Nikon Z6 & Fuji X-E3 Contemporary Worship Service

Photo Above Data [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0 ART, ISO 16000, ƒ/6.3, 1/200, Focal Length = 95]

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 51200, ƒ/4, 1/80, Focal Length = 24]

I have owned the Fuji X-E series cameras a few years. I love them. Then I bought the Nikon Z6 to be able to shoot mirrorless with some of my Nikon glass.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 105]

I think the Fuji X-E3 compares pretty good to the Nikon Z6. I like that the Fuji X-E3 when you are close to someone will not only find their face but their eyes as well. 

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 800, ƒ/4.8, 1/100, Focal Length = 300]

Now the Nikon Z6 camera automatically detects the subject and selects the focus area. At default settings, the camera gives priority to portrait subjects; if a portrait subject is detected, the selected subject will be indicated by a yellow border (if multiple faces are detected, you can choose your subject using the multi selector). 

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 1000, ƒ/4, 1/125, Focal Length = 143]

Just so I could get some photos to use from the service I left the 55-200mm on the Fuji X-E3 and the 24-105mm on the Nikon Z6.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 51200, ƒ/4, 1/60, Focal Length = 95]

No question that the larger full-frame sensor on the Nikon Z6 had less noise. However I was pretty happy with the noise on the Fuji X-E3 as well.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 51200, ƒ/4, 1/50, Focal Length = 35]
Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 12800, ƒ/3.5, 1/25, Focal Length = 83]

I think that the dynamic range is better with the Nikon Z6. You can see some of that comparison here.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 2500, ƒ/4.8, 1/100, Focal Length = 300]

I love the smaller size and weight of the Fuji system. I think the quality is excellent.

I do think that the quality of the images and higher ISO is definitely in favor of the Nikon Z6.

Nikon Z6 vs Fuji X-E3

Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 35mm F1.4 ART DG HSM , ISO 8000, ƒ/4, 1/100]

This is just a quick comparison shooting some ornaments on my tree. First this is using my Sigma 35mm F1.4 ART DG HSM on the Nikon Z6 using the FTZ Mount Adapter.

Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [X-E3, XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 10000, ƒ/4, 1/100]

With the Fuji I am using the kit lens XF 18-55mm ƒ/2.8-4. It is close to the same format when I shot it to compare to the 35mm. 

Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 35mm F1.4 ART DG HSM, ISO 16000, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]
Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [X-E3, XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/52]

Here I am shooting with telephoto range using the Nikon 85mm.

Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [NIKON Z 6, Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G, ISO 4500, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [X-E3, XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/100]

Here I cropped in to about 100% 

Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 35mm F1.4 ART DG HSM, ISO 8000, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [X-E3, XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 10000, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [NIKON Z 6, Nikon AF S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G, ISO 4500, ƒ/4, 1/100]
Comparing Fuji X-E3 vs Nikon Z6 [X-E3, XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/100]

Overall I think the Nikon Z6 focused faster. I was using the point to focus. I did the same thing with the Fuji X-E3 but there is a little back and forth with the Fuji.

The larger sensor gave a cleaner file and less noise with the Nikon Z6 in my opinion.

What I did notice is that the Fuji kit lens compares nicely to the two sharpest lenses I own for the Nikons.

When it comes to travel I still would prefer to carry the smaller Fuji. I think I give up a little performance to pick it, but less weight.

When it comes to performance I believe the Nikon wins.

Learning to “Peel the Onion” in Storytelling

Stanley teaching at University of Nations in Kona, Hawaii. [top photo by Dorie Griggs, bottom photo by Robin Nelson] [Nikon D810, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 3200, ƒ/7.1, 1/60]
While in college majoring in social work I discovered the power of photography. Specifically, I discovered that photojournalism did the best job I could find in educating people about the world around them.

Before graduating with my degree in social work I had to do an internship in the field. I found an internship working at the mental health center in Kinston, NC.

When counseling a person, I would “peel the onion” as we would say to move from the symptoms to the cause for a problem in a person’s life. Most of the time when someone was suffering it takes them longer to see the root cause of their problem.

While I was in college I was also taking photos for the school newspaper. I saw quickly how a photograph helped “peel the onion” for a community. Mirroring is a therapeutic technique where you repeat back to a client, usually in your own words but sometimes word for word, the idea that has just been expressed. It can literally be as simple as: Client: “I felt hurt and confused.”

