Make a Turn Right… Here.

•March 22, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I am moving my photography blog from WordPress to my photography business website.

Here is my latest photo blog:

So you can still read and  subscribe to my photographs, gear reviews, and opinions about various photo subjects there.

I am making a turn on WordPress. Subject matter of my posts at Cap’n Bill will be things one is not supposed to discuss in polite social media; that is, religion, politics, and culture.


I am imminently qualified to express an opinion. I have had one since the moment I was born and the un-Woke obstetrician slapped my butt.

I also understand I will draw fire and people will disagree with me vehemently and perhaps even worse.

Okay. That comes with the territory.

Mostly, my opinions expressed will be about the Bible and Christian life. I am qualified to speak on such things.

I was personally mentored and trained by some great scholars, people with deep experience and knowledge, who were in ministry for many decades. I was also briefly in professional ministry myself.

I believe in the God of the Bible. I believe that Jesus is his son and was present at Creation as part of the God-head. I am in fellowship with a church body, and with other Christians who will hold me accountable for everything I write.

Photography is a passion of mine, as is music, but neither of them come near to the passion for the Lord who I and a billion other people hold dear.

So I may offend people even bringing up Jesus. He predicted as much. But I expect as much or more criticism from other Christians.

That is also fair. I often agree with and even quote Bill Mahr, and other people who have no use for Christians. Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors. He was well known for skewering Presbyterians every chance he got.

Frankly, if Christians are Jesus “ambassadors” in the world we need to be poked and skewered, and we need to listen to truth even if we are shocked and offended at first. Get over it.

So I hope this will be fun and worthwhile for the reader as well as for me as I write. Lord knows, I don’t have that long on the earth on my best days. I may as well have some fun with what I believe is the most important question we face: What the heck am I doing here?


•March 16, 2022 • Leave a Comment
A crushed leaf

It was almost gone, crushed into the bricks underfoot.

High above mundane pursuits, it once observed the dark path below. It danced in gentle breeze, or dizzily thrashed about when a storm passed through. It held fast.

Sunlight and rain pressed through its veins generously feeding the tree below. It lived a life of purpose.

Seasons caught up with it, and one day it just let go. It floated down, dancing side to side, embraced and carried by the arms of the wind whose advances it once resisted.

It came to rest, not to rest, but instead to be ignored.

Inconvenient? No. You did not have to walk around it or over it. No need to wait politely for it to move out of the way. It was not in the way. In fact, it was no trouble at all. It was of no consequence.


Not quite invisible, it’s shadow of form is clearly seen, and it glows against the dark pavement. There must be hope against the gravity of time and friction.

You can still make out the veins! Something else appears in its flesh, the coarse pattern of stones from below. Contrary.

Just step on it. Crush it. Don’t break your stride. Move on. How long until there’s no memory of it? Why are you even thinking about it?

Each careless step grinds hard reality into the flesh. Soon it will disappear, saved from oblivion because someone stopped to notice.


•March 12, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Light, shadow, line, form, texture, motion, time.  I probably missed something.

I recall years ago learning how to give water that soft cotton effect, what very slow shutter speeds will do that. Water moves under the  laws of physics, and the pattern at any given instant is “random”. It is always a surprise when I photograph it what appears.

The rock is still. The water moves, but the flowing shape seems solid. Physics. Gotta love it.


•March 10, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes it’s dark. That doesn’t at all mean hopeless. Even the Psalmist felt heaviness at times.

Actually, this image may be much more hopeful than it appears at first glance. The tree grew to maturity. It overcame.



•February 16, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I’ve published three books on Amazon lately. They are catalogs of black and white and color images, nature, scenic, details, and street or eclectic photographs. I call the series Portfolios, because, well… they are small portfolios or selections of images I like. The images are for sale, of course, but you can enjoy the tiny books on their own merits. People tell me I am a good writer, so there are some stories in each book to break the monotony of just photography and add context to them. I make the books very inexpensive, and you can share them. There are three in the series so far, and I’ll have a fourth one out in a day or two. You are invited to enjoy them.

Is wandering photographically speaking the same as going for a walk; walks with no agenda. Aimless? Perhaps. I carry small viewfinder cameras like the Sony A6000 or Lummix ZS100. It is still cold, and I can slip either one of those two cameras into my jacket pocket. I set aperture priority or program, and monochrome usually, ISO 200 to 400, and aperture from f2.8 to f8.

So from my latest, aimless meandering about, stream of consciousness, grab shots, here you go. No rhyme or reason.

There are a couple from a Lego convention, a couple nature shots, a store window, and someone having a smoke.



Back in the USSR

•January 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Beatles were prophets:

Considering current events, music naturally comes to mind. How did John and Paul know?

Anyway. One of my silly song poems. You need to be familiar with My Fair Lady too. Feel free to dance joyously!

From my new musical, “My Fair Crazy”:

The reign of pain falls mainly on Ukraine
(By Joe he’s got it. Putin’s got it.)
The reign of pain falls mainly in Ukraine
(What of Europe? He’ll make syrup!)

