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8 years, 12 months ago 0

This week is the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Pilgrim’s Chronicles. The very first entry showed a group at the Reno Pylon School, one year ago. In the image above is this year’s group. From left to right, Tom Quinn, Mike Anskat, Richard Small, Jake Peterson, Sharon Peterson, Moose Peterson and David Leininger.

The greatest thing about the Pylon School is not the airplanes, but the people. It has become tradition for Moose and his family to join us, and I’m so glad that they do, they are great partners in the endeavor, and a sheer joy to be with! My friendship with Moose has grown with each time we get to work together. Moose is, of course, a very well known and respected shooter and teacher, but he more importantly truly is a great guy. Our common interests and experiences have drawn us closer as friends, and our love for the Lord has made us committed brothers! His wife Sharon is truly one of those great people for whom I have a deep appreciation, she is a real class act. There whole family is great to have around. Not, to single any one member out, but Jake is turning into a great shooter, (how could it be otherwise), I love having time with him in the field.

Speaking of great shooters, Richard Small has also become a regular part of our team and Richard will also be with me at the big October event with Scott Kelby. Richard has become a very dear friend, and is truly among the very best photographers I know, and not to brag, but you know who I know!!! His work is going to blow those folks away in October. Mike Anskat is great young man and one of Nikon’s very best repair techs. Mike has been working on his photography and is getting scary good! Mike is a real joy to work with and he is always appreciated by anyone we serve.

David Lenininger is one of the aviation world’s top shooters and one of our favorite people to see when we go to these events. David has the kind of personality that makes you just want to adopt him. He has become one of our favorite buddies. Tom Quinn was new to our group, he is a friend of Scott Diussa’s, (who was really missed – he’s in South Africa with World Soccer). Tom is a state trooper in Indiana and by the time he had to leave he was added to our list of favorite friends to shoot and hang out with. Bill Pekala was on vacation and missed the event, and Richard Vandermulen, pictured last year, was there, but didn’t make the shot this year. Richard is acknowledged as one of the very best shooters in the aviation field and great friend, plus this year celebrated his first year to be honored on Father’s Day! Richard and his wife had their first child,
Richard, last year, right after the Pylon School.

I started the blog talking about the greatest of all the blessings from God, friends. Of course our best friend is God’s own Son, Jesus. His sacrifice gave all of us who will accept Him, eternal life.
The earthly friends I treasure are simply the wonderful icing on God’s cake.

Take a moment today to tell those that are your best friends how very much you appreciate them being apart of your life!

the pilgrim

………..and now begins year 2………..

9 years ago 0

Well, it is the last day of the Reno Pylon School and it has been a good week, with great folks and wonderful flying machines, but I’m ready to head home. I have a lot friends and acquaintances that think I have the greatest job in the world, and in some ways, they’re right, in others they don’t see the whole picture. Would I want to do anything else to make a living, absolutely not. Would I like to be home right now, you bet! Sherelene is not only my wife of 40 years, but she is also my best friend. I’m never happier than when we have time to just “hang out” together. She loves the lake and on weekends that I’m not assigned to be on the road, (far and few between), we go out on our pontoon boat and just hang out. She suns and I catchup on my reading. I don’t really like to be out on hot days, but I’d go anywhere to get to be close to her.

The thing about our friendship is she is probably the only person, in the world, that really knows me for who I really am, and still loves me, will miracles never cease?! When I ask Sherelene her opinion I know I can take it to the bank. I trust her to tell me the truth, and she does. Don’t ever think that, that is not important. We all need someone who will not sugar coat what we need to know and sometimes face about ourselves. It’s easy to not see the glaring faults that hurt us and others. Sherelene is not unkind, but she won’t let me get a way with kidding myself in a harmful way.

If you enjoy this blog and if things that happen here help you, encourage you, or are meaningful to you. Thank the Lord and thank Sherelene! My life would be a shambles without both of them.

I’m glad that tomorrow the big silver birds will start to take me home.

