Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shot Of The Day

Today was a good day. I got to go to the Federal Court House and watch my good friend, Hakan Hare, and 71 other happy people take the oath and become brand new citizens of the United States of America. Years of waiting, piles of paperwork, lots of studying. A real commitment. I wonder how many born and raised US citizens could pass the citizenship test. I wonder how many would be willing to put in the hard work that these 72 did.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thought Of The Day

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark would burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled out by dry rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

Robert Frost

Sunday, January 25, 2009

ALWAYS Carry Your Camera

This shot is from the scene of a car fire/fatality that is currently under investigation. I was out in the country and noticed the police had blocked off the road and were doing a crime scene investigation. I had no idea at the time what was going on but shot it anyway.
As utterly average as this shot is it has now showed up on 3 web sites and one TV news cast. If you don't have the camera you might as well not be there. Money? Nope. Recognition? Nope. Just kind of fun. Now why can't they use any of my GOOD shots?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Steam Train

I'm far from a photoshop expert, and kind of glad of it. Not that there are some great artists out there who have mastered post production. Ron Jones is one of my favorites. I will tweak things and that's about it. A touch here or there is all I do now. I'm learning though. On this shot I couldn't resist. I was having coffee in the 5th Ward last summer and heard a steam whistle. I DID have my camera with me this time. When I was editing I decided to try to take out the modern touches in the scene. It's a pretty amateur job but I like the results. I especially like the guy in the window in the white t-shirt looking at the train go by. I'm sure someone like Ron could really make it cool.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting Bored With This Weather

Being born and raised here in Wisconsin, winter is just a fact of life. And as much as I can adapt and brave the cold, and as much as I like challenging winter shots......... I really can't wait to see this again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Some days when I go out to shoot I'm in the middle of a stressful day. It's hard to take good photos when your brain is all cluttered. I know this is a recurring theme with me but I really believe there is a Zen aspect to photography. If you want images that reflex peaceful feelings you have to feel peaceful. Relax, sit quietly and really start to look at whats around you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shot Of The Day

Over the weekend I had to leave town on business. I knew it would be a short trip; leave Friday early afternoon and return home Sunday early afternoon. I packed up and decided since it was mostly business I would leave the camera bag at home. It's heavy and bulky and it would be locked in my hotel room all weekend. Such a pain to drag around.

On the drive home Sunday morning across the Wisconsin winter countryside, the temperature and humidity were just right. The trees on the ridges of the snow covered rolling farmland were covered in an otherworldly hoar frost. A beautiful white crust of frozen fog covered the dark grey Ash and Oak. The golden dried grasses sticking up through the snow glittered with feathery crystals. Rolling snow covered fields, frosted trees, moody sky, old barns......... no camera.

Lesson learned.

Shot Of The Day

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thank You

On a whim I added a counter to the bottom of my blog to see if anyone was actually viewing it. I'm actually kind of surprised. (thanks for stopping in so often Mom) Also thanks for the comments. I'll use them to guide future posts if I can.

Learning To See

When I go out to shoot I can almost as a rule delete the first 50 images or so. Why? My brain takes time to relax and my vision needs time distill the scene down to what I'm really seeing and feeling. Feeling? For me photography has a Zen aspect. It relaxes me. It centers me. When I go out to shoot though it takes time to get there mentally. We've all taken a photo of a beautiful scene only later to toss it because it didn't really capture the moment. One morning on a short vacation I was sipping coffee in a friends dining room. I was feeling tired and stressed from the day before when through my cluttered mind I noticed the orchids next to me. I knew there was something there but I wasn't sure what I wanted to shoot. After a while I began to see them looking out the window at the rising sun just as I had been doing. I shot different images for about a half hour. I really love the light and the shadows on the flowers. It's a very peaceful images for me that brought my balance back that day.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Side Of The Road

You don't have to go far to get a nice shot but you do have to be there. These were shot standing on a bridge at a local park. The heavy snow was stuck to everything but it was a flat grey day. I stopped to look at the stream to try to see a shot and the sun came out for about five minutes. Sometimes you get lucky if you wait for it.

Shot Of The Day

One of the things non-photographers don't understand is why we just pull over to the side of the road to take a picture or show up late for an appointment because the light was really great. This is 100th of a second of something that lasted about 10 minutes after the first snow this fall. After I shot this the wind picked up and it was gone. It's not technically perfect. It was nearly dark out and I was trying to balance the flash with the natural light before the snow blew off or melted. If you don't take the shot and it goes away you can never get it back.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I went to Alaska in August of 2006. It's a place that is hard to describe and harder to capture on film. I can't wait to get back up there and shoot some more. This shot was actually taken by a friend of mine up there. He sent it to me and I worked it a little.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

So..... This blogging thing is new for me. What's it all about? I guess for me....since no one is likely to follow it....unless they are really bored or it's my's a way for me to stay on top of things, keep organized and keep shooting. If you're out there let me know.

This is my mom and dad's new cat.

Shot Of The Day

Where to begin. Yesterday was not a great day to be out shooting. Bad light, wind, not much time. I was out working and breaking in a new pair of boots so I had to get out and walk in some water. I found this little guy. Not sure what to call it. Ice climber? Iceman? Ice Surfing? I think there is a little humor in his body language.

Saturday, January 3, 2009