I discovered that a photograph was even more powerful than the mirroring technique.

I just finished grading the students in Introduction to Photojournalism Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

More than half of the two classes I taught had never owned a camera other than the one on their phone. I was teaching them the mechanics of photography and also how to tell stories as a photojournalist.

What I discovered is the one skill that they needed more than how to use their camera was how to “peel the onion” of the subject.

Togo, West Africa [Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/200]
The photojournalists that consistently tell powerful stories are the ones who spend more time getting to know their subjects.

I would love to help you if you don’t know how to “peel the onion” of a story. In January I am going to Lima, Peru with a few other instructors who have the same calling to help 10 workshop participants to become storytellers using their cameras.

Each person will work with a person to tell their story. While working on the story they will have one-on-one time with the instructors to coach them each day through the process. By the end of a week they will show to the community a short 3 to 5-minute video that has the subject telling their own story.

I will do this again in March in Trinidad and then this coming summer we will bring the team together again and go to Bucharest, Romania. Maybe you want to join us.

James Dockery enjoys taking photos and showing the boys in the Balkans their photos.

Go here to sign up for our trip.  You can also contact me for one-on-one classes or we can put together a workshop for your organization.

Every Sunday Christians Re-experience Their Story

Siberia—Working with outsiders means listening and being heard, according to Eduard Genrich, of Second Baptist Church in Novosibirsk. People here say they are encouraged and helped by outsiders, but taken advantage of by some. (photo by Don Rutledge)

The order of worship in churches is based on the only full worship service we have recorded in scripture which is Isaiah 6:1-8.

When we start the service the first thing that happens is acknowledging we have come into the presence of God. This is similar to how you start a story and introduce characters.

When we meet God in this moment it will cause us to be reminded of our sin, which is also similar to a story needing crisis/tension. This is where in worship we acknowledge there is nothing we can do and only God’s grace is able to save us. But first we must confess.

This dialogue continues between man and God in worship where after we confess and God has forgiven us, then God is asking who will go. This is like in the storyline where the mentor is outlining to the main character what they need to do to overcome their crisis.

Often this is where the homily/sermon is given that gives us more insights on how to live our lives. This is the direction given to all main subjects in a story that then they go and then live out those instructions.

Emily Wright during the Easter Services at Roswell Presbyterian Church.

Here is the scripture that both Christians and Jews use to create their order of worship.

Isaiah 6:1-8 

REVELATION– verse 1: “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

ADORATION– verse 3: “And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!'”

CONFESSION– verse 5: “Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.'”

EXPIATION– verse 6-7: “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.'”

PROCLAMATION– verse 8a: “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'”

DEDICATION– verse 8b: “Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'”

SUPPLICATION– verse 11: “Then I said, ‘How long, O Lord?'”

COMMISSION– verse 9: “And he said, ‘Go, and say to this people…'”

Roswell Presbyterian Church

If you look at this order and then compare it to the Narrative Storyline you will see they have a lot in common.

PLOT – a series of incidents that are related to one another, what happens in a story, includes 5 stages (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution)

EXPOSITION – usually in the beginning of a story, where the characters, setting, and conflict (problem) are introduced

RISING ACTION – the part of the story where the conflict(s) develop, in which the suspense and interest builds

CLIMAX – the turning point or most exciting moment of a story, in which the main character comes face to face with the main conflict and a change happens

FALLING ACTION – all the loose ends of the plot are tied up, the conflict and climax are taken care of in this part of the story, and the suspense is eased

RESOLUTION – where the story comes to a reasonable ending and the outcome is resolved

Roswell Presbyterian Church

Here is how I see these lining up
Worship Service Narrative Story
Revelation Exposition
Confession Tension/Struggle
Expiation Climax
Proclamation Falling Action
Commission Resolution

All the stories in scripture have flawed characters who either turn to God for help and are obedient to those directions or they refuse to be obedient. Now many of those stories involve a series of times where well intentioned characters continue to come back to God and ask for forgiveness for not being obedient.

I believe the reason this format is used in worship is that it forces us to process our faith in story form. It continues to remind us that like all characters in a story that we live in crisis that we cannot solve on our own. We need help. In the stories of Hollywood you need THE FORCE in the Star Wars movies to take on your enemies. You go to someone like Yoda to be trained.

New hymnal celebration event at Presbyterian Church [NIKON D4, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.3, 1/30]
In the Disney stories like Cinderella she needed a Fairy God Mother to help her.

We are moved by stories because we can relate. While the problems are different, they are problems that the main character, like us, cannot solve alone.

The other cool thing about worship services as it relates to storytelling is that it has a soundtrack. The music in worship services helps to set the tone for stories to be told and as we resonate with those stories we are reminded of the story we are living.


Fighting the wrong fight with copyright

We have been fighting the wrong fight for copyright registration. That is my opinion.

For most of my career we have told everyone that when you click your shutter you own your copyright. If you are on the payroll of a company they own that photo unless there is some written agreement giving you the copyright.

We know that is where the work-for-hire agreement came from when dealing with usage rights and copyright.

While the ownership of the copyright hasn’t been up for debate other than the who owns it based on who is paying for the creation the issue has been about the courts.

I was informed that you needed to register your copyright with copyright office to be able to collect legal fees. Those are all the fees that you can be awarded if you win a case. The judge reviews all the legal fees and does a separate ruling on how much the other side must pay for you taking this to court.

I learned early on that the going rate for copyright infringement cases was about $100,000 and took at least a year or more in the courts.

For the past 30 years ASMP and NPPA that I am a member, have spent lots of money lobbying congress to protect that process of registration.

I believe there is a better solution today. Do away with copyright registration. Get congress to change the law that if you can show copyright infringement then you can collect legal fees.

As far as the proving your images are yours there is Blockchain technology already on the market.

The idea of a blockchain — protecting data through a large network of computers — and applies the concept to managing photo rights. It is an “encrypted digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers.” Photographers can add new images as well as archive images to the system. Because of the blockchain structure, the data is stored on a large network of computers that helps create a public ledger, adds a layer of protection, and prevents data loss.

There are centralized and decentralized solutions right now available for Blockchain.

The point I make is that the current registration of your images with copyright office is out of date. With blockchain these servers can also police the web and find anyone using your images without rights.

Because Blockchain works so well with the digital photograph it will let you sell and track any usage of your images and keeps them from being used illegally since it codes images and makes them no longer easily copied and shared.

Blockchain can help us not just prove we shot an image it serves as an agency and collector.

We need to change the copyright laws and not continue to use a system that is outdated and not serving the artist community well at all.


Tips from Robin Rayne

SARAH ALLEN is both single mother and full-time — though untrained –nurse to her son Aidan, born with cerebral palsy and complex medical issues. State Medicaid regulations severely limit the number of hours her medically fragile son can have in-home nursing care, regardless of his doctor’s orders for medical necessity. Aidan needs 24-7 care and constant tube feeding. Sarah may soon be homeless because the house where she lives will be sold, and she has limited resources to find another home suitable for a severely disabled child. Her story illustrates several serious shortfalls within the Medicaid and Social Security Disability systems. PICTURED: Sarah cleans her son from a diaper changing. (photo by Robin Rayne/Zuma Press) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/80]
Robin Rayne says, “Make your emotion work for you and not against you, remember, God gave you tears.”

Robin spends most of her time photographing today in the disabilities community. She is a photojournalist and documentary producer for the University of Georgia’s Institute on Human Development and Disability. Her compelling images illustrating human rights, disability and gender diversity issues are distributed internationally by Zuma Press.

Chelle Leary and her friends going to their senior prom March 10, 2017. (photo by Robin Rayne) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 320, f/7.1, 1/25]
When I was traveling and could not photograph my daughter’s senior prom Robin helped out for our family getting the photos of the important event in our family.

Kelemen Szab—, Dorie Griggs and Chelle Leary getting formal photos before Chelle’s Senior Prom. (photo by Robin Rayne) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/40]
I can always count on Robin to capture those moments. The minute I knew I was away for that all too important Prom I called Robin.

Parents watch as the limo pulls away taking our kids away for senior prom. (photo by Robin Rayne) [NIKON D4, 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 320, f/7.1, 1/60]
Robin sees moments and captures the emotions we feel. When asked how she does it with such emotional moments she says, “I am thankful for auto focus when covering some stories, because of all the tears.”

Great photojournalists embrace their emotions.

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” – Don McCullin

Robin Rayne keynote speaker for the FOCUS Atlanta event held at Professional Photographic Resources on March 10, 2018. [X-E3, XF18-55mm ƒ2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 12800, ƒ/5, 1/30]
After Robin spoke this past weekend at the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar she commented that after talking with people about their portfolios she was always asking why for the photos.

Why does this story need to be told? Why should the public care?

What is surprising to myself and Robin is how when you ask this question so many have a deer in the headlights look on their face.

Though it may be interesting or even entertaining, the foremost value of news is as a utility to empower the informed. The purpose of journalism is thus to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.


Ben and Sam Schwenker, now 8 years old, were both diagnosed with autism when they were 18 months old. “Raising them is a daily challenge. We were so not prepared, but we learn more every day, ” says Jennifer, the boys’ mother.
     Autism spectrum disorders cut across all lines of race, class, and ethnicity. Autism impacts millions of children, adults, and their families around the world. Boys have a significantly higher incidence of autism than girls: four out of every five people with autism are male. Because of the genetic link, siblings of a child with autism have a greater chance of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorders affect not only the person diagnosed with the disorder, but also make a significant impact on the entire family with a variety of social, financial, and other practical demands.
     PICTURED: Now 8 years old, Sam (in yellow) and Ben still spend much of their day after school and weekends on their trampoline. They are still non-verbal but understand some of what they hear. (photo by Robin Rayne/Zuma Press) [NIKON D700, 24.0-70.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 250, ƒ/8, 1/80]
Robin is a photojournalist and not just a photographer. Robin is not interested in just entertaining the public, she is interested in informing the public. She is most concerned in telling the stories of people who cannot tell their own stories.

Robin is the voice for the voiceless who is also calling others to take up the call of photojournalism. She knows she alone cannot tell all the stories needing to be told.

When I asked Robin to speak to my Intro to Photojournalism class at Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication she challenged the class.

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.

Robin explained how her why probably came about having a son with disabilities.

You have to find your niche. The combination of your WHY and HOWs is as exclusively yours as your fingerprint.

Reviewing Photos for Portfolio

Alex Gomez & Kevin Williams [NIKON D5, 70.0-200.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/4000]
Every once in a while I am reviewing images I have taken to see if I can update my website. I have found that when you are just pulling from assignment work I have less “Portfolio” images.

[Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8, TC-2001, ISO 22800, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]Reviewing
What do I want to put on my website?

Georgia National Cemetery is the second national cemetery in Georgia and the 123rd in the national cemetery system. [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 220, ƒ/1.8, 1/8000]
Often I shoot things that are just important to me. They are really photos you would put in your personal journal.

Cowgirls competing in the barrel racing during the Celebrate Freedom Rodeo at Wills Park in Alpharetta, GA. [Nikon D5, Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 Sport, ISO 64000, ƒ/2.8, 1/2500]
People are not always hiring photographers to document everything, but I see the value for if for no one else for me. I love to look back and remember the things I have done and seen.

Paradise Helicopter Tour –– Kīlauea is a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi.[NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 1400, ƒ/8, 1/2000]
For example I was able to take a helicopter ride this year over the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is so different than what I shoot most of the time.

Hannah Broeils [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/125]
Debrinja Watts [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5.6, 1/125]
I do a good number of head shots each year like these actors studying at Columbus State University.

Chelle Leary [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/9, 1/160]
As every parent I love doing things with our children. Here making my daughter’s head shot for her to use in her career as an actress brings me great joy.

Oxnard Chick-fil-A Soccer [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 50, ƒ/11, 1/200]
While this isn’t a soccer game photo, I do find myself making interesting sports photos. So who will hire you to shoot this? Should this be on my website?

[Nikon D4, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, ISO 50, ƒ/8, 1/200 – (2) Godox V860IIN + Godox X1NT]
How about a group photo? Well many people do hire me to do team photos of their co-workers and yes sports teams as well.

Drive-Thru Bankhead Hwy FSR [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 2500, ƒ/14, 1/100]
Clients also hire me to photograph new things their company is doing. For example Chick-fil-A started using canopies to help protect their team members that help speed up the drive thru by being outside taking orders.

Staff in the newly renovated open work spaces at the Chick-fil-A Support Center [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 220, ƒ/8, 1/100]
Do you put things into your website that are more of a trend? For example many offices are renovating to the open office space design.

Stockton McGuire [NIKON D5, 85.0mm ƒ/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/320]
The biggest issue now facing corporate America is the lack of employees. The industry refers to this as attracting talent.

Margarett Phillips, Operator Commerce FSU & Highway Heroes Coordinator [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 400, ƒ/6.3, 1/40]
Companies are also trying to be sure they communicate their culture.

