Recent Posts
3 months ago 15
Posted in: Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 9.45.51 AM

 

On a day that the entire world is obssesed with a solar eclipse, I started to study the photos depicting the progress of an eclipse and I got a wild thought!  Spiritually I have long battled with a familiar foe to our devotion to Christ, materialism.  Years ago I cherished my possesion too greatly, but that has softened.  I now appreciate the things I own and enjoy, but do not over-value them.

 

The enemy is not only evil, he is sneeky!  Let me give you an example, one I hate to share.  I’ve found something interesting about photographers, as a group, they generally like much of the same things, and don’t ask me why, I don’t know why…. they just seem to!  Many of my photographer friends are also in to watches, audio equipment as well as photography gear.

 

Some years ago when the America From 500 Feet book came out I bought myself a gift, a Breitling titanium chronograph worn by many pilots.  It was, for me, pretty expensive, around tewenty five hundred bucks.  Well I loved that watch and it started a flurry of watch purchases the vast majority far less expensive than that one.  I would get online and look at the watch websites, and order anyone I liked.  I soon had a large collection of over 35 watches!  I soon discovered several things about collecting watches, you can only wear one at a time, and it’s a chore to  keep them wound and set correctly and keep the batteries changed in the quartz watches!!!!  You know what they say, ” a man who owns a watch always knows what time it is, a man who owns many watches never knows what time it is!!!”  That’s becasue they all say something different!!!!  My point is this is a textbook example of obsession!  If you are spending most of your time looking at them, studying them, and admiring  them and not enough time in prayer, reading the word and enjoying your family that’s not good!  Watches are not bad, but being obssesed with them is.

 

Apply this to anything you find yourself obsessed with, then pray about it.  I’m giving away watches to grandchildren, friends and complete strangers.

 

The image at the top of a eclipse progression shows how insidious an obssesion can be, it starts as a little sliver and before you know it, it has blocked out all light!  Another way of looking at obsessions is they block out the light of God.  Anything that commands more of our attention than Him is not a good thing.  Watches are not evil, cameras and lenses are not evil, stereo gear is not evil, but if we find ourselves worshiping them by the amount of time and thought we give them, that is evil.  I confess my sin, I have counted many of these things as of far greater importance than they deserve in my life.  I recognize this does me great harm, and I, with God’s help, intend to place my heart and mind back on what is most important, my relationship with Him!

 

Today’s eclipse will be a wonderful example of the spectacular nature of the universe He created, just don’t let your interests and possessions, eclipse your heart!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Wow, forgot about firearms and ammo!!!!  Do as I say, not as I have done!!

3 months, 1 week ago 2
Posted in: Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 3.35.22 PM

 

I’ve been riding for a long time.  My bike is old and rusty, but somehow the wheels are still “mostly” round and still roll!  I certainly can’t wear spandex, but then I never could!   This symbolism, you didn’t think I was serious did you!?  No just wanting to make a point.

 

O.K. my point is, it has been a long journey and there is not much point in making a long journey if you don’t have something to share near the end of it.  My sharing is to the point, give your heart, soul and mind to God.  Ask Him to forgive your sins, (o.k. remember in Romans where it said we have “ALL” sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, well, that means you and I,  all of us!)  O.K. with that out of the way, we all need forgiveness and while I’m at it, we need to forgive others!  Once you have a relationship with God, he will insist you do that anyway, so it’s good to get started on it now.  Why should you do this?  Easy, if you want to have the most incredible life here on earth and eternal life when you leave here, there is no other way!  Got it, pretty simple really!

 

So, get peddling!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

3 months, 2 weeks ago 10
Posted in: Uncategorized

Three bears

 

 

The family visited Wes in Lexington yesterday, at the Markey Cancer Center where he is finishing his BEAM chemo treatments. As you can see, he is  looking great!  Today is his final and hardest infusion, and they expect him to feel weak for the next couple of weeks, the good news is tomorrow he gets his own stem cells back and the recovery should be in full swing!!!!

 

About the shirts!?  When Wes was waiting for his medical team and Dr. Byrne to give us the results of the original tests, he, and all of us, were pretty fearful it was some form of blood cancer.  He told his friend Jim Lacefield, “I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to fight a bear, but I still don’t know if it is a bear cub or a grizzly bear!”  With the diagnosis of T Cell Lymphoma we all knew it was a a really big, mean, aggressive, grizzly bear!  I found these shirts and bought one for his friend Jim, also fighting a tumor, Wes, Elijah and myself so we could all support him.  We call ourselves the “the grizzly team!”  Above is the pilgrim, Elijah, Wes’s son and my grandson, and Wes all sporting our Part Grizzly shirts!

 

 

the family small

 

Above, Elijah, Rhonda, Abigail and Wes.  During our visit yesterday I shot a few images of the family and this one of their whole family.  Wes asked me to thank all of you again, from the bottom of his heart for the miracles that have, and continue to occur, becasue of your prayers and God’ Grace!  Rhonda has been a rock and I’m more proud of her every day as she has walked this road with Wes!

