Recent Posts
1 year ago 6



I’ve been following the saga of Brian Bosworth’s conversion to Christ and yesterday found an incredible talk he gave at the KKLA Mariner’s Church to a group men and athletes.  It is over an hour long, but I will make you a promise, if you INVEST an hour in this video, it will bless you beyond measure!  It has a reminded me in a fresh way just how much my salvation means to me, how thriilled I am to belong to Him, to serve Him.  Please, please, please invest the time to watch this, even if you are already a follower, it will make a difference in your life.  How many blog entries can I say I’ve offered,  that can do that?  This one will!!!


Blessings and His love,


the pilgrim

1 year ago 12



As a Charter Member of the Bag of the Month Club, I am always excited when something new and really good comes along!  First let me share a little camera bag history with you, not the history of camera bags in general, but “my” history with them!  As a photojournalist I used the same bag virtually every other newspaper photographer used in the 70′s, a Domke bag. It was not elegant, but very functional and it was with that bag that I started to help me appreciate, the value of form and function.  I got involved in nature/outdoor photography and the backpack of choice at the time was the Lowepro All Weather Trekker series.  In the late 70′s and 80′s I owned a number of different ones of all sizes including the Pro Trekker which was so large that filled with 3 film cameras and 14 lenses it weighed almost 70 lbs.!!!!  Not doing this anymore.


The next bag company that really made it’s mark on the pro market was the Think Tank.  I still think they are one of premier companies out there making well designed tough camera bags that just simply work.   Then I found out about Guru Gear bags through jack Graham my teaching partner.  I knew Greg Schern from when he owned and ran Moab Paper Company.  I knew he had an eye for quality products.  When he sold that company he formed Guru Gear and they joined the ranks of the very best bags you could buy.  Well designed, top quality materials, and real form and function factors made them one of my very favorites.  I still own several.


Fast forward to today,  Greg and Guru Gear bought Tamrac.  Now Tamrac has for many years been very good mid-level camera bag company.  Let me explain that, in my opinion, and in only my opinion, camera bag companies fall in three categories, o.k. make that four; Pro Grade Top of the Line, Mid level, Inexpensive, and Cheap (not worth your time).  Now except for the last category, some decent bags can be had in the middle two groups.  In the Top category, they’re really terrific, and it’s a short list,, and that’s why they reside there!  ….and that is exactly where Tamrac finds itself now!!!!


So that bring me to today’s review of the new Tamrac Anvil 15 backpack.  Greg has folded his magic with Guru Gear into this new line and it sits squarely in the top category.  I am using the new backpack for my upcoming fall trips to Nova Scotia, Northern Ohio, the Great Smokies and Zion National Park!  I expect I will love it too.



Why would I put it in such a high category?


First:  build Quality.  This series of bags, and I have two, to test, the Anvil 11 and Anvil 15 are up to very high standard of the previous, Greg Schern designed, Guru Gear bags.  Top quality materials, high tech padding (ten different kinds!), YKK zippers with great zipper pulls!, clear TPU pockets you can see through and they are tough as nails.  Great organizing pockets on the  back cover and a handy and spacious laptop or iPad sleeve in the lid.  It comes with a high quality rain cover and nice wide waist belt that can double as waist belt system, with some of their handy lens holding pockets and pouches.


Second:  Thoughtful interior design.  The customizable main compartment is perfectly proportioned for both full size DSLR systems and smaller Mirroless systems like mine.  Illustrated in the top image is my first packing of the bag for up coming trips. The bag will comfortably hold two X-T1 bodies, and the following lenses; 10-24, 16mm f 1.4, 16-55 f 2.8, 18-135 f 3.5-5.6, 60mm Micro with automatic extension tubes, the 90mm f 2, and the 55-200 f 3.5-4.8 (or the 50-140 f 2.8).  I will also hold two chargers and 12 batteries!


Below, the top lid holds;  an electronic cable release, USB thumb drives, cleaning brush and compression straps (included), allen wrenches, and lens and sensor cleaning supplies. all very clearly visible, a feature I love!





Third: Someone I trust behind and backing the product.   Just I have trusted my friends at Think Tank, and continue to, I trusted Greg when I bought several Guru Gear bags, and I now am thrilled with his latest offering.  This may just be the first date, but all indications are,  this will be a lasting love affair!





the pilgrim



1 year ago 2



If you want to watch something inspiring, and truly revealing, check out the You Tube post below. Brian Bosworth was one of the greatest college linebackers to ever play the game.  His life spun out of control when he created his self built identity as “The Boz”.  When I saw Brian in Do You Believe I knew this was real, something amazing that had happened in his life. When you watch the clip you may want to scroll over to where he first comes on the screen.


This testimony is real and heartfelt and what we pray for in our friends and to those we witness to.  I was so thrilled to get to enjoy seeing the peace and joy that has come into his life because he has accepted Christ!


I hope it blesses you as much as it did me,




the pilgrim

1 year ago 10



If you shot Nikon or Canon, or Fuji or Olympus, or even Panasonic or Sony, you have a bewildering number of lenses to choose from!  Well, not so much Sony, but even they are adding more lenses quickly!  So if you have 40 lenses to choose between, how on earth do you decide????  For the sake of this blog entry, let’s limit ourselves to photo generalists!  ( Travel, Nature, Portrait, Wedding, Close-ups, Americana ).  Got it?  For now you Sports shooters, and Wildlife folks will have to sit this one out!  Why?  Because you photographers have to have long fast glass, and most of us don’t!


For some years three lenses from Nikon have been called the holly trinity, a term I’m not comfortable with!  There is only one Holy Trinity, and that would be the Father, Son and the Holy Sprit!  So let’s just call them the Big Three.  They are the 14-24, 24-70 and the 70-200, all fast f 2.8 lenses.  If you shoot Nikon, they are the best three lenses covering those focal lengths, PERIOD.  But I don’t shoot Nikon anymore!  So what are my Big Three?


In the Fuji X-System they are the 10-24 (15-36 equiv.), the 16-55 (24-83) and the 50-140 (75-210) all f 2.8 lenses, except the 10-24 which is an f 4. They cost at least 40% less, weigh at least 40% less and are equally well made and, I believe, are even sharper!  The 14-24 and the 10-24 are very close.


So that is my base lens system, so is that it?  Nope I feature a number of images in my approach that exhibit very shallow depth, so the 16mm f 1.4 (24mm) and the 90mm f 2 (135mm) With those two lenses I get extraordinary sharpness and spectacular bokeh!


I love to do closeup work so while I await the arrival of the Fuji 120mm Macro, I carry the 60mm f 2.4 Macro and a few Automatic Extension tubes.  One last lens that is always in the bag is the very versatile, and extremely sharp 18-135 f 3.5-5.6 (27-200).


The point is have a super wide, a moderate mid range zoom, a fast tełephoto zoom, some fast lenses for available light and shallow depth shots, a Macro lens, and a smaller, versatile, and a all day walk around zoom!  7 lenses to do it all!!!!!  Oh, and later we will get a 1.4 teleconverter that will extend the 50-140 and the 90mm!!!!  By-the-way the 90mm f 2 is a very close focusing lens and with extension tubes, diopters and when the  1.4 converter comes along it will serve as a 135mm Macro lens too!!!!  I will test it with all the above (except the 1.4 converter – not out yet),  soon for a blog entry on this incredible piece of glass!


How sweet it is!


Blessings and have a great weekend,


the pilgrim