I miss you sweetheart, see you tomorrow night…….

Thank you Lord for never failing to hear my pleas, and comfort me in your loving arms.

the pilgrim

9 years ago 0

Today I would love to share some airplane art with you. We got up at 4:00 a.m. in order to be on the flight line when the sun came up. With good direct sunlight we were able to shoot some airplanes on the tarmac. This morning I concentrated on color and design, reflections and shapes.
Airplanes are beautiful works of art, well at least to me, the shapes and forms are functional, yet a pivotal part of their design. I enjoy flying, but when I can’t be in the air, I love just looking at airplanes. Anyway this is an area where I have no problem doing a lot of “processing” of images.
Increasing saturation, contrast, selective darkening and lighting of areas all to make the image more effective.

The image to the
right is a simple
composition of
the airplanes red
striped design
reflecting in the
shiny surface of
it’s aluminum
clad wing.

The opening
image at the top
of the page is the
side view of a
P51 Mustang
I’ve photographed many times, but this morning the light really accented the colors and I shot it
tight to keep the viewers attention on just that color information.

Talking things even further directly below, I used a program called Topaz in conjunction with HDR to make a painting effect for this row of AT-6 Texans.

One trick I Iike to use with cars, airplanes, trains, anything that we know moves is to shoot it head on to show the actual form of the object, the Russian MIG 21 below was a good subject for this effect, the shot below that is the same MIG 21 with the three quarter approach to head on.

The MIG above also got some HDR and Topaz filtration to change its appearance from a straight
photo. Below, the same Mustang featured at the top shot from a different angle, once again emphasizing the wonderful reflective qualities of it’s aluminum skin.

Lastly, photography is all about light and the shot below was just a wonderful set of warm early morning light reflections on a Maul and the buildings windows behind it, making for a great design.

As I’ve shared in past blogs entries, light makes the image by showing form and texture, and by revealing the beauty of it’s own reflection.

Having a day to day, moment to moment walk with our Lord is also the process of having the Light of the world guiding and watching over you. I am blessed to do this kind of work for a living and I thank God everyday that I can enjoy the company of good people at work and then go home to such a wonderful family at home. Amen.

the pilgrim

*Photo Note: All images with D700, and the 70-300 AFS lens.

9 years ago 0

On my trip out to Reno, I was reminded, again, about how far our world has come from what my mother and father taught me:

1. Always say please and thank you.
2. Be courteous and let others go in line before yourself.
3. Don’t speak loudly and disturb others.
4. Greet everyone with a smile and a kind word.
5. Offer to help others anytime you can.
6. Show appreciation to those that serve you.

Before I got to Reno, in three airports, three flights, on three airplanes, others repeatedly broke all those rules. At first I got angry and resentful, then I thought about it a little more and decided to do something very unconventional. Do the right thing anyway.

I started trying to follow those simple rules from Mom and Dad and try very hard not to notice when others failed to do so.

I was standing in line preparing to get on a plane next to and older man, probably my age. He looked calm, the kind of calm that comes from living long enough to not get so worked up about everything. We were in the Zone 1 line to board the airplane first, another business man waited until the last minute and stepped in front of us, cutting the line. We looked at each other and smiled and gently shook our heads. We went on to have a nice short conversation about how so many people in the world do not know or seem to not care that there are others in the world with them. We laughed about how our parents would have spanked us if we acted that way.

Later I decided that people can step in front of me, but they can’t make me react badly, they can
ignore my needs, but they can’t make me ignore theirs. They can be unfriendly, but hey can’t make me act that way. We are all are our own, free moral agents. We can treat others the way we would like to be treated, or act like we don’t care.

I know how Christ suggested I treat others, I also know He told me to forgive that I may be forgiven. The old way of doing things will no longer fly with me, I know it will be a challenge,
but I’m going to ask Him for the strength to honor Him in how I treat others.

Now enjoy the airplane images I promised.

the pilgrim

*Photo Notes: All images with D700 and 70-300 AFS VR and 24-70 AFS lenses.