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7 years, 2 months ago 0

Well, it is the last day of the Reno Pylon School and it has been a good week, with great folks and wonderful flying machines, but I’m ready to head home. I have a lot friends and acquaintances that think I have the greatest job in the world, and in some ways, they’re right, in others they don’t see the whole picture. Would I want to do anything else to make a living, absolutely not. Would I like to be home right now, you bet! Sherelene is not only my wife of 40 years, but she is also my best friend. I’m never happier than when we have time to just “hang out” together. She loves the lake and on weekends that I’m not assigned to be on the road, (far and few between), we go out on our pontoon boat and just hang out. She suns and I catchup on my reading. I don’t really like to be out on hot days, but I’d go anywhere to get to be close to her.

The thing about our friendship is she is probably the only person, in the world, that really knows me for who I really am, and still loves me, will miracles never cease?! When I ask Sherelene her opinion I know I can take it to the bank. I trust her to tell me the truth, and she does. Don’t ever think that, that is not important. We all need someone who will not sugar coat what we need to know and sometimes face about ourselves. It’s easy to not see the glaring faults that hurt us and others. Sherelene is not unkind, but she won’t let me get a way with kidding myself in a harmful way.

If you enjoy this blog and if things that happen here help you, encourage you, or are meaningful to you. Thank the Lord and thank Sherelene! My life would be a shambles without both of them.

I’m glad that tomorrow the big silver birds will start to take me home.

I miss you sweetheart, see you tomorrow night…….

Thank you Lord for never failing to hear my pleas, and comfort me in your loving arms.

the pilgrim

7 years, 2 months ago 0

Today I would love to share some airplane art with you. We got up at 4:00 a.m. in order to be on the flight line when the sun came up. With good direct sunlight we were able to shoot some airplanes on the tarmac. This morning I concentrated on color and design, reflections and shapes.
Airplanes are beautiful works of art, well at least to me, the shapes and forms are functional, yet a pivotal part of their design. I enjoy flying, but when I can’t be in the air, I love just looking at airplanes. Anyway this is an area where I have no problem doing a lot of “processing” of images.
Increasing saturation, contrast, selective darkening and lighting of areas all to make the image more effective.

The image to the
right is a simple
composition of
the airplanes red
striped design
reflecting in the
shiny surface of
it’s aluminum
clad wing.

The opening
image at the top
of the page is the
side view of a
P51 Mustang
I’ve photographed many times, but this morning the light really accented the colors and I shot it
tight to keep the viewers attention on just that color information.

Talking things even further directly below, I used a program called Topaz in conjunction with HDR to make a painting effect for this row of AT-6 Texans.

One trick I Iike to use with cars, airplanes, trains, anything that we know moves is to shoot it head on to show the actual form of the object, the Russian MIG 21 below was a good subject for this effect, the shot below that is the same MIG 21 with the three quarter approach to head on.

The MIG above also got some HDR and Topaz filtration to change its appearance from a straight
photo. Below, the same Mustang featured at the top shot from a different angle, once again emphasizing the wonderful reflective qualities of it’s aluminum skin.

Lastly, photography is all about light and the shot below was just a wonderful set of warm early morning light reflections on a Maul and the buildings windows behind it, making for a great design.

As I’ve shared in past blogs entries, light makes the image by showing form and texture, and by revealing the beauty of it’s own reflection.

Having a day to day, moment to moment walk with our Lord is also the process of having the Light of the world guiding and watching over you. I am blessed to do this kind of work for a living and I thank God everyday that I can enjoy the company of good people at work and then go home to such a wonderful family at home. Amen.

the pilgrim

*Photo Note: All images with D700, and the 70-300 AFS lens.

7 years, 2 months ago 0

On my trip out to Reno, I was reminded, again, about how far our world has come from what my mother and father taught me:

1. Always say please and thank you.
2. Be courteous and let others go in line before yourself.
3. Don’t speak loudly and disturb others.
4. Greet everyone with a smile and a kind word.
5. Offer to help others anytime you can.
6. Show appreciation to those that serve you.

Before I got to Reno, in three airports, three flights, on three airplanes, others repeatedly broke all those rules. At first I got angry and resentful, then I thought about it a little more and decided to do something very unconventional. Do the right thing anyway.

I started trying to follow those simple rules from Mom and Dad and try very hard not to notice when others failed to do so.

I was standing in line preparing to get on a plane next to and older man, probably my age. He looked calm, the kind of calm that comes from living long enough to not get so worked up about everything. We were in the Zone 1 line to board the airplane first, another business man waited until the last minute and stepped in front of us, cutting the line. We looked at each other and smiled and gently shook our heads. We went on to have a nice short conversation about how so many people in the world do not know or seem to not care that there are others in the world with them. We laughed about how our parents would have spanked us if we acted that way.

Later I decided that people can step in front of me, but they can’t make me react badly, they can
ignore my needs, but they can’t make me ignore theirs. They can be unfriendly, but hey can’t make me act that way. We are all are our own, free moral agents. We can treat others the way we would like to be treated, or act like we don’t care.

I know how Christ suggested I treat others, I also know He told me to forgive that I may be forgiven. The old way of doing things will no longer fly with me, I know it will be a challenge,
but I’m going to ask Him for the strength to honor Him in how I treat others.

Now enjoy the airplane images I promised.

the pilgrim

*Photo Notes: All images with D700 and 70-300 AFS VR and 24-70 AFS lenses.

7 years, 2 months ago 0

Scott Diussa, our friend working the World Soccer in South Africa, asked for more Corsair shots
so here are a couple, more to come! I also got an email from someone who asked a good question, “I’m in complete agreement on changing my behavior in regards to yesterday topic,
my question is what are the practical ways to start that process?”

A question worth considering, let me give it a try, here is where I would start:

1. Pray every morning, “God please give me your grace and compassion and guard me against anger and resentment when others don’t act like would like them to act.”
2. Don’t expect that others will meet your expectations, be ready to be disappointed in how others conduct themselves.
3. By contrast, expect and hope for the best from everyone, don’t be guilty of missing the person that does try to do it right! (It may seem that is in conflict but it really isn’t, it’s called being realistic.
4. Ask God to give you His, compassion and grace and share it at every opportunity.
5. See people through God’s eyes, the guy that cuts you off in traffic, is still one of the people
Christ died for. Puts a whole new light on it, doesn’t it?!
1. Try to see what might be driving other to behave badly and try to help be the solution. Example: a photographer came to our booth yesterday agitated about getting his gear, it turned out he had never shot airplanes in flight and he didn’t know what to ask for, but was embarrassed to not know. I walked him through a few questions that allowed him to tell me what he
wanted to accomplish and them recommended what I thought might work for him. He left with
the right gear and a happy camper, everybody won!
1. You can never fail if you apply the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do
unto you.”
1. Be friendly, but know when to back off. I got on the plane in Knoxville Tuesday a.m. and sat
next to a guy who happened to be wearing the same kind of watch I was wearing. I held my
upmine and said, “ you have good taste in watches” He grunted and put in his ear buds and
never said another word for the entire flight. I was first offended (not taking my own advise), but
soon figured he probably just wanted to be undisturbed. Don’t give people that are unfriendly
permission to determine what kind of day you have. Shake it off and move on to the next
person whose day you may make better!

Well at least it’s a start. Go out today and have a wonderful day and honor God in how you love others with His love.

the pilgrim