Recent Posts
7 months, 1 week ago 13



When I was an NPS rep for Nikon we were forbidden from telling people how to wet clean their sensor.  Liability.  If as a representative of any company you advise someone to try something with a risk of failure and they fail, they can say you said it was o.k.!  Now I know that keeping the sensor clean is a must and you can’t send it in every time you need it cleaned, so I got some very qualified people, who will go un-named to teach me the proper and safest way to clean a sensor with swabs.  Is there a risk of damaging the sensor? Yes.  Is it likely?   Only if you do it improperly.


So that brings us to a sticky problem I’ve had with the Fuji X-T1.  I love the cameras, it’s been just what I wanted and needed  Is it perfect?  No, but for me, it’s close. One little thing that has driven me mad is the four way pad on the back of the camera.  You use it for a lot of functions, most importantly moving the focusing spots around the frame.  Fuji tried to recess the pads so they would be more uh……, I honestly don’t know why!!!???  The result is fumbling to use them, especially with the camera held up to the eye, has been, for me, nearly impossible.  I once thought  that Fuji was going to offer a replacement set of pads, but that has not happened.


I read several months back on Fuji rumors about a materiel called Sugru.  It is a space age rubber compound that can be molded like Play-Doh in to many different shapes.  I was petrified at sticking a rubber compound on my four way pads, but I finally decided I had to try and fix the problem so day before yesterday I added a little nubbin of Sugru to one of my X-T1 bodies four way pads.  Illustrated below.



Their not pretty, but man does it work so much better.  I mean a world of difference in operation.  Now first I’m going to tell you how to do this if you are brave enough!  It really isn’t hard but I will suggest some serious precautions.  First you simply open the foil package so you can get access to the material.  I used a small instrument kind of like a tooth pick to rake off a very small amount.  You then take it between your thumb and forefinger and roll it into a small oblong shape kind of like a very small pill.  Compare the size of the material to the size of the thumb pad.  It needs to be big enough to cover most of the surface but not lap over the edges preventing the pad from going in when pressed.  You shape it to fit as you would like by gently using your finger tip to mold and shape it.  It does not set up fast so you have plenty of time to get it just right.  I used a tooth pick to go all around the edges to be sure it was not near the gap of the pad and the body.  After you have place the material and shaped it to all four pads, place the camera in a safe place to let in cure overnight.


Once it hardens it is very solid and make the tactile part of operating the thumb pads much easier.There is an old carpenters saying, ‘measure twice and cut once.  Start with a very small amount of material, if it’s not enough it’s a lot easier to add a little than to peel it all off and start again.


Here is a link for where to buy it.



The three pack of black is what I bought and it’s enough material to do a couple of dozen cameras!   It comers in other colors (red – yellow – blue – black and white) if that’s your style!  So there you have it, one solution.  If you want to make some easy money develop a self sticking rubber nubbin that you can simply peel and stick on,  you’d sell a bunch!


Merry Christmas,


the pilgrim

7 months, 2 weeks ago 6


I’ve got a very special suggestions to kick off your Christmas week!  Some night over the weekend go to your computer and turn up the sound!  Gather your family around, hold hands and watch this!!! 



Over A Thousand People Came Together To Break a Record And Bring This Moving Christmas Hymn To Life


Here’s how:  Google, then search for The Piano Guys.  Select the video above.  Over A Thousand People……   At the end of this video you will get a thanks from one of the Piano Guys and to the right you will see another video called Share The Gift, Please watch it too.  You can send me a note and thank me for blessing you mightily this Christmas.  O.K. I just passed on a link that was went to me, but this is the true meaning of Christmas, what drive my life, and makes me who I am, a child of the Living God!!!!!


Merry Christmas again, and again!




the pilgrim


7 months, 2 weeks ago 9

Register for any workshop by January 15th (His Light )  January 1st ( Vinny Colucci or Jack Graham) and take a 10% Discount.



