Recent Posts
1 month ago 5

 

Photograph by Ken Metz of the pilgrim holding Ricky Skagg’s Mandolin.

 

It has been a great month in my life, the wonderful Nashville event with Ricky Skaggs and Joe McNally and then this last week seeing so many wonderful friends at the Faithful Friends event in Kingsport (more on that later this week),  but I came back from both with a large looming question: How do I take the next important step in my life serving the Lord.  After a lot of prayer and some great conversations with dear brothers,  Jim Haverstock and Carl Turner, I was led to this action plan revealed to me from the Holy Spirit.  Let me share;

 

1.  Walk with Him every moment, and deepen my relationship with Him.

 

2.  Stay alert and listen for His voice and His direction.

 

3.  Be OBEDIENT to His voice and directions.

 

4.  Keep my eyes on the mission and constantly remember all I do must lead to that.

 

5.  Enjoy the life God has provided for me.

 

6.  Ask God to give me those who need to feel His love and then share His love with them.

 

7.  Stay relevant by learning to know what He thinks relevance is.

 

This is my list, but I can’t help but believe that it would work for any believer dedicated to deepening their walk with our Savior.

 

I submit this to you with His love

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Romans 8:28

1 month, 1 week ago 5

 

 

A number of occurrences have re-ignited my love for monochrome imaging!  First Fujjfilm added Black and White to their early X-System cameras.  I really enjoyed the film simulation with the red filter which gave a higher contrast image.  The next thing that happened was my personal discovery of how much you could be done with NIK Siler Efex Pro2.  For a while I was very pleased with the results I was getting!

 

 

Enter the new X PRO2 and XT-2 with Acros Monochrome film simulations!  With the two new Pro models, the Acros with a red filter is my new favorite but it gets even better.  MacPhun has released Tonality which is a new monochrome conversion software which is incredible.  I’m enjoying more control over the look I desire now than ever before!

 

I would encourage you to work more in monochrome, I’m having a blast!!!!

 

 

Blessings,

 

the Pilgriim

 

 

1 month, 1 week ago 10

 

 

A very common question I get is, should I get camera A or camera B?  My most common answer is what do you plan to do with the camera?  What kinds of subjects do you shoot, do you shoot action, and sports, do you shoot close-ups, do want a lighter camera and lenses for travel and convienence or do you prefer a heavier camera and lenses?  Answering those questions will lead you to the kind of camera and the major specifications it will need to meet.

 

After we narrow down the type of camera and what it’s capabilities are,  I ask the most important question of all!!!  How does it feel in your hands, how comfortable are you operating the major controls?  I am a big believer that the more natural a camera feels to you, the better you will use it.  The point is to get so used to the camera that it is second nature to you and you stop thinking about the camera and start thinking about the light and the subject.

 

I have been using both the Fujifilm X PRO2 and the new X-T2.  They are both incredible cameras and can make almost identical images.  They share the same X-Trans CMOS III, 24.3 mega pixel sensor and X Processor Pro CPU.  The both take the incredible Fujifilm XF Lens System.  In spite of how much heritage they share they are very different cameras, for very different users.  For that reason I have been struggling with which model I will make my main camera, I say main because I will own both, but one will be the most used, and thus will be the one that requires that I have two bodies in my travel system.  When working in the field I want to have two identical bodies that operate the same so my movement from one to the other is fluid and comfortable.

 

The images above and below show where the major controls, the ones you will use almost all the time, are located on each camera.  The ISO dial is integrated into the shutter speed knob on the X PRO2 and is on the opposite side on the X-T2.

 

 

 

 

In the illustration below you can see how much different the placement is of the, all important, focusing joy stick between the X-PRO2 and the X-T2.  I used the X-PRO2  for some time before I had an X-T2 to use. I got used to the location of the joystick on the X PRO2 first, and now that my thumb goes to that spot and it goes there every time, my muscle memory says the one on the X-T2 is in the wrong place.  If I had started with the X-T2 I might think the X PRO2  joystick is out of place.  Muscle memory is funny thing!  I like the feel of the X PRO2 best for my hands.

 

 

Another thing I like about the X PRO2 is that the preview arrow, for reviewing images, is on the right side with all the other major controls, on the X-T2 it is on the top left of the camera back, which for me is a less convenient location.  Not a big deal, but a deal none-the-less.  One other thing I like much better about the X PRO2 is the Exposure Compensation dial is easier to turn with just my thumb.  This is a really big deal for me, as my method of calculating exposure is to shoot in Aperture Priority mode and use the exposure compensation dial to make the scene lighter or darker until I see exactly how I want the final image to appear.  Having to use two fingers with the X-T2 knob breaks my normal way of working with the camera.  Is it a big deal? No, but I would have “much” preferred it be easier to turn on the X-T2.  Speaking of easier, I was one of the people that said the door covering the memory card slots needed a lock, well, I was wrong.  The friction operating system on the X PRO2 door works fine, it is a heavier, better made door than on the previous X-T1 and is much more convienent than the lock on the X-T2.  I find my self fumbling too much to get the X-T2 door open, but then again,  that could be my lack of dexterity!!  (once again, for me, this all personal opinion)!  One last thing, the option of the optical viewfinder on the X PRO2 is magical, it is truly wonderful when shooting primes in the 24mm to 85mm range!  I don’t use it as much as the electronic viewfinder, but it is a real joy when I do!

 

Is there anything about the X-T2 that I like better?  You bet, it has more capable auto focus, more frame rate, the electronic viewfinder has more magnification and is brighter.  The LCD folds out both horizontally and vertically, and I miss that on the X PRO2!!!!  Without the battery compartment the X-T2 is slightly smaller, which is either good or bad depending on the size of your hands, I prefer the slightly larger frame of the X PRO 2, personally.  The X-T2 benefits greatly from adding the battery grip, and I will very likely use mine with the grip to take advantage of the extra speed and longer battery life.  Adding the battery grip improves performance and makes the rig larger, which may, or may not, be your cup of tea….

 

I loved the X-T1 and said many times I did’t need anything better, but that was before I experienced the focusing joystick, the wonderful new sensor and the Acros monochrome settings!  Since I shoot film simulation in Velvia, Provia and Acros with a red filter all the time, I can’t go back!!!!

 

I still have not experienced the full production X-T2 so my final decision may be a few weeks away, but as of today I’m leaning towards a working system that will include two X PRO2 bodies and one X-T2 body with the battery grip, my faithful and much loved Graphite X-T1, a gift from a dear Fuji friend,  will bring up the rear!

 

Ergonomics is vital to me for a user camera and the X PRO2 is  sheer joy to hold and shoot!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

1 month, 1 week ago 6

 

 

 

I had a question few days ago about how I pack the gear in the last blog post. The purpose for a two small bag system is portability, and always having the essential gear in the lowest possible weight. The bags provide excellent protection and yet are easy to carry.  The main bag, above weighs in at 7.5 lbs, the lens bag below at  7.4 lbs.  Each lens is held in a Tamrac Goblin lens back and the body wrapped in micro fiber Tiger clothes for Kinetronic.  The main bag is the “speed” bag with fast lenses.  The Lens bag is the zoom bag and the close-up bag, the XF10-24 cover the wide end (15-36), the XF18-135 for the 28-200 range.  The Fujifilm XF90 is a fast 135mm equivalent and with diopters and an extension tube, serves as a macro lens with good working distance.  Of course a spare body and longer glass will reside in a separate backpack.

 

 

In addition to those items I have Zeiss photo wipes and some micro fiber cloths.  So there you have it!  Hope that helps answer that question!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim