Recent Posts
3 weeks, 5 days ago 10


“There are two kinds of tripods; those that are easy to carry, and good ones…..”

                                                                                                                    Bill Fortney


This once “infamous” quote is getting revised, because Really Right Stuff has finally made a big, solid, sturdy tripod that is , well, easy to carry!  After years of admiring  Jim Haverstock’s, and Jack Graham’s and many others Really Right Stuff tripods, I made the leap and bought my own!!!  Why am I so excited?  Because this is the one thing other than a camera, lens, and memory card that you must have to make tack sharp images, and RRS has made it possible to have a serious tripod without breaking your back to get it to where you want to shoot.  I’ve owned Manfrotto, Gitzo, Induro, and many other brands, and I think all are good, all are better than not using a tripod, for sure, but honestly this is the finest tripod I’ve ever owned!  I had a Gitzo 1348 which served me very well for many years, but it has the old style twist locks that over time will give you great looking forearms if you really want a workout!


On the recent trip out to the Pacific NW, I got to play around with Jack’s RRS TVC-33 Series 3 and simply fell in love with it.  It works smoothly, is rock steady and shockingly light!  I had to have one, and now I do.


I topped it off with a new BH-55 LR ball head.



I have owned one of these bad boys for many years and it was still working perfectly but was getting pretty beat up, so I treated myself to another and will gets the original refurbished and I will mount it on another tripod, not sure why though, since I doubt much of anything else will get used now that I have the new TVC-33 Series 3.  I do have an Induro CT-214 when I want to go very light, but I see a smaller version of the TVC-33 in my future!


Why such an emphasis on tripods?  No matter how steady you think you are, or how high a shutter speed you can shoot, you will still introduce some movement into the image, and that costs you sharpness.  Then there are the times you want to shoot slow speeds to show motion rendition, and you certainly can’t do that hand held.  No, if you want critically sharp images you must use a solid tripod!


Really Right Stuff is a sponsor of my workshop company, and it is the tripod and head I bought with my own money!  That is the most ringing endorsement a person can make!




the pilgrim


Extra advice:  I bought extra feet (just in case – I have seen folks loose them), and used a little Loctite (the Blue kind) on the threads of the rubber feet to add a little additional protection from loosing any of them.  It’s not a bad idea, whatever tripod  you use, to occasionally check how tight the rubber feet are!  You can buy Loctite at your Auto supply store, Hardware store, or Walmart.


One last thing:  I’m adding a set of LegCoat pads to make throwing it over the shoulder easier.


3 weeks, 6 days ago 18

I’m starting to get  pretty steady stream of emails about the Fuji X-System.  I certainly don’t mind, but I want to be very clear, I have no official relationship with Fuji.  I love their products and admire how they conduct business, but I’m not on their payroll, and do not receive anything from them for free.  Every piece of Fuji gear I own was purchased just like you would buy it!  Some folks have interpreted my enthusiasm as a relationship, but that is simply not the case


So here are some of the questions I’ve gotten.


Question:  ”I’m still trying to figure out how you can get such great results from a camera half, or less than half, the resolution of your former D800?”


Answer:  The result from any imaging device is a lot more than the sum of it’s parts.  Let me speak directly to the comparison you brought up.  The D800 (now D810) is a technological miracle, the highest resolution 35mm sized DSLR on the market.  It has extraordinary resolution, dynamic range, and is built like a tank.  It weighs as much as a tank compared to the X-T1!  No matter how much cool stuff the D800 can do, if you are uncomfortable carrying it….. it is irrelevant. The Fuji X-T1 is capable of doing anything I need to do, I don’t need the capabilities of the D800 that exceed those of the X-T1, it as simple as that.


Question:  ”You’ve said you really love the Fuji lenses, are they really as good as the Nikkors you always used?”


Answer:  Lenses focus light on the sensor.  They are designed based on the size of the sensor, and the sensor in the Fuji X System cameras are APS-C size so the lenses can be smaller and the ability to make corrections in the optics is enhanced because of the size of the elements.  The bottom line is can a lens yield exceptionally sharp images, free of distortion, and chromatic aberrations.  Both Nikon and Fuji make such lenses, Fuji’s are smaller and lighter.  I do not feel Iam giving any thing up with the Fujinon lenses.


Question:  ”You’ve stated you are very happy with the images from the Fuji, do you think it will holdup long term like your Nikons did?”


Answer:  In the short time I’ve been using the Fuji X cameras I believe them to be very well made and the X-T1 especially is very well designed.  How they will hold up under heavy use, over time, is still undetermined. Based on my 45 years experience with cameras, I think the chance is very good that they will prove very reliable.  So far, so good!


Question:  ”Of the lenses you have, which are your favorites!”


Answer:  The three zooms; 10-24, 18-55, and 55-200 are the most used, along with the 60 Micro.  The 23 f 1.4, 35 f 1.4, and 56 f 1.2 are the most stellar, optically, and the fastest, but the zooms are so incredibly sharp I never worry about it.  By-the-way the 14 f 2.8 was the first wide lens and is still the single best super wide lens I’ve ver shot!


