Monthly Archives: July 2021

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:




2 months, 1 week ago 4
Posted in: blog


For my recent trip to Maine for mine and Kirk Williamson’s Lighthouse Tour I packed a old Lowepro Commercial 300 shoulder bag that could hold a lot of gear, too much gear, and I could hardly pick it up!  I had it in the back of my SUV so I never intended to move it accept at night checking back into the hotel.  I call that a trunk bag, one you work out of at each location when you stop to shoot or explore.


I usually use a Domke photo vest to carry an extra lens, batteries and anything else I want to carry when I walk around. In the old days, as a younger man, I used a photo backpack, but those days are pretty much over!


When I returned home I did a post mortem on the trip and decided what I would re-pack back into my Think Tank Advantage rolling bag, my usual way to transport and use my gear.


This is the gear I decided I really want to have with me for the next few trips:

1  Fujifilm X-T4 body

1  Fujifim X-Pro 2 Body

XF 10-24 f 4 lens  (with polarizer)

XF 16-80 f 4 lens  (with polarizer)

XF 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 lens  (with polarizer)

XF 23mm f 2 lens (with polarizer)

XF 50mm f 2 lens (with polarizer)

XF 1.4 Tele-converter

DJI Mini II Drone  –  Controler  –  3 Batteries)  –  Apple Mini iPad

Filter pouch with various neutral density filters

A Platypod Max

10 Spare batteries for the two bodies I carried

Also carried but not in the bag:  Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 


I will also carry, depending on the location and method of travel, either a iPad Pro 12.7 inch or a 13 inch Macbook Pro laptop.


This gear set allows a great variety of shooting options.  After the last trip I reviewed my images and determined that I shot over 90% of my images with either the X-T4 and the 16-80 lens or my iPhone.  I only used the 100-400 a few times and not sure I used the 10-24 at all!   I did fly the drone in four locations and got images that would have been impossible otherwise!


Becasue I was teaching and helping others in the field I did not use a tripod very much!  I know, shame on me, I have taught for years that the only way to get tack sharp images is a good solid tripod, but I was on this trip to teach not get great images for myself.  Only when everyone was occupied getting their own images did I go to work on any shooting for myself. The image stabilization in the X-T4 and iPhone made getting tack sharp hand held shots a lot easer and a lot more pleasaant than dragging a tripod everywhere. After all, the point is to enjoy the process and I really enjoyed this trip!





Shots like these two above, were possible because I had a drone with me.  It adds a new dimension to what you can do in the field!




These three shots were made with my iPhone, when a little walking was involved and didn’t get a camera out and then thought, I’m here, why not get at least an iPhone shot!  I was pretty pleased with the results! The three lenses, (wide, medium and slight telephoto),  on the newest iPhone are pretty dang sharp!!!




I said I didn’t think I used the 10-24, but I did,  this shot of Pemaquid Lighthouse with the glacial rock serations was with the 10-24!



A lot of the success of our tour goes to Kirk for his exceptional job of scouting the locations, much like Jack Graham who is also a master scouter, he found this great shot behind the Pemaquid Hotel, well out of public view, it turned out to be one of my favotite shots from the trip, with the X-T4 and the 16-80, handheld!



I will wind this down with a  shot of Kirk Williamson, he is a great guy, a new friend, and we had so much fun onthis tour we are doing it again next year!  Please consider joining us!




the pilgrim