Recent Posts
8 months, 3 weeks ago 4

The 2014 Old Car City Workshop is March 12-16  and the price from this workshop has been reduced to $599. from the original fee of $799.  This has been one of our most well attended workshops in the past and it a great place to work on you fine art composition work.  Old Car City is the largest old car junkyard in America, 36 acres, over 4,000 rusting cars and trucks.   We work on full cars, sections of cars, tail fins, hood ornaments, and rusting glorious colors of peeling paint, and weathered finishes!!

 

This workshop will be led by Jim Begley and myself and we are staying this year at the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn,  in next door Cartersville, GA.  We still have space so please contact me by email if you would like information or might want to attend!  billfortney @earthlink.net  You’ll never again see a His Light Workshop at this kind of bargain price!

 

Here are some of the kinds of images we will be working on, plus HDR workshop and digital filters with NIK and Topaz covered in the classroom, lots of critique sessions and great fellowship!  Hope you can join us!

 

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

8 months, 3 weeks ago 4

 

The Super Bowl of course was yesterday and Peyton Manning had a bad day.   The Seattle defense was just too good and dominated the game.  The night before the game Peyton was given the Season MVP award for the fifth time, and the pregame talk was he was just unstoppable.  The ridiculous thing is today many, (not all), sports talk guys are singing a very different song.  Such it is in today’s world, what have you done for me lately.  Yesterday highly respected, today questioned.

 

As a Christian you will be cut no more slack!  All the more reason to be in the world, but not of it!  Scripture is clear that if we seek the approval of the world, we will always be disappointed, even if you get it, it never lasts.  So why seek it??!!

 

A little friendly advice, seek His approval, do things that please Him.  Build your life, your marriage and your mission around His desire for your life.  He will never turn His back on you, and will never be gleeful when you fail.  He will simply be there to help you up!!!!  That’s a lot better deal!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

8 months, 3 weeks ago 15

Have you ever heard someone play an organ or piano and constantly hit the wrong key?  I know you have, and when you hear the wrong note when you expected something different, it is jarring.  I contend that when you are walking with Christ and we react to something in a way that is not expected, it can be even more jarring.

 

From time to time I get an email or a response on the blog that I didn’t expect.  My reaction says a lot about just how closely I’m walling with the Lord.  I think it is normal to have an immediate internal reaction to things we don’t want to hear, but the important thing is how quickly do we recover and respond as Christ would? There is a big difference in a “reaction” and a “response”. A reaction is an almost involuntary response.  I may be letting myself off easy, but I think it is normal to first have a backlash to what we don’t agree with, but I think it is a sin to harbor that feeling and let it grow.  I choose to think about the other persons circumstances and why they may have reacted the way they did.  Sometimes I find they were justified and I was wrong.  To that I apologize, which I think is appropriate.  Sometimes I think they are being over-reactive and I still try to respond in a kind way, but hold my ground if I feel it is important to make my point.

 

Writing a blog, especially one that espouses a faith walk with Jesus, is a big responsibility. Fortunately I don’t have to be perfect, I know that I am not and an effort to be so, would be futile. I do have a responsibility to approach my responses in a Christ like manner.  I think a healthy discourse about any subject is a good thing.  When I was still working for Nikon I met a number of people that held truly hard feelings about Canon users, and I’ve met more than  few Canon shooters that felt just has harshly about the Nikon folks.  Inspite of the fact that I worked for Nikon I simply never felt that way!  I had a lot of dear friends in the industry.  Ray Acevedo was the head of the pro tech services at Olympus, and one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known, and we became good friends.  Chuckie Luzier who was my counterpart at Canon, and he became one of my best friends in the in the industry!  Tom Curley at Fuji and later at Panasonic, Bob Singh of Sing Ray, Roger Laudy of Image Wizards, Doug Murdoch at Think Tank, Stephen Hart of Jasper Imaging, and I’m going to stop because the list would go on and on and on.  My point is all of these people and many more worked in the photography industry and we never let our professional allegiances keep us from becoming friends and good associates.

 

You can love your Canon and we can still be friends, you can love your Leica, or Nikon, or Fuji and we can still be friends.  The choice of a camera should not be a barrier to being photo buddies!   When Scott Kelby came out with a video on his blog to explain why he was shooting Canon, it got a lot of nasty reviews.  I think some people that reacted poorly were saying I chose Nikon and I’m dedicated to that system, and you used to use Nikon and you switched, and that angered me, in truth it made them feel a tiny bit less secure about their choice.  I believe that is a silly reaction.  I worked for Nikon and I can tell you they make great cameras and lenses and no one that uses that brand should ever feel insecure about shooting Nikon.  I never owned or used Canon, but I know plenty of friends that swear by theirs, and I say good for you, from the looks of your images you are more than justified in being happy with your choice!

 

Photographers make images, not cameras.

 

For years I’ve shared a reoccurring dream I’ve had:  I die and go to heaven and meet Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, he welcomes me to heaven and I ask him, “please tell me you have photography in heaven??!!”  He smiles a big warm smile and says, “You bet, Jesus and God the Father are both really into photography and we have a big club here, in fact they’re both happy to have you join us!  In fact here comes God now to welcome you!”  I look up and stately gentleman in a white beard is strolling toward me and around his neck on a beautiful leather strap is an Olympus!  Guess neither side of the big photo companies won!  Who am I to argue!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Enjoy the Super Bowl!……. and don’t spend all your time trying to calculate the ratio of black to white lenses!