HIS LIGHT  Workflow & Image/Music Show Production Workshop

February 4-8, 2015  (Wednesday-Sunday)

Corbin, Kentucky  Limited to 10    $699.    Team:  Bill Fortney & Jim Begley


Learn a clear concise workflow system to post process your images quickly and effectively, HDR and One Stop HDR.  In the second half of the workshop you will learn how to produce image synch shows.  One night Bill will have the group as guests in his home for his “Famous Fortney Bar-B-Que!”


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or




HIS LIGHT  Exotic Reptiles & Florida Birds Workshop

February 21-22, 2015  (Saturday – Sunday)

Fort Myers, Florida   Limited to 14    $895.    Team: Mike Matthews,  Bill Fortney & Jim Begley


Join Mike, Jim, and I for an incredible opportunity to photograph exotic animals that would require traveling to every continent on earth and even then you might not be able to find them.  At our workshop you will shoot  them under controlled conditions on the plants where you would find  them around the world.  Mike Matthews is a expert on these animals and you will learn a great deal about them!


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or





Arches & Canyonlands   A Jack Graham Workshop

March 26-29, 2015  (Wednesday – Sunday)

Moab, UT    Limited to 12    $995.    Team: Jack Graham & Bill Fortney


Explore America’s premier Red Rock country parks, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.  From deep canyons to fantastic arches, and rock formations!  Let Jack and Bill open up a whole new world of landscape photography for you!  If this were not enough join Bill at one of very most favorite burger joints!  Milt’s Stop and Eat!





Jack Graham Photo Workshops

Nelson Ghost Town – Las Vegas Neon Sign Museum

March 20-21, 2015

Henderson, Nevada

Price:  $995.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Jack Graham & Bill Fortney

Please contact Jack at 503-625-1430 or by email at


Shoot and learn with jack and Bill at one of the greatest Americana locations in the west!

Nelson Ghost town as the original Eldorado Gold Mine and is a fantastic place to shoot old building, old metal signs, rusty cars and truck and thousands of antiques and period pieces!  A evening trip (* special arrangement for just our group with tripods allowed!) of the Neon Sign Museum to shoot lit, vintage, Las Vegas signs, a treat few get to enjoy.  All entry fees and costs for the Ghost Town and Neon Museum are included in the workshop fee!





HIS LIGHT   The Old Car City Workshop

March  25-29, 2015  (Wednesday – Sunday)

Cartersville, GA    Limited to 12    $799.    Team:  Jim Begley & Snake Barrett


The top Americana site in the Eastern U.S. for Old Cars and trucks.  Old Car City has such a sterling reputation for shooting material that photographers fly from around the world to Atlanta (45 minutes South on I-75) to spend a few days shooting there!  Dean Lewis has over 34 acres, 4,000 cars and trucks just waiting to see how you can artistically capture them!  Learn HDR from the master, Jim Begley, and learn from many images critiques in class!


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or





HIS LIGHT  The Great Smoky Mountains in Spring Workshop

April  15-19, 2015  (Wednesday – Sunday)

Townsend, TN    Limited to 12    $899.    Team: Jim Begley & Snake Barrett


There is almost no place like the Great Smokies in Spring, profuse with wildflowers, full streams of clear rushing water, and those delicate multi ranges of green in the mountains!  Opportunities for water photography, landscape both intimate and the grand landscape abound.  This is Bill’s home park!  Come and enjoy it with Jim and Snake!


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or





A Bill Fortney Workshop

Americana and Trains in Roanoke, VA

April 15-19, 2015

Roanoke, VA

Price:  $899.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Bill Fortney & Fred Sisson

To Register or for Info Contact:  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or



Nestled in the foothills of Virginia is a perfect place to enjoy the beauty of Virginia and capture Americana Images.  The workshop will include a visit to the Winston O. Link Museum to see some of the most amazing steam engine train photography in existence.  A night-time flash excursion to capture a train in action!  We will have a shooting session in the Virginia Museum of Transportation.  We will also visit and photograph the D-Day Memorial!  It is my pleasure to do a workshop with Nikon School Legend Fred Sisson!


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or





A His Light Workshop

Memory Lane *A complete 1950’s town!

May 13-17, 2015

Rogersville, TN

Price:  $899.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Bill Fortney & Jim Begley

To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or



This incredible town right out of the 50’s with an authentic country store, movie theatre, aluminum sided diner, a garage full of beautifully restored cars of that era, gas station, junk yard with some classic old rusty trucks and cars, and much, much more, all completely accurate down to every detail.  This will be an Americana shooters dream come true, this is by special arrangement this is not normally open to the public!





A Jack Graham Workshop

Grandfather Mountain & the Blue Ridge Parkway

May 27-31, 2015

Banner Elk, NC

Price:  $995.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Jack Graham & Bill Fortney

Please contact Jack at 503-625-1430 or by email at



Grandfather Mountain’s stone profile faces have long gazed out over the ancient Appalachians, earning the acclimation of explorers and botanists alike as the apex of the Blue Ridge in grandeur and ecological diversity.


Towering nearly a vertical mile over the Piedmont, Grandfather has been recognized for centuries as a sentinel summit. In 1794, the mountain’s dramatic views convinced the Botanist Andre Michaux that he’d climbed “the highest peak in all North America.”


From alpine-like vegetation and vistas on the highest peaks, to cascading streams far down in the foothills, more than a dozen distinct ecological zones stretch across the landscape. Seventy-plus species of rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals populate this rugged mountain, making it one of the East’s most significant peaks; a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve.


Nature lovers and hikers alike find Grandfather Mountain to be a special, indeed globally significant place to encounter the outdoors.


Visit Grandfather Mountain State Park for more info.





A Jack Graham Workshop

The Palouse Region of Washington State

June 10-14, 2015

Colfax, WA

Price:  $995.   Limited to 8  (?)

Instructors:  Jack Graham & Bill Fortney

Please contact Jack at 503-625-1430 or by email at



One of my favorite locations is the Palouse region of eastern Washington. We will spend 5 days exploring many of the back roads that offer landscape found nowhere else in the United States. The Palouse is the richest wheat growing area in the U.S. due to location, rainfall and rich soil.


The Palouse country presents endless photographic opportunities. Bountiful, lush patterned-filled green hillsides are everywhere. Numerous old barns and classic scenes of rural America make up the landscape. This is not only one of the most beautiful areas in the world … it’s a photographer’s paradise.


June is the perfect month to be there as the rolling hills are deep green. The cloud patterns found in the springtime make it even better! From countless locations, you can literally look in every direction and see what may be described as a watercolor painting of different shades of green. The patterns of the hills, the old barns, fences and scenes of some of the small towns that dot the roadside serves as subject matter for our workshop.


We will be based in Colfax, Washington. This is a central location with easy access to the surrounding region. (See lodging and travel information below).


We will drive through towns like Colfax, Garfield, Teoka, Dusty, and Steptoe and of course Palouse itself and view the landscape from Steptoe Butte and Kamiak Butte.


I can guarantee that this workshop will be informative and will produce many great images. You will not believe how quick the days fly by photographing in this region.






A Jack Graham Workshop

Oregon Coast – Cannon Beach to Bandon

June 25-29, 2015

Tillamook, Newport, Florence and Coos Bay, Oregon!

Price:  $995.   Limited to 8

Instructors:  Jack Graham & Bill Fortney

Please contact Jack at 503-625-1430 or by email at



lease consider coming to the beautiful Oregon Coast in late June. Experience everything from the magnificent cliffs, which drop hundreds of feet into the blue Pacific Ocean, to the small fishing villages with quaint buildings and a nautical feel, found only here on the Northwest Pacific coast.


We will combine lots of in the field, hands on instruction along with review and photographic development sessions that will take your photography to the next level, as well as produce some astounding images. Many of these locations are not on the tourist maps and have been selected after years of experience traveling up and down the Oregon Coast. I will share these photographic gems with you!


The Oregon coastline offers the photographer some of the most beautiful and famous marine views anywhere in the world. This diverse landscape ranges from sandy beaches with 500-600’ high cliffs dropping off on rocky beaches with crashing waves, to tide pools filled with marine life.


Many working lighthouses offer unique photographic experiences. Small fishing towns offer beautiful harbors with easy access to fishing boats to capture the essence of life on the Oregon Coast. We will be at the right place, at the right time to capture some amazing images, found only here, while honing our photographic skills.


The Oregon Coast workshops are fast becoming perhaps my most anticipated because of the beauty and variety of this unique area. With its remote beaches and tide pools, rocky coastline with majestic sea stacks and dramatic sunsets, these locations offer great and different photographical experiences at every turn.


This 5-day workshop will not only get you to one of the greatest scenic locations, but serve as an enjoyable instructional period. We’ll be photographing the vistas, tide pools, quaint fishing villages, lighthouses and coastal themes — along with some great sunsets! We’ll enjoy the cool, fresh and invigorating air of the Pacific Ocean. There’s nothing like the Oregon Coast!


We will begin our photography experience in Ecola State Park, where old growth rain forests abound. Views of the ocean and Tillamook Lighthouse make this area a must. From there we head down the coast to Cannon Beach, known for Haystack Rock and fabulous sunsets. The town of Tillamook is a bit further south (known for Tillamook Cheese!).




A His Light Workshop

Nashville Celebration with Ricky Skaggs

July 27-31, 2015  *(a rare 5 day Monday –Friday Workshop)

Nashville, TN

Price:  $899.   Limited to 14

Instructors:  Ricky Skaggs, Bill Fortney, Jim Begley & Nick Coury

To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or


Music City during Blue Grass Month!  Enjoy meeting and working side by side  with Country/Bluegrass music legend Ricky Skaggs and the entire His Light Team!  14 times Grammy Winner Ricky Skaggs is also a gifted photographer and a great guy to show us around Nashville!  Great shooting locations will include a live performance by Ricky and his band Kentucky Thunder in the Historic Ryman Theater, and yes you can shoot!  Canonsburg Village in Murfreesboro, TN, the night-time skyline of Nashville captured reflecting in the Cumberland River.  A visit to the Marathon Motor Works which will include an hour exclusive access to the Antique Archaeology Store of American Pickers fame! A special guitar shooting, and portrait session with Ricky at Dury’s studio with Nick Coury, great portrait lighting expert! Ricky will be with us 3 and half days!  Sign up early this will definitely sell out!  Ticket to Ryman Concert included!


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or





A Jack Graham Workshop

Fuji X-System Shooters Workshop – Mount Rainier N.P.

August 27-30, 2015

Mount Rainier, WA

Price:  $995.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Jack Graham & Bill Fortney

Please contact Jack at 503-625-1430 or by email at


Take the class on your Fuji X camera from the guys that know it best!  Bill Fortney & Jack Graham were early adopters of this great new camera system and have several years of in-the-field- experience.  Learn how to get the most out of your cameras, lenses and accessories in a fantastic shooting location, Mount Rainier National “Park.  Stream shooting, wild flowers, reflections of the snow capped Mount Rainier, what could be better and in the company of fellow Fuji addicts!  Each participant gets a copy of Bill’s new best selling eBook, the Fuji X-System user’s Guide!




A His Light Workshop

Nova Scotia

October 5-11, 2015

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Price:  $995.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Bill Fortney, Jim Begley & Snake Barrett

To Register or for Info Contact:  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or


Fall color and fishing villages along the coast of Nova Scotia.  Trips to Peggy’s Cove, and numerous small authentic fishing villages.  Yarmouth, Digby, Lunenburg, and countless other beautiful locations.  If you are into boats, and rocky coasts, this one is for you!  More details soon!


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or





A Jack Graham Workshop

N.E. Ohio Amish County  * Includes a day with the Amish

October 21-25, 2015

Fairlawn, Ohio

Price:  $895.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Jack Graham & Bill Fortney

Please contact Jack at 503-625-1430 or by email at


Jack knows the best spots and when to out there for the best light”…. Robert Hitchman. Photograph America Newsletter Cuyahoga National Park… edition 103


North Eastern Ohio is an amazing, diverse area especially in the fall.  Bill Fortney and Jack Graham are offering a 4-day photography workshop in many of the beautiful areas in this magnificent location in October 2015.


We will spend time in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, other locations and one day in the Amish Country of Ohio, all close to where Jack lived for some years and spent many days exploring and photographing.  We guarantee you’ll enjoy the information, presentations and interaction during our time together.


Presentations, demonstrations and discussions on your images made during the workshop will occur during the weekend as well. We will be based at the Holiday Inn / Fair Lawn Ohio. (See below)


During the fall in North Eastern Ohio, the hardwoods offer a display of color that rivals New England. Additionally, this is the ONLY photography workshop I know of that features an entire day in the Amish country, with full access to an Amish farm. We’ll be exploring the barns and fields of an Amish family, not from the roadside, but on the property of a wonderful Amish family, who have become good friends of Jack’s over the years. (The meal at the end of the day isn’t bad either!)


Because of its location, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park may not be as popular as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Grand Tetons. However, the CVNP and adjacent locations offers some of the greatest fall color anywhere. We’ll be working on many aspects of photography in these locations as well as some hidden gems in the area during our time in the field.





A Vinny Colucci Workshop

The South West Tour  (Bryce Canyon N.P. , Zion N.P.,

Lower Antelope Slot Canyon and The Paria Wilderness area)

November 4-8, 2015

Starts and ends in Page, AZ

Price:  $995.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Vinny Colucci & Bill Fortney

To Register or for Info Contact Vinny Colucci at:

Or call (252)-349-1121


A magical tour of the Golden Circle with two veteran Landscape artists!  The Tour will start in Page Arizona, with a shoot at Horse Shoe Bend, and then a trip into Lower Antelope Slot Canyon, on to Bryce Canon N.P. and then a trip into Zion National Park.  On the return to Page a shoot at Paria Canyon and our outrageous Bar –B-Q dinner at the famous Paria Outpost!  Killer shooting location at the perfect time of year, in the best company!






A His Light Workshop

Christmas in the Smokies

December 2-6, 2015

Townsend, TN

Price:  $799.   Limited to 12

Instructors:  Bill Fortney & Jim Begley

To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or


Start your Christmas season with Jim and Bill in the beautiful Cades Cove area in the quiet season.  Deer will be in the rut, and their coats and racks beautiful, lots of fellowship around the fireplace and a great way to get your Christmas celebration started!  Great fellowship, worship, celebration of our Saviors birth and photography what could be better!


To Register or for Info Contact  Bill Fortney @  (606)-528-6119  or


Personal Note:  I will be doing Workshops under Three separate companies this year:

His Light Workshops

Jack Graham Workshops

Vinny Colucci Workshops

I may add more under my own name later  Bill Fortney


Please join us somewhere next year, actually pick a few!!!


7 months, 2 weeks ago 14


Hey guys, I’m honored to again be the Guest Blogger on Scott Kelby’s blog.  I really enjoy reaching out to the KelbyOne family, and it is always a great experience.  Jump over if you have time and checkout the entry!



I bought myself a Christmas gift, the new Fuji X100T in gorgeous Black!  I never owned the X100 but did have a X100s which I absolutely loved.  I read all of Zack Arias’ information on the T and I trust his word implicitly,  so it was easy to spring for the latest model!  The X100T is a perfect camera, everything you need, nothing more.  Every photographer needs an easy camera to carry all the time.  You really need to “always” be ready to capture those incredible, unplanned moments!  Photography for me is not a game, it’s a passion, and seeing and capturing that incredible light, or funny sign, or wonderful expression on a grandchild’s face, I have to be ready.  I now have the perfect tool for that!





Let me share my favorite Christmas Card, I got it from Jim and Sue Haverstock a few years ago.  You guys know just how much I love old rusted trucks, and Christmas, and this card sits on my desk to this day.  Every time I look at it I feel that warm, wonderful, Christmas feeling, I’m also reminded how much the Haverstocks mean to me.  Christmas is a time of remembering all the things we have to be so very, very thankful for, the birth of a Savior, a second chance at life after we’ve fouled it up hopelessly, and the friends that stand by us through thick and thin!  It seems Merry is not a big enough word!!!




the pilgrim