Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Slide Show

Had a touch of the swine flu this week so I decided to try a new project. I've always wanted to put together slide shows on Youtube so I gave it a go. I love the results. Not bad for my first try. I love it and I hope you do too.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

'tween seasons

Fall is gone and winter is not quite here. Now what? I'm planning on an indoor cut flower studio to keep me occupied.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Look for one thing, find another.

I headed to one of my favorite botanical gardens to clear my head after a long day. I had a few things in my mind to shoot but the wind wasn't cooperating and the irrigation system was on . On the way out I noticed a Hybiscus in a pot near the entry gate.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shot of the Day

Sitting in the back yard watching the day end. Nikon D200, 105 f:2.8 VR, f-11, 250th sec. handheld. No photoshop other than dust removal.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A walk to recharge

Today was a chilly (57) day and really windy and dark. It's actually warmer today up by my friend in Fairbanks. I had a pretty stress filled week and really not feeling too creative. I was out with my dog near one of my shooting places. It's a 40 acre or so conservancy area that is mostly prairie, some Oak stands and a couple small ponds. Summer colors were coming to an end, it's windy as heck and I was working so I left the camera bag at home.

Decided to let the dog run and did an hour or so hike on the trails. We had a couple days of nice rain and the prairie was alive with all new color. The Goldenrod, Aster and Chicory were in full bloom. There are also a lot of flowers I haven't figured out yet. It was actually nice to not have the camera and just look around imagining shots.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Get out and shoot

It's inevitable. Summer is coming to an end. There are still lots of colors out there to shoot but man oh man if you miss a week some of the stuff is long gone. Gone till next year. I took a long walk with the dog through one of my prairie areas and was amazed at how much changed in a week. Most of the Grey Headed Coneflowers were done, Black Eyed Susans too. It you're serious about shooting flowers there is no time to waste. During the next four weeks the Asters will be up. The Thistles are starting to flower now and the Monarchs are out fueling up. There is still lots to do. The bugs are out in force. Bees are really active and soon the late flowers like Sedum and Aster will be in bloom. Don't waste a good day. Before we know it the fall winds will kick up and the trees will be changing.

Why no photo? I'm headed out to shoot. I can edit later.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I love late light low angle shots

It's always hard for me to resist. I'm driving home after an appointment and something like this catches my eye. The sun is low and the oblique light starts shining through and over flowers. These came from some total strangers yard. I interupted dinner and asked permission to shoot the flowers. They were thrilled. I always e-mail them the best of the shoot.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gallery Night July 24, 25

My second gallery night show is coming up fast. This one will be awesome. I have 7 or 8 brand new images printed on canvas. Large prints. New space. Better place. Great images. Stop by and see me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

So Much And So Little Time

This is crazy time for me. My responsibilities as a landscape architect and project manager take up all sorts of time. The colors of spring and early summer draw me like a magnet.

A million projects going and hundreds of photos backed up and ready to be edited. Friday I finally had enough and canceled (rescheduled) two appointments with landscape customers and shot a couple hundred images. I have another gallery to work with now (that makes 3) and my second Gallery Night coming up in July. Large canvas print sales have been a big surprise. Five big prints in the past 3 weeks. Two of them 48 inches wide.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shot Of The Day

Some people are shy about ringing doorbells. That's not me. Yesterday I was driving to a job and saw a whole landscape of crocus and daffodils. I'm not sure why I never noticed it before. I have always loved that house. A small prairie style on a small hill under mature trees. I rang the doorbell and asked if I could "borrow" their flowers for a bit. It made my day to be laying under the trees, in the leaves getting up close and personal with the flowers. It really made my day. Little did I know that I also made the day of the owners. It turns out that the mother of the gentleman who built the house in 1954 loved flowers and planted all of the bulbs and shrubs in the yard. He came out smiling and told me that his mother was smiling down from heaven while I was enjoying her work. He said I can come back anytime...and I will.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Being In The Moment

There is nothing better in the word than being out shooting and letting your mind relax. It's a form a meditation. You go out to a location or see something on the roadways to capture. As you start shooting the images you capture are more record shots, snapshots of the location. It's what most people who notice the scene would see. As you start the process of seeing and do what I call distilling the images you start to relax. As you relax you open your mind's eye to what it was you saw that made you stop. The world goes away. You blend in to the surroundings and really see.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ah! Color

I love spring! Winter has lasted WAY too long. If you see some guy pulled over to the side of the road laying down looking odd. It's me.

Website Is Up And Running

At Last! is up and running. I'm in the process of adding the photos but finally it's done. Stop by and take a look. It was designed by a guy named Chris Dix. He's great although he turns down too much work. Check him out at .

Thursday, April 2, 2009

If You Slow Down And Look Close

If you drive through old neighborhoods or past old farms and you keep your eyes open for small specks of white you'll be seeing Snowdrops popping up. Great little flowers that grow in clumps and naturalized groupings. They can tolerate the cold nights and frigid soils and tell us that spring is at last here. Keep your eyes open.

Store Bought Flowers

I was sitting in a coffee shop, my other office, this morning and notices some nice patterns in some cut much for work. Money is overrated anyway.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Exhibit Info

Artist reception: Friday, April 17th, 6-9
Saturday, April 18th, noon -3

more info at

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shot Of The Day 3-31-09

It has to happen. Fortunately snow in March, April and yes sometimes May is only temporary and it serves to water the new bulbs. I just hope we get another little snow after the bulbs pop out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shot Of The Day 3-25-09

I love looking them in the eye and wonder what they are thinking. He was probably looking at his reflection in the lens just like I was looking at mine in his eye.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gallery Images For Focus On Nature Exhibition

On April 17th and 18th I will be showing these pieces at the invitation of Kristen Westlake at her show "Focus On Nature". I hope to see you there. For more info go to

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Focus On Nature

I'm very excited to announce my first gallery show. I'll be showing along with Kristen Westlake at Light Ideas Gallery in Milwaukee .


"Focus on Nature"

Kristen Westlake
Jerry Cahak

Exhibition Opening:

Friday, April 17th and Saturday, April 18th, 2009
Ongoing thru May 18th.

Exhibition Times:

Artists Reception
6 pm to 9 pm (04/17), 12 pm to 3 pm (04/18)
Noon to 5:00 pm Thursday - Saturday and by Appointment
Please call 414-238-6888

Exhibition Review:

Nature simply does exactly what Nature is. In today's fast paced world our own Human Nature often gets lost in the shuffle, the hustle and the bustle of the things that we call life. The deadlines we "have to" make, the meetings we "have to" take, and the dates we dare not break are not the focus of life. If we take a look inside ourselves and focus we will find that we really are not simply what we do. I invite you and challenge you to take a few steps to the side each day. Step out of the "linear" trap. The linear path takes you from Point A to Point B but it never permits you to see beyond its blinders. Step out of the box and into a circle and you will focus differently. Instead of destinations you will see journeys. Instead of expectations you will see possibilities. Explore the places that these journeys and possibilities intersect. This intersection is your intrinsic nature - this is your life's purpose. When we focus on Nature we observe that Nature simply does what Nature is. Are you picturing clearly who you are?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who Thinks This Is Ok?

As an outdoorsman and nature photographer I, like others, seek out the unspoiled, the pristine. We look for clear water and blue skies, for undisturbed, untrammeled areas. We tend to head off trail to photograph away from signs of human traffic, away from the footprints and tire tracks. In more urban areas those areas do exist. There are small pockets and edges and green spaces that offer countless photo opportunities. The majority of my work in fact is shot in Milwaukee and Waukesha county in close proximity to urban areas.

