Category : blog

1 month, 1 week ago 10
Posted in: blog


Jack Graham and I have been talking, this past week, about strategies for how to get our gear to the in to field.  When we arrive on location how to manage carrying it!  The problem is you pack everything you think you might possibly need on an extened trip, to a far way location and then when you get there it’s too much to carry in-the-field, everyday!!!!!  I’m no longer in my forties!


We have both been doing something similar to this “current” possible solution but I thought I might share what has been working for me “for now”  I say current and for now because, well, you know, I’m still a member in good standing of the “Bag of the Month Club”,  a dues paying member!!!!


So the top picture is currently how I am getting it all to the location, the Think Tank Airport Advantage rolling bag.  It is designed with mirrorless gear in mind, meaning the bag is not as deep as the other bags designed for full frame DSLRs.  This is great roller, made very well of great materials and very thoughtfully designed for mirroless gear!  This rolling bag is great for airports and having to shlep all your gear from gate to gate, oh joy!  By-the-way I am drivng to all my events this fall and just came back from the Maine event in June and drove to and from Maine to it, I hate flying and have vowed to never fly again unless there is simply no other choice!


My current field kit includes a pair of camera bodies and just four lenses, three zooms and a fast potrait lens.  With these lenses I can cover from 15mm to over 600mm with the inclusion of a very small Fujifilm 1.4 teleconverter!  I also never travel without my DJI Mini II drone which requires a controller and spare batteries and a mini iPad to see what I’m photographing or doing a video of.



Once on location I move the 70-300 and 10-24 into a very small Domke bag for just walking around.  I simply carry the X-T4 with the 16-80 on a strap around my neck!  The drone and the rest of my gear is still safely in the rolling bag in the SUV, until needed.



Because I haven’t bought a new camera bag in a month and Guru Gear is back in business making a bag that is designed for mirrorless, I ordered the new Kiboko V 2.0 16 L bag to see if I like it.  The former Guru Gear bags were exceptionally well made and I loved them, but were designed for big DSLRs and my Fujifilm gear seemed to disappear in the deep equipment slots.  The bag comes with a 30 day money back gurantee, so I will quickly see if it might serve as a car trip replacement for the Think Tank roller, we’ll see and I will report back to you on that!!  I hope the build quality is as good as the former bags from Guru Gear!   I’m figuring that it ill hold everything that is in the rolling bag, but……….. we will see!  I tried to get a Mindshift Backlite 26L, but with the international shipping issues, they are getting hard to secure!


Stay tuned for more adventures from Jack and I!!!!




the pilgrim

1 month, 3 weeks ago 10
Posted in: blog



Please watch this video before reading on……..  I’ve been fighting this battle for most of my photography life.  When I was young, as a photographer, all I cared about was my work being seen, admired, even worshipped!  Man, was that hard to write!  I was insecure, I didn’t like myself that much and I “NEEDED” the approval of others to feel justified for even being on this earth, alive, and functioning.  What a sad state to be in.  You may wonder when I changed as a photographer?  I didn’t.  I changed as a person.  When I realized that God loved me regardless of what I thought of myself, that He gave His Only Son to die for me, so that I might be forgiven, justified and offered a place in His family, that then, finally to become even close to what He always wanted me to be, it was only then that my attitude about photography, and everything else changed.


This is a great youtube video and every photographer needs to not only watch it, but really think about the ramifications of it!  If you want to really enjoy this process of photographing and living, learn this lesson first!


Photo Lesson Number 2



This one is not as serious, but something we all need to remember. Rod Planck said it best, years ago; “Technique beats equipment, every time!”  High mega pixel cameras and large sensor cameras, even medium format, are valuable and have their place.  Making great photographs has a lot more to do with vision, commitment, values and discplined technique.


Think about these things, and be better for it!




the pilgrim

2 months ago 5
Posted in: blog


It depends, but yes and no! If you love cameras, lenses, and accessories and you can afford them without making your family do without their needs, then no!  If you love all that stuff but it’s not in your houdehold budget, then yes!  Now that is the moral agument about gear, but how about photographically?


Let me play out a scenario; you have a very large camera bag and it contains 3 camera bodies and 12 lenses, including a 105 mm Macro, 105mm portrait and a 100 mm f 1.4 lens, and you miss the shot trying to decide which 105 to use,  yes you have too much gear!  The point is that the fewer choices you have the faster and more decisively you can decide what gear to pull out of the bag and use!  Many years ago I had a Lowepro Super Trekker bag, completly loaded it weighed over 70 lbs.  Not only was it a burden to carry, it provided way too many choices!


I’ve been doing this for almost 52 years and this is what I’ve learned about camera gear:


1. If you have so much gear that it hurts to carry it, it’s too much gear, and if you leave it at home, what is the use of owning it!


     2.  Any specialty lenses or gear that you almost never use, falls into the too much gear catagory!


      3.  Any specialty lenses or gear that use when you need it, and you can afford it, it’s not too much gear.


      4.  The smaller you can make your everyday lens carry package and still meet your needs, the better!


       5.  The best gear is the lenses and accessories that you find meet the most of your needs the most of the time.


       6.  If your work does not require large maximum aperture lenses (f 1.0, f 1.2 or f 1.4)  you can live without them.


        7.  It’s always better to save up and buy the best quality gear that will last longer and give better service.


        8.  Just remember, cameras and lenses are tools and the more effectively you use them, the better your work will be, and after all, is that not the point to doing this!?


I have been giving it lot of thought and I believe that I could do 95% of my field photography with only two lenses, the 16-80 and the new 70-300.  That’s a range of 24mm to 450 mm.  If I really wanted to carry more I could add a wide angle zoom of a single wider lens like the 14mm f 2.8 and I think that would cover it.  I do not own the 70-300, but that can be fixed!!!!




the pilgrim

2 months ago 6
Posted in: blog


I was walking out of my office a few minutes ago and looked over the balcony down into the Great Room, and saw this shadow on the floor.  I quickly stepped back into the office and  picked up my X-S10 with the 18-55 kit lens and grabbed this shot!


This moment reminded me of how blessed I am to be a photographer, how much more I see because I’m always looking for Light, Form and Pattern in my everyday life.  What a joy!!! I wouldn’t want to be anything else!


Have a blessed day,


the pilgrim


Light, Form and Pattern: