Why I prefer Nikon D5 over Fuji X-E2

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 25600, ƒ/4, 1/100

First of all before you jump to sure a $6,500 camera should be better than a $1,500 camera this is more about the features than the prices. 

I can tell you are not going to hear that I love it because it weighs so much. This is one of the reasons I own the Fuji X-E2 system. Spending a week in London walking everywhere would have been a real pain carrying my Nikon gear.

Now the bride and groom asked me to take a photo with the groom’s grandmother. Now there wasn’t a shot list so I had to be ready for every situation. This is why the Nikon D5 is the go to camera for most all my client jobs. I was able to quickly just get a custom white balance and then click the photo at ISO 25600. The lens was wide open and I was shooting at 1/100. The lens has image stabilization as well.

To do this with the Fuji with available light would have me shooting at ISO 6400 and 1/25. I am not a fan of slow shutter speeds with people when I prefer a sharp photo.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 22800, ƒ/4, 1/100

As a friend of the family I was also at the rehearsal and thank goodness. I was then completely aware of how dark the church was going to be for the wedding.

Now when they mentioned they wanted to have everyone in attendance in a group photo I wanted to be sure you could see everyone clearly, so I just used strobes for that photo.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 1000, ƒ/5.6, 1/200–[2] Alienbees B1600 triggered with the Posketwizard TT1, TT5 system.

Now another thing is the flash system of the Nikon is far superior to the Fuji. So I was able to use fill flash for some of the photos of the bride and groom outside due to the overcast.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/200–Nikon SB-900 TTL

Today I believe it is difficult to find the one camera system that does it all, but my Nikon D5 is that camera for me and if it was light as my Fuji X-E2 then I would only on it for all my work. However, for those times I need a camera but don’t want to lug my Nikons I use the Fuji.

London taught me that creating an EXPERIENCE is important in business

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.5, 1/220

In business your product is just part of why people will do business with you. Now if your product is on par with the rest of the industry then the other thing that people are paying for is EXPERIENCE.

We just spent our vacation traveling to London for an EXPERIENCE. One of the major things we were paying to enjoy was to relive the Harry Potter movies. We wanted to experience the movies as if we were there in them. So here we went to Kings Crossing Train Station to 9 3/4 to get our pictures made as if we were going through the wall onto Hogwarts.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 2500, ƒ/2.8, 1/100

We went to the House of Minalima. Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima met in 2002 when a happy coincidence of fates meant they were to work together as graphic designers on the Harry Potter film franchise. Here they had a unique opportunity to establish the visual graphic style from the outset of the productions. The design aesthetic they created for Harry Potter is still sought after, be it designing collectable merchandise or collaborating on the much anticipated Warner Bros Studio Tour.

Rather than just have a store with items on the shelf they created a self guided tour of their artwork and created moments like we remember of Harry Potter’s invitation letter to Hogwarts. They created an EXPERIENCE for us to enjoy.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 640, ƒ/3.6, 1/100

One of the biggest phenomena’s in the past few years as related to photography has been the selfie. While we have always done some form of this with photography through the years the selfie stick came along to help us include more people in our photos.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 800, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Here you can see all the women getting in close to the London Bobby to get their photo made with him. It is an experience that not only are they having they are now sharing this in their social media. Then their friends will comment on how much they: like, love or other ways of expressing their joy of the photo.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 640, ƒ/3.6, 1/100

In the Harry Potter tour at the Warner Brother’s Studio outside of London they had different things you could do on the tour. Here my daughter is being taught how to dual with a wizarding wand using a mirror to see her style as compared to the teacher on the TV screen to the left.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/10, 1/70

We went on a Harry Potter Muggles tour where they showed us some of the filming spots in London as well as take us to places like Collier Street which was J. K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley.

Notice the tour guide is dressed in Gryffindor attire and looks like she could easily just walked off the set of the movie. To help us with the EXPERIENCE she had screen shots of the movie [in her hand] that she would pull out at different stops and pass around to help us see in the movie what we were EXPERIENCING first hand.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.2, 1/75

Now my daughter dressed up in her Gryffindor robe and enjoyed not only having people ask to be photographed with them, but she was excited to see this guy dressed up as Newt Scamander from the latest movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Even last night I heard my daughter yell out that the guy dressed like Newt was in another documentary she just saw. Again it is about an EXPERIENCE.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/45

One of my daughter’s favorite scenes from the Harry Potter series is when Harry Potter talks with Remus Lupin on the Bridge. She is standing where they stood when they filmed that scene. What an EXPERIENCE it was for her.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5, 1/90

For me it was the scale model of Hogwarts that just let me see the detail for which they created this mystic place that captured me the most.

Question for You

What are you doing to create an EXPERIENCE that people will tell their friends about and want to do business with you.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 200, ƒ/5.6, 1/200

Can you see your customers smiling at certain points in their interactions with you and your company?

Can you think of something that can create more of an EXPERIENCE than you are doing now?

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/4.8, 1/110

My trip to London just reminded me that all those little details like clothing can help create something that keeps people traveling from all over the world to get the EXPERIENCE first hand.

Most importantly for everyone in business is to concentrate of creating a great PRODUCT and creating an EXPERIENCE that separates you from everyone else.

More photos from London with the Fuji X-E2

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/4, 1/400

We have been having lots of fun in England this week. Morning full English breakfast at The Orangery at Kensington Palace. My daughter enjoyed her tea.

I am just going to add photos here from the last couple of days that I was able to capture with my Fuji X-E2. I am using just he 18-55mm and the 55-200mm lenses.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/7.1, 1/120

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 800, ƒ/9, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 250, ƒ/4, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/11, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 1000, ƒ/11, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5, 1/350

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 200, ƒ/4.7, 1/180

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5, 1/600

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 200, ƒ/5.6, 1/120

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/240

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/2.8, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/350

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/3.6, 1/680

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.8, 1/950

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/4.8, 1/300

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/4.7, 1/120

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/1100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.2, 1/640

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.6, 1/3800

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 200, ƒ/3.6, 1/750

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 200, ƒ/4.8, 1/120

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/300

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/45

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/90

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 2000, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour London with Fuji X-E2

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.5, 1/100

Too look like my wife and daughter are going through Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Crossing train station a person holds the scarf and then lets go. I decided this would be a great time to use my motor drive setting on the Fuji X-E2. I put it on high so I would have more photos to choose from.

I doubt I will make it back here in my lifetime to repeat this again, so better be sure I get it the first time. Again my gear would do the job, but I had to make some adjustments to get the most out of it.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/60

I wanted to capture these deatheater masks used in the making of Harry Potter that were in a glass case. I moved until I got the angle where there wasn’t a glare and then just zoomed in with my 18-55mm to get a fairly close shot of the masks. They made over a thousand of these for the movie.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/3.2, 1/100

I love the pop up flash on the Fuji X-E2 when it comes to situations like this. Just look at the lady in the backgrounds eyes. You can see the shadows from the lighting. I just popped up the flash and shot with it to help open up the eyes of my wife and daughter in front of the Hogwarts Train used for the 10 years of making of the 8 Harry Potter films.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.2, 1/70

Even this far away the flash helped since I was shooting at ISO 6400. I have it set for slow sync on aperture priority so the flash is just helping with the exposure.  By the way this is the second 4 Privet Drive house used. It is a copy of the first one in movie one and used later in other sequels.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/45

I love that I am shooting RAW with the Fuji X-E2 and also JPEGs. This photo I later color corrected in Lightroom to get the skin tones closer to normal. However I am shooting under theatrical lighting where they are creating a night scene with blue lights.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/45

This is the original JPEG out of the camera.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.2, 1/60

For such a small camera I was getting incredible results for my family to remember our time at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London for Harry Potter. Our family is all Potter Heads. We have all read all the books many times and own the movies on DVD.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/5, 1/100

The last stop on the studio tour was a full size model of Hogwarts that they used for filming of the movies. They put a green screen around it and then just shot high resolution images and then often would used computer graphics to shrink down the actors to the scale of the model. They had touch screen monitors around the room for you to see how that all worked.

Let me tell you it was incredible to go onto all the sets they have preserved at the studio that were the actual sets used in the movies.

More sights of London with my Fuji X-E2

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 1250, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

I enjoyed seeing the sights in London. Some of the sights were just reflections in the sidewalk of the Coke sign in Piccadilly Square in London.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/4.8, 1/100

There is so much to see in London and there is just not enough time for any tourist. So you pick your locations. Our family went to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards ceremony.

It is really impossible to find one location to get good photos of every part of the ceremony. We got right next to the railing of the front gate. I had to shoot through the iron gates to get this photo.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 800, ƒ/4.8, 1/100

I found the Fuji 55-200mm lens just great to use for this situation. I was too far away for the 18-55mm, but was able to get some fun moments like this one of the London Bobby with tourists taking a selfie.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 800, ƒ/4.8, 1/100

I just had to wait and watch to capture people in wonderful moments of expression. This was easier to do than capture the guard. They are very business like throughout the event in their role.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 640, ƒ/4.8, 1/100

In photography to capture people’s attention you need “surprises”. Most of the time I find that expressions on people’s faces is the easiest to find. However every once in a while something is different enough to be a “visual surprise” like this guard wearing a turban rather than the bearskin tall hat that the rest of the guards wear. Also the only one with a beard.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.5, 1/150

The most important thing for me the entire trip was that my wife and daughter were having fun. If they were enjoying everything, then I was OK with wherever we were in London.

We all love Harry Potter and my wife has been a Downton Abbey fan for a while. So London was a perfect place for a vacation.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/70

For me this photo made me think of the “Night Bus” in Harry Potter. Maybe before Harry Potter it would just be a double decker bus in London, but the storyline of Harry Potter will forever be burned in mind and now these are the Night Bus in the series.

Technical Tip

Before I could just concentrate on capturing moments and moods of England I had to understand my camera and make it do what I wanted and not just whatever it would create on it’s own.

For all these photos I used the ExpoDisc to create a Custom White Balance. Using presets or Auto White balance just doesn’t give me as good a results most of the time. Here is how I do that in an older blog post.

For the most part I think you can shoot much of travel photography with lenses between 28mm to 200mm. The FUJINON XF 18-55mm and FUJINON XF 55-200mm give me between 27mm to 300mm coverage. This was important to get those photos at Buckingham Palace.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

You don’t have to get a camera with changeable lenses, you can buy cameras that have built in zooms that cover this range for you.

My last tip for your vacation travel and well all photos is to write captions and keywords for the photos. This way you can find them later on when you need to. I use the software PhotoMechanic to do all my captions and keywording. Here is an earlier blog post to help you understand how this works. For those who prefer a video here is a video I created showing this workflow.

Most likely after this trip I will create a coffee table book with Blurb so I can enjoy this trip for years to come.

The Fuji X-E2 is the perfect travel photography camera

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/8, 1/75

Traveling to London, England on a vacation I decided to go very light with my gear. To get photos like this of my family as we travel I wanted something more than the camera on my phone.

I wanted to zoom and keep high quality. This is one of those trips of a lifetime that we will cherish for a very long time.

Instead of just carrying 2 extra batteries I am carrying 4. This way I can just shoot away or if the cold in the air drains my batteries then I will be ready and not miss photos due to a dead battery.

The kit is what you see in the photo. Fuji X-E2, Fujinon XF 18-55mm and the Fujinon XF 55-200mm.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 400, ƒ/3.2, 1/100

You can see the bag I used to get all my gear here to London. I put my MacBook Pro 15″ laptop, external hard drive, beat headphones, some of my medicine, cables for everything including my phone. I also have a ExpoDisc for custom white balancing. Once we got to our flat I took most everything out and just had camera gear and put some gloves in the backpack. The backpack is the Think Tank Urban Approach which is designed for mirrorless camera systems.

Keeping it simple I never once changed lenses today. Tomorrow I will use the 55-200mm when we go to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/40

I love the Fuji for the high ISO of 6400. Great for most situations like this night scene of the restaurant we visited.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/10, 1/70

I am just adjusting the aperture for increasing the depth of field or decreasing as needed for each photo. Since it is mirrorless, I am looking at the LCD and seeing the results right away without having to use a depth of field preview button.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/10, 1/75

So for both the photos here I wanted to show foreground to background as sharp. I chose to shoot at ƒ/10 because the sharpness looked good in the viewfinder.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 800, ƒ/4, 1/100

Now for shooting the pastries in the window I just used a shallow depth of field.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 2000, ƒ/4, 1/100

Now our tour guide for the Harry Potter Muggles tour looked so much like my daughter today I needed a shot of them together. The background wasn’t quite important here so shooting at ƒ/4 worked just great.

The two of them were surprised at how much they had in common. They both are actresses and have been Olivia in Twelfth Night. Taste in movies from Harry Potter, Dr. Who, and Sherlock were just a few of the things other than dressing with similar attire.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 500, ƒ/2.8, 1/100

Now since I can see what I am getting before I push the shutter release I was able to see that ƒ/2.8 was fine for capturing my wife and daughter in front of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theater. While the background is slightly out of focus it is still enough to know where they are standing in London.

Lesson is simple, you can do a great deal with a small system. However, if you note I am thinking about what I want to capture and controlling the camera. The camera without my input would not give this good of a result.

To help you think about this, when Apple and Samsung introduce their new smartphones they hired professional photographers to show what these cameras can do. Why is that? Because it is the person holding the camera that determines if you have photos that are really impactful,

So if you are running a business and you need photos, please don’t just use your smartphone or your own camera. Be sure and hire a pro. If Apple and Samsung wouldn’t trust anyone to use their gear to sell it then why should you?

How to use flash and not get a black background

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 10000, ƒ/5.6, 1/10 – Nikon SB-900

One of the most difficult things to shoot for many beginners in photography involves shooting in a very dark location with a flash.

Cameras will pick the lowest ISO when you use a flash as their default. What happens is then the background is black and the subject is well exposed at best. However in the case of this wedding photo the couple is walking out into the dark being back lit.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 10000, ƒ/5.6, 1/8 – Nikon SB-900

The trick is to set the camera as if you were shooting without a flash which is to use a high ISO. Here I set the camera to ISO 10000. Then the flash was set to fire on TTL slow shutter sync. This means the flash fires immediately at a extremely fast duration and then the shutter stays open longer.

Nikon SB-900 Flash Duration

1/880 sec. at M 1/1 (full) output
1/1100 sec. at M 1/2 output
1/2550 sec. at M 1/4 output
1/5000 sec. at M 1/8 output
1/10000 sec. at M 1/16 output
1/20000 sec. at M 1/32 output
1/35700 sec. at M 1/64 output
1/38500 sec. at M 1/128 output 

With my choice of ISO 10000 the flash on TTL was probably firing at 1/16 power or less. So this is why in the photo above of the couple walking there is a blur around them due to the shutter being open for 1/8 sec yet the flash froze them at about 1/10000.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 10000, ƒ/5.6, 1/5 – Nikon SB-900

 Now notice as they walk from the church where the lights in the background are still impacting the exposure to the car the scene is getting darker. We have moved from 1/10 to 1/8 and then finally shooting at 1/5 to get the background to show up.

If you want to be sure you show where your subject is for reference then use slow shutter speed sync with the ISO set to where you could make photos without the flash. 

Wedding tip is as close as your smart phone

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 220, ƒ/8, 1/100

I just got back last night from the west coast. I enjoyed shooting a friends wedding and getting to meet all of his friends.

The weather in Portland was perfect for the wedding. Cool enough that a coat was not too hot to wear, which was perfect for all the guys.

Nikon D5, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, ISO 1000, ƒ/5.6, 1/200, 2- Alienbees B1600 strobes

This is one of the bigger group shots I have done for a wedding. They had everyone turn around just before they walked out of the church for a group photo. What a really cool idea.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 160, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

My second shooter for the wedding Laura Deas Espeut showed me a great tip. She had on her phone a collection of wedding photos like a Pinterest album and used this for ideas to help in a moment when you start to run dry. The second bonus is she can show people the concept so they can execute it a little better.

That is what we did for the first look photos.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 160, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

I did find that this couple was great because they wanted more spontaneous moments rather than posed. This meant just getting them in good light where the background was good and then just shoot.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 1/100

We did a good number of posed shots, because that is about the only way to be sure you see everyone and get a good expression.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 180, ƒ/6.3, 1/100

The cloud cover gave us pretty even light for all of the photos outside. It had just rained so all the sidewalks were not bright. Actually just like they do for most movies and TV shows they wet the pavement to keep it from being too bright.

My tip from this wedding is to create an album on your phone of photos you like to use with weddings to show your bride and groom on the wedding day when you are trying to get everyone excited about participating and making the photo work.

No longer available–Now What?

Our ice maker stopped working a few weeks ago. I first replaced the ice tray inside the refrigerator. While it worked after the repair the water wasn’t flowing to it to make the ice.

Above is the actual part for the water inlet valve. It controlled the water for ice and getting cold water in the front door.

The great thing about the internet is you can find parts from sources all over the world. However in my case the part was no where to be found. The “Currently unavailable” message was on every website that I went to and even calling around locally no one had one in stock.

I went to forums and no recommendations for anything other than having it rebuilt.

Problem Solving

While searching I realized this Kenmore part looked similar. The same number of inlet and outlets and similar switches, just a little different placement of the parts.

I took a risk and ordered the part. Cost was about $38 vs original part was more than $100 in many locations.

Took me about 15 minutes to install, minus one trip to Home Depot to get a $6 part to convert one water line to a bigger line. Turned it on and tried it. At first when making ice the water shot out the front of the door where you fill your cup with just water. Took about a minute to figure out I had switched the connections.

I made the change in the connection and now everything works.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 4500, ƒ/4, 1/100

This is what I do every day for my clients. I look and identify the problem needing to be solved and then I look for a solution.

Many people today can type in the model number of their refrigerator and find the part. Yes this is problem solving and would be helping a client. However, how many would be able to find a solution when the solution isn’t so clear cut.

Nikon D2X, Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX, ISO 400, ƒ/2.8, 1/20

I will be honest that many times when I come up on problems and the solutions are not so clear, I pray. I have yet to have a voice talk to me and tell me the solution. What I have had happen many times after some time in prayer is the ability to let go.

After letting go and knowing I do not have a solution I then am able to be much more creative. I believe that the creator of the universe works through me in ways I cannot explain and helps me to think in ways I never would have done by myself and come up with some solutions.

Tips

First of all let me say that you cannot get enough education to know it all. Education is about a lifestyle of constant learning.

If you are starting out take formal classes at a college or trade school. Find a mentor and ask lots of questions.

Remember that if the solution is obvious to most anyone then there is little you can do to be of any service. Your value is helping solve problems that people cannot solve themselves.

All problem solving is creative thinking. No matter if it is accounting, childcare, food service, or something in the arts when you are up against a new problem and the solution isn’t something that has been done before, you are creative if you solve the problem.

The reason I make this last statement is that if you are an artist, like a photographer, as I am–You should take as much pride in doing the business part of the job as you do in the artistic part.

I will leave you with a scripture that to me reminds me that God is able to work through me if I only let God do so.

John 16:13

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

I want MORE civility so I don’t Unfriend more people

Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 40000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

Sports just might be the last area of civility I am seeing these days in our society.

Stephen L. Carter, the acclaimed author of The Culture of Disbelief proves to readers that manners matter to the future of America. says, “Civility represents the sum of all the sacrifices that one makes in a democracy for the sake of living a common life.”

Listen to Carter speak at Yale on the topic:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/20256014?title=0&byline=0
Is Civility Important? from Yale Law School on Vimeo
Now the reason I say sports is one of the last places I am seeing civility isn’t because people are not at odds, but yet they play hard and still try to get along after the game and during the game by respecting each other.

Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 22800, ƒ/2.8, 1/4000

Over the past 25 years I have watched so many institutions go through major changes. I watched my denomination, Southern Baptist Convention, growing up from a front row seat not just divide itself, but is now doing even less of what is was doing when it came to missions. I was laid off during the infighting because giving was dropping and they could no longer support my position.

My first job out of college was for a small daily newspaper. The media which are the ones reporting what is happening in America are protected by the 1st Amendment, yet due to so many financial changes are a fraction of the size they once were to cover our country, yet in the same time our country’s population has grown.

I watched as predominately Baptist fundamentalist organized to be The Moral Majority and attach themselves to the Republican party. I would sit in small groups in churches through the years and it was assumed that you were Republican if you were part of the church, because many didn’t see them as separate, but the same.

In past presidential debates the candidates took their turns more than today, where they talked over each other and the moderators. This is only a reflection of how we as a society talk to each other today.

I applaud Andy Stanley’s message not that long ago to his church about the election. Listen for yourself:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsFgHhXU8tE]
I think Stanley’s points around the scripture are what can help us restore civility to our public discourse.

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus answered:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

I think those who are not Christians could also live by some of the guidelines that Stanley points out. I love how he encourages you to share your opinion and even argue your point. However this is where I think his wisdom from the scripture would help reunite America. We should not make our points at the expense of undermining our influence.

The Great Unfriending

This weekend I unfriended a few more people because they crossed that line. They jeopardized their relationship with me. I don’t doubt I have probably done something to someone in my life to do the same.

This election cycle will most likely be remembered by many as the time so many of us unfriended someone in social media.

Business Tip

No matter your political position be careful that you don’t jeopardize a relationship or the ability to have influence in your industry.

In my faith we believe that Jesus died in order to demonstrate how much God wanted to restore the relationship. We believe there is nothing one can do that God would not forgive in order to restore a relationship. The only thing we believe that can break this relationship is man’s rejection of God’s olive leaf.

Revelation 3:20

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

As business people we should live this out in our business. We should be trying to recover customers and doing all we can to keep the ones we have.

We should speak up when we disagree with a client. We should argue our point with them. However, as Andy Stanley reminds us don’t do any of this at the risk of losing your influence or jeopardizing the relationship.

Nikon D5, Sigma TC-2001 2x, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 DG OS HSM | S, ISO 45600, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000

You will score with your clients when you treat them as people. You will continue to have influence when you respect their opinions as well.

By living out Matthew 22:36-40 you will be the most confident, curious, composed, compassionate people in the room.