Monday, August 30, 2010


Summer is over.  Not technically, but when I'm back in the classroom, it's over and fall starts.  There has been a spattering of trees turning colour, and late season flowers are in full bloom.  The Big Blue Stem looks great in the Sturtz Prarie.  The wedding photos have kept me pretty busy-working on the slideshow dvd, getting the right music, burning all the photos to disks after editing.  So any other photography has been a bit slow.  To use this last bit of summer, I've tried to ride (mountain bike and Harley) as much as possible.  Usually my old Canon Powershot is tucked in a jersey pocket.  So yesterday, I just stopped alongside the rd and made a few pictures of the thistles re-seeding themselves.  I love how they look during the summer-the bright blue flower pods, but now they're prepping for fall themselves.  Not a great shot, but I was happy to press the shutter again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tom and 'Lish

Another summer wedding.  I've found that it is a lot more fun to shoot weddings for people I know.....okay I'll admit, those are the only ones I have so far.  Weddings kinda scare me-I mean, you get one chance, and you can't screw up and those "moments" move quickly and you really can't get them back.  This wedding was in Fitchburg, south of Madison in a modern church.  Indoors, without flash is not the easiest, but I had bought the f1.8 80mm and f1.8 28mm just for this situation.  The high iso on my newer camera also helps.  In any regard, it went pretty well and the church design allowed me to move near the front and get some nice shots.  I tried to shoot documentary style for the rehearsal and wedding day, and there were tons on group shots to do also.  Editing on the 700+ pictures started during the weekend and now I'm fine tuning the best ones for a slideshow dvd.  I also tried some montage images which are below, just for fun.  Tom and 'Lish are a great fun couple and even though at times I felt like I was going at breakneck speed, it was fun and an honor to make their pictures.

Flower girl
Ready for the processional

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Order & Pick-Up

Jackson Harbor is on the NE corner of Washington Island, a jumping off point (literally) for the Rock Island State Park.  It is home to a dozen slips with boats and two still viable commercial fishermen-eeking out a few dollars on whitefish or lawyer (burbot).  It also has a tiny maritime museum and a old trailer snack stand.
I couldn't resist making a picture of this stand with it's "order" and "pick-up" gulls and the most friendly woman taking orders.  The colors were devine and this place showed the years of wear working at this remote corner of Wisconsin.  I'm glad we have places like this.
Order and Pick-Up

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rail Yard, Rhinelander

We visited the old rail yard in Rhinelander during the SOA as one of our photo exercises-and interesting place.  I like old locations like this with history and usually my interest forces me to research it more after returning.  This spot had a huge old railroad car "garage" which was no longer in use.  I'm not sure how old it was, but the construction, using massive timbers was really impressive.  The sun was overhead, so it was tough to find just the right place to make pictures.  The one that follows was just an old door on the side of the bulding.  For me, anyway, I just had to take the shot.  I liked it in an abstract was also-the shapes and lines and just character.
Sliding Door
This next image was as we were leaving-Doug had his camera along and of course, we as his students, watched him and what he found interesting to make pictures of.  This streaming sky apeared late while we gathered and became an instant subject.  I don't know if my photograph is much different than anyone elses, but after seeing it, I enjoyed the way the powerlines and pole mimic the lines and shapes in the sky.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Abstracts from SOA

I thought I'd "release" some of the SOA photos a few at a time-maybe because some have a common theme, and perhaps I didn't want to post a bunch of pictures all at once.  One thought I've had, and sometimes it's a frustration, is I have not "settled down" with one common subject matter or even a style.  In discussing that at SOA, the conclusion was to not worry about it.  We also talked about A Body of Work...what does that mean?  Should I have a body of work yet?  Doug made a great point that over a period of time a body of work, or common themes seem to just happen.  In what we find interesting to make pictures of and in the decisions we make when pressing the shutter.  Some may complete themselves, while others never really go anywhere.  So there are times I love nature based subjects, sometimes people and many times the abstract.  I think the abstract comes from many years making jewelry-working exclusively with shape form and texture, so when I see a strong design, many times very minimal, I'm drawn to it. 
    So the two images below have been soaking in while writing and I realize they both are pretty strong in featuring the elements of art- line, shape, color, texture, form, space, value.  Maybe that's why they are growing on me?  Maybe that's why I pressed the shutter?
Homage to Ellsworth Kelly
Art Elements in Stainless Steel

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I'm not sure how I ended up here.  This was "Show me the face of god" exercise after all.  I headed for the river and the lily pads and reeds were all well and fine, but the darkness under the bridge is where I needed to explore.  Of course, there was a ton of graffitti painted here and grit and grime and dried mud.  Not Rhinelander's best side.  The old Huffy mountain  bike was just odd-no spokes (maybe rusted off years ago?) and dragged up on the shore like some dead animal skeleton.   I needed to make a couple pictures here and they had to be black and white.  Tricky white balance-so dark under here, but the bright sunlight doing it's best to break in from the sides.
Bike Bones