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1 month, 3 weeks ago 37



O.K.  I’m not really running for President, but there are a lot  things I sure would like to see changed, so here is my mock campaign promises!


1.  If elected I will ask Congress to draft and pass laws that states any law passed by the Congress must apply to all citizens including members of congress, and all elected officials including the President and Vice President.  I will promise to sign it the day it is passed!


2.  I will press that election laws be drafted that would require anyone running for office, once elected, to submit to a full  forensic audit.  Once their personal wealth was determined, they would have to sign a document stating that after their term in office, any gain in net worth of more than 10% would have to be submitted to the general fund.  In other words you can no longer come to Washington to leave filthy rich!!!!


3.  I would require a balanced budget and a plan that would “assure” the reduction of the national debt over a 10 year period of time.  All options are on the table.


4.  Any out and out lie told to the American people by any office holder, if caught and it could be proven, would be cause for an immediate expulsion from office and the loss of their pension. That would strike fear in the entire District!


5.  On the subject of pensions, all federal office holders would be in the Social Security system, no exceptions.  I bet they would fix it then!!!!!


6.  After a solid, holes free policy is established, (Congress will have 6 months to do this), Any person on welfare will have a period of two years to train and seek employment.  Except in the most extreme circumstances, Welfare will be cancelled after the two year period.  All government assistance programs would go under a full review.


7.  I would require a flat tax of some type that taxes all citizens regardless of income, at the same rate.  No loopholes so that the exceedingly wealthy can get out of taxes and no free ride for low income. After the welfare clean-up program ended, I think it could be considered to tax the truly poor, at lower rate.  My goal would be to reduce the numbers of the truely poor significantly.  After all these years since the Johnson administration and the War on Poverty, we have more poor than ever before, we’re loosing that war!!!!!


8.  The day I took office I would call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the military.  I would ask for a master  plan for defeating  terrorism, at home an abroad.  I would say my number one goal was the eradication of Isis.  I would say “all” options were on the table.  There would be few limits on what our soldiers could do in war, with the exception of human cruelty!


9.  I would ask the Boarder Patrol to close the borders and return to a immigration policy as before the current madness.  I would ask for my advisors to find the most humane way to deal with the 20,000,000, 30,000,000 or 40,000,000 illegal aliens that are currently in the U.S.  There would no longer be mass entrance into the U.S. without proper immigration policies followed.


10.  I would ask for a plan be studied to fix our monetary policy, which might involve not renewing the Federal Reserve Board’s Charter, since they’ve done such a bang up job!


11.  I would state, “God Bless America” as often as possible, I would try to lead by example and personally put an end to political correctness.


12.  I would ask the American people to pray for America, and would support and attend the National Day of Prayer breakfasts.  I would respect others right to believe as they wish, and protect those rights, but I would no longer allow the Christian community to be the brut of punishment.


Wow and a lot of other cool things!!!


If you don’t agree with any of this, don’t bother responding, I’m not in the mood for it!!!!!  Burning the Jordanian pilot alive, has my dander way up!!!!!!




President Pilgrim

1 month, 3 weeks ago 6



Hey Guys!  I’m back from Nashville, had a great trip, more on that in a minute.  First, the America From 500 Feet Book Volumes I & II is out and in the bookstore!  Please check it out!  Next Up;  Learning To See Photographically a guide to seeing and making  better images!


O.K. Jack Graham is back from his two tour duties in Iceland and you need to check out his website for some spectacular images from the two trips.   Once on his website go to the upper left hand corner and click on Ultimate Iceland.   His work from there is stunning!


A few items regarding 1015 Workshops, below is the workshops that still have spaces:


March 20th – 21st  Nelson Ghost Town and the Las Vegas Neon Museum Bone Yard   Jack & I


March 25th – 29th  Arches & Canyonlands National Parks  Jack & I


April 8th – 12th   Memory Lane an incredible re-created 50′s town!   Jim Begley & I


April 29th- May 3rd  Roanoke, VA  Trains and Americana    Fred Sisson & I


May 27th – 31st    Grandfather Mountain / Blue Ridge   Jack and I


June 10th – 14th    The Palouse Region of Southeast Washington State  Jack & I


More info on the remaining workshops later!   For the workshops with Jack and I (green)  contact  Jack at  For His Light contact me!


The Nelson event has small numbers and will be a very intimate shooting experience!!!!   If interested contact Jack ASAP.  This what we shoot in Nelson and the Neon Bone Yard!




I had a great dinner last night in Nashville at Rotiers with Ricky Skaggs, Country Music/Blue Grass Legend and our Nashville host of the annual July workshop in Nashville!!!  Justin, Stacey, Jackie all of Fuji,   Nick Coury, our Nashville man with the plan!!!   Brad Mikel and his lovely wife Toni!  What a nice evening enjoying great food and wonderful friends!  Below our crazy gang!  Shot By Jackie with her Fuji X100T controlled with her iPhone!!!




Finally, I slipped off from Imaging USA show for a while yesterday before dinner and went over to Antique Archaeology, to shoot a few images.  Armed with only my Fuji X100T, (fast becoming one of my favorite cameras of all time),  and no tripod, I captured a few hand held images that I’m happy with, I’ll let you be the judge!  All shot at ISO 3200!!!!!






the pilgrim



1 month, 4 weeks ago 6


A fantastic photographic depiction of Charles fellowshipping with Jesus, made as a gift for him.



* Editors Note:  The following account may seem like I’m being boastful or prideful.  It is neither.  It is high and worthy praise to my Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is because of His great love for me (and you!) that I have this account to share.  I have done nothing deserve the countless and endless blessings He has bestowed on me.  The only thing I can attribute my incredible great fortune to, is that I gave Him my life, my heart and my service, and trust in Him moment to moment!  The gift that I have received is available to anyone that will make that same commitment to Him!


I returned last night from Atlanta via Charlotte, an 11 hour drive home, and worth every minute of it.  I spent a day and overnight visit with my dear friend and brother in Christ, Charles Stanley.  You may know him as Dr. Charles Stanley, the wonderful teacher in the In Touch Ministries broadcasts, or the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, or the author of countless, best selling, Christian books.  You may wonder what he is really like?  Charles is my photography buddy, and dear friend.  Allow  me to tell you the story of how that extremely unlikely relationship came to happen!


About 25 years ago I followed Dr. Stanley’s ministry carefully, watching him on his TV broadcasts, reading his books and learning and growing a great deal under his mentoring.  I did not know him, had never met him, other than who he was and what he taught and I admired him greatly.  When I learned that he was an avid photographer I decided to send him a letter and invite him to one of my Great American Photography Weekends, as my guest of course.  I sent the letter and anxiously awaited a return letter from Dr. Stanley.  A few weeks later I got a reply.  It was cordial and “nice” but it was obvious that my letter had been intercepted and Charles had never seen it.  This was a very nice letter that  said , “thanks so much for you kid offer, but Dr. Stanley schedule is very busy and he cannot accept your kind offer at this time.”  I was crestfallen!  The more I thought about it I was little upset.  My wife tiring of hearing me complain told me to grow-up and understand I was being pretty childish about my disappointment.  She is irritatingly right!


Left to right, Tim Olive, Charles’ incredible lab technician, photographer, and master print maker, Charles, and Brad Brown, Director of IT  and In Touch and Charles Photography friend.  Great guys, great friends and I’m honored to be part of their small circle!



I finally got over it, but often asked God, why couldn’t I have met Charles and just shook his hand and said thank you. Later, I had to fly to New Orleans for a photo industry show, and I flew into Atlanta very early in the morning and was sitting at the gate to board my next flight when guess who walked in to the gate area!!??  Yes, Charles walked up, looked around and took a seat directly across from me.  I happened to have a color sample piece on the upcoming The Nature of America book that I had just done with David Middleton and 36 of the most famous nature photographers in America.  I reached it over to Charles and said I think you will find this interesting.  He looked at it for moment and said, who are  you?  I said my name is Bill Fortney, and I’m the co-producer of that book.  Charles said something that stays with me even today as one of the most shocking things I’ve ever heard, he said, “You’re not “the” Bill Fortney are you?”  I said no, that was my father.  He smiled and said I’ve read your articles in the photo magazines and admired your work and have often thought I would like to come to one of your workshops.  Of course, I told him the story of the letter and he was very embarrassed and proclaimed if he had seen my letter  he would have been at the first workshop available!  We boarded the plane and changed seats with some other people and sat together on the flight to New Orleans,  talking and getting to know each other all the way.  We discovered that we were on the same flight back to Atlanta that evening and agreed to sit together on that flight too.



Church bulletin photos from 2014, Tim Olive is assembling for a book all shot by Charles.



On the flight back to Atlanta Charles and I shared on a deep level with one another.  He shared challenges he was facing and I shared my testimony, we prayed and cried for one another. By the time we landed in Atlanta it was like we had been friends for many years.  The relationship has grown over the last 25 years, we’ve gone shooting in National Parks many times together, taught workshops together and I’ve even been a guest in his home a number of times.  If you’re a fan of his ministry and wonder what he is really like, I can sum it up easily.  Charles is the real deal, he is exactly who you hope he is.  I man who loves God, has put God first in his life, and serves him every moment of every day.  He is the most kind and patient person with the countless thousands of people that stop him everywhere just wanting to meet him.  He gives every person the time they need.  He truly lives what he preaches!



My day was topped off when I met Carl Turner of breakfast Friday morning.  What an incredible Christian brother.  We had a great time at a Cracker barrel just catching up and sharing.  I never get to spend time with Carl that I don’t walk away feeling like I’m a better man for it!  What a great guy and friend he is!!!



Now back to my Editor’s Note, I am not telling you this in hope you will be impressed with me being a friend of Charles!  No, I am trying to express how God treats His children.  My Heavenly Father knew how deeply I wanted to just thank Charles for what I had learned from his teaching.  The biggest mistake we make with God is not asking enough!  God wanted to show me just what He can do when our motives and hearts are pure on a matter.  I’m sure God turned to Jesus and said “Watch this!” He overwhelmed me with his love and grace, and gifts.  A friend once said to me, do you never tire of sharing how fortunate you’ve been!!??  I said that is not what I’m doing, I’m sharing how much our God loves us!  The blessings of my life are not unique to me, I know thousand of brothers and sisters that have been equally blessed, that is the business God wants to be in with us, if we will only allow Him to do it. It all starts with submitting to His will.


I have so many things to thank God for; a wonderful wife, precious family, incredible friends, and associates, my health, my love of photography and allowing me to be able to call Charles Stanley my friend and brother!




the pilgrim



Remember Monday The America From 500 Feet Books will go live!






2 months ago 5



My two aerial photography books on America, America From 500 Feet I & II will be at the eBook Store Monday!  America From 500 Feet, the original book was  runaway best seller at $29.95 and the Second volume America From 500 Feet II was released at $39.95.   You can have the best of both, plus a lot of  inside stories on both projects, and new, never before published, images, not in the first two books, all for $9.95!  Why so low?  I made a commitment when I start Cut To The Chase Publications that we would provide the greatest possible value to our customers.  Here are few sample pages out of the new book!




Please come along for the adventure, actually two adventures  of a lifetime, let me share the joy of flight and America with you!


Now I’m going to Atlanta to visit with my dear friend Charles Stanley tomorrow and will not post again until over the weekend, and the it’s off to Nashville for Imaging USA Monday after the Super Bowl!  I will post images from there Tuesday!




the pilgrim