It was a beautiful spring day and Susan, our 7-year-old grandson, Jens, and I headed out to Indian Lake State Park, about 10 miles northwest of Middleton. Jens and I hiked to the top of the hill and found a small Catholic chapel built in 1857 and still maintained as a chapel. We also explored the remains of an old stone farmhouse built during the Civil War.
Wisconsin weather is a jokester. Just when you think spring is finally here, there’s one “last-gasp” snowstorm—this time on April 28, 2019. This “snow event” gave me an opportunity to use my Tamron 100mm macro lens right outside my back door—in other words, photography without not too much personal discomfort!
My grandson, Ivan, and I spent a warmish day in late March on a photography outing touring the countryside west and north of Madison. We visited Blue Mound State Park and then on an official back road—County Highway T— up to Spring Green, then northeast on County Highway C to Natural Bridge State Park. (Who knew?) This collection includes photos made along the way.
Technical note: Several images were made with my new Sigma f2.8, 14mm to 24mm zoom.
Well, I think Susan and I are now officially Midwesterners—having survived the cold, snowy winter of 2019. With snowfall measured by the foot and temperatures as low as -26ºF, it’s been a challenge to get out and walk every morning. But walk I was able to do most mornings. As a result, with the exception of the Red Barn image, all the images were made within 1/4 mile of our house.
This gallery is unique in that all 10 images posted here were shot on my iPhoneXR. (After all, who wants to lug around a big old DSLR in the bitter cold?) They’ve all been post-processed in Lightroom and ON1 2019.
While Big Sur may be more famous, the Sonoma Coast, some 80 miles north of San Francisco is just as wild. To my mind, there is no more dramatic meeting of land and sea. Plus there are redwood groves just a few miles inland along the Russian River.
I took a day trip with a group from St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Middleton. We rode the bus through pouring rain for a while and two and a half hours later arrived at the autumnal beauty of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Happily, the rain had ended. Under broken clouds we visited the grounds of the Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, located just outside LaCrosse. Following lunch we boarded a small sternwheeler for a ride on the Mississippi River. Returning to land, we traveled up to Grandad Bluff Park, 600 feet above LaCrosse and the Mississippi River for a satisfying view before returning home.
Even though fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts that does not stop the various beach communities along the South Coast (and I presume Cape Cod as well) from putting on their own enthusiastic amateur fireworks shows. Since the fireworks are set off on sandy beaches and explode over the water the fire danger is relatively low.
It’s not as dark as I’d like but on clear summer nights the Milky Way can be captured out over the relative darkness of Buzzards Bay.
Some 75 miles south of Bar Harbor and Acadia is one of Maine’s most picturesque harbors: upscale Camden—a major tourist draw on the state’s central coast. Camden’s centerpiece is its very active harbor, offering day sails for tourists as well as home port to lobstermen as well as wealthy yacht and sail boat owners.
In June 2018 Susan and I spent a couple of days at Bar Harbor and touring the beautiful rocky Maine coast in and around Acadia National Park (the only National Park in New England). The centerpiece (literally and figuratively) of the park is Cadillac Mountain—at 1550 feet the highest point on the US Atlantic coast. Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular—and crowded. By coincidence I was there for dawn on the summer solstice—the earliest dawn of the year (4:48 a.m. EDT) which meant getting up pretty early. But certainly worth the effort.
Now that I’m a resident of Wisconsin, I come to the San Francisco Bay Area from time to time to visit my Mom and my siblings. This allows day excursions to some of my favorite areas. The two photos of the Sonoma Coast were made in January with my iPhone 6s. The remainder, made in Pacific Grove, Point Lobos State Reserve, and elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay area, were made in April using my Nikon D800.
There is much more to see and photograph than Zion and Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument (not Park) occupies much of south central Utah—vast and less dramatic than the national parks, but with a stark and serene beauty all its own.
We photographed another two days at Bryce. This park couldn’t be more different than Zion—except for the color of the rock. At more than 8000 feet above sea level our dawn shots were made in temperatures less than 10º. But there are few scenes as breathtaking as dawn lighting the hoodoos.
Zion National Park, Grand Staircase Escalante, a grove of Bristlecone pines and the Kolob Canyon unit of Zion.
In November 2017 my friends, Jerry, Joel, Dennis, and I traveled to southwestern Utah and photographed two days at Zion National Park. Autumn was almost over and hints of winter lurked in the shadows. But the weather was gorgeous and this part of the country never fails to inspire.
Bryce National Park, Grand Staircase Escalante, a grove of Bristlecone pines and the Kolob Canyon unit of Zion.
You might think what could be more boring than a museum devoted to glass objects made in Sandwich, Massachusetts during the 19th century? Actually, the Sandwich Glass Museum is fascinating and colorful. For us photographers, it’s a great place to experiment with still life images that are in situ, i.e., we can’t arrange the objects we’re photographing.
Between 1968 and 1976 I photographed mostly in black and white because that’s what I could afford. Black and white photography can be more challenging than color since the impact of the image depends wholly on its composition and tonality. But I think this “limitation” also creates a more direct emotional connection between the image and the viewer.
So, I’m experimenting with B & W versions of color images I shot during 2016. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
The Parks Department of the City of Walnut Creek features a working ranch in the Mt. Diablo foothills. It is the trailhead for an entire panoply of trails in the open space that divides the downtown from Ygnacio Valley. In this year of heavy rain the hills have been exceptionally green and beautiful.
The Berkshire Mountains are the western “outback” of Massachusetts. But they are not wilderness, and towns such as Lee, Lenox, and Stockbridge have been around for hundreds of years retaining their New England charm. The mountains are populated mainly by deciduous trees, which turn into a gorgeous palette of reds, oranges and yellows in mid-to-late October. Happily, Susan and I were headed west on a beautiful October day and spent a few hours enjoying this wonderful place at its best time of year.