The Cows at Roswell Town Center are celebrating on Cow Appreciation Day 2018 in Roswell, GA. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm, ISO 400, ƒ/5.6, 1/3200 – Godox V860IIN + Godox X1NT]
So this year I captured some fun things as well for clients. Do they belong in a portfolio?

Roswell Fireworks. [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 100, ƒ/11, 8]
While fireworks are fun to see would anyone hire me to shoot any for them?

Paradise Helicopter Tour –– Kīlauea is a currently active shield volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, and the most active of the five volcanoes that together form the island of Hawaiʻi. [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 250, ƒ/5.6, 1/200]
I got a lot of likes for this photo on my Instagram account, but does this go into my website to help me get jobs?

The hood ornament from a vintage Cadillac at the Old Car City in White, Georgia. [Fuji X-E3, 10-24mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/16, 1/200]
I took an afternoon to go and explore the Old Car City in White, GA this year. I got some really cool shots. Again many people liked them on Instagram, so does this mean they go into my website portfolio?

Sunnyvale FSU. [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 800, ƒ/5.6, 1/60]
I can see companies hiring me to shoot photos of their properties. They do want to remind people how to find them.

Sally Yates is given the Courage award by the Islamic Speakers Bureau during their Change Makers Award Gala held at the Cobb Galleria on November 4, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.[NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 12800, ƒ/5.6, 1/200]
Now speakers at podiums lit by stage lighting are not that difficult to do, but should they be part of my portfolio? Can people figure out that if I can do one type of photography that those skills often transfer to something else?

The California Honeydrops play at Terminal West in Atlanta, Georgia. [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0mm ƒ/3.5-5.6, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/200]
I find that people are often more interested in the photos themselves and if I have enough compelling images I might get a call to shoot their event.

Capturing the memory that is cherished a lifetime for daughters. It was a great Chick-fil-A Daddy Daughter Date Night held at the Memphis Zoo on November 16, 2017.[NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 1250, ƒ/4, 1/10]
So how many images is enough? How many images of events should I post?

The Summerall Guards perform during half time at the football game during Parent’s Weekend at The Citadel in Charleston, SC.[NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 450, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000]
What will draw people to my website?

Sunday Services at Mark Clark Hall The Citadel. [X-E2, XF55-200mm ƒ/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4.2, 1/250]
I can tell you this is the thoughts of not just me, but every photographer working today in this profession.

Roswell Fire Department are monitoring a tree that it’s branches are in the transformer causing some arcing from power lines.[NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 65535, ƒ/9, 1/100]
What do you think? Do any of these photos need to be on my website as part of my portfolio? Should some never be in my portfolio?

You can comment below and please do.

Ministry of Presence core to my Photojournalism

John-Michael Riggs, from Knoxville, TN dressed like a warrior to be part of the The Annual Trans March which started at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Riggs says he alternates from a peace outfit to a warrior outfit each year. [X-E3, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/1250]
While covering the Transgender Parade, which is part of Atlanta Pride events, I watched as the people in the parade were reacting to each other like a family reunion.

I found everyone that I talked to very open. I was needing to get their information for writing captions for the photos I was taking.

Robin Rayne and Emily Graven are covering The Annual Trans March at Piedmont Park on Saturday, October 13, 2018 in Atlanta, GA. [X-E3, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/200]
Emily Graven, a UGA Photojournalism student, was shadowing me for the day. We met up with Robin Rayne who has been covering this event for many years to get some tips.

In looking for stories we spend time talking with people. When we have done a good job of building relationships with people they will come out of their shell.

Emma & Zoe are sisters whose dad (behind them), Christian Zsilavetz, is the founder of the Atlanta Pride school. They are at The Annual Trans March at Piedmont Park In Atlanta on Saturday, October 13, 2018. [X-E3, XF10-24mm ƒ/4 R OIS, ISO 200, ƒ/4, 1/1250]
What I find very important in being a good photojournalist is be present with people. This means you listen, laying down our defensiveness and agendas, and offering up empathy instead.

Jackson Wells, Sebastian Broome, Caire Mattera, Ariel Washington, Cat, Jessica Renee, Jas Rochelle meet each at The Annual Trans March at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, on Saturday, October 13, 2018. They are from all over Georgia and Virginia. [X-E3, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 500, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]
The most courageous thing we can do is listen. The bravest thing we can do is to stand with them.