 

Wes an Abi small

 

 

Father’s and daughters have a really special relationship, as many of you know!  I love my sons, but my relationship with our daugther Catherine is equally special! Not better just special!  I’m not the greatest people photographer but this magic moment was not hard to capture!

 

I also want to thank Sherelene for her tireless efforts to fill in every gap she could to help Wes and Rhonda, we both have, but Sherelene’s efforts have been immense!  Rhonda’s mother, Helen, has also carried a huge load during this time, and does all the time, to be there for Wes and Rhonda and the kids.  Times like this magnify how much family means.

 

Winning small

 

So when I get up to speak in Little Rock on Friday I plan to share how faithful God is and how the community of Faithful Friends, (that’s you!) have been with us through it all!!  By-the-way;  I will be wearing my Part Grizzly shirt!!!!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

3 months, 3 weeks ago 16
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

folds 1

 

Have you ever been interviewed and wished they had asked you different questions?  Would you like to be interviewed?  I truthfully love to do interviews becasue I am desperately trying to stay on top of my game, and one of the best places to judge how you are doing on that goal, is when you are asked questions and you see how you respond!.  So, for fun, I am going to interview mysyelf.  I know that sounds stupid, but I had a number of things I wanted to try on for size and I thought maybe if I asked the questions, ” I wanted to get”  it would be fun to see what the answers are.  this was not rehearsed, I’m making it up as I go…….which may become apparent, soon!!!!

 

Question:  We know you change your gear packing at the drop of a hat, what is packed for your fall swing of events?

 

Glad you asked, I just packed my Think Tank Essential bag , (for car trips),   yesterday, the same stuff will go in the Airport Advantage rolling bag for trips by air.  I’m going to Little Rock to speak in about ten days, will likely not take anything but one camera and lens for that.  The Fuji Summit in Portland, The Grand Tetons in Fall (with Jack), a spekaing event in Buffalo, New York, followed by the Amish Country Workshop with Jack, a talk at Liberty University, the Smokies Summit and a workshop with Jack in the Smokies in early Novemebr all will get this same set of gear.

 

Fuji X-T2 body

Fuji X-PRO2 body

10-24

18-55

23 f 2

35 f 2

50 f 2

60 Macro

55-200

100-400 + 1.4 converter

 

 

DSCF0890

 

When you are off the road what is a typical day like?

 

It depends on what my “honey do list” looks like.  If I’m free to set my schedule I spend most of my time in my upstairs office or projection room, working on programs, making travel arrangments, responding to phone calls and emails, or editing and processing images.  If I am doing something that doesn’t need “severe concentration” I will have a favorite movie or tv show in the upper left hand corner of my iMac.  My curreent favorite is NCIS!

 

 

red leaf

 

What are your “current,  life goals”?

 

At my age the goals don’t change.  To serve the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart and strength.  To be the best husband I can be for my bride, Sherelene.  To be a great father to my children and a great, grandfather to my grandchildren.  To be the best friend I can to those I’m so fortuante to have as friends.  To be an effective witness to God’s love.  To try to continue to enjoy and improve as a photographer, presenter and writer.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 4.54.02 PM

 

Do you have any regrets about your professional life?

 

How much time do you have????!!!  Absolutely, we all have regrets.  I once ingterviewed Kenny Rogers and I asked him if he had any advice with people just starting their climb up in the music business.  He said “Be careful how you treat people on the way up, because you’ll see them again on the way down!”   I have tried to treat others the way I would want to be treated, but I know I’ve fallen short of that sometimes, for which I do have regrets.

 

 

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-12-44-am

 

On a less serious note, are you still 100% sure you did the right thing switching to Fuji as your camera system?

 

110%!!!  I was not bored with photography at all, but was tired, the switch really revitalized my enthusiam.  How sweet it is!

 

 

screen-shot-2016-05-13-at-11-24-24-am

 

Which three lenses in the Fuji system do like the most, or do you think are the most perfect in terms of optical quality?

 

Let me approach this from two different directions.  The three lenses I use the most are the 10-24, 18-55 and the the 55-200 the 100-400 comes in right after or along side the 55-200.  In a way that makes them my most “valuable” lenses because they are what I use to make photographs!  Get the point?  Which are the most spectaclaur performers in terms of optics?  16mm f 1.4, 56mm f 1.2 and the 90mm f 2, followed closely by the 35mm f 2.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 7.13.51 AM

 

If you were limited to only one lens for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 

Believe it or not, the 18-135 is the easy answer.  It covers everything from around 28mm to around 200mm and those are the most used focal lengths.  ….and yet it is not in my trip bag, curious, don’t you think?

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 5.19.45 AM

 

 

What is the greatest reward you have ever recieved as a photographer?

 

Many years ago I had a book called,  Bill Fortney’s Great Photography Workshop (always hated that title!!!), any way my grandaughter Cassidy who was about 5 at the time crawled up in my lap and in a very lady like manner looked at every page in the book.  She then turned to me and said “Papa, these are beautiful pictures!”  I said thank you, to which she responded, “You now what?”  What sweetheart?  She said, ”  You could be a photographer!”  It doesn’t get any better than that!

That was fun Bill,  let’s do this again someday soon!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim