Recent Posts
1 month, 2 weeks ago 6



Every time I do a gear post I end up getting questions and this time a dear friend, sent me a handful, but it may be something you’ve wondered about too!  You may even want to chime in, inf act wish you would!  Here goes:


1.  Do  you have a recommendation regarding polarizers?  I really love Singh Ray filters and their polarizers. For a number of reasons they are neutral and that is a big deal, no color casts, they’re plano parallel, which means they will not adverse;y affect sharpness.  they re also not cheap, but as my grandfather always said, “you get what you pay for!”  Are their other ones you can recommend?  Though I would rather have a Singh Ray, Nikon, and the better B&W are both pretty good too.  But if you spent money on a  great lens, I would buy a Singh  Ray.


2.  Do you use UV filters to protect lenses?  No, well wait a minute, only sometimes.  If I am working around blowing sand, I will use a filter to protect the front element of the lens.  I spend good money on great lenses so I am just careful and use a lens cap and protect it without a filter.


3.  Do you always use a lens hood, and do you use the one provided with the lens?  I think lens hoods are vital, but sometimes if you’re using a polarizer unless you have a screw in hood, you have to work without one.  I often buy lens hoods off Amazon that are the right filter thread size and that do not vignette!  How do you know they won’t vignette?  Buy it and find out, if it doesn’t, Amazon has a great return policy, or do as I do, have a box of hoods that didn’t work once but might later on for something else!


4.  How do you clean lenses?  When I worked for Nikon I got a chance to  hang out with a number of great technicians and they taught me a lot.  First don’t over clean your lenses, if it is just a little dusty, blow it off with a good blower bulb, I love the Rocket blowers.  If it needs a little more after the blower, use a good clean micro fiber cloth to wipe it, without any pressure.  if smudges are still there I use the Zeiss alcohol impregnated glass cleaner from Walmart’s eye glass department.


5.  Do you use flash or LED lighting?  Both, but mostly LED lights.  After all, after teaching with Joe McNally I couldn’t respect, myself if I looked at my own flash work!!!  The LED lights works great and you can see what you’re doing as you shoot.  Lots of good one are out there but the ones that  let you dial in some color temperature variation are very handy.  Mine is fro a company called Ledgo, model LG-B160C.


6.  How about collapsible reflectors?  I use a diffuser on sunny days to tame the light and I have one and Manfroto that is great for portraits and kicking some warm light back in on subjects, I even have some really small ones for close-up work.


Come up with some more shoot me an email or post here!


In Him, Blessings,


the pilgrim

1 month, 3 weeks ago 1




There is nothing like the great variety of “L” brackets we can access today for our camera bodies.  For years Really Right Stuff and Kirk Enterprises have both produced high quality brackets. and now thanks to Amazon, a number of imports are also available, many of very good quality.  Are they up to the RRS and Kirk standards, probably not, but quite good none-the-less.  One thing some of the imports offer that sometimes the two big players omit is a grip.  I own RRS and Kirk brackets and stiles them, but have to admit that some of the new brackets with a grip are handy too!


One problem is that all those “L” brackets are made of  aircraft aluminum and are smoothy finished and then anodized.  That’s all good and fine, but….. it means they are slick in your hand.  For sometime I’ve wished they had added some texture, but sadly they haven’t.  I was watching a video on Youtube about a product called Talon Grips that many handgun shooter use to add texture and grip to their guns.  Being a gun enthusiast I was aware of the product and, in fact have used it.  It comes in a 5″X7″ sheet.  You simply cut it to the size you need, clean the metal and apply.  It adds a nice rubbery feeling and textured grip.  I will use them for a while and report back, but for now I think they are going to make using the camera easier and more secure.  Below is the info from Amazon oaths product.





Hope this is a helpful solution or you too!




the pilgrim

1 month, 3 weeks ago 5


Photograph by Ken Metz of the pilgrim holding Ricky Skagg’s Mandolin.


It has been a great month in my life, the wonderful Nashville event with Ricky Skaggs and Joe McNally and then this last week seeing so many wonderful friends at the Faithful Friends event in Kingsport (more on that later this week),  but I came back from both with a large looming question: How do I take the next important step in my life serving the Lord.  After a lot of prayer and some great conversations with dear brothers,  Jim Haverstock and Carl Turner, I was led to this action plan revealed to me from the Holy Spirit.  Let me share;


1.  Walk with Him every moment, and deepen my relationship with Him.


2.  Stay alert and listen for His voice and His direction.


3.  Be OBEDIENT to His voice and directions.


4.  Keep my eyes on the mission and constantly remember all I do must lead to that.


5.  Enjoy the life God has provided for me.


6.  Ask God to give me those who need to feel His love and then share His love with them.


7.  Stay relevant by learning to know what He thinks relevance is.


This is my list, but I can’t help but believe that it would work for any believer dedicated to deepening their walk with our Savior.


I submit this to you with His love




the pilgrim


Romans 8:28

2 months ago 5



A number of occurrences have re-ignited my love for monochrome imaging!  First Fujjfilm added Black and White to their early X-System cameras.  I really enjoyed the film simulation with the red filter which gave a higher contrast image.  The next thing that happened was my personal discovery of how much you could be done with NIK Siler Efex Pro2.  For a while I was very pleased with the results I was getting!



Enter the new X PRO2 and XT-2 with Acros Monochrome film simulations!  With the two new Pro models, the Acros with a red filter is my new favorite but it gets even better.  MacPhun has released Tonality which is a new monochrome conversion software which is incredible.  I’m enjoying more control over the look I desire now than ever before!


I would encourage you to work more in monochrome, I’m having a blast!!!!





the Pilgriim