I had learned about the concept of the ministry of presence through some pastoral counseling sessions and a great deal more when my wife was a chaplain at the VA hospital.

The ministry of presence is a way of “being” rather than of “doing” or “telling”.

The Annual Trans March – alongside Piedmont Park has people dressed all up participating on Saturday, October 13, 2018. [X-E2, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4.8, 1/1500]
My undergraduate degree was a B.S. in social work. It was this training that helped me be a better photojournalist. That coupled with my pastoral classes in seminary taught me how to prepare to be with others that are suffering  is not to think about what to say or what to do. We are not anticipating how to react to certain situations that might develop.

We prepare by being present in the moment–The NOW.

The Annual Trans March – alongside Piedmont Park has people dressed all up participating on Saturday, October 13, 2018. [X-E3, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 200, ƒ/9, 1/240]
To maintain objectivity in journalismjournalists should present the facts whether or not they like or agree with those facts. Objective reporting is meant to portray issues and events in a neutral and unbiased manner, regardless of the writers opinion or personal beliefs.

Now when I show up anywhere I am bringing all of me to that place. One of the greatest things to change my life has been my faith. When I read my bible I do not use it to condemn others, I use it to help change me. Through the years the scriptures have challenged me in ways that has helped me be a much better journalist.

Matthew 1:23 
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

When telling the story of Jesus the Bible talks about the birth of Christ and him being called Immanuel. In most of the Bibles I have they have in parenthesis what Immanuel means. “God with us.”

John 13:35
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The scripture points out that we are to be like Christ to others. We are to “be” with others.

Robin Rayne, Bureau Chief of Zuma Press, Talks with Monica Helms who created the Transgender Flag more than twenty years ago at the staging area for The Annual Trans March at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. [X-E3, XF10-24mmF4 R OIS, ISO 640, ƒ/9, 1/100]
As journalists we too need to learn to just “be” with others. This is where you are there to listen. You ask them questions to understand them. You ask for their stories.

I don’t want to hear, “If Truth be told.” This means they feel somewhat uncomfortable.

I mention that because many people feel they must be guarded. They don’t believe people will believe them and use their words against them.

My mentor Howard Chapnick wrote a book that the title alone says what the power of photojournalism is all about–Truth Needs No Ally.

Artes is from Birmingham, AL and came to be part of the The Annual Trans March at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, October 13, 2018. [X-E2, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 400, ƒ/4, 1/1800]
TRUTH is the rock foundation of every great character. It is loyalty to the right as we see it; it is courageous living of our lives in harmony with our ideals; it is always—power.

I challenge you to learn to just “be” with others today. Learn to listen. One of the hardest parts of doing this correctly is not letting someone’s comment have you thinking about a reply. Truth comes when we really listen with the intent to understand.

Photojournalist Instagram Feeds I Follow


Eugene Richards

He is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1944. After graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in English, he studied photography with Minor White. In 1968, he joined VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, a government program established as an arm of the so-called” War on Poverty.”  Following a year and a half in eastern Arkansas, Richards helped found a social service organization and a community newspaper, Many Voices, which reported on black political action as well as the Ku Klux Klan.  Photographs he made during these four years were published in his first monograph, Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta.

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"I was driving away from the cotton gin in Widener when I caught sight of an elderly woman sitting out alone on her porch. I introduced myself, then asked her her name; it was Viola Perkins. When I asked Mrs. Perkins if I could take her picture, she smiled, either happy to be having a visitor or too polite to refuse me. I took two photos. The first is of the 78-year-old woman sitting rather stiffly with her hands folded in her lap. The second photograph is a reflection of her face in a window. It shows a loosened door hinge, a bit of sky, the stumps of a dead tree, and a red stop sign that looks to be backwards, so you’re not quite sure if it’s real." -Widener, AR 2010 #eugenerichards #photoville #pho #documentary #arkansas #reflection

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Gary S. Chapman

Because impacting lives matters, Gary helps organizations tell their stories visually. He has covered humanitarian stories in more than 70 countries around the world, helping groups create awareness, express their vision and build their community. You can trust him to bring an honest, photojournalistic approach to your commercial, corporate, editorial, or non-profit assignments.

William Albert Allard

The son of a Swedish immigrant, William Albert Allard studied at the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts and the University of Minnesota with the hope of becoming a writer. Transferring to the University of Minnesota after only a year, he enrolled in the journalism program. He graduated in 1964 with a double major in journalism and photography…

Looking for work in the field of photojournalism, Allard met Robert Gilka, then National Geographic’s director of photography, while in Washington, D.C., and was offered an internship. His most notable work as an intern included his photographs of the Amish for an article entitled “Amish Folk: Plainest of Pennsylvania’s Plain People,”(published in August 1965). It is said to be regarded as landmark in the photographic evolution of National Geographic. His work led to a full-time position with the magazine.

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Crenshaw, Mississippi, 1968// In 1968 I was assigned to photograph the “Poor Peoples March” that was to start in the Deep South and end up in Washington DC. A reporter and I went to a gathering of African Americans in the area of Crenshaw, Mississippi who were supposed to leave for Washington in a day or two. The people were crowded together under a a huge canvas tent where we met the Irbys, a nice family who agreed to let us follow them back to their home later, an aged wooden tenant house sitting in the midst of vast cotton fields. But before we left the tent, I made a few portraits of some of the family but mostly of Hank, who was 17 at the time. The details in the portrait of Hank are so important probably because they are really imperfections, something one might change or correct of one we’re going to do a serious portrait session. Little details like the part of an under shirt that shows. How the top button of his shirt is buttoned tight, the second button is loose. And there are small flecks of blue paint on his shirt that echo the color of his sweater. His well worn cap is tilted just so. The wall of the tent behind him provides background color that blends so well with his dark eyes, his brown skin. His gaze at me is just slightly apprehensive but accepting. Although unstudied, it’s probably as hones and direct a portrait as I’ve ever made. @thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeocreative @leica_camera @leicacamerausa #portraitphotography #filmphotography #60s #1960s #south #kodachrome #leica #mississippi

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Randy Olson

Randy’s 30+ National Geographic projects have taken him to almost every continent. National Geographic Society published a book of his work in 2011 in their Masters of Photography series. Olson was the Magazine Photographer of the Year in the 2003 Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, and was also awarded POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 1991—one of only two photographers to win in both media in the largest photojournalism contest operating continuously since World War II.

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There are six great aquifers in the world. In North America our great aquifer is the Ogallala—it stretches from South Dakota to the Texas panhandle. Twenty percent of our food and 40 percent of our beef rely on the aquifer. It’s unfortunate that we’ve pumped the equivalent of two Lake Eries out, setting the stage for a new desert in the Texas panhandle and southern Kansas in the immediate future. The aquifer recharges at different rates. Nebraska wins the water lottery; it is the only place you can see Ogallala water at the surface. The Ogallala takes a long time to recharge in Texas, where there are the most wells, the least regulation, the hottest temperatures (even before climate change), and the slowest recharge. Entire communities in this area are already running out of water. Scarcity of water, fragile infrastructure, small dust bowls, the family farm crisis, Big Ag, and global urbanization leave some behind with few options. Small towns are disintegrating around their residents. There is rampant meth and opioid addiction in some of these places. If your hot water heater breaks, there isn’t anyone in your entire county that can fix it. I am from the Midwest, and the pain rural folks have gone through showed up this election. I saw this frustration first-hand working on the Ogallala aquifer story that ran in the August 2016 issue of National Geographic, but I never thought the level of frustration of these communities would manifest itself in this way. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety

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Lynsey Addario

An American photojournalist, Lynsey, takes us to through the raw nooks and corners of the world with her photographs, building a visually pleasureful experience for us to witness the world through her eyes.

Ed Kashi

Documenting the on-going mayhem at Syria, Kashi a photojournalist, filmmaker and lecturer through his Instagram is portraying the world of Syrian refugees, oozing of emotions and getting us up, close, and personal with their misery amongst the others.

Robin Rayne

Documentary photojournalist, filmmaker and writer. A unique perspective on society.

Joanna B. Pinneo

Ted Scripps Fellow, Environmental communications, mentor and instructor Joanna Pinneo’s photos tell stories with tenderness & insight.


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, is Inspired by Family, Passion, Love, Purpose, Respect, and Dignity as he Photographs around the World!

Peter Turnley

Peter Turnley is renown for his photography of the realities of the human condition. His photographs have been featured on the cover of Newsweek 43 times and are published frequently in the world’s most prestigious publications. He has worked in over 90 countries and has witnessed most major stories of international geo-political and historic significance in the last thirty years. His photographs draw attention to the plight of those who suffer great hardships or injustice. He also affirms with his vision the many aspects of life that are beautiful, poetic, just, and inspirational.

