Recent Posts
4 weeks, 1 day ago 23

 

 

Number 1.  I’m reading a new book by Ronald Kessler called  The First Family Detail.  It is the behind the scenes story of some of our recent presidents and their families and their dealing with the Secret Service, FBI and our Military personnel.  I have to say it probably was not a shock to me, but some of the stories bring new understanding of the depravity of most of our leaders.  That we send these people to Washington represent us, and they behave as many of them do is sickening!  If you are considering voting for Hillary, you need to read this book!  If you think you know her, you need to read what countless Secret Service people have to share about her, truly disgusting.  I am certainly not without fault, but I strive to be genuine, what you see is what you get, that is apparently far from the real Hillary Clinton!!!!  Trust me, the whole book is an eye opening read.  Morality and decency has been absent from Washington for some time!

 

Number 2.  I’ve had with the TV networks.  Let me explain.  I watch old TV shows and movies I never got to watch because of my schedule when I’m working in my office.  Ever once in a while a find a show I like and put it in the upper left hand corner of my iMac while I process images or answer emails.

I recently found a show I really enjoyed, Taxi Brooklyn, well written and acted, great TV, and I watched the entire season over several week in and out of my office.  I got the the last episode of Season One and it was one of those cliff hangers leaving all kinds of questions unanswered.  I jumped back on Netflix and went to find Season 2, nothing there????  I Googled the show and found an article saying that NBC and cancelled it after one season!?&%$#^$#Q@  O.K. I t think it should be a law of televisions that if a show is cancelled hanging like this that one more episode has to be filmed to give viewers closure, I mean these people had become my make believer friends, and now they have just disappeared.  Sound pretty lame for a grown man, who knows this is fiction to care, but dang it, they owe us that much if we watch a whole season!!!!     Come on guys, give us a break!!!!!

 

Number 3.  Football Season is still almost four weeks away.  Man do I miss it.  I live for the college and pro football seasons.  I can stay mild interested in Kentucky Basketball, could care less about the NBA, or Major League Baseball!  It has been a long dry spell,  just can’t wail!

 

O.K. so not really earth shaking issues, but fun to ponder!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

1 month ago 11

 

 

And so it goes.  The never ending, ridiculous exercise of trying to decide what to take, how to carry it, and what to do with it!!!!  So here goes, I generally go out to shoot with two purposes, actually more than that, but for now let’s limit ourselves to the main two, just to try and save our minds!  I’m either doing travel, (going light), or doing serious in-the-field work, ( a bigger system),  generally nature or Americana work.

 

For travel, I want the smallest possible system that gives me a good spread of focal lengths, but remain lighter and smaller.  For travel I think I will be using the Fuji X-T10, that I call the “baby” X-T1.  The X-T10 is just as capable and has lots of great features, but weights at least 25% less and is more compact.  Image quality is identical, so no sacrifices there.  To go very wide I like the small, light and super sharp 14mm f 2.8 lens which is a 21mm equivilent.  The 35mm f 1.4 is small and light and once again super sharp, hey these are Fujinon lenses, I really don’t need to keep saying that, and I won’t!  A nifty fifty is always a great lens to have along!  My most used travel lens and one of my favorites is the 18-135 f 3.5-5.6 which is the equivalent of a 28-200 or there about.  A great range and it is, ooopps sorry about that.  The last lens is the 55-200 f 3.5-4.6 (70-300) which gives me the long lens when I need it!  4 extra batteries, chargers and cords go in my luggage.

 

When the assignment is field work for Nature and Americana I need lenses with more speed and rely a lot on the best of the Fuji zooms.  Let’s start with my mainstay bodies a pair of Fuji X-T1s. Since there is room in the bag, and only, because I rarely use it, but hey it will be there just in case, the Rokinon 8mm Fisheye f 2.8.  For wide angle images the 10-24 gives me a 15mm to 36mm equivalent lens and it is Optically Image Stabilized.  It happens to be one of the best wide angle zooms on the market as a plus!  The 16mm f 1.4, (24mm equiv.), is spectacular for focusing close up on foregrounds and throwing the background out focus, not used all the time, but the ticket when you need it!  The 16-55 f 2.8 is a 24-85 equivalent mid-range zoom that gets a great deal of use. The next lens is the incredible new 90mm f 2 lens which, like the 16mm, is a wonderful tool for out of focus backgrounds.  The 50-140 f 2.8 lens is one of the most incredible of Fuji’s lenses, it’s OIS is so effective that even I can shoot at 1/15th of a second at 200mm equivalent and get tack sharp results.  That only leaves one last lens to add, the 60mm Macro f 2.4.  If you need to shoot closeups this is the only option right now, and actually it is, oops, almost did it again, a truly great macro lens and by adding the auto extension tubes from Fuji you can get to greater than life size.  It will be replaced by the 120mm f 2.8 Macro next year!  For now, though, it is a great little lens!  Yep, 6 spare batteries!

 

Now the bags.  The Travel System fits perfectly in the Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L AW The travel system weighs in at 7.5 pounds.  The Field System is carried in a Think Tank Airport Essentials backpack.  The field system weighs in at 19 pounds.  I don’t carry the Field System but work out of that bag into a Vest or belt system.

 

For now this is the way I’m going to try to work, and of course I will keep you informed.  When I travel buy car, I will take both bags, by air I will pack the Field System in a Think Tank Airport Security V. 2.0 rolling bag, and transfer the gear on location.  The Airport Security also allows transporting the laptop, hard drives and cords.

 

So, the right gear, on site, “may” be solved, but the proof is in the pudding!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

1 month ago 9

 

 

Sorry about that, “Coke the pause that refreshes!”  O.K. end of a long week workshops with great group of folks and a wonderful team!  As always it was great to be with Ricky Skaggs, Jim Begley, “Snake” Barrett, Nick Coury and our great Fuji team that joined us, Cy Franks, Jackie Hillyer, Dana Ranslem, Louis Navarro, Michael Bulbenko, and Stacey Moore!

 

We shot a lot of great locations, and had a ton of really terrific fellowship!  His Light Workshops are a truly different experience and the faith component is wonderful!    We added several new shooting locations to this years workshop and it added to the variety and opportunities.  Last night, as usual, Ricky and his band Kentucky Thunder were amazing, what a great time we had.  Ricky is so kind, every year, to give a shout out to our group and Jim, Snake and myself, it’s a thrill to hear your name before the 2,500 of Ricky’s fans!

 

Hope you are plannigna  restful and enjoyable weekend, I’m going to go home and collapse!!!!  Please enjoy a few more favorite images from the week!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

1 month ago 7

 

 

I’ve been in Nashville, Tennessee all week with our Third Annual Nashville/Ricky Skaggs Americana Workshop.  Country Music/Bluegrass Legend (14 rimes Grammy Winner!) Ricky Skaggs is also an accomplished photographer and good friend and he and I, plus Jim Begley and John “Snake” Barrett, and Nick Coury, run this annual workshop during Nashville’s Bluegrass Month.  While we have been shooting the many fantastic locations around Nashville, I’ve been giving the X-System lenses a workout and thought I might share some of the images from this weeks shoot!

 

Tonight the entire group will go to Ricky and Kentucky Thunders concert at the Historic Ryman Theatre, images from that tomorrow!

 

At Marathon Motorworks we always shoot the decorative tool door at the Motor works offices. Fuji X-T1 with the 16-55.

 

 

 

While shooting in Antique Archaeology we had a chance to capture some great old Americana pieces, below the Nashville Neon Radio sign with the Electra-Voice Mic in the foreground,  Shot with the X-T1 and the wonderful, close focusing new 16mm f 1.4 shot at f 2.8!

 

 

The brass cash register begs to be shot with the 16-55 and then treated to a dose of Topaz Spicify for a mock HDR effect.

 

 

 

While roaming around the Antique Archaeology Store I found a great Cheap Trick guitar and shirt that made a great out of focus background or another EV mic, one of my favorites, I have a Shure 55 ohm y desk in my office!  Shot with eh fabulous 90mm f 2 at f 2.

 

 

I can’t pass up Neon and this sign in Antique Archaeology was just to neat!  X-T1 and he 16-55

 

 

A friend of Ricky’s had a wonderful old General Store and massive antique toy collection, so we spent a couple of hours enjoying and shooting this great collection!  Below a shelf of children’s books form the 1930′s and 40′s.  Fuji X-T1 and 18-135 lens.

 

 

Being a pilot,  I love toy airplanes and have a very large collection of my own, this one was to good to pass up!  X-T1 and the 18-135 lens

 

 

In the General Store I found an old Tom’s Peanuts rack just a sit would have been in the 1950′s, XT-1 and the 18-135 shot wide open at f 5.6.

 

 

 

One of our favorite locations was a massive private car collection housed on a beautiful farm down in Brentwood.  These exhaust ports from a Classic Auburn were too good to good to pass up!  X-T1 and the 16-55.

 

 

Since my grandchildren call Sherelene Nana I had to shoot this mock diner at the car museum for her! X-T1 and the 16-55.

 

 

The three images below of car Americana were all shot with the X-T1 with the 18-135, my favorite walk around lens!

 

 

Lastly at visit to the Centennial Park Gardens the 90mm f 2 showed of it’s wonderful Bokeh on these flowers!

 

 

I love shooting the Fuji X- System because of its; great build quality, light weight and fabulous glass!

 

More to come!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

In case you were wondering, Nicky Coury, Ricky Skaggs, “Snake”Barrett, and I are all Fuji shooters! Jim will, likely, join us soon!!!!!  All images shot with film simulation mode  Velvia, Provia (Standard) and Black & White with a red filter.