Recent Posts
7 years, 7 months ago 0

In years past we all owned a lot of filters, but today with the incredible post processing programs at our disposal, we need a lot less of them, in fact I only use a few:

Polarizers for every lens I carry. Polarizers can help deepen your colors, and remove reflections. I prefer Nikon polarizers because I know their quality, I also own some Singh Ray polarizers as well, both are very neutral and do not introduce any color cast. Also it is very important to know that your filters are plano parallel, which means they are perfectly flat side to side. Also the coatings really matter as well. You spent a lot for your top quality lenses, don’t you think they deserve, top quality filters? You don’t need that many, so buy the best.

Variable Neutral Density. Can allow you to use very small aperture for great depth of field and still have very long shutter speeds for letting water have that nice milky affect. The very best available is from my dear brother Bob Singh, his 8 stop variable ND is not cheap, but it is simply the best one you can buy. This filter allows you to use from 2 to 8 stops of neutral density by simply tuning it like a polarizer. Once again very well designed and built.

Diopter Close-up lenses. While these technically are not filters, they are actually two element close up devices that when used on telephone lenses of high quality, will allow close-up work virtually the equal of Micro/Macro lenses. Some of the best ever made were Nikon’s 3T & 4T and the 5T & 6T.
Sadly they are no longer being manufactured, you may get lucky and find them on eBay or at some dealer that has drawers full of older filters, if you find some scoop them up, they now sell for a lot more than they did when sold as new. Canon also makes some that are excellent, the 500D is 77mm and is a favorite with shooter using telephotos with that filter size.

Because of Capture NX2, Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3, I no longer have any need for split
neutral density, warming and cooling filters and color correction filters. I do have and use a
Expo Disc, which looks like a filter but is used to get dead on white balance. That’s about it.

How about protection of your precious glass? Well a lens hood will do a lot more to protect your lenses than a filter. While I have seen dropped lenses where the filter broke instead of the front element, I’ve also see filter break and severely scratch the front element. If you’ve ever had a front element replaced you know how painful that can be in the wallet. If you are shooting in blowing sand or on a beach with heavy salt spray then maybe a protective filter makes sense, but it makes more sense to not take your camera out and shoot in a sand storm or heavy salt spray……

Here is a good rule; “Never put anything in front of the lens if you don’t have a very good reason to place it there.”

Now an assignment for the weekend: Make a list of ten great things in your life that you are so thankful for, then dwell on how good God is to have blessed you so wonderfully, and then get on your knees and thank Him……..

My list:

1. My salvation, forgiveness, and relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. My wonderful partner and the love of my life Sherelene and the family she has given me.
3. My wonderful grandchildren, what a blessing to get a hug from any one of them.
4. The truly great friends I get to work with, and share my passions with.
5. The gift of flying, just how long I waited, and how sweet it is now.
6. The gift of making images, what a great life it has given me and how much I’ve seen.
7. My health, as bad as it is some times, I’m still on this side of the grass.
8. That my needs are met, I’m employed, I have a home, food, and life’s necessities.
9. A great past to remember fondly, a present to cherish, and a future hope for eternity.
10. The joy of seeking God’s wisdom and then sharing it with you.

1. O.K. I cheated one extra, thank you Lord Football season has finally started.


the pilgrim


*Photo notes: Top shot, studio image for previous book, 2nd Image, St. Francis of Assisi, Ranchos De Taos, NM Nikon D70, 12-24 Nikkor f4, Rocks on Olympic National Park beach, D2x, 70-200 AFS VR, Cascades in the Great Smoky Mountains, D2x, 17-55 AFS f 2.8.

7 years, 7 months ago 0

I was watching Fox News the other day when they were reliving the Katrina disaster. A striking scene was all the people on the top of houses surrounded by flood waters, stranded. If something didn’t happen many of those people would have died, but then, in flew helicopters to drop a line and pull them to safety, they were saved. That is what is called being physically saved. No one ever objects, in fact, we all cheer, when we see those helpless folks being lifted to safety. However if you walk up to a person on the street and say, “excuse me sir, but are you saved?” Well you know what that can lead to. The fact is we have a physical body and a spirit as well. From today’s devotional in Charles Stanley’s Pathways to His Presence, here is his take on our spiritual state:

People fall into one of four categories:

We are saved and we know it.