David Alan Harvey

Born in San Francisco, David Alan Harvey was raised in Virginia. He discovered photography at the age of 11. Harvey purchased a used Leica with savings from his newspaper route and began photographing his family and neighborhood in 1956.

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Dancers prep at the Hanoi Opera House #vietnam

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Why are clients hiring someone other than me?

Wellness Center [NIKON D5, 35.0 mm f/1.4, ISO 560, Ä/2.2, 1/100]
If you are like most photographers we like to question why people/company who know us will hire someone else to do a photography job. When I get together with other photographers you can feel the disappointment when they have their clients hiring someone other than them these days for some jobs if not all the jobs.

Wellness Center [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 8000, Ä/5.3, 1/500]
Everyone feels like at some point you have earned the right, but this isn’t really true.

We need to remind ourselves what a privilege it is to do any work.

privilege is a special advantage not enjoyed by everyone. If you’re very snooty, you probably don’t allow just anyone the privilege of being your friend. Privilege comes from Latin privilegium, meaning a law for just one person, and means a benefit enjoyed by an individual or group beyond what’s available to others.

Wellness Center [NIKON D5, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 8000, Ä/5, 1/500]
Once you have accepted the fact that you are asked to do a job the better you will be in executing it for the client.

Skip Johnson [NIKON D5, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, Ä/4, 1/200]
I must remind myself I am a service for my clients and they have many other choices they can make. What this does in my head is make me realize I am there to win them over every time I do something for them.

Be a friend you’d want to have. …
Make them feel good. …
Find the good in them. …
Put in the work to keep the friendship. …
Don’t badmouth others or gossip excessively. …
Don’t take it personally if not everyone wants to be friends.

The very hardest thing in that list of things we have all heard is that last one that everyone doesn’t want to be your friend.

Almost Maine performed by Roswell High School Theater [NIKON D750, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 2200, Ä/4, 1/80]
Intellectually I understand that I am just not going to be good friends with everyone.

We have all seen the overlapping of circles that show the intersections of interests between groups and people. If the other photographer has more overlapping interests with the client than you then it is easier to accept that you lost a job due to the other person having something more in common with the client.

Jane Yandel [NIKON D4, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/400]
What you need to keep the competition away is barriers. Now if for example your specialty in photography is underwater photography you have cut your competition down by just creating a barrier.

Your competition needs to be an expert diver, buy special camera gear and market to your clients to even compete with you.

Well today there are many more people than 20 years ago that are competing in that space. This is true for extreme sports photographers. Once TV started covering these sports there has been a spike in the participation. Basically twenty-five years ago there were a handful of rock climbing photographers and today there are hundreds, if not thousands competing with each other.

Recycling Cup – Peachtree at Collier FSR [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 100, ƒ/2.8, 1/40]

There’s a brutal truth in life that some people refuse to accept–you have no control over many of the things that happen in life.

Recognize that sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude. When you put your energy into the things you can control, you’ll be much more effective. Work on your portfolio and marketing materials.

To have the most influence, focus on changing your behavior. Be a good role model and set healthy boundaries for yourself.

[NIKON D4, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 400, ƒ/6.3, 1/100]
You might be thinking, “I can’t allow my business to fail,” you don’t take the time to ask yourself, “What would I do if my business failed?” Acknowledging that you can handle the worst case scenario can help you put your energy into more productive exercises. Basically you may need a “Plan B”.

If you are actively solving a problem, such as trying to find ways to increase your chances of success, keep working on solutions. If however, you’re wasting your time deliberating, change to a new thought. Acknowledge that your thoughts aren’t productive and get up and go do something for a few minutes to get your brain focused on something more productive.

Your lifestyle can be adding undue stress. Exercising, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep are just a few key things you need to do to take care of yourself.

[X-E2, XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS, ISO 2500, ƒ/3.2, 1/100]
The hardest part of living life with these issues is getting a healthy perspective. I recommend the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Talking with friends and asking them to be honest with you can help as well. Don’t just complain, seek to understand what you can do and what you have no control over.

There is a reason Amazing Grace is sung so much around the world. Take those words to heart.

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home,
And grace will lead us home

Amazing grace, How Sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
T’was blind but now I see
Was blind, but now I see.