Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Black and White Holga

Things have been pretty busy here, but I did get a chance to scan a few Holga pictures. Once again I used the Illford Super XP-2 black and white film, which you can process in the same chemicals as color film.

Rainy trees in Marshfield. The black and white film fits the grayness of  June, especially the past two weeks. Luckily the sun has come out again and the rain has stopped!

A double exposure of Dan trout fishing. I really like the way this turned out, and how the photo isn't so sharp, it makes even fishing seem dreamy.

We had to walk through all this wet grass to get to the fishing hole. I feel like this photo looks like I am walking through the jungle, although it is really just weeds. I like this photo in black and white, it gives it more of an abstract feel. If it were color, you would right away know this is just grass and not the jungle. I did order more color film though, and it is loaded and ready to go!

That is all the photos for now. Hopefully I will get some nice photos from quality time in "America's Hometown" this week and from the central Wisconsin Fourth of July festivities! Enjoy the long weekend!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wedding Dances :: Central Wisconsin Wedding Photographer

It's that season of the year, (or maybe it has been since May)....  No, not summer, although it is that too, but it is wedding season! I am in a wedding this weekend and am looking forward to the festivities. I haven't been in a wedding for a bit, but a few of my friends have gotten married, and it always fun to bring my camera along. Here are some dance pics from some weddings that I have been the official photographer and the official friend photographer. I thought I would share some different wedding photos that aren't on my website. It was hard to pick just a few, I am sure I forgot some great dancing pics.

I photographed Jeff and Heidi's wedding last spring. Their wedding was really fun, especially the dance. The DJ made the wedding party join hands around the bride and groom as they danced, it was actually really sweet. This is one of my favorite wedding dance photos.

I photographed Liz and Micah's wedding last Fourth of July, which was also really fun. There were a lot of nieces and nephews and they were all entranced with the bride and groom. I like this photo because of the two little girls lined up along the edge, they are so sweet!

Anne and Richard's wedding was in my hometown in Iowa. Their wedding was also really fun - geeze I shoot a lot of fun weddings!  I have known Anne since I met her sister, in first grade, so it was nice to be able to be their photographer. They had their wedding reception in a show barn at the Floyd County Fair Grounds. Talk about a transformation, it was really beautiful! I loved the Japanese lanterns in this photo and the expression on Anne's face while they dance. There was a lot of dancing that night.

Another really fun wedding, Kristyn and Nick, sister of my friend, Kara. I love it when brides have a great time at their wedding. It is always fun to see everyone relax and kick back. I mean, it is their party!

This is another photo from Jeff and Heidi's wedding, so much dancing!

My friend Libby and Rustin got married in Des Moines last year and - of course -  I had my camera. We got a ton a photos from the dance - I could fill a whole blog post with them! We used off camera flash just to play around and they turned out really nice. I like this photo because of the bride's profile and her wine glass are just so illuminated.

Wedding receptions are really fun to photograph. They are also a challenge, the dark lights and low or high ceilings tend to make it difficult to get the right lighting combination. People on the dance floor can either be too dark or too bright. I try to go for a little bit of motion in the pictures so that you can tell people are dancing and having a good time, rather than caught still in the bright light, There are many different ways to use the flash, off camera, on camera, on a light stand..... pretty much any way that works.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Twin Reflex Results

Here are two photos from my "new" twin reflex camera! I was pleased with the results, it looks so crisp compared to my Holga - go figure - I guess I wasn't sure what to expect. The scanner was continuously crashing, so I could only scan two before I got too frustrated.

I like this one, it looks so crisp! I shot it at a park in Marshfield.  I used some old film I had laying around, Illford Super XP2, which you can C-41 process. Which means I can get it processed at a place that processes color 120 film, since it is the same chemicals. That way I don't have to buy all the chemicals and set-up a makeshift darkroom in my bathroom. I think the quality might be different, