Here are my best photos from July:
In the first session, Ms. Burnstine showed examples of the work of noted photographers in various genres of landscape photography. Our first assignment was to choose two of the genres and shoot two to four photos within that genre. Here are the photos I shot.
In the style of Michael Levin in the Second Wave Of Pioneers landscape genre:
In the style of Edward Burtynsky in the Documentary: Roots in Civil War, American Landscape, Farm Security Administration (FSA) * genre:
* The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a New Deal agency created in 1937 to combat rural poverty during the Great Depression in the United States. It succeeded the Resettlement Administration (1935–1937). . . The FSA is famous for its small [including, for example, Dorothea Lange] but highly influential photography program, 1935–44, that portrayed the challenges of rural poverty
I used to post “best of” photo/videos once a month. I haven’t done so in a year. I’m now photographing again, having recovered enough from a stubborn illness. So here are my best photos from March, April, May, and June.
I read the words below in an e-mail from Playing For Change, an organization well worth supporting.
Let us learn from our wrongs. Let us recompense and make right. Let us make this a better place. To be silent is to be complicit. We will use our voices to drown out this hatred together.
The e-mail also had a link to A Better Place, a fine song about freedom and justice.
And a link to another stirring song: Love Train
This week I worked on the Digital Photography School’s weekly challenge: Trees. I went to the Benson Brook Route trail in the Governor Knowles State Forest in Western Wisconsin. Plenty of trees. I also found subjects on the county roads in the area.
Kevin Drum, who blogs for Mother Jones, writes today that “violets traditionally represent peace and healing,” That a good reason (excuse?) for posting some of my recent violet photos.
Before you look at the photos check out this fine song, One Fine Day, featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, David Byrne, and Mauro Refosco.
I chased a storm the other day but never caught it. I started the chase a half-hour too late. By the time I reached my destination, the storm was well off to the northeast.
So I turned back for home without having taken a single photo. Luck, however, was with me. Just as the sun was setting, I came upon a tractor that had been left out in the field. I had just enough time for one photo.
Here is my best photography from May and June. It is accompanied by songs about bells. The first is “I Want To Ring Bells” by Joe Venuti and His Orchestra, released in 1934. The second is “Whispering Bells” recorded in 1957 by the Del-Vikings.
I chased a storm and cornered it in Stillwater, Minnesota on Sunday about 11:15 PM. A Catholic church and the historic, County Courthouse are in the foreground.
A collection of my photographic prints is now on display at 200 Main Art & Wine in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It’s a pleasant gallery to visit with good art and good wine. Also, the biggest white dog in Wisconsin, or at least in Eau Claire.
200 Art & Wine
200 Main Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701
My best photography from April. Short and sweet.
I finally saw my first wildflower of the season at Willow River State Park. I wasn’t too excited when it turned out to be a dandelion. Within a yard of the dandelion were a few small, blue violets. I don’t know what type of violet. Wildflowers can be hard to identify. For example, I also saw some small white flowers that could be either a type of everlasting or a type of pussytoes. I’m not sure which.
I’m working on a project to photograph wildflowers in Willow River State Park, but the first wildflower I’ve seen this year was on the North Country National Scenic Trail, three hours north of Willow River. It’s a round-lobed hepatica. The flower is about 1/2 inch and is two inches above the forest floor. The resulting photo is below along with a few other shots from on the trail.
I’ve started working on a project to photograph wildflowers in Willow River State Park from the start of the season until the frosts of autumn: wildflowers in the same location throughout a single season.
I’ve seen no wildflowers yet, so I’ve been shooting leftovers from last year that have spent the season under the snow and whatever new growth I can find. The first things I noticed were the sporophytes of moss. The moss is a brilliant green among the drab browns and tans of early spring.
Then there is a small plant with geranium-like leaves that always seems to be green.
Within the last week, the buds on trees and shrubs have plumped up. They’ve added a tinge of color to the forested hillsides. Over the last few days, new grasses have emerged and are adding their bit of green.
I’ve been procrastinating about posting this video. Better late than never. Enjoy.
All shot in my kitchen-table studio using flowers from the grocery store.
Spoken without irony by Nigel Danson:
Photography is so much fun. It’s minus two with a wind chill of about minus thirteen.
The quote above is from one of Nigel’s YouTube videos from Iceland. It’s just as cold in Wisconsin, actually colder and a lot more snow, but photography can still be fun!
February 3rd, 2018: Stuck in the snow in Cornell, Wisconsin. It was a Saturday, and I had to call 911 to get a tow truck to come and pull me out.
February 16th, 2019: Yesterday, a year later, and I was stuck again, in the ditch of a dirt road in Pierce County, Wisconsin. Again I had to call 911. Lots of help eventually showed up at the same time; a sheriff’s deputy, a farmer from the top of the hill, and a truck from Larry’s Towing. The farmer pulled me out before the tow truck arrived. The towing company didn’t charge me a cent even though they drove many miles to where I was stuck. I greatly appreciated all the help.
Day One: January 30th. -20° F, wind chill -39° F, clear and bright
Day Two: February 3rd. +36° F, no wind chill, dense fog throughout the day
Day Three: February 7th. +19° F, wind chill 7° F, heavy snow, wind, getting colder
Here are my best shots from January. I spent too much time indoors, so much of my photography was done in my kitchen-table studio.
I wrote what follows yesterday at noon. The weather remains frigid. I’ll stay inside today.
I’m trying to decide if I should leave my apartment today. It’s blisteringly cold outside – minus 20° F, wind chill minus 39° F. I do not want to go out there. On the other hand, I’m bored with the food I have on hand in my apartment. Should I venture out in search of food?
At some time today, whether I go out or not, I’ll use a great app I recently discovered, A Soft Murmur. A Soft Murmur does an excellent job of playing “Ambient sounds to wash away distractions” including rain, waves, wind, birds, crickets, fire. One can adjust the individual sounds and mix them.
I’ve found that if I lay on my sofa listening to my mix of waves, wind, birds, and crickets and feeling a soft breeze (my ceiling fan on low), I can close my eyes and feel that I’m relaxing on a warm June day. I find it somewhat uncanny. All that’s missing is some scents of summer. It’s free and easy to use. You can find it at asoftmurmur.com. (I’m not getting a penny for this plug.)
I did go out and even took a few photos. In doing so, I was only out of my car for two minutes. Then my lungs started complaining about being subjected to the icy air. Here are a couple shots that I don’t think actually convey how cold it was.
My best shots from 2018. I shot the landscapes in Western Wisconsin, between the Chippewa River and the St. Croix River. Most of the others I took in my kitchen-table studio.
I’ve been stuck in my apartment for most of January fighting a chronic respiratory ailment. So I’ve turned to photographing in my kitchen-table studio. I have large north-facing windows to provide good natural light. I’ve not used artificial lighting except for a small light pad.
My subject has been flowers. I’m experimenting with different styles and techniques ranging from straight-forward shots of a single rose to more complex and layered images done with a bit of Photoshop work and added textures or backgrounds.
It’s been like April around these parts, but it’s January, the coldest part of the year. Last Friday the temperature was thirty degrees above normal. It was sunny; there was no wind. I had to get out and enjoy the weather in spite of being a bit ill. I spent most of that day out in my car or walking along the side of the Chippewa River south of Durand, Wisconsin. I’ll mention one rural, back road I was on just because I like the sound of the names: I drove Swede Rambler Road, which crosses Little Plum Creek, to its end at a farm gate. Along the way, I checked out a parking lot at the head of a trail into The Tiffany Bottoms State Natural Area which contains the largest floodplain forest in the United States.
I ended the day in Pepin, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Pepin. The sunset, two ice fishermen, and I all arrived at the perfect time for a photograph.
Here are my best photos from November along with a bit of musical Christmas cheer. 🎵
Sorry, not Stockholm, Sweden but Stockholm, Wisconsin, a tiny town on Lake Pepin, a wide section of the Mississippi between Wisconsin and Minnesota. I drove through Stockholm shortly after sundown yesterday. No one was about. I saw only a single person as I wandered with my camera. In the summer, the village would be thronged by tourists taking the popular day trip around Lake Pepin. Here is how things looked on a cold, dark December evening.
I wrote this post in February of this year. I got sick a few days later and forgot about it. I’ve decided to go ahead and post it.
I got stuck in the snow on Saturday when it snowed all day. I was in Cornell, a small town on the Chippewa River in Wisconsin. I tried calling some local services for a tow truck, but, being the weekend, no one answered their phone. Some snowmobilers came by and tried to push me out without success. My smartphone was having trouble finding WIFI.
My only recourse thus seemed to be 911, but I was reluctant to call because I didn’t seem to be in a true emergency. But I couldn’t think of what else to do, so I called. I apologized to the gentleman at Chippewa County Emergency Services, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by my call and went out of his way to make sure I got help. I know he made several calls before he was able to find someone in Ladysmith, over thirty miles away. Eventually, a tow truck arrived and pulled me out.
Thanks very, very much to the man who helped me and Chippewa County Emergency Services.
In my love/hate relationship with smartphones, this day was all love.
P.S., while waiting in my car to be rescued, I noticed the drops of melted snow on my car window and snapped a decent photo. I was in the snow waiting for a couple of hours and was able to get a few more decent photos.
The weatherperson today said that we’re in the midst of the darkest weeks of the year. It’s not just that the days are so short, but also because this is the cloudiest part of the year.
Fortunately, there is always light at my kitchen table so I can do some tabletop photography.
Morning thoughts, yesterday:
- It’s gray and gloomy outside. Bummer. The prediction was for sunny skies.
- A lousy day for photography. Why bother to go out?
- And it’s cold!
- I’m tired, run down. I’d just as soon lie on the couch all day.
- The morning blues.
Afternoon thoughts, yesterday:
- It feels so good to be outside in the fresh, clean air.
- It doesn’t seem as cold as I thought it would be.
- I’m finding good shots in spite of the flat, gray sky
- I can forget about the fatigue when I’m out exploring and shooting
- A great day to be alive
I ended up shooting interesting signs or incongruous signs or signs that said something about the nature of the area I was exploring. My day’s work was part of my long-running project to photograph the cuesta in Wisconsin west of the Chippewa and Red Cedar rivers.
I felt like a real, true artic explorer. At one point I reached the top of an unplowed twisting road [photo below] and decided that going down the other side would be putting my life at risk even though I was driving an SUV. This was in civilized, pastoral Wisconsin. Unexpected.
November is almost over. The autumn color is gone; the trees are bare; there’s no snow. The forest floor is damp and littered with fallen leaves. There is a bit of color – the emerald green of moss. A single leaf still in its autumn color. Small plants on the forest floor that never seem to suffer from the snow and cold – they’re always green. A few bare trees with silver branches that stand out against a somber hillside.
Some oak bits that fell from trees in the neighborhood.
My best photos taken in October 2018: