Recent Posts
2 weeks, 5 days ago 4



I realized I had missed too many days when my wife got a call asking where to send the flowers!!!!  I enjoyed a nice vacation and then when I got home it was full speed ahead preparing for my trip out west, so some time has slipped, sorry about that, I’ll try to do better!!!!


In a previous post I sang the praises of my new friend Rick Sammon.  I met Rick, for the first time, last Photoshop World, but it was not until recently that we got to working some together.  Rick is a wonderful shooter and really good teacher.  I just got his new course on Landscape and Seascape Photography and it is terrific!  The 54 minute video is chocked full of great ideas and techniques.  I have become a really big fan of internet based learning,  You can purchase it at    ….and I recommend that you do!  Rick’s classes, Kelby One and the tremendous number of eBooks and Apps out there,  have all made learning a much richer experience.


We have more great shooters today than ever before, and I think some of that is because of the tremendous amount of information that is getting shared!  Of course the advent of the digital age has helped all of us learn quicker, and that is big factor as well!


I love teaching live Workshops and Seminars, there is nothing like the face to face learning experience, but when you are snow bound at the house, the computer can open up a whole new world of learning!


Let’s hope winter is over!  I’ve had enough!




the pilgrim

3 weeks, 3 days ago 8



This week in Florida has been a wonderful break from the snow, ice and freezing temps of Kentucky, but for me it has been much, much more.  First it has been the activity I enjoy most in life, just hanging out with my bride.  Sherelene is not only my wife, my confident, and love of my life, she is also my best friend.  I’m always on stage, that has been my life, entertaining and teaching others, and I love it, but it is also work.  When I’m with Sherelene I’m just myself and she knows me to well for me to try and impress her, shockingly she loves me for who I am, and that works for me!!!!  So this has been week of relaxing, and slowly preparing for the “big” March trip and the rest of the year of workshops and appearances.  I wanted to share how I prepare for workshops, lectures and going out to be with the folks I’m honored to spend time with.


Number One:  Get the focus off myself.  My purpose is to help others.  Help them learn, help them relax, help them enjoy the process of the event.  I can’t make a workshop or seminar about me.  I need to focus my energy on reading their responses, and meeting their needs.  What people think about me is not important, what is important is delivering what they paid for, and need.  If I do that then their response to me will be positive, which is great, just not what is most important.


Number Two:  As the Boys Scout Manual says:  Be Prepared!  I would never go to do a seminar like the one in Peoria, or a workshop like the two with Jack Graham out west without intense preparation.  Jack is a professional and he will be prepared!   In the next 16 workshops for the rest of the year, Jim Begley and Snake, Bill Pekala and Fred Sisson are all pros, they will be prepared!  I owe the guests nothing more than being on top of my game, it involves planning, study, consideration of the group coming, and more study.  The audience or attendees can’t learn if they are not relaxed and at ease, and they can’t feel that if I seem to be at a loss as to what I’m doing!!  I must be prepared!


Number Three:  I must be truly, genuinely, enthusiastic about being with them!  You can’t fake truly being excited to be with people, you either are or you would rather be somewhere else.  When you get to that point, it’s time to do something else.  People deserve a great experience and you can’t deliver it, if you are not having a great experience yourself!  I once knew a great photographer that was wonderful shooter and filled with incredible knowledge, but he hated hanging out with people, he would have rather been alone, I can’t imagine being that miserable, and conducting workshops!  The best leaders I know, can’t wait to get there and get started!!!


Number Four:  Research your locations and know what you are going to do!!!  Photographic success and great workshop experiences depend on being logistically prepared.  Where are your going to take them?  What will the light be like?  What will the conditions be like?  What will the subject matter be like?  Will the flowers be blooming?  Will the fall leaves have turned?  How will conditions; (wind – cold – rain – snow – road conditions etc, etc.) affect the shoot? You have to know!


Number Five:  Are  your ready to roll with the punches?  Things “will” go wrong.  Even the best planned event will offer up surpises!!  Can you make lemonade our of lemons?  If you can’t, it’s going to be a tough life as a workshop provider!


Number Six:  Be sure you are “most” concerned about your Guests, and their needs! If you are not truly first and foremost focused on the attendees, you will fail.  Running workshops can’t be letting others pay for your trip to place you want to shoot!  Do it before an after they arrive and leave, or use shooting to demonstrate how to do it in the field!  NEVER keep shooting when someone needs  your help!  It’s better to miss a shot, than let someone down that paid for your help!


Number Seven:  Have Fun!  If you a re not having fun, no one else will either.  A good leader, leads by example.  you can’t fake it, if you are having a blast it’s likely your guests will too!


Number Eight:  Trust God with it all.  If I am doing it as unto Him, I need His help to do all the things I mentioned above and more!  My most important purpose is to show people they are loved, that God loves them, that He truly cares for them and that they are safe in His arms.  Those attendees that have told me that the workshop they attended changed, their lives, fulfill my greatest prayer and hope!  All the Glory goes to Him!


This week I’ve been getting into the right mindset to really do all the above, and resting up so I can keep up the pace for a year!   I want to to be the be the best I can be!  My guest are counting on it!




the pilgrim


Do you like the photographic pun in the lead image.  The hot air ballon is getting filled to be ready to fly, just like I get filled with hot air to run workshops!!!!


3 weeks, 4 days ago 17




Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead
crows near greater Boston recently,




And there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.


A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to
everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT

Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.


However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying
colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws.


By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of
the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed
by an impact with a car.


MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if
there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills
versus Car kills.


He very quickly concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill,
they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn
Of impending danger.


They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout
“Cah”, not a single one could shout “Truck.”



Smile, the Iranians will soon have the bomb!  The Democrats are idiots…..  I’m sorry, but I’ve had it with this politics at such a critical time.  I had to tell a joke, I’m FED up!!!!






the pilgrim

3 weeks, 5 days ago 8


I’m a proud grandfather of 6 great grandchildren, and I love them all, but one is unique, special, and one dang good fisherman!  Benjamin Luke Fortney is my oldest grandson, son of Scott and Diane Fortney, Scott is my oldest son.  I love Hannah, my oldest grand daughter, but her story comes later!  Today I want to share about Ben!


It probably all started when many years ago the Florida Fortney’s visited us in Kentucky and Scott took Ben fishing at a local stream, the image below says it all, from that day on Ben was a fisherman!


Ben has gone on to learn a great deal about fishing and living in North Florida he has the perfect playground to practice his craft.  Ben is a bait fisherman, bait caster, fly fisherman (ties his own beautiful flies!), bass fisherman, fishes with plugs, spinners, worms, and is an avid shore fisherman.  He has landed single fish that their weight exceeds my life time accumulative weight of fish caught!!!


Ben’s list of fish varieties that he has studied and caught is just about the contents of  any good fish book out there.


His next big category is a hammerhead shark.  You must catch and release them, and I know he will, but his goal is at least a 10 footer.  No doubt I’ll get a iPhone image soon showing that catch!


His room is decorated with a bewildering assortment of rods, reels and fishing lures and he proudly displays some of his great great grandfathers classic wooden plugs and some of the fish his great great grandfather and  great grandfather caught and had mounted.


      Ben is shown to the left holding his latest reel acquisition, a deep sea rod and reel made just of the    big fish he is going after this spring.  Ben is a great young man, a good student and real man of his word.   I’m proud to call him my grandson, and I sure wish he would teach me to fish!!!!


Being a grandfather is an awesome treasure and great responsibility!  I try to spend as much time as        I can with my grand children and pass on some of the life lessons I’ve learned over the past half                century plus 19 years.  Fortunately for me my grandchildren still listen and I truly enjoy their company!  Now if Ben could just help me catch a 12 pound bass!!!  


I’m blessed,


the pilgrim




I apologize for the image quality, all iPhone 4s  wish I had used my Fuji X100T!!!