Question:  ”How about the video on the Fuji X cameras?”


Answer:  It is the weak link of the system, it is usable but not anywhere near the quality of the major players.  For me that is not an issue, I am not a video guy.


Question:  ”Nikon has the Creative Lighting System, does Fuji have anything that compares?”


Answer:  No.  If you need sophisticated portable , automatic, camera controlled flash, for now, seek it somewhere else.”


Question:  ”Do you have any regrets about making the switch to Fuji and would you advise others to do so?”


Answer:  I have no regrets, the Fuji X System is meeting my needs wonderfully and I love using the system.  I would never advise anyone to switch unless they can identify that it would benefit them.  All of us have different needs and requirements of a camera system, that is a highly personal decision, and one which they must decide other own.


I hope that answers one of the questions you may have.





the pilgrim

3 weeks, 6 days ago 4

* I rarely do this, but right after the Super Bowl this year I wrote this blog entry, something recently happened that made mw feel it was time to run it again, hop;e it speaks top your heart!

During the Super Bowl there was a ridiculously narcissistic song that backed up the Beats Headphones commercial by Aloe Blacc.  Even though it had a catchy beat, it was dead wrong!  It told us everything we need to know about  the thinking of the world, self glorification, self worship, self reliance!  When will we learn, God does not wants us to conquer our world, but for our hearts to be conquered by Him  I took the song and changed the lyrics, oh how I wish a Christian artist would re-record this song to be our anthem!



PRECHORUS                                                                        New Version
Stand up now and face the sun                                                Stand up now and face the Son
Won’t hide my tail or turn and run                                         Don’t leave in fear and run
It’s time to do what must be done                                            It’s time  to do what you must do
And be a king when kingdom comes                                     and belong to the King when the kingdom comes

CHORUS                                                                                 CHORUS
Well, you can tell everybody                                                    Well, you can tell everybody
Yeah you can tell everybody                                                     Yeah you can tell everybody
Go ahead and tell everybody                                                    Go ahead and tell everybody
I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man                                He’s the Man, He’s the Man, He’s the Man
Well, you can tell everybody                                                     Well, you can tell everybody
Yeah you can tell everybody                                                     Yeah you can tell everybody
Go ahead and tell everybody                                                    Go ahead and tell everybody
I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man                                He’s the Man, He’s the Man, He’s the Man
Yes I am (x3)                                                                                Yes He is! (x3)
I’m the man (x3)                                                                         He’s  the Man (x3)


I got all the answers to your questions                                 He’s got all the answers to your questions
I’ll be the teacher you can be the lesson                               He’ll be the teacher you can be the lesson  

I’ll be the preacher you can be confession                           He’ll be the Savior you can be confession’

I’ll be the quick relief to all your stressing                            He’ll be the quick relief to all your stressing

(This is my world)                                                                        (This is His world)

It’s a thin line between love and hate                                     He’s the line between love and hate
Is you really real or is you really fake?                                    He’s real, the world is fake!
I’m a soldier standing on my feet                                             I’m His soldier standing by His feet
No surrender and I won’t retreat                                              No surrender and I won’t retreat 

(This is my world)                                                                       (This is His world)


PRECHORUS                                                                       PRECHORUS
Stand up now and face the sun                                               Stand up now and face the Son!
Won’t hide my tail or turn and run                                        Won’t hide from Him, or turn and run
It’s time to do what must be done                                          It’s time to do what must be done
And be a king when kingdom comes                                    And be the King’s when kingdom comes!!!!


The beginning of victory, is surrendering to Him!




the pilgrim


4 weeks, 1 day ago 12


I agreed to bring Sherelene’s car to Knoxville to get it’s service done, and kill some time while that was accomplished.  I mentioned to the guys at Harper Infiniti that I was always looking for a killer burger and one offered the suggestion to try Sam & Andy’s.  Having never been there I was up for the challenge.  Boy am I glad I did, this is one great place run by the Captain family, above left to right, John and his father, George, and below their sister Brenda!  George’s wife Lucy sadly passed away back in Sept of 2013 and I’m told she was a great part of this team, and a team is what they are, first they make a great burger, a 4.5 on the 5 pickle scale which places it in the top 20 burgers in America!!!  There are several highly acclaimed burgers around the Knoxville area, but for me, Sam & Andy’s beat the rest hands down!  George uses his own special seasoning and that is the hat trick!  He does everything else right too, fresh meat, flat top grill, and top notch ingredients.  it reminded a lot of the Top Notch Cafe in Colfax, Washington and my good buddy Pete’s creation, also a top rated burger!




Family is important, and family business’ are my favorite, and this is one great family!  They have been making customers very happy since 1956 when Lucy and George started the business!  Even though they have a killer burger, I’m told George’s meat sauce for spaghetti is also spectacular, I’ll come balk and try it and let you know!




So thanks guys for rewarding me for bring my wife’s car to Knoxville!




the pilgrim


………and now a few more images from Memory Lane!







Any of you youngsters know what these are below???