Recent Posts
7 years, 7 months ago 0

What a glorious holiday. A day of celebrating the freedom for which we should be so thankful. I hope that you were with family and friends yesterday. It is in the warmth of those relationships that we remember just how wonderful our country is.

Last night all the residents of the street where I live gathered for a picnic and fellowship. The evening ended with a really spectacular fireworks display provided by some of our neighbors.
About 45 adults gathered and enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers, and barbecued pork roast with all the fixings.

The most beautiful site for me was all the kids, dozens, lying on blankets in my neighbors yard looking skyward in awe at the display of the fireworks. We don’t do this very often, actually in the thirty years I’ve lived on my street, I can only remember a handful of gatherings such as this, and that’s a mistake. This was a glorious evening. If you’re ever tempted to think you are doing without the best things in life because you can’t afford them, you should have been with us last night. Each neighbor brought some food, everyone brought a comfortable chair and we simply enjoyed getting reacquainted.

Diverse people from all walks of life, all ages, all interests, not all the same. But last night one common interest bound us together, an enjoyment of a holiday that encourages us to reach out to one another.

Today we all have air conditioning, TVs, computers, and many other things that keep us in our homes, behind closed doors. Last night we came outside and enjoyed something truly special,
each other.

The goal of my life is to share my Lord’s love with everyone I meet. Last night I got out of my house, and did just that………….

the pilgrim

7 years, 7 months ago 0

The door to a store, or your house, or your church. A door is according to Webster’s :

figurative a means of access, admission, or exit; a means to a specified end

We all need a way to get in. A passage for admission. Jesus gave us that door when he came to earth and lived among us, teaching us, and showing us an example of how to live. He did more than that though, He took on the sins of the world on His shoulders, and went to the cross to die, once for us all. He took all the wrath of God for sin so we could be free of that punishment.

Now He stand at the very door He provided and He waits for you to knock. If you desire to come in He will gladly open that door and place His arms around you, assuring you of His deep love for you and then welcome you into His glorious fellowship, forever.

This weekend we will enjoy family and friends as we celebrate our Independence Day. The greatest independence day is the day you become dependent on Him.

the pilgrim

7 years, 7 months ago 0

The image above is from one of my favorite bird photographers, Wayne Bennett. He is gong to be one of six instructors at the Moab Event, in October with Scott Kelby. This isn’t an ad, it’s already sold out. I just love showing Wayne’s work, he is a great shooter and a dear friend.

Today I would like to do a little Tech Friday on Thursday. The question many photographers ask me is how do you know when it is time to buy a long telephoto lens and which one should I buy.
It’s a good question, so let’s talk about it.

First, what is a long piece of glass? The so called normal lens on most film cameras was a 50mm lens. The 50mm refers to the lenses focal length, which is a measurement of the lens elements in the system. On a film camera a 50mm lens made a photograph where objects were approximately the same size as seen with the naked eye. This would also hold true for digital cameras with sensors the same size as a piece of 35mm film. In the Nikon system some cameras have what are called DX sensors (currently D90, D300s, D40, D60, etc.), on those cameras, because the sensor is smaller, the “effective” focal length of a lens “appears” to be 1.5 times longer. For example, on a D90 with a DX sensor a 50mm focal length lens would produce and image in which the main subject would be 1.5 times larger than with the FX (35mm size) sensor, or like a 75mm lens.
This applies only to “apparent” magnification. Though it appears to lengthen a lenses focal length, it doesn’t, it simply crops out a smaller part of the scene.

So what effect does focal length have on the resulting image? If you photograph a person from ten feet with a 50mm lens on a FX sensor camera, the person would appear approx. the same size in the image as what you saw with you eyes. With a 100mm lens, the person apparent size would double. At 200mm, the person would double again, at 400mm they would double once again.
So every time the focal length doubles the subject size in the image doubles as well. Keep in mind with the DX sensored camera the subject starts out 1.5 times larger than you would expect because the lens and sensor size “crops” the image to 1.5 times larger. After that the same would be true about doubling of image size as the focal length doubles.

So when do you need a longer lens? When you want to get closer to the subject but may not be able to move physically closer. For instance if your in a Range Rover in Africa and want a closer shot of the lions face, but can’t (or shouldn’t) get out of the vehicle and walk up closer. The closer you want the subject to appear in the image, the longer the focal length.

Here are some common subjects and the focal length range most often used to photograph them;

Wildlife, mammals: 200mm to 600mm and beyond.
Wildlife, birds: 300mm to 600mm and beyond.
Sports: 180mm to 600mm and beyond.
Portraits of people: 85mm to 200mm.
Landscape photography: 70mm to 400mm.

This is a very limited list and opinions will vary widely on what lenses are best, but these can serve as starting point.

One thing is for sure, long glass is expensive and big. A 600mm f4 lens can cost up to $12,000.
and is a very large and heavy piece of glass. Consider carefully just what you will use a piece of long glass for, it’s a big investment. The Nikon 200-400 f4 VR lens is a favorite because it’s relative cost, around $6,000. is more reasonable, (a relative term), and it has a great range of focal lengths built into one lens. Also keep in mind that if you own a DX sensor camera the 200-400 would produce images much as if it were a 400-600 lens!

Long lenses are fun and expensive, so choose wisely. By-the-way, my long lens? I carry the
small Nikon 70-300 AFS VR lens (about $550.). It is a 70-300 on my FX cameras and a
105-450 equivalent on my DX sensor cameras. I find it covers almost all my long glass needs, is affordable, very sharp and if you break it, does not require a second mortgage on the house to
replace! Food for thought.

More food for thought, God loves you, love Him back…………….

the pilgrim

7 years, 7 months ago 0

I’m really proud to work for Nikon. Nikon has had a long tradition of supporting and providing photographic educational opportunities to the world of photography. I don’t usually go off about my company in this blog, but it makes me really happy to see what our company does to help great young people like these have the chance to learn more about shooting.

The Western Kentucky University team does a great job putting this workshop together and
Nikon is a major contributor to the effort.

Now what does this have to do with faith? Actually quite a lot. While we cannot earn our salvation, we certainly need to show how much we appreciate it in the way we help others. One of the great joys in life is seeing others lifted up by our efforts. Seeing these young people live out a dream this week serves is a good reminder of how much we can contribute to others, if we will only make the effort!

the pilgrim