Oh would you please explain.
Yes, Ukraine.
It’s simple as the rain.
Yes Ukraine!

Ol’ Vlad he drives the train to take Ukraine.
(Is he mean?
You mean Crimean.)
No. He merely digs the Black Sea terrain.
(Oh, Ukraine. Yes, Ukraine!)

(Orchestra interlude)

Well soon he’ll cross “inviolable” soil
(Says Speaker Nancy, who dresses fancy)
And suck up all that luscious greasy oil
(Oh how handy. Vlad’s such a dandy.)

I offer one more verse.
(You do say. Oh what a curse.)
I swear I’ll make it terse.
( Please not more. What could be worse?)

Invasion is persuasion gone astray.
(So give a shout. What’s this about?)
That Ruskies and their huskies can 
Black Sea vaaa-caaay! Ole!

Thank you. Thank you vera mush.
(c)2022 Cap’n Bill

At least my commentary may be unique, certainly not the inspiring original music nor the news. You cannot make this stuff up. Maybe it really is only about those Ukraine girls.

What? No photos? Nope. Sometimes you need ideas and words.



•January 22, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The temperature did not get out of the thirties yesterday. The skies were a dismal gray. Hardly photography weather for most people. For me, it was almost perfect. (I was sort of hoping for ice, though.)

There were a few others on the trail, hardy souls, willing to brave the chilly mist. It cuts to the bone, but my Celtic blood seems to enjoy it. Dress appropriately, no kilts. If you’re moving you can get by with a little less. If you stop for awhile to photograph then you chill more quickly.

Cameras have operating temperatures too, and they are sensitive to humidity. How did those Nikon F’s and Leicas make it through the jungles of Vietnam where film would stick together because of humidity?

I like my Nikon D5600. It is lighter, but it is not as robust as my D7500. I use Live-view a lot and the D5600 Live-view is activated and deactivated by a small lever on the top deck. That is more convenient than the button on the back side of the D7500. The D5600 screen folds out and rotates, too. I like that a lot for composing images.

The D5600 is not made for extremes in weather: 0 °C to 40 °C (+32 °F to 104 °F) Humidity: 85% or less (no condensation). Having said that, it is more about the batteries and electronics. They will work just fine in colder and hotter temperatures, but you might have to tuck them inside your jacket.

The D7500 has the same temperature and humidity range as the D5600, as does the $6499.95 Nikon “Flagship” D6. Whaaa?.

My 7500 has weather sealing. It has a metal chassis. The D5600, has weather sealing too: Me. I seal it and protect it. Otherwise it does not. It is mostly “plastic” with metal at key locations in the body.

I have needed weather sealing at times, and I found out how tough a D7500 is once in the mountains. It was raining and the camera slipped, did a somersault, and crashed on top of a rock, pentaprism down, from about four feet. The fall took a small chunk of plastic from the pentaprism housing, and the fall broke the LCD, but otherwise the camera worked. Nikons are tough.

Will the mirrorless Z model Nikons be as tough? My guess is they will probably be more robust and resilient without the pentaprism and mirror mechanism. What about shutter cycles? Why wouldn’t a mirrorless camera body give us many more shutter cycles than a DSLR? I still own a Nikon EM working perfectly (1980 to present). There is no reason other than planned obsolescence and Moore’s Law that should send a Z body to recycling.

If you or Nikon USA want to donate a new Z body and lens, I will be happy to do an “angry gorilla toughness” test.

But on this day I wanted light and convenient. I put the kit lens (18-55 f3.5-f5.6 G) on the D5600. I put an extra battery and a Nikon 4T screw-on, closeup lens in my pocket. A small light no-name tripod I got online completed my gear.

Stocking cap, Georgia Tech hoodie, fleece lined bomber jacket, gloves with nubby rubber grippers on the fingers, wool socks, Merrell Moab 2 hiking shoes completed my fashion statement. Fashion should be a statement and not a question. I probably gravitate more toward a question mark than a period. I looked like a criminal but that is okay, because I am old and people expect no less from folks my age. Looking creepy is kind of my style.

When the skies are totally gray, I aim the camera down. The reduced light is good for that cotton-like effect on flowing water. Details appear that bright sunlight and the accompanying contrast hide. The downside is many times the gray light leads to gray photographs. It was like that this time. I only had a couple keepers and they required a bit if localized editing to improve the tones. Brown and gray. I could have made them all sepia tone, and they would have passed for color images.

Here ya go. Not a great day for trophies, but interesting to me none the less.

Enjoy photography even when you might prefer to wrap in a blanket on the couch. I think I shall do that right now.



•December 28, 2021 • Leave a Comment

“The humans live in time but our Enemy (God) destines them for eternity.” 

C. S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters, 1946. Quoted from a letter from the demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood.

This time of year is always hard. I won’t go into details and get overly dark, but several people I know are going through a rough time today. We all do. It seems joy and happiness are the exception, yet we expect them. We go to great effort to obtain them. We feel cheated if we don’t get them.

Photographs, such as the one I post here, are trite. However, if I posted a butterfly would that be better? It would be cloying and clumsy, even sacrilegious among images of suffering we could present. We cannot show too much, else we become callous to the grotesque. When cruel reality finally smacks us upside the head, many of us despair, rage, rant, grieve, deny, or go mad. “Life sucks, then we die,” is the pre-mortem epitaph we humans stamp upon it all. It is the air we breathe on this earth.

Yet. There exists something very different and real.

Hope exists in spite of it all. Faith exists. Love exists. Joy exists. Four part harmony responds to the madness and contradicts the lie. In Psalms, in the Bible, many of the 150 songs and poems speak of not just humans but the entire creation, even mountains singing and… praising God? In spite of all this trouble we see?

The entire book of Job deals with suffering and the good man’s dialogue with God about the matter. “In all this, Job did not sin.” Yet he suffered.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” “Be of good cheer” in the original language means to be bold and courageous. There is also a connotation of calm inner confidence. Loony Tunes. Is Jesus crazy? Many think so.

I dislike medical dramas. Nothing like that lasts only an hour. Reality is a minimum four hour wait in the ER if you are there personally, and not some actor. Sucks to be you.

In the drama, when the dying patient or her family talks of hope, I question in my mind, “Hope in what?” “She’s gone to a better place.” Really? How do you know? Upon what do you base it? They never define “hope” in what or where or who on streaming TV shows.

But Jesus says what we know deep down. His is “good cheer” based on something solid and not a vague wish. He backs it up with himself. And “himself” is backed up by eye witnesses that Jesus is actually, really truly alive after dying, and the fact is backed up by the assurance of the Holy Spirit within us. It is backed up by lives of real people who meet trouble not with a dance routine but with courage. (As an aside, it is definitely not true that everyone who claims to wear the label Christian has a golden ticket out of here.)

“Oh, there you go. You brought in Jesus. I thought I smelled it.” Yep, he’s all I got to offer. What’s your alternative when you are eaten alive with cancer, or your child is, some wispy wish? Reliance on good deeds that you hope will be good enough? Reincarnation? The Force? Reabsorption into the Cosmos, black hole, or into an energy field. Nirvana? Or is reality just food for worms: “When you die you’re like dead dog Rover; When you’re dead, you’re dead all over.”

Some of the social media apps offer you a photograph. You know, a “memory” from so many years ago. After hearing all the trouble going on in my friends’ lives today, I was sitting here about to write, and a photograph popped up. It looks pleasant enough, but the hidden context we later discovered in some dark times that began on that day. Things stayed dark for a couple years, but broke out into joy. That’s another story.

So, the photograph pops up. And I think about my friends… And I think about their trouble… And I looked at that photo… And I think about trouble… And I almost went dark myself.

Then I started laughing. There is a neurological condition marked by inappropriate laughter, the pseudobulbar effect. That’s not what happened. Nor was it my dark humor. I know how to be dark. No, I started laughing, because I saw through the Evil One’s strategy, that even though the suffering is very real, I know the lie is in despair and hopelessness. I do not have that. We do not have to accept that.

Laughter! Yeah it stops evil in its tracks. When laughter comes from joy, it is an indignity that evil cannot endure. It is the emphatic contradiction of suffering! Jesus says, “Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

Happy New Year.

Gnarly Woods

•December 26, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Georgia does not offer the sharply chiseled granite cliffs, deep blue, haze free skies of the West. Our mountains are rounded green or brown mounds, depending on the season. The woods are gnarly, with vines and sharp briars. The streams and rivers are often muddy.

Broad vista’s are available at a humble 4500 feet, where the hills recede in blue and gray misty layers. Still air is hot and humid in the summer, and wet in the winter, with only an occasional snow or ice storm to make things really interesting on the highways.

Photography here is more about the details within. Contemplation is enclosed by a canopy of green. Our ideas and ideologies are probably shaped by the land more than we realize.

I went for a walk on Christmas Eve. The weather was gray. The lighting was flat. The color was brown. Details were clearly visible.

I love the winter months, with the cold air and clear trails. Christmas Eve is a good day for a walk in the gnarly Georgia woods.



•December 22, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A simple post. Here are a couple gems I found while digging in old photographs and negatives.

The first is a photograph of my oldest daughter’s hair. I vividly recall taking the picture. I thought at the time something like, “Wow! There is a thing going on here.” What thing? Perhaps it was inspiration. Perhaps it was indigestion. Bad pizza causes gas and visions.

My Daughter’s Hair

Next up is a sweet moment when my youngest child was being introduced to her older sister. They’ve always been close. Maybe there was just too much going on, with a new baby the challenges of a young family. I do not vividly remember this event. Obviously, I was there.


It’s not that I consider these works of art, whatever that is. They invite me to consider life.