Friday, January 21, 2011

Hands-On Art

End of the semester.  Mid winter funk.  Sometimes during the year, we just hit this stretch where it's been cold, snowy (well, that's good) the kids crabby from putting fifteen layers of clothes on at every recess and we just need a break.  For me, it means colors and just a step back to draw.  Fifth graders can be a goofy bunch at times.  My "Crazy Cactus" project is one I use for kindergarteners to teach patterns and color.  Well, some of the 5th gradres saw my examples on the board and begged to do them as well.  They had just finished a long stint in clay, so this was a total change.  "Okay, okay....we'll do it for a quick project-but, they better turn out better than the kindergarteners!"  So we jumped into it and they look great-really brightening up the room and soon the halls.

I had my canon along in class, so I walked around while they worked and just made pictures of what their hands were doing and thought these were interesting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Frosty Levis Ski pix

Just needed to post something......this time of year, I'm thinking skiing...all the time, even though my schedule doesn't always allow it. I usually spend as much time (maybe more hours) grooming than strapped to skis. I spend more time than about anyone "snowmobiling" 6 miles per hour.   Levis Mound, of course is where I spend so many hours, so the reflection in the glasses worked for me....planted me in a location.  And the dreaded "Facebook Profile Pic arm".....well, I don't like that, but you're not going to hide how the photo was taken.

Hopefully, in 2011, there will be a lot more frosty skis.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2010 Favorites

In Laura Schmitt's latest blog post ( I was reminded that maybe I should go back over the past year and take a second look at photographs I've made.  Some "get better" while others just.....don't....with age.  While scrolling though thousands of images I was struck not only by what I was seeing visually, but also what I was feeling as the past year scrolled by with a turn and click of the mouse.   I'd select this picture and that one and ......well, the another one just won't make the cut, even though I really like it.  There is always something in the back of my head that says "people are going to see these...and know they are supposed to be your best work!"  I found some are, and some are....for me.

I'll start with this image of Queen Annes Lace and Ruger.  When I wrote earlier of this photograph, I think I mentioned Ruger always getting involved with all the pictures I was trying to make-this one, of course, included.  It ended up being one of my favorites.  The old tracks, the new tracks, the quietness of the picture.  It does have some noise, but who cares.  I know in time, this image will be even more important, as we live through Ruger's illness, but this will always remind me of the happiness he has given us.

The first day of school-Not sure why this morning I had my camera in hand wandering the halls, but the excitement of the day was there and I just had to shoot a few images.  Of course, I know all these kids and their little personalities and wonder how much they will change as I watch them move through the grades.
The Snak Shak. Tucked away on a remote corner of Washington Island, this tiny snack stand just said so much of what it's like to live with simple pleasures.  The color, the gulls, hand painted signs and the friendliness of the woman here were things I just connected to.

Gnome fest Night Ride.  Our trail system has been lucky enough to host Gnomefest for the past couple years-a gathering of mountain bikers for a weekend of fun and festivities.  A great time and wonderful people.  While making the rounds visiting campsites on the first night, I noticed some riders returning from a night ride on singletrack-I swung my camera and was lucky enough to get this image-one I really liked a lot and says something about why I like to ride.

Ruger makes another cut and returns in this photo.  To be honest, it's one of the few photographs with Ruger in it, where it wasn't about him.  I just loved the light color and texture of the wheat field and how he just fit perfectly in the scene.

Shooting weddings is not my calling, but I've done a few and for people I know, they can be fun and entertaining...and pressure packed.  Some photographers live for that, I really don't.  I selected these two just because I think they really capture the personalities of all four people,and they were not a "say cheese" moment, but rather much more relaxed (the wedding ceremony is over-whew!) and candid.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

December 30th Hunt

Ben Franklin once petitioned to have the wild turkey as our national bird.  I think cosmetically our Bald Eagle was a better choice luckily.  For a bird with such a small brain, they sure can be a challenge to hunt, but that's why I really enjoy it.  There are few animals as wily as a hen or tom turkey and in the spring, all the calling and strategy of a successful hunt has become a passion of mine.  In the fall, they don't respond to calling as well, and for me, it's happenstance, if the opportunity presents itself, I'll try a shot.  This winter however, the birds presented a scenario I had to try.  They had been hitting a field down the road and almost daily would make their way out at a leisurely pace by mid-morning.  I had two days left to make an attempt, so with bow in hand, I set up in the snow to give it a go.  This tom did respond to some soft calling and presented me with a good shot.  I was thankful to harvest this great bird, as it has been a goal of mine for a long time to take one with a bow and arrow.  They are a tough, smart, beautiful bird and one I never tire of seeing while outdoors.