We think we are saved, but we’re not.

We don’t claim to be saved

We are not saved, but would like to be.

Let’s take a minute to clarify the meaning of being saved, spiritually. You can believe in God or not, but if you don’t believe in Him, it doesn’t make Him go away. If you believe in God and you’ve read the Bible, you know that all of us have fallen short of what God wants us to be, that’s called sin. Yes we are all sinners, yes, all of us. Are some worse than others? Sure, but it doesn’t take away your sin, if your next door neighbor is a serial killer. God wants all sinners to be forgiven, 1 Timothy 2:4. How can we be saved? We can’t earn it or be good enough, we have to accept His Son Jesus and accept His forgiveness, John 3:16. He has told us that we must confess our sins, accept His Son, and confess Jesus before man, Romans 10:10. (Ex. The Pilgrim’s Chronicles)

So it is pretty simple, acknowledge your sins, confess your sins, repent, (be genuinely sorry for your actions), accept the forgiveness offered though Christ. Tell others this Good News. Enjoy eternal life.

So if you were on the roof and the flood waters were about to wash you, your house, and your life away, would you grab hold of the line lowered to you?

Why save the body and let the spirit go?

the pilgrim

*Photo note: F5 film camera, 80-200 f 2.8 ED lens, Fuji Velvia film. Layered landscape at Lake Powell, sunrise.

7 years, 7 months ago 0

I got an interesting email from a person taking a little issue with what I share on this blog. The person, the first by-the-way, felt that I was speaking above my authority to share some of the thoughts that appear here. That’s o.k. I know that I will never make everyone happy, and in fact if I do, I’m probably not turning over enough rocks. I’m not upset and I actually appreciate the email because it caused me to think about the criticism, and come to some important conclusions.

First: He was right, I’m not a high enough authority to expound some of what is written in this blog. That’s why this sentence appears on the opening page, and has from the beginning:

“I am not in any way qualified or sufficient to impart this wisdom. It is in fact not from me, but from the inspiration that comes from Him.” the pilgrim

Second: If I’m not qualified to impart wisdom why am I doing it? Easy, I was once lost, but now I’m found. I didn’t find myself, He did. His only request is that if we accept His forgiveness and a new life that we share that “Good News”. That is what I do here, plus have a little fun. Even what I try to do to glorify Him is through His power, not mine. I think anyone that knows me and reads this blog, knows this material is coming from a much, much higher power than myself.

Third: I will never apologize for serving Him. (Period) Jesus said, “If you are ashamed of me before man, I will be ashamed of you before my Father in Heaven.” I’m not going to chance that……..


the pilgrim

*Photo note: Nikon D700 body, 75-300 AFS VR Leather tool work in a shop in Santa Fe. Has nothing to do with the blog subject, just like the shot.

7 years, 7 months ago 0

I think one of life’s greatest joys is anticipation, looking forward to something we can’t wait to happen. In less than a month I will be out in The Golden Circle, the great National Parks of
Utah and Arizona with some great people. My team of instructors for the workshop will include such luminaries as Scott Kelby, Wayne Bennett, Richard Small, Jim Begley, and Tim Isaacson. The group that is attending the two events are just as legendary. This is a great group of people coming to a great place to enjoy God’s great creation and some wonderful fellowship.

The region we will be going to is a radical change from the grass and trees of the east. One can’t help but be in awe at the spectacular canyons, deserts, and rock formations in these parks. The shot above is from Zion National Park, one of the most spectacular of them all. I can’t wait to share this region with these dear friends, especially the ones that have never experienced it!

I think that must be how God feels about knowing we are coming home to Him. He loved us so much that He gave His Only Son for us and His patience with us is beyond comprehension. Yet
He stand at the door waiting for us to knock so He can throw it open wide and encourage us to come in. I’m a hugger, I think it is the greatest way to say, I love you and I’m so glad to see you.
I’m sure God likes to hug too, how could he not, after all He is Love.

While we are still here on this earth, we can find joy in all that He made and with all those He loves and has shared with us, but soon the greatest thing we have ever anticipated will happen, we will go to be with Him for eternity.

No matter what you do, don’t miss that trip……….

the pilgrim