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2 months, 2 weeks ago 22



Some things are certain.  Gravity works.  Some people are, kind and compassionate and give of themselves for the sake of others, they seek to save others  Some men are evil, they live to destroy, to hate, and to steal life from others.  We live in a world where because of the reporting of world wide news events it is more apparent than ever, that these things are true.


So where does that leave us, the folks in the middle, the ones that are not evil, that make mistakes, but not with malice.  We’re the ones that hate evil, but find a way to pray for evil doers.  We’re the ones that hurt when five service men are shot down in cold blood, and don’t understand why our president thinks one young black man that forced a policeman to shoot  him in self defense is worth more.  All lives matter, black ones, white ones, yellow, and red too.  No one should be have their life cut short, no one.  For me it is very sad when young men and women join our arm services to protect us, to serve us, the make out land safer, and die when an armed conflict is not supposed to be happening.


I have no answers.  I’ve searched my heart, I still have no answer4s.  When you don’t know what to do or say, it’s best to go back to what you are absolutely sure you know.  Here goes,


God loves us more than we could ever understand.


His Son died so that we could be forgiven for all our sins.


He was beaten, mocked, spat on and then nailed to a cross.  The soldiers that drove the nails into his hands and feet, made fun of Him, the Son of God, and yet they laughed at them.


Then He did the most unbelievable thing imaginable, He looked down and stared at the very men that did this to Him and said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”


How could He ever expect us to do what He did?!  But, then that is exactly what He said, just before He went home to His Father, he said, “As I have done, you do also.”


…..and that is why I have no answers.  I know what I am to do, I know what I want to do.  I can’t  do what I should do, I do what I shouldn’t do, I think Paul said that too, and then he and some fishermen were very responsible for the Christian faith we have today, because they manned up. What will I do, what will you do, God help us, and I mean that in the most sincere way possible.




the pilgrim


2 months, 2 weeks ago 10




Note:  As with all my blog entries, this is my opinion, nothing more.


Why test cameras and lenses?  Have you ever wondered why every photo magazine,  hundreds of websites and youtube video channels pro-port to test camera equipment for us?  How about cars, vacuum cleaners, and refrigerators.  In fact there is an entire agency devoted to testing and comparing products, Consumer Reports.  Why are we so wired about how products compare?  I’m sure some of it is we value our money and don’t want to spend it unwisely, some is that we want the very best products we want for the money we have to spend.  We want reliable things, no one likes a car that stays in the shop!


But, back to cameras and lenses, is there much difference between different brands?  How much is the difference, and more importantly, how much does it matter in terms of what kind photography the gear will allow us to do?


I was watching a youtube video from a very popular gun guy, Hickok45.  This man has hundreds of thousands of viewers and I’m convinced he is pretty knowledgable and trustworthy in his assessment of various things, gun related.  His video was on accuracy, how do guns compare interns of there accuracy.  His final point was that all guns are pretty much accurate, it is the shooter that is the biggest factor in hitting the target.  I tend to agree.  Are some guns inherently more accurate?  Yes, is some ammunition more accurate? yes, does any of it matter as much as the person behind the gun? In my opinion, no.





Back to camera gear and testing. so then why do we test?  Some folks are pixel peepers, they want to test everything to the inth degree.  Before you think that was a harsh characterization, let me explain, I love pixel peepers, engineers are pixel peepers, mathematicians are pixel peepers, and I’m so glad someone is very concerned about the sheer strength of the bolts holding up the bridges I drive over, but someone is doing that, we don’t all have to, it’s covered.  Some folks by their very nature want to study all the minute details, and that is fine, but those minute details don’t have a lot to do with practical making of photographs.  So then why test?  One reason would be quality control. Is any product being made properly, with good materials and built and designed to last?  That would be a great reason to test a camera or lens. Will the glass, the coatings and the alignment produce sharp, distortion free, images, that would another good reason.  I’m going to go out on limb and say most lenses are plenty good enough.  Some are better than good enough, and some others are just exceptional. While that is true, great images can be made with lenses from all of theses categories!!!!





I test my cameras and lenses for a different reason alltogether!  I want to determine if my cameras and lenses are capable of making exceptional technical images.  Once I’ve determined that, when I don’t get exceptional, (technical), images, I know who to blame.  It is only through finding the faults in our technique that we  can become a better photographer, and knowing your gear is not the problem, is step one!!!


The images used as illustrations in this blog entry are from the Nikon D800, a camera I have not owned or used for over two years.  The lenses all these images were made with were 1970′s and 80′s era manual focus Nikkor lenses, all very fine lenses, but not possessing all the modern coatings and latest break throughs like aspheric elements, and ED glass!  Yet they are tack sharp and offer great color fidelity.


This is the value of testing your gear.  Once you know it can make incredible images from a technical perspective, it is now time to become a photographer and learn how to see!!!!




the pilgrim


Personal Tech Note:   I currently am shooting the Fuji X System, and only the Fuji X-System.  After two years of working with this camera system and it’s lenses, I am convinced, that for me, it is the perfect balance between size, weight, capability and technical excellence.  That in no way is damning of any other brand or system, it’s just I’ve found my home and I’m now concentrating on making images, and not worrying about how good the gear is!  I still like to dabble in the gear, but I’m first and foremost a photographer


Yes Virginia, the Fuji is good enough, see below!




2 months, 2 weeks ago 20


This will be epic, gotta join us!!!




the pilgrim

2 months, 3 weeks ago 27



Have I got your attention???!!!  More about this great event in a moment!!!  FIRST, I am still alive, sorry I’ve been missing action!!!!  My wife made me promise to give our family all my time for the last ten days, (I did slip in one blog entry), but we had all our kids and grandkids!  We had a great time, but I’m slowly getting back into business!!!


O.K. I’m breaking  great news for my readers, and there will be much more soon!  A dear buddy of mine, Wilson Reynolds, world famous for his extreme fishing and hunting show on the National Geographic Channel, and a great photographer in his own right, has invested in a beautiful Lodge in Townsend, Tennessee, The Tremont Lodge and Resort,  and his goal from the beginning is to establish a base camp for photographers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The lodge is first class with great meeting facilities and will be a wonderful home of a new event he is starting. The last week of October, (prime color time for the Smokies) the 28th through November 1st, 2015 (YES this year!!!)  We will debut The First Annual Great Smokey Mountains Photography Summit.  This is destined to become one of the great annual events in photography!!!


This Seminar will feature some of the top photographers, teachers, speakers in the field today!  The list is still being finalized, but we expect to have; Scott Kelby, Rob Sheppard, Tony Sweet, Matt Kloskowski, Jack Graham,  Len Rue Jr., Bill Lea,  Ken Jenkins and Jim Begley, Wilson and I will be speakers too!  The event will have lost of break out sessions, the chance to shoot early mornings in the Smokies during great fall color, vendors displays, and lots of great times around the fire pit!  Every attendee will also get a great Comfort Colors t-shirt, these will be collectors items as each year a new volume of this event will be enjoyed!  The fee for all of this will be $450. but if you register early, you can save $75. and attend for just $350.  Much, much more details to come, but mark those dates now and joins for a fantastic new photography event in the best place, at the perfect time of year!


Stay ruined for more info!!!!


Now,  tomorrow I will announce the 2016 Events Jim and I will do with His Light for 2016 plus details on some of my workshops with Jack Graham Photography as well!!!


So I’m back!




the pilgrim


P.S.  Please keep Jim and Sue Haverstock in your payers, they are rushing back form a Hawaii vacation as Jim’s mother past away yesterday.  Please lift them up!