I was shooting in one such area on a lake in Waukesha county when it struck me just how much trash gets thrown out in these areas. It's always happened but with the snow melt an entire winters worth of bags and cups and diapers sprout up like mushrooms along the edges of parking lots and trails. Today I decided not to ignore it.

Who does this? Why do they think it's ok? In this particular area there is a dumpster and a delux porta-potty but there is trash everywhere. This is in a fairly affluent area used often by hikers, fishermen, duck hunters and bird watchers. Who thinks this is ok? Do they think it goes away? Is it someone elses problems? These are the same people who if they saw my dog do it's business in the parkway in front of their house would have a fit. The parkway is technically public land. The difference is THEY would have to clean it up because if they didn't it would affect THEM. In a park they can just toss it and drive off.
In the twisted back room of my mind I would love to find the owners of the trash and mail it to them......or take my dog for a walk.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Walking The Edges

With the awesome spring weather I forced myself away from my "work" to get out and enjoy sprint. Those of you that know me may chuckle at the thought of me ever having to be forced to get away from work.

One of my favorite things to do is to explore the edges. The edges are where the details are. It's where the snow first sticks or lingers a little too long. It's where Mother Nature catches all the trash on a windy day. It's the place where creatures great and small go to hide, eat, sleep or just hang out. It's the margin between winter and spring.

In early spring it's where things happen first. Walk slowly, stay quiet, pay attention.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Large Scale Display

Here is a project that I reluctantly agreed to. I wasn't convinced that it would look good or even work. The end results were awesome. I took an image that a friend liked, cropped it to a perfect square and had it printed 36 by 36. Yes a three foot square print. The print was super sharp and the main subject was dead center although I think if you pay attention to the cut lines there are some pretty cool possibilities. The large print was then cut into 9, 12 inch squares and each was framed with a very simple, thin black mat. We hung them then with a space between the frames making a mosaic that measured about 43 inches square.

What were the difficulties? Freaking out cutting up a VERY expensive print for one. A mistake on one of the nine and you had to print the entire print over. Why not do nine separate prints? My main worry was not having consistent color and contrast on all 9 prints. Also, the cost wasn't really that much less. Hanging the project was kind of a pain too. Spacing and leveling was critical. I think they have to straighten them all the time too.

Would I do it again? Probably. I think I would do it with canvas prints without frames though.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Amber Drops

I have to get out and work this subject more. But not right now.....33 and freezing rain.

Shot Of The Day

Stop to shoot one thing and see something totally unexpected.

I was driving home at the end of a damp, dark day. There was a constant drizzle and low dark sky. I took my normal shortcut through my favorite park and saw a few geese on a small pond with a little snow and some alder and pine in the background. I thought there was a shot there so I parked down the road, put on the one lens I thought I would need and walked the quarter mile down the wet, goose pooped lawn area to get the shot without spooking the geese. Nice and peaceful, slow and calm.

It was wet, it was chilly, it wasn't fun.

When I got to the pond though I noticed something totally unexpected. The water was hanging in drops on the catkins of the alder on the edge of the pond. The long slender male catkins had clear water droplets hanging off of them. (note: there are both male and female catkins on each alder tree) The water on the female catkins had leached out the tanic acids of the wood and made the water droplets a beautiful amber color.

With the dark sky, the puffs of wind and cluttered compositions getting a good shot was a challenge. This is about the best I could do.

Regardless though the scene was remarkable and unexpected.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Almost There

From here on out snow is just a temporary inconvenience. A novelty. I have vowed to not shovel it any more this year. I'm done with it.

I can't wait for the first flowers to pop. Crocus, Scilla, Snowbells. I have a couple places with the best Forsythia too. I keep looking up to the Maples to see the buds swelling.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

1000th Viewer

I'm amazed at how many people check in on this blog. Bored? Intersted? I'm coming up on the 1000 person mark. Amazing. When you check in scroll to the bottom. If you are number 1000 drop me an e-mail and I'll send you a print.