Tal, or Jack Graham, Ian Plant or Rick Sammon, there is already one of each!  When I was younger I wanted to be John Shaw, or at least as good as John Shaw, but what’s the point?  It finally dawned on me that I need to be Bill Fortney, and the best Bill Fortney I could be.  You see, being the best “you” can be is fun, it’s not a competition, it’s as series of growth experiences, sometimes you fail, sometimes you win, and it’s all fun.  You never loose, and you never come in second in that contest!


The questions is “do you make photographs to impress others, or because you enjoy the process?”  I’m not judging, I used to make images in hopes they would be appreciated by others, now I make them because it’s fun!  The real of joy of not worrying about the other guys or gals work is you can genuinely be happy for others when they make great images.  In the past it was maddening to see others out shoot me, now I’m happy, and I actually get inspired by them!


Look at this way, in a great old western movie I love, “The Fastest Gun Alive.”  came one of my favorite quotes, “there’s always a faster gun!”  If you were to become the best photographer in the world today, in 15 minutes someone would surpass you.  Seems kind of pointless doesn’t it!?


Striving to be the best you can be is a good  thing,  just don’t tie your expectations to what others are doing!  Trust me it will be a lot more fun when you do!




the pilgrim

7 months, 3 weeks ago 17



This is a call for prayer.  We are in dark days!  When forces of pure evil start murdering Christians just because they represent the Cross, we are in dark days indeed.  In the midst of this travesty, our leaders are holding a summit to explore how we can change the minds and hearts of the terrorists!   The focus is on why they do what they do, and if helping them get jobs might lift them out of poverty and change their minds.  This is the most unbelievable of many  ridiculous turns of events out of this current administration.  It is hard to imagine that anyone could even think that is a solution!!!!!!


The secular humanist movement has long preached that people are not truly bad they just came from bad circumstances.  Folks, it’s time to wake up and face the music.  There really is pure, adulterated, evil in the world and you are seeing it now.  These people will stop at nothing until they eliminate everyone that does not adopt their religion.


I hate war and death and all that comes with it, but when someone burns people alive by the dozens and beheads their enemies, it’s time to eliminate that enemy, not try to help them.  You can’t negotiate with this threat!  If I were the president I would start tomorrow to wipe the earth clear of this evil.  The peace loving Muslim community needs to join with the rest of the world to help us rid ourselves of this pure evil menace.  I do not believe all Muslims are evil, but these radical terrorists truly are.


It brings me no joy to say this, no joy at all, but if we do not take care of this problem while it is contained in the middle east, we will soon be facing it here!


Please pray for America and our leaders, a wake up call is needed……..


the pilgrim