 

 

8 months, 4 weeks ago 24

 

I’m wearing a new wrist band, pictured above, and it does relate to today’s blog entry, and much more!!  The website for this not for profit organization is :  http://becauseisaidiwould.com/  I encourage you to go there and look into this great site. Alex Sheen, the founder, tells the heart rending story of his relationship with his father, and his contemplation of what his father had left him after he lost him to cancer.  In short the organization encourages people to live with integrity, to not make promises we can’t or won’t keep, to live by the words, “Because I said I would”.  I gave my two sons and son-in-law wrist bands and t-shirts and the article I read on a Southwest flight that started my involvement with the organization.  I want to make the world a better place and that starts with making myself a better man, and my first step, beyond a comitmenet to my faith,  is to become the man I want to be, and live by my words!

 

Now because I promised to not beat the Fuji thing to death, but keep the techy members of my readership up to speed, here is the latest Fuji introduction, the X-T1

 

 

I never thought I would complain that a camera company was coming out with too many great products, to fast!!  Well in the short year and half that I have been a Fuji owner and shooter, they introduced the X100 (which I never owned), the X10 which was my first Fuji, and it was so good I could have it as my only camera, except above  ISO 400 the noise just wasn’t good enough for available light work!  Next I bought the X-E1 and it was incredible, shockingly low noise, and wonderful files, second only to the D800!  That was the beginning of my love affair with the Fuji X-system!  I upgraded from the X-E1 to the X-E2 a much improved model all this within a year!!  I added the incredible X100s my carry around and travel camera whey want to go super light.  Finally I broke down and bought the original big boy, (only slightly larger) X-Pro 1, which I love as well.   I was sure my next purchase would be in 2015 when the X-Pro 2 is likely to arrive, but Fui threw me a curve, a big juicy one, they introduced this new SLR like X-T1.  None of this would matter if the Fujinon lens line was not so superlative.  I now own virtually everything they have made (so far) and every single lens has been one of the sharpest of that given focal length I’ve ver used.

 

 

So let’s take a look at the new X-T1

 

 

 

What do I like about this latest body?

 

1.  Much faster, bigger buffer, can shoot 8 FPS for up to 47 jpegs before it buffers out!

 

2.  Very much improved EVF with great magnification and the fastest redraw in the industry.  Looks like it will make using a EVF finally almost as good as a conventional optical viewfinder with many great advantages.  Specs: 2.36 million dot OLED .77 magnification. a lag time of only 0.005 seconds that’s less than 1/10th the current best for Fuji!

 

 

3.  Fully sealed from water, dust, and works in super low temps. (-10 degrees)

 

4.  Same Sensor and processor as my X100s and X-E2 both of which make superlative images with that sensor set.  Super high response times, and very low shutter lag.

 

 

 

5.  A fold out LCD panel done right, with hardened glass, this is something I’ve wanted desperately!

 

 

 

6.  Predictive AF for moving subjects that really works!

 

7.  Fully encompassing Magnesium alloy body structure, one of the best I’ve ever seen. (image below)

 

 

8.  A battery grip that improves battery life and give a vertical shutter release and additional control buttons.

 

 

 

9.  While I love the form factor of the classic rangefinder cameras, I did miss the SLR type set-up and this X-T1 brings that back, but in a small, well built  body.

 

 

 

 

10.  And finally Fuji owners finally feet the remote operation with iPhones and iPads with live view and all the remoter setting sand shooting options, tyke app is available from the  App Store.

 

 

 

 

All in all another dent in my camera purchases savings account!!!  If that were not enough the 10-24 f4 OIS lens and the 56mm f 1.2 lens are due out in the next two months!!!  The year is starting off pretty fantastic!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

One Last Point!!  I know I will get an email later today with this question,  ( ” You said you were switching to this system to save weight, but you already have bought 30 lbs. of Fuji cameras and lenses and say you will buy more.  Where is the weight savings??” )   So let me answer it now!

 

I will never be carrying more than about 15 pounds in the field for long walks or hikes.  I generally carry one body, ( with a spare in the vehicle), and just the two or three lens for the kind of work I’m doing.

Here are some lens body/lens combinations:

 

Travel (going ultra light)  Fuji X1oos only

 

Travel ( moderate system)  Fuji X-E2  18-55 & 55-200

 

Outdoor and Nature (walking or hiking)  Fuji X-E2, 14mm, 18-55, 55-200 and the 60mm Micro.

 

Outdoor and Nature (Driving to location)  Fuji X-T1, 10-24,  23mm f 1.4, 18-55, 55-200 and the 60mm Micro.

 

Available Light Work  Fuji X-T1 or X-Pro-1, 14mm f 2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f 1.4, & 56mm f 1.2

 

Americana walk around (like Old Car City)  Fuji X-T1, 10-24, 23mm f1.4, 18-55, 55-200  (In a waist belt system)

 

Close-up Work  Fuji X-T1, 60mm Micro, Nikkor 200mm Micro (with a Nikon to Fuji X adapter)  Extension tubes and diopters

 

Hope that explains it a little better.