Monthly Archives: August 2021

11 months, 3 weeks ago 8
Posted in: blog



I love the Fujifilm XF 16-80 f 4 lens!!!!!!!!  It is tack sharp, built very well and has a great equiv. focal length range of 24mm to 120mm.  It also comes with a lens shade that sucks!!!!!   But….. I found the solution to the only thorn in the mix, the new Haoge LH-X18N Bayonet Square Metal lens hood.  It fits perfect, really shades the front element from all but the most direct light, and has a superb metal lens cover that really fits nice and tight!  Below is the Amazon description.  Now it cost $45.99 so I’m afraid it’s a case of you get what you pay for.  This is my most used lens and this lens shade makes it perfect!





Your choice….. but if you own the 16-80,  I highly reccommend it  Nuff’ said!





the pilgrim

11 months, 3 weeks ago 6
Posted in: blog


We all want to have to have peace and joy in our lives and we all have circumstances that steal those things away from us, but we can still have them anyway!


It starts with this fundamental truth:   There is a God, He loves us, and wants us to have fellowship with Him. We are sinners and not fit to fellowhip with Him, but He provided a solution.  He sent His only Son to die on the cross to pay the sin debt we owe.  If we acknowlege that we are truly sinners, repent of our sins, and accept His forgiveness, we are then worthy to fellowship with our Heavenly Father.


Once that relationhip is established we can be confident that He will guide us, protect us and be with us through all of our trials until we can go home to be with Him for eternity.  There is no “free pass” from the troubles of this world, but their is God’s provision in those times.


Mankind’s biggest mistake is the arrogance to believe that we can fix the problems of the world ourselves.  It is good that we care and try,  but most of what is wrong in this world is beyond our control or efforts to create a solution.  The vast majority of believers that I know had to come to the end of their rope to turn to God for His solution, only then can we truly find the peace and joy we seek.  All of our greatest problems can best be solved, on our knees!




the pilgrim

11 months, 3 weeks ago 4
Posted in: blog



If you come here often, you must think that I am obsessed with the gear and camera bags/backpacks!  Well, to a degree, I hope to a healthy amount, I am!  For most of my career as a shooter I have traveled extensively both domestically and internationally, and getting the right gear to my locations safely and in an organized fashion has been a top priority.  I usually start my pre-pack for a big trip at least a month in advance.  A great deal of thought goes into what I believe I will need and how best to travel with it!  As years are added each birthday, lighter and more compact is a good thing!


I am a photo-generalist, meaning I shoot nature, landscape, travel, people, Americana and close-up work.  I used shoot sports and a lot of aviation, but I do less of those things now.  As our interests change and our ability to carry the gear, (age and physical condition), our packing and planning have to change as well!


In recent years I have started to become as much of a minimalist as I can with the amount of gear I attempt to lug around.  I use backpacks, but not to carry the gear, mostly to store it safely in a vehicle while I work out that bag.  The shoulder bag, except for small ones, is no longer an option as a lot weight on my shoulders is not working well for me today.  If I have to travel by air, and that is the only time I do, when I must, the rolling camera cases rule the day. My rolling bag of choice is the Think Tank Airport Advantage.


Another consideration is the kind of photography I am traveling to do!  Nature and landscape requires a different set of gear from, people, travel and Americana.  For serious close-up work it changes again with a different set of needs and gear requirements.


Let’s talk about my fall schedue;  Early October Jack and I will be in the UP of Michigan, (general nature), then in Northern Ohio for our Amish workshop, (people, travel and nature) and finally at the end of October in the Great Smokies for fall color, (nature and some close-up work).



For the three upcoming trips my standard package is a Fujifilm X-T4 body with a spare X-H1 body and four lenses; 10-24, 16-80, 70-300, 50mm f 2 and the Fujifilm 1.4 tele-converter.  This gives an effective focal length range of from 15mm to 630mm.  Plus the 70-300 with the teleconverter will achieve almost 1:1 – life size close-ups!  All of these lenses are superbly sharp, and choosing which lens to use is only a factor of the needed focal length!  Less weight, more range and no “which lens to pull from the bag” confusion, is a wining combination!



I now always pack my drone, controller, and spare batteries, plus a mini iPad for use with the controller.  This affords me the ability to work any subject from a completley different perspective!



Another new addition for my kit is the Platypod Max.  I learned about this device from Scott Kelby and it is a dynamite way to shoot low to the ground!  It includes screw in spikes or rubber feet for most any surface and a velcro stap to attach it to almost any kind of railing or pole. It packs easy and will add versatiity to my ability to approach subects from inches above the ground to, with the drone, up to 400 feet above!  It’s all about increasing your range!



How about travel and people?  Well you could use the above system for that too, but for me, this is the way I really like to work on those subjects, single focal length lenses and a rangefinder style camera!  This Lowepro Flipside 10L AW bag is perfect when you want to travel light! I carry the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with the 27mm f 2.8 pan-cake lens attached.  In the bag is also the, 16mm f 2.8, 23mm f 2, 35mm f 2, 50mm f 2 and the 90mm f 2.  Throw in 4 spare batteries and you’re ready to go!



Once I get to the location this little fellow is my walk around bag for and extra lens or two and batteries!  It provides adequate protection and is a breze to carry!



I have the Guru Gear bag here today and the Tamrac is scheduled to arrive later today, after a lot of packing and unpacking, inspecting an assessing, one will go back and one will be the bag for this fall!!!  I love the Guru Gear products for quality and the two sided opening, but…… my stuff is a tight fit and the Tamrac also has some really nice features, I won’t know until I piddle with both,  side by side.


Update:  The Tamrac bag came today and I’ve been back and forth using each bag and the winner is the Tamrac Anvil Slim 15L!  It held all of my gear with ease and I liked the straight opening of one lid for access to everything better.  The Guru Gear is really well made of, I think, superior materials, it just was a hair undersized.




Boy is this fun!




the pilgrim


12 months ago 8
Posted in: blog


I appreciate you folks coming here for education, reviews and encouragment.  Today I would like to share some encouragment. I’ve been thinking and praying a lot lately about the game plan for the last few minutes of the fourth quarter of my life.  I read a book some years back titled , “The Fourth Quarter.”  It was a game plan for the last  quarter of a man’s life.  If I live to be 100 I’m in the opening minutes of the last quarter.  If you consider that that is highly unikely I’m definitely, at best, late in the fourth quarter.


Let me get this out of the way before I start, I’m not afraid of dying.  I know that this life is just the beginning for those that are secure in Christ’s loving arms.  I’m thrilled to know that it won’t be that long until I will be with Him and so many I’ve loved and lost from here. You might say I’m excited to leave this world to be with my Heavenly Father.  I have always believed that we live this life at the pleasure of our Father in Heaven, we can’t stay minute longer than is His will for us.


I’m most concerned about fufilling His will for me in this life here and now.  After years of studying His word, praying and being taught by wonderful teachers, I have come to some foundational truths I want to share with you.  You may have already discovered these yourself!


1. God is in Control and He has a plan, even if we are not completely sure about the details!  We can have full trust in Him!

2.  His plan is always for the Good for those that love Him and have accepted His Son as their Savior.

3.  He wants us to know what Jesus taught us when he was here on earth with us, and then reflect those prinicples, He laid down, as a guide for how we are to live our lives.

4.  He wants those people that come in contact with us to be better off than before because of how we represent His will for our lives and theirs.

5.  He wants there to be less of us in our hearts and more of Him and others.

6.  He wants us to give more than we take.

7.  He wants to fellowhip with us and loves when His children come to Him to talk and seek His will for any and all situations.

8.  He wants us to put Him above everything else in our hearts.


Well, that’s most of what He is teaching me, I pray you’re hearing those things too! It saddens me to see the strife and hurt in our world today, we can relieve some of that, for some of the people we meet,  by simply sharing His incredible love for them!




the pilgrim