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4 months, 3 weeks ago 8
Posted in: Uncategorized



This is the one we have been waiting for!

Jack Graham was visiting me last week and Fujifilm, knowing that, was kind enough to send me the new “Production” 16-80 f 4.  I was told only three were in the U.S. and I was honored to get my hands on one and test it for myself and all of you!  Both Jack and I are excited to have this an option for that critical mid-range zoom slot in our bags.  I will cut to the chase and tell you now it will replace the 18-135 as my standard middle zoom.  In fact for my upcoming trip to the UP of Michicgn and Acadia N.P, it and the 10-24, and 100-400 will be my three zoom package.  Added to that will be the 80mm  Macro, the four Fujicrons, 23 f 2, 35 f 2. 50 f 2 and the new 16mm f 2.8. a TC-14 teleconverter for use with the 100-400 and 80 Macro will complete my rolling Think Tank Airport Advantage bag for those trips and the two Smokies events in November.


The new lens is shorter than the 18-135, a little lighter and very solidly built.  It takes 72 mm filters and stops down from f 4 to f 22.  The feature I like the most is that it focuses close enough to shoot 1/4 lifesize for those near close-up shots!  Illustrated below with the shot of the Overhad door handle, one with my thumb in the shot to show size perspective.



This will make the 16-80 a great lens for walking around and shooting everything from wide angle 24mm equivilent images to tight shots close in!  The images above were shot at 80mm (120mm eqvuiv.) and they are tack sharp!  Another big plus is that it has 6 (yes six) stops of image stabilization and it remains on all the time, so no need to rurn it off whens shooting from a tripod, and I tested it, tack sharp hand held and on a tripod!!!!



My T-Ray’s hat in the car window, the best burger on the East Coast of Florida at Fernandina Beach, Florida!



Several shots from the Col. Sanders Downtown Park in Corbin.



Downtown they have painted a street scene under the railway viaduct.



What would a lens test be without a couple of brick walls!



Yes, bitingly sharp!!!!  Finally, Chester resting!  You’ve come ot expect a Chester image in most of my blogs, he’s a good boy!  His hair also makes good sharpness test!!!



As soon as we get rain the Smokies I’m going to head down there and take some images in the Park.  For now I can tell you that the 16-80 will become my go to lens.  It is tack sharp, has great rich color fidelity and is a sturdy, well built, close focusing zoom for permaent residence on my X-T3 or X-H1.  I loved the 18-135, but this lens will become it’s replacement in my system!


Once again I must say to Fujifilm’s engineers in Japan; “Well done guys, just what I wanted and I suspect so will thousands of other photographers shooting the X-System!!!!  It’s a Grand Slam Home Run, folks!




the pilgrim


Technical Note:  Please lkeep in mind these images are 100 dpi images for the web, the 300 dpi full res images are even sharper and richer!!!!











4 months, 3 weeks ago 2
Posted in: Uncategorized


This was one of the last gatherings of the His Light family and it was a great weekend. I found this image this morning looking through some image folders and it immediatley brought a big smile to my face!  What wonderful friends and the joy and fun we have together was so apparent in this shot!


I hope some day to get his group together again and have that kind of wonderful fellowship!  These moments in time are so precious!  I would encourage everyone to join us for the Smokey Mountain Photography Summit this November, it is an equally great time of photography fun and fellowship!



Wherever you are, and what ever you do this fall, enjoy your friends and partners in crime!!!


….and to these special His Light Friends, I love you all so much and will forever treasure the great times we had together!  Thank you Jim, Snake and Chuck for helping make it all happen!




the pilgrim

4 months, 3 weeks ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized



I took two of my grandsons over to Norris Lake to join my brother Homer for a day of fishing out on the lake.  This sign hangs in his houseboat which he bought in 1991.  As I spent the day with Homer and Elijah, (Wes and Rhonda’s son) and Ben, (Scott and Diane’s son),  I was reminded of how true that plaque is in my life.  My third grandson, Cade (Clint and Catherine’s son) was tied up with soccer pratice, and sadly couldn’t join us!


A peceful day on the water with Homer running his trolling motor and the boys fly casting was a great time to be had by all!


The guys heading out for the early morning session.


Homer & Elijah in the cool moring lake air!


Ben fly fishing from the boat.


Elijah fly fishing.


Victory for Elijah.


Ben on the  houseboat.


I want to thank Homer for getting up so early, (4:30 am), to meet us at his houseboat and provide this fantastic grandfather/grandson experience for us!  I sure wish Cade could have joined us, but maybe next time!


Not bragging, just thanking God, but I truly have it all!




the pilgrim



Photo note: Images made with the Fujifilm X-T2 and 18-55

4 months, 4 weeks ago 16
Posted in: Uncategorized


In the last few monhs I’ve been wrestling with some new issues, no, not health, but photographic!  As most of you know, I teach with Jack Graham and we have been having a number of pretty deep discussions on where photography is going, and where it started, at least for us.  Very recently Skylum announced their new Luminar 4 which will include, among many new features, including a sky replacement, AI feature.  The bottom line is it will allow you to replace boring skies with any number of impressive skies from a library of choices.


I’m pretty sure I won’t be taking advantage of that feature, but let me explain why.  First let me say that compositing an image is a legitimate art form, and I highly admire the work of many folks that are masters at combining elements from different images to create a new one.  My problem is that it is still called “photography” and I think, personally, it should be called “Photography Art”,  not just a Photograph.  To me, a photograph  should be something that is essentially a subject or scene that is captured as it was.   When we shoot an image and we quote, “clean it up”  meaning remove a telephone pole, or darken a bright area, is that considered manipulation?  I don’t know and I’m not sure who can set that standard!  I, like many of you, will take those steps without feeling too guilty.  I’m honestly not sure where I think the line should be drawn.  Let me provide and example of what a photograph is to me.


fuji x system


This incredible image from my dear friend,  Jack Graham is what I consider a “magical moment” captured at the perfect time, in great light, of a wonderful subject. It didn’t need any extra special processing to make it more affective.  My point is that, for me, photography is all about those magic moments that we are privileged to be there, when they happen, to have even a chance of capturing them with our cameras.


Here is another example;



This stunning image from Guy Tal is, for me, a beautiful example of a photograph.  A magical moment, in perfect conditions that the photographer had to find, and then carefuly compose to produce a beautiful work of art.  You could go to this spot in all four seasons and maybe never see these specific conditions and even then you would have to masterfully compose the image, as Guy did, to make it work like this Photograph!


So what is my point?  I’ve spent a lifetime going to beautful places in the hope that the light would be great, the conditions would be wonderful and then that I would not mess it up and be able to craft a wonderul image.  The joy I feel when I’m fortunate enough to have all those things come together and then I was able to make the shot, is the pleasure I get out of photography. It doesn’t happen every time or most times, but that is the magic,  and when it does happen, it’s special!!!!


I used to wear an wrist band that had the initials WWJD, and it stood as a reminder of the question I needed to ask myself when I was faced with a question of a behavior or an action, What Would Jessu Do?  I’m going ot get another one and when asked what it means I will answer; If it is regarding  morals or character it means, What Would Jesus Do?,  if it refers to photography I will say “What would Jack do?”  Since Jack Graham and I are seemingly on the same page about photographs, that is a good enough standard for me!


I hold to this standard, “Do what you want, and always be honest about what you did, then let others decide how they feel about it!”



Photograph what interests you, and then enjoy what you shoot!




the pilgrim