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1 year, 7 months ago 3



On Labor Day are you laboring?


labor noun1 manual labor: work, hard work, toil, exertion, industry, drudgery, effort, menial work; informal slog, grind, sweat, scut work; literary travail, moil.  ANTONYMS  rest, leisure.


I want to take the word toil.  To toil is to work under duress.  What are you toiling with today?  It could be cleaning out your garage, or getting everything ready for the family picnic, or maybe it’s something much more important!


I have a heart for the lost.  Why?  Because I was lost and now I’m found.  I was miserable, alone, scared, empty, wandering, purposeless.  I’m not anymore.  What changed my life?  I became fully aware that God is real, that He loves me, that He gave His only Son to allow me to have forgiveness.  It immediately changed my life.  Now why would I share this with you?  Because I have no idea whether or not you have come to this belief, and even more important, accepted Christ’s sacrifice for you?!


I have been asked how is this any of my business!!!???  Allow me to try and answer that.  When God enters your heart, you receive God’s love for others, for the first time in your life you truly care about others, even more than yourself!  When you’re deeply concerned for others, your most major concern is do they know “your” Lord!  Let me take a moment to clear something up.  Many nonbelievers think that believers think they are better than them, and they are making judgments about them.  They feel that someone that witnesses to them about Christ is in effect saying  “I’m good, and you’re not, and I think you need to get good like me!!”   In Romans it says that we all have fallen short of the glory of God.  The scripture doesn’t say, “some” have fallen short, it says “all” have fallen short.  Falling short of God’s desire for us is sin, there it is that word that turns so many people off.  It’s a hard word, and it’s even harder because we are all sinners.  No one wants to hear that, but it is truth and truth cannot be denied.


When you come to the full realization that you are no longer guilty and  being held guilty for your sins, it changes  you in ways that no one can understand until they feel that release for themselves.  I may know you, and then again, I may not know you.  But I do know that God loves you, that He wants nothing more than to have you choose to become a part of His family.  What do I gain from sharing this?  I don’t do it for gain, I do it because I don’t want anyone to miss the incredible blessing of belonging to Him.


If this finds you laboring today, searching for real answers,  I pray this point you in the right direction. I do not say this for me, but because if I know anything, I know God loves you, He wants to change your life forever, if you don’t know Him, I pray you will let Him to do just that for you!




the pilgrim


Google:   I am Second  –  Nathan Schroer


Google:   I am Second  –  Ken Hutcherson


Great examples of faith in action!

1 year, 7 months ago 7



I was having a phone conversation with one of my very best friends and great shooter, Jim Haverstock, I was explaining the whole which lens when questions and he said it really helped him see it differently, so that was good enough for me.  Let me share a pet theory and see if it helps you too!!


Our eyes see a very wide angle of view of the world,  but, we concentrate in the area of a “normal” lens.  Thinking in terms of full frame cameras, around 50mm.  So, if you shoot an image with lens that is even approximatley normal (for me that is between 35mm and 70mm), the image will appear much like your normal vision.  If you move to a wide angle lens or a telephoto, the view will change very much.  We can change how the viewer sees our images by the lens focal length we choose!  Just remember the further you go from the normal range the more extreme the image will get, sometimes this is just what you want, just know extreme will be used less than the normal range!  Of course if you shoot fast moving venomous snakes, a long macro lens might just be the right choice!


As illustrated in the last two blogs, we can learn to make a statement with our lens choices and position to the subject.


The image below shows what a telephoto macro lens can do, narrow the background, help throw it out of focus, and make the droplets become clearly the main subject!



In Bodie, there used to be, I say used to be because sadly this wagon wheel has finally collapsed from age, weather and exposure! But when it was still standing I photographed it with a 24mm lens to make it the dominant subject but with lots of depth of field, making the background an important part of the image support system!



Sometimes we have a lot of subjects, all over the frame and we want to show them all and make them all sharp, a f 8 aperture and telephoto shooting subject hat are all at infinity distance did the trick!



