Recent Posts
6 months, 1 week ago 4


I went to the dentist office for an appointment at 10:00 a.m. and didn’t get called back until 10:45, then it was 11:15 before I was being seen.  O.K. they were busy, and they are very good to me, but it is time, and when you are sitting in a room alone, time seems to matter, even more.


A philosophy professor asked, “If I had the power to give you more of any one thing, what would you ask for?”




Fame or recognition?

Sex appeal?

Physical Beauty?


Then a man in his fifties, who had gone back to college, answered, and smiled knowingly, and said, “time”.


Why do wise men say “time”?  Because the more mature we become, the more we realize how much time we have wasted.   Probably seeking, money, power, recognition, etc, etc.


So what should we use our time to attain?  Ah…that’s the problem, it’s not about attaining, it’s about giving and sharing.


Last night,  Sherelene and I sat quietly on the back deck and just enjoyed the quiet together, nothing spectacular, but yet, much more than spectacular!  It finally came home to me that these kinds of times may just be the best moments of my life.  It made me think of other times that brought such deep satisfaction;


Holding a grandchild, and hearing them proclaim, “I love you papa!”


Starring into the smiling face of a friend.


Sharing how much God loves you with someone that needs to hear that!


Experiencing the tears of release when someone truly knows they are forgiven, and belong to Him!


Listening to a  stream as the water moves between and over the rocks.


Staring at the stars on a quiet night, and seeing, and knowing God’s majesty.


Holding Sherelene’s hand with her head on my shoulder.


Sipping cold water when thirst has overtaken me.


The sensation of looking through my camera’s viewfinder, and squeezing the shutter release at the perfect moment.  The sound of the shutter!


Watching the color as it rises through the sky right after the sun sets.


You get the idea, nothing that requires money, fame, or power, only recognizing the smallest yet most profound treasures in a life!  Moments that matter!


So, how are you spending your most valuable asset?  I pray it is time, well spent!




the pilgrim








6 months, 2 weeks ago 26


I have been a longtime, (I’m talking 45 years!!!) Popular Photography reader.  I’ve used their test evaluations, for many years, as a part of my research for new gear purchases,. but, Something crazy is going on.  Before I launch into this  discussion, I must remind you; I’ve worked in and around the photography industry for over 30 years, Having been a tech rep for Nikon, I have worked with the best of the best, and I’ve learned a great deal from them and from my own intensive study.  I also want to remind you that I’ve always (that’s always!!!) called it the way I see it.  When Canon was eating our lunch on low noise at high ISO, I sat in Nikon meetings and complained that we were way behind!!!  When the Nikon D3 was released I poured over research and personal tests comparing the noise between the D3 and the then current Canon models of that time period.  When I told my customers that the D3 and D700 were, at that time, state of the art, I knew what I was talking about.  Later when Canon re-took the lead with the 5D Mark II and then III, I called it as I saw it, again.


I’ve now read two test reports in Popular Photographer on the Fuji X-E2 and the new X-T1.  Their report on the noise in both camera is pure hogwash!!!!  O.K. let me soften my tone, whatever method they used to come up with their results, is flawed.  If the Fuji X cameras had just so so High ISO performance, I would not have bought into that system, and I can tell you from real world tests, and side by side comparison, the Fuji X cameras (Fuji X100, X-E1, X-E2, X100s, and the X-T1 are among the very best noise performance cameras on the market all the way up to, and including ISO 6400.  I know because I shoot them at those High ISOs and I can see the difference.  Here is the just published result from their test of the X-T1.



Once again I do not know how they conduct their tests, they may turn off all noise processing in the camera and then get these results, but my experience with the normal factory default settings for noise reduction in the camera would yield a Low Noise Rating all the way to 3200 and only barely a moderate at 6400.  Above that the noise is shockingly low, but certainly apparent.  I’VE SEEN THEIR TESTS ON CANON AND NIKON CAMERAS AND FEEL THEY ARE PRETTY ACCURATE, AT LEAST AS A COMPARISON OF THOSE TWO BRANDS.  So what”s up???


When I had to go to a lighter system, I chose the Fuji X-System because of the image quality and a big factor was the extremely low noise.  I shoot this stuff every day and can tell you these figures are very misleading…..  Nough’ said……  My opinion, take it for what it’s worth!


