Category : Pilgrim’s Chronicles

7 years, 8 months ago 9



Well, I’m at the end of another season of workshops and it’s been a  great year!!!!  I love teaching and it is really a pleasure to see so many students see their own work get better and better!  I don’t take credit for that, but I do attribute that to their hard work, but it’s nice to know I’ve steerred them in the right direction!  Around the end of each season I realize that I’ve learned even more myself and have learned some new things about how to make a workshop more fun and productive. I thought it would be nice to share those thoughts with  you!  So here goes some suggestions, insights and observations that can make 2017 even better for all of us!


1.  Don’t take it so serious, but then do take it serious enough!!!!  A workshop should be a lot of things; a learning expereince, a time to get better at your craft, a time to get in touch with your own visioin, and it should be fun, lots of laughter, lots of new friendss, and fellowhiop with old ones. When you get  home you should feast on all those magic moments standing before grandeur with people you really enjoyed being with!  Your goal should be to learn and put yourself under a little pressure to really get a little better, but not to the point that it ruins the fun aspect of a workshop. No none ever goes to a workshop as beginner and leaves a seasoned master of the craft, that takes time, practice and lots of field time and study!  Accept each workshop as a step in the direction you want to go to, and enjoy it!!!!!


2.  Come ready to embrace the experience!   Workshops are frantic and the hours are long, the learning intense and the scenery is often overwhlming!  You need to arrive at a workshp rested, and you’ll need a recovery time after one!!!   If you are rested you will learn better and hear more of what is shared with you!  Concentration is required to pick up on all the things that get shared, and passed along.


3.  Be sure you pick the “right” workshop!  Research the workshop company and see what others that have attended have to say about the experience. The word gets out about workshops, some are truly well planned and run by expereinced leaders that put the students first, others, not so much!  There are a lot of really good workshops run by great shooters and instructors, but some are not so well planned and not all instructors are effective teachers or care a great deal about the students learning.  That is not meant as criticism, but for the last few years I’ve been working with one of the best workshop providers in the business, Jack Graham.  Jack says he learned it all from  me, and I doubt that seriously, but if he learned anything from me, he has worked very hard to build it into much more.  You worked hard for  your money, spend it wisely!


4.  Know your camera!  It is very important that you know how to set your camera, and you have your camera manual close-by!  A good instructor will help you get the most out of your camera and lenses.  When the light is perfect, you want to be capturing it, not fiddling with your camera!!!!  We worry a great deal about whether or not we havve enough mega pixles, when we all  have cameras that can make amazing images, we will be better off if we simply learn how to use the camera we already have!!!!


5.  This is a tough one, accept that when you submit images for review that the instructors will still find areas that you need to improve on.   It’s easy to start to believe we are incredible photographers, I’ve even thought that about myself, but the reality is we are all students needing to learn more and make improvements. A review can help us sort out what we need to improve on.  If you truly want to get better, you have to accept that we are not there yet, I certainly know I’m not, and it keeps me hungry to learn and get better!


6.  Try to help your instructors to give you what they want you to have, a great experience!  Know that your leaders have worked really hard to be sure they get you to the best spots in the best light, (when possible), and they really want you to learn and have fun!   Understand that the leaders often get to the workshop location a few days early to finish the work they do for you. Even though it is tempting to try to find them and hang out with them for those extra days, it is not fair to the rest of the attendees if the leaders don’t get their scouting and planning finished.  The hardest thing for a leader to do is to not spend time with valued  students, in many cases old friends, but our greatest obligation is to make the right peparations for all our guests!  After all, your experience is paramount!


7.  Make sure that the workshop you are attending is the right level for you!   Some workshops are aimed at the beginner others to intermediate photographers some to only the very advanced!  Ask  your leaders when looking into a workshop if they think you will be a good fit for them, and they will be a good fit for you!!  A good workshop leader will not steer you wrong  just to get your money!!


I hope that helps as you think about where to attend a worlshop in 2017!




the pilgrim

7 years, 8 months ago 13



Win or loose, it’s over!  If you are like me, you are glad the election is over!!!  If your candidate won, congratulations, if she lost, the sun will still rise tomorrow.  I can’t beleive I’m quoting our current president, (you know I’m not a fan of his), but he was right when he said we are now all on the same team, we’re all Americans and the future of our country depends on what we do now.


I personally believe that our country has been moving in the wrong direction for a long time and I truly believe God is giving us a second chance to turn our nation around!  So as a Chrisitan what is our responsibility to make that happen?  I have been praying and thinking about this for a long time and I have a Five Part Plan for us that serve Him!  I would invite you to join me on this new journey.


1.  PRAY FOR AMERICA.   The single most powerful tool we have as believers is to submit our cares and concerns to Him.  We need to pray for the new leaders of our country, the newly elected members of the House and Senate.  We need to pray for those that lost their races, this can be a powerful time for them to reevaluate their lives and if they do not know Him a wonderful time to start fresh as children of  God.  Never forget that our first and foremost duty as believers is to lead others to Christ.  We must never let our differences to keep us from doing that.  Remember He said, “Pray for those that curse you.”  After all Jesus forgave those that crucified Him as he hung on the cross, He set the bar very high for us!  Which leads to:


2.  FORGIVE THOSE THAT HAVE HURT YOU.  It’s very easy to make a long list of how those on the other side of the political isle from us have supported and pushed for things we abhor and detest.  We must seperate the policies from the people.  Jesus died for all those political folks we detest, He DIED for them, can we not forgive and pray for them?!  Sorry, you have no choice, if you truly have given your life and heart to Him, He demands this as obedience to Him.  Tough yes, but it’s what is required.  You probably know this already, but forgiveness is the most powerful force we have at our disposal, loving others starts with forgiving them!  You can’t love others with Christ’s love until you are able to forgive them!


3.  GET INVOLVED!  I have a confession, I’ve been too busy to take part as a patriot for my country.  I’ve been preoccupied with too many, less important, things.   I will find ways to get involved in my local, state and national politics, I will stay in touch with my representatives, and local officials.  I will speak out on issues that concern me and will find ways to stay better informed.   I’ve been lazy, and all of us that have followed that path have almost lost our country, I won’t make that mistake again!  It is called a “Representative Government”  for a reason!  I’m a representative of Jesus Christ, I will be involved as He would be invovled.  I will support the military, our police and first responders, I will show them the respect they so richly deserve!


4.  I WILL WALK AWAY FROM WHAT I DETEST.  If liars make me angry, I will not lie!  If cheaters make me angry I will not cheat.  If I find people with bad motives detstable,  I will get rid of my less than pure motives!  Reform and change starts with the man in the mirror,  I’m going to make sure that I can look myself straight in the eye and know I’m not part of the problem!


5.  LOVE, FAITH AND CHARITY, BUT  THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE!  Christ proved that the greatest force in existence is LOVE.  We can’t hate those we love, we can’t pray for those until we can forgive and love them.  We must ask God to help us have real love, His Love in our hearts for others, and start all our converstions with the acknowledgement that we truy care for those we disagree with.  We can come together, when we are commited to love one another. Trust starts with love.


Let me give you a practical example of what I’ve just shared, and how this all came to me.  Watching TV last night I saw the large crowds of protestors in several major cities, protesting the election of Trump.  My first reaction was anger.  Then I watched more closely and saw most of these were young people, and when questioned about why they were marching most didn’t really know or repeated pre-determined talking points.  When I was that age, I did stupid things to, and then went home and was straightened out by my father.  I started to pray for them, to ask God to open their eyes to what a wonderful country we have, how compassionate our country is, and to learn to love it and work within the system.  I found my anger begin to settle and my compassion rise, I think that is what God wants from me!  I’m tired of being angry, hurt and distrustful, I want to try a better way!


Blessings & God Bless America,


the pilgrim

7 years, 8 months ago 2



Zion was amazing in spite of the color being only about 75% of great.  Even with an off year on the color, the textures and color contrast of Zion are beautiful.  I love this park and the incredible images  you can make there, especially in the fall.






So there you have it, and by-the-way, I’m loving the X-T2, after getting the images home to my 27″ 5K iMac, wow, are these files hi res!!!




the pilgrim

7 years, 8 months ago 3



My Galen Rowell-esk image from sunrise this morning.  Jack and I have been scouting and planning of the workshop that starts Wednesday night.

Jack wanted to hike to a waterfall that was about a mile away, and I opted to work around the area where the tram let us off.  My back and hip have done good, but a lot of walking this morning had them irritated, so I stayed in one small area.  The next few shots were some teaching images for the workshop.




I saw these rapids in the Virgin River and I shot home form the edge of the paved parking area, I decided tow ok my way down a very short trail to the waters edge for another point of view, your can decide if it was worth the effort!





Next I went over to sit on a rock and take a break, while sitting there, I decided to slow down and look for small things, close by, that might be a good subjects but  that I might have missed just walking by, here were some of my finds;



No, I don’t place it there!!!!! Or the next one either.



The color is not quite peak, but still nice against the red rock canyon walls!



…and finally I love to try and find faces in inanimate objects, this one is for my friend Bill Pekala, who loves to do the same thing!  This is my angry, injured, Seal or Sea Lion!



Well, that’s it for now, hope your day is going well!




the pilgrim