I shoot a lot of Americana and this old cash register was too good to pass up.  It was near Pike’s Fish Market in Seattle, and I wanted to make just the key part tack sharp, once again telephoto narrows the background, and most important makes the subject jump out!



So that is the point of this little exercise, decide what you want to do, choose the right lens, and make a great image!


Blessigns and have a great weekend!


the pilgrim


Couldn’t resist, one more deep depth of field example!


1 year, 8 months ago 6



The two images above illustrate what happens to the background when the main subject is close to the same size in the frame.  The top image made with the 16mm the background recedes, so it is smaller.  In the second image directly above, the background is compressed or pulled in to fill more of the frame. This is why you need both a long lens and short lens, as an artist you can decide how to use the background.


So let’s give it another try.  I have a little Route 66 license plate and some colored felt tip markers on my desk that get used often for a little light, hand held shooting, and testing.  Below we have another 16mm vs 90mm example.  This time  you decide which is from which lens, kind of a test on seeing if the concept is coming through!!!



Have you given it some thought?  The bottom shot is the 16mm, see how much larger the felt tip pens appear, that is because the lens is closer to the pens when the image was made, making them appear more dominant.  The shot on top is the 90mm and the pens are normal in appearance in relation to the license plate.  As the visual artist you can use these differences to make your statement.



Now lets take both lenses and stand in the same place, my great room of my home.  the 16mm takes in most of the room, the 90mm just one lamp. This is the other reason or multiple focal lengths.  Sometimes we can’t physically get closer or back up enough.  This is when we have to move “optically”!



I think you can see that two different, very different lenses can really bring versatility to your camera bag and your work.  Learning the way your gear works will make you a better image maker!!!!




the pilgrim



Did I mention just how sharp the 90mm truly is!!!!!!




1 year, 8 months ago 0




When you have time to think, you think of weird things!  I own most of the lenses Fuji has come out with, but two recent purchases are becoming my favorites.  The 16mm f 1.4 and the 90mm f 2, (24mm and 135mm equivalents) represent the short and long lenses I enjoy most.  A 24mm is the all around wide angle, wide enough to look really wide, but not so wide that it can’t be used “more” conservatively!  The 90mm is a long portrait lens, and a short “long” telephoto.  So what if you had to live with only two lenses?  Could the 16mm & the 90mm be them?


I think so.  Both lenses are fast for their focal lengths.  They both are exceptionally sharp, maybe the sharpest I’ve ever seen for their focal lengths.  The 16mm is compact, and the 90mm has a perfect amount of heft and feel in the hand.


The 90mm has the perfect, compressed, look that isolates subjects beautifully. I own the 56mm f 1.2 and it is a sweet lens too, but it does not compress like the 90mm and that is a trait I highly value.


There is one other thing, zooms make me lazy.  Notice how I didn’t say they make you lazy!!!!  I have no idea how you deal with convenience, but in all honesty, if I don’t have to move, I’m sometimes, shall we say complacent.  This may not be a problem in many areas of life, but in photography perspective is created by your position to the subject.  If you have the right perspective. you need to fill the frame from where you are standing, thus zooms, but if you have the proper focal length from where you’re standing all the better.  Clear as mud?  Right?  Really using single focal length lenses has a lot  of great advantages.  Usually the quality  is marginally better, and of course the maximum speed is almost always better.



I went out and shot a few images today to just illustrate how each lens covers the same subject.  The statue below shows how glorious the f 2  works to give butter smooth bokeh.



The flowers photographed at f 1.4 can have sharpness very close, but still have out of focus backgrounds that add to the composition and secondary motifs.




























The shot of the Open sign below is a close shot with the 16mm.


The same sign with the 90mm, you can see the compression difference at 90mm.



The Texaco Sky Chief sign below shows the 16mm has the patented sweeping appearance.




The close-focus ability of  the 16mm allows doing some rather neat things like the image below, and after all, isn’t that what is the most cool thing about photography after all, finding great subjects, and using the tools at your disposal to make images, how invigorating is that!!!




the pilgrim