At Photoshop World a gentleman asked me a good question after one of my programs, and I thought I would like to share my answer with you too.


Question:  If you could still carry bigger DSLRs and heavier camera bags, what would you be using today?


I have very high regard for two specific camera systems; Nikon and Canon.  I like the Canon 5D Mark III and have seen some outstanding images come out of that camera, but I don’t know a great deal about their lenses, so I know I would still be a Nikon shooter if I could carry them.  I personally still own a D700 and a D7000.  If I was shooting Nikon today, I think I would own the D3s (happened to be my favorite pro Nikon), and the D800e.  the D800e for the ultimate in resolution, and for video, and the D3s as the speed, rugged, everyday camera. Why not the D4 or D4s?  Every camera makes images that have their own “look”, that is one reason I’m shooting the Fuji X System, I love their look!!  I liked the D3s look better than the models that came later, just personal preference.  I don’t think the difference in 12 and 16 mega pixels is a big deal, at least not for me.



Question:  What lenses would you be using?


This is a, “it depends” question.  I currently own a full system of 1970′-80′s AIS manual focus Nikkors; 24mm, 25-50, 55 Micro, 50-135, 105 Micro, 105 f 2.5, 80-200 (several f 4.5 & f4), 300mm f 4.5, and 400mm f 3.5 and a TC-14B.  For stationary subjects, which is 95% of what I shoot,  I like the manual focus glass better.  If I was using the AF glass it would be  14-24 (big as a Buick), 24-120 f 4, 70-200 AFS f,4, and the 80-400 AFS-f 4.5-5.6. (but I don’t own any of that glass anymore).  When I worked for Nikon I kept hoping for a 24-105 f 2.8 VR, but it never came, and you can’t use something that doesn’t exist!!!


Do I miss the Nikon system?


Sure, just like I miss my 30′s and 40′s!




the pilgrim



6 months, 2 weeks ago 3

Well late this afternoon another Photoshop World was concluded and I got one last chance to hug two great friends and start thinking about getting home to Sherelene!   Dave Black, left, and Joe McNally, right, were, as always,  great and the crowds loved them!  We had some good times and the entire event was a lot of fun, so it’s time to get a little rest, and then head to Liberty University next mid week to be with Tim Isaacson and the gang!  I will try to blog when I get home Friday!




the pilgrim

6 months, 2 weeks ago 14

Photoshop World has been amazing!  It always is, but tonight it got a lot more amazing for me!   Tonight was a two hour panel of some of the very heavy hitters at the event, each doing 15 minutes of their work, with some commentary.  It was all good, with such heavy hitters as, Joe McNally, Jay Maisel, Vincent Versace, Julianne Kost, Jeremy Cowart, Joe Glyda, Moose Peterson, Dave Black and Jim Divitale it was one amazing team!  The work was all over the board, from inspiring, to informative, to extremely touching.  McNally and Maisel reminded us of just how good they are, Joe Glyda kept us in stitches, Moose shared some lovely landscape images, and Dave Black made us want, more than ever, to be truly good shooters! Julianne Kost and Jim Divitale reminded us of just how talented and artistic they are, and Vincent Versace reminded us of the needs of this world, with haunting images from Burma.   But Jeremy Cowart, at least for me, stole the show.


Jeremy is one of the most talented portrait photographers of the entertainment world.  He has used his talent to affect a number of very important and successful projects that have helped millions around the world.  His program tonight was very different for him, and I was very blessed by it!  He told his own story about being a kid that couldn’t concentrate, was not a good student or an outstanding athlete and in fact spent much of his youth telling himself he wasn’t one of the smart people, that he couldn’t do the things he wanted to do!  His father and mother started telling him, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…”  Over time he began to understand and beleive those critical words and in fact his life and career all turned around.  He has used his new found faith to build a career and life that is, in turn, blessing many others.  He ended his program by restating; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me….and you can too.”


Even more of a blessing was the extended standing ovation he received.  Now I know at least two men stood before the crowds at PSW and proclaimed Christ.  It was a blessing indeed!  This is the way it should be.  Thanks Jeremy for your boldness for Him, He is truly worthy!




the pilgrim