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8 years, 11 months ago 0

It’s a great old saying and appropriate for the Monday after a day at the Louisville Slugger factory. Our goal everyday here is to knock it out of the park for Him! Now a little history about the Louisville Slugger.

In many ways, the rich, 120-year history of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat began in the talented hands of 17-year-old John A. “Bud” Hillerich.
Bud’s father, J. F. Hillerich, owned a growing woodworking shop in Louisville, Kentucky, in the 1880s when Bud began working for him.
Legend has it that Bud, who played baseball himself, slipped away from work one afternoon in 1884 to watch Louisville’s major league team, the Louisville Eclipse. The team’s star, Pete Browning, mired in a hitting slump, broke his bat.
Bud invited Browning over to his father’s shop to make him a new one. With Browning at his side giving advice, Bud hand-crafted a new bat from a long slab of wood. Browning got three hits with it the next day.
Browning told his teammates, which began a surge of professional ball players to the Hillerich shop. Yet J. F. Hillerich had little interest in making bats; he saw the company future in stair railings, porch columns and swinging butter churns. For a brief time in the 1880s, he even turned away ball players.
Bud persisted; he saw the future in bats. His father, pleased with his son’s enthusiasm, relented. The rest is baseball history.
In 1894, with Bud Hillerich taking over from his father, the name “Louisville Slugger” was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. In the early 1900s, the growing company pioneered a sports marketing concept by paying Hall of Fame hitter Honus Wagner to use his name on a bat-a practice continued with Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and so many other professional athletes in virtually all sports today. By 1923, Louisville Slugger was selling more bats than any other bat maker in the country. Baseball was the nation’s most popular sport, and legends like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig all swung Louisville Sluggers.

One of the thrilling aspects of this story is the consistency of baseball history. Even though many things about the game has changed, players still have to try and hit the same ball with the same bats used for over a hundred years.
It is important in our lives to feel we know some things that have not changed, that they remain the same so that we have point of reference to lean against.
God’s love never changes. The foundational truths of our faith do not change. Isn’t it wonderful to know that when you get on your knees to talk to your Heavenly Father that, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Now go our there today and hit one out of the park………

the pilgrim

*Photo and Video notes: All images an videos were shot with the Nikon D300s and 16-85 AFS VR and 70-300 AFS VR DX lenses.

8 years, 11 months ago 0

The most common question I’m asked as a tech rep is, which camera should I buy? That is a question that is a lot harder to answer than you might think. Let me walk you though some things to consider before coming up with an answer for that.

1. Are you professional photographer?
2. If so, what kind of photography do you do?
3. What is your budget for a camera body?
4. If you’re not a professional, how serious are you about photography?
5. What kind of photography do you do?
6. What is your budget for a camera body?
7. Is the weight of a camera a physical factor for you?
8. If you’re a pro or very serious photographer what is the typical size of the largest
prints you make?

O.K. Let’s play this out with a couple of examples.

Caveat, I work for Nikon so with your permission I will make my recommendations with that brand, since I know far more about them than other manufacturers. As always other makers bodies will apply with some study.

Photographer number One is a full time working Pro who shoots mostly sports. He needs a fast camera, with a high frame rate, at least 8 frames per second. He uses his cameras constantly so build quality and ruggedness are very important to him. He often has to shoot in marginal light so very good High ISO noise performance is a must. He makes 24 X 36 prints, and larger, on a regular basis Answer: Nikon D3s That is the camera Nikon made specifically for this kind of user. Cost around $5,000. for the body alone. *If he did 4X6 foot prints I might recommend the D3x at around $7,800.

Photographer number Two is serious hobbyist who does a lot of photography and uses their cameras a lot, at least a couple of times a week. They want the highest quality they can afford,
but frame rate is not a major concern. They will not abuse the camera, but will use it hard. Their number one desire is quality images, number two, good solid construction and longevity. Answer: the Nikon D700 or Nikon D300s. Both are well made cameras capable of delivering first class professional results. D700 around $2,700. D300s around $1,700. The D700 is a 35mm size sensor called FX by Nikon and the D300s a APS size sensor called DX. The biggest advantage of the larger sensor is better low noise at high ISO.

Photographer number Three is a somewhat serious photographer that does not want to learn a lot of photography jargon but does want to make nice images. Their budget is more limited and they don’t want to carry a heavy camera and lens. They will use the camera occasionally maybe a few times a month and ruggedness is not a major concern. Answer: the Nikon D90 with the 18-105 kit lens. Around $1,200.

Now, in the hands of a skilled photographer, working carefully, you would not likely be able to identify the images between the cameras except under the most specific situations. So why would you spend $5,000. if the $1,200 camera is so good? If you have to have 9 frames per second and very rugged construction, plus great low noise performance at high ISO, then the D3s is the only ticket. However if you just want great images, and want and an easy to use light camera then the D90 is the ticket.

I wrote about lenses last Friday, and made the point that you get what you pay for. I made a rather interesting discovery this week. We, (the tech force), have been assigned to supply some images made with various Nikon lenses for catalogs and the website use. They sent us a list of lenses they needed. Fortunately I use many of the lenses on the list on a regular basis so I had plenty of images to send. One lens on the list was a lens, I’ve never used. It is one of our most affordable kit lens the 18-55 VR. It has a very good reputation for a light weight lens, but I had picked the lens up and felt how light it was and lost any interest in using it. This falls under the category of you ”can” teach an old dog new tricks. Since I didn’t have any images with the lens
I took it out and shot some stuff. Wow, was I ever wrong! This lens is spectacularly sharp. Check out the images below.

So you learn something everyday. If a D90 and the very inexpensive, (relatively speaking), 18-55 VR lens can do this, we are in sweet spot photographically indeed……

Now, have a wonderful weekend, I’m on assignment shooting stills and video at the Louisville Slugger factory tomorrow in Louisville, Kentucky, will hopefully get something worth sharing on Monday.

Let me take a moment to thank all of you again that come by and visit with me. I enjoy sharing what the Lord is impressing upon me, and I’m so glad to have you guys as friends, compatriots, and brothers and sisters in Him……


the pilgrim

* Photo note: Top shot, F100 film camera with Velvia, and Nikon’s 105 Micro Nikkor AF lens. Grandfather Mountain, NC, many years ago. I’ve only shot three rolls of film in the last ten years (When Nikon released the Nikon F6 camera).
Shot above, D90 and 18-55 VR kit lens, ISO 800.

8 years, 11 months ago 0

No matter whether you are saved or unsaved, you can be certain you will face problems in life. Because we live in a fallen world we can expect trouble. But once you become a child of God, you have a tremendous asset in a loving Heavenly Father to guide you. He will strengthen you to face any problem you encounter.
* Today’s opening paragraph from Dr. Charles Stanley’s wonderful daily devotional book Pathways to His Presence.

Knowing that He is there is the whole ball game. Life is tough, it isn’t often fair and if you live for very long, you will get hurt and disappointed. People don’t play fair, and they will let you down, but He, never will. Once you start to understand that He is in control and that He is fully aware every second, where you are, and what is happening to you, you can start to relax a little. You can relax because the person that knows you so intimately and loves you so much is God, not a god but “the” God. He is the God that said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” He is the God that said. “All things work for the good of those that love Me and are called to My purposes.”
He created the world you live in, raised the dead, restored sight to the blind, parted the red sea…… should I go on?

Those that come here, come because God brings them comfort and instruction, (I’m just typest). Maybe some come to see what the crazy man is sharing today, but there is just the chance they want to believes. I pray everyday that the people that read the words, that are written here, will come to know that it is true, God does exist, He does love them, and everything He has done would still have been done if there were no one else in the world but them……

So, if you know Him, and trust in Him, take a break, stop spinning your wheels, you can relax sometimes. He is always on duty. If you could ever rest in anything, it would be in His arms.

the pilgrim

*Photo note: HDR with Topaz filter. D90, Nikon’s very inexpensive 18-55 VR kit lens. Wagon wheels, Livingston, Kentucky. Shared with me by my dear friend Jim Begley.

8 years, 11 months ago 0

Sharing your faith.
If you are a believer and sincerely dedicated to Christ, you want to share His love with others. How can we most effectively do that? Let’s be honest, if there is a God, and there is, and if there truly is good and evil, and there is, they are at war with each other. If you were God’s enemy and you didn’t want people to believe in Him what would you do? Well, of course you try to get people to explain Him away, and sadly that works with some. The enemies most effective tool however is to convince those that do not believe, that those that do, look down on them and feel superior to them. If you can get someone to think that they are being unfairly mistreated by someone else, there is little chance they will listen to that person.
As Christians, in and effort to do what is right, we have often given the impression that we think ourselves superior to those that do not follow our path. That is not scriptural. The Word says “We have all fallen short of God’s desire for us.” Nice way of saying we are all sinners. “Is there one among you who has not sinned?” The answer to that question was silence, as well it should be. We are all sinners, we all have fallen way short of what God wants from us. We cannot do extra work to pull up our grade. God made it simple, He gave His only Son to come to the earth and minister to us, teach us, and then die on the cross so that our sin debt would be paid. Our part is to accept His sacrifice for us and accept Him into our hearts.
If you truly love Him and want others to know Him, take the advice in the scripture below.

Colossians 4:5-6 (New Living Translation)
 5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Everyday we go out into the world and interact with hundreds of people. We may never know where they stand with our Lord, but we can leave them more likely to want to know Him. If you do a thorough study of the New Testament you will discover something really wonderful about Jesus, He never debated or argued anyone into submission. Every person that came in contact with Him was overwhelmed by His love for them and they fell before Him in acceptance of Him. Love does it every time.
Are you overwhelming those in your world with your love, and His?

the pilgrim

* Photo note: Blades of grass with raindrops, Acadia National Park, Maine. Velvia film, Nikon F100 camera and 200mm Micro Nikkor lens.