Recent Posts
9 months, 2 weeks ago 11

My good friend Sam Garcia sent me this sign, this morning, I love it!  So some thoughts on retirement.  Notice it doesn’t say, DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING!  I have to do all kinds of things, but not because someone is blackmailing me with my job!  Employees have to do what their employer says must be done, retired folks do what they desire to do.  When Sherelene gives me a “Honey do list”,  I want to help her, after all she has worked hard with for our family and allowed me to follow my dreams!
Retirement is not stopping working, it’s starting working on the things you want to work on!

 

I’m on the road almost as much as when I was working a full time job.  That suits me fine, I think sitting down and waiting to die would not be near as much fun!  Serving God can’t be accomplished from the couch!  I have to say this is the grandest adventure of life!  Hard work for Him is play!

 

Now some photography suggestions:

 

1.  Buy one camera that you will always keep with you!  May I suggest something like the Fuji X100s.  It is the single most impressive camera I’ve ever shot and being limited to a single focal length of 23mm (35mm equiv.) at f 2 speed.  It excels at low noise at high ISO, the lens is ridiculously sharp and it is quiet as a church mouse!  Of course other alternatives exist, but pick one, it will change the way you photograph forever.

 

 

2.  Sign up for KelbyOne, the opportunity to learn more than you ever imagined is there!  And may I shamelessly suggest taking a His Light or Jack Graham Workshops as well!

 


 

3.  Give up all pretense.  Embrace, cherish and love our craft!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

9 months, 2 weeks ago 18

 

I was born February the 9th, in 1946 in Harlan, Kentucky.  My father was the manager of the Coca Cola Bottling plant in Harlan.  It was a magical time for two young boys to live under. Life was an endless adventure, playing with toy soldiers on the rocks in our back yard on Ivy Hill, using playing cards to make our bicycles sound like motorcycles.  Later we shot a sock full of flour with our BB guns, and then went swimming in the water hole, it was a great time. We both graduated from Harlan High School, yes, we were Green Dragons!  My point?  It was a different time.

 

I saw the first episode of Superman on a black and white TV, and waited by the radio every night to hear the Roy Rogers show.   We watched Leave it to Beaver, and Father Knows Best.  Our family had dinner every night together at the kitchen table.  We prayed at bedtime, and we addressed our parents with yes sir, and yes mam.  Dad taught Homer and I how to bait a hook and how to know when we had a bite on our line.  Homer learned better than I did!

 

I know we can’t go back, Harlan is still there, and Homer lives in the house we grew up in, but Mom and Dad are gone, and our grand parents, and our aunts and uncles, and we had a bunch, all gone.  But the memories aren’t, and even though we can’t go back to a simpler time, we can remember that time, and we can be molded by our past.  When I hang out with my brother I can see my father’s kindness, concern, and care.  No, we may not be able to go back, but I can still relive those days with Homer.

 

Thanks Homer, for letting me come back home again,

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

 

9 months, 2 weeks ago 8

 

I have to be honest, I love graphics and color for color sake!  This bicycle was leaned against a fantastic red painted wall in a little town in the Palouse region of Washington State.  Simple enough image to make.  First the technical data, Fuji X-T1 with the 55-200 at 129mm @ f 11.  ISO 800.  I’m thrilled with the basic result, straight shot, increased saturation, little spotting of white specks on the wall, and sharpening.  So that is where I will start.

 

How about making the image appear like an HDR shot with Topaz Adjust Spicify filter dialed up to be very gritty.

 

 

 

Now for something less drastic how about the original shot with Nik Color Efex Pro 4 -  Tonal Contrast.

 

 

 

Not gritty enough for you, how about Topaz Psychedelic!

 

 

Now let’s take the image with Tonal Contrast and take it into Topaz simplify and turn it into a painting.

 

 

 

Now let’s reduce the saturation!

 

 

As long as we are playing around let’s try a little NIK Silver Efex Pro to convert it to a monochrome image.

 

 

 

Hope this spurs your enthusiasm for trying some new approaches!  You may or may not like any of these images, but it should give you some ideas about how to work on your own!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

9 months, 2 weeks ago 9

 

Got a few emails, bet you knew that already!  Quote from one, “Please make sure I get this right, you are dumping every single piece of Nikon equipment you ever owned!!??”  No, and I didn’t say that, I said I hadn’t used my Nikons for over a year, and that I was selling off some Nikon equipment, not that I’m washing my hands of Nikon altogether.  So what am I keeping and why?

 

For 99% of my day to day work I’m shooting the Fuji X-System, I love it, it meets all my needs, and it’s a kick to use.  I do still have an ember in my heart of Nikons and Nikkor lenses.  I have a particular love for the Nikkor lenses of the AI-s era.  These mechanical jewels are a beauty to behold and hold.  Translation they provide a tactal  sensation going back to the days of Leitz lenses from Wetzler!  These Nikkors are amazing in quality and fun to use.  So, I’m holding on to a single Domke bag, filled with a manual system for the occasional times I need a Nikon manual fix!

 

 

 

So what’s in that bag?  The body is a D700.  In my opinion one of the best DSLRs Nikon ever made. It is essentially a D3 in a smaller package.  Image quality is superb and it plays well with the manual lenses. Just in case you were wondering, These same lenses are also suberb on the D800/D800e and I’m sure the D810 as well.  So why is my body not a D800 series camera?  Too much resolution for me, just don’t need it, the storage issues or the slow computer blues!

 

 

 

The lenses I chose are some of the “Legendary” Nikkors of all time, AI-s lenses.

 

The Nikkor 24mm f 2.8

 

 

The Micro Nikkor 55mm f 2.8 AI-s

 

 

 

 

The 25-50 AI-s f 4 Nikkor zoom lens.  An incredible zoom with super sweet color.

 

 

The Nikon 105mm  Micro Nikkor f 2.8 AI-s

 

 

The Nikon 80-200 f 4  AI-s Nikkor zoom.

 

 

 

 

Nikon 50-135 f 3.5 AI-s Nikkor

 

 

 

 

I also threw in a set of Automatic Extension tubes and some electronic cable releases.  So for those that are worried, I still have some Nikon stuff and enjoy it on rare occasions.  Does this mean that I think the new auto-focus glass in inferior?  No the modern glass is certainly great, but in order to allow micro motors to move the focusing mechanism the lenses must be made lighter internally, and there goes the smooth, old world feel!  A part of my past is using these old type lenses for the majority of my early career, and to be honest, I have a real love for the gear and the memories!

 

So all our decisions are not based in hard cold facts and specs!  Photography is a part technical but even more aesthetic and this is some of my aesthetic love affair with the gear of photography!!!!

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

the pilgrim

 

 

A special thanks to my buddy Ken Rockwell for his wonderful product images.  I’ve checked out gear for years on  his site!

 

Oh yes, and I use my 400mm f 3.5 IF-ED AI-s, 300mm f 4.5 IF_ED AI-s, and 200mm Micro Nikkor f4 AF on both the Nikon body and with adapters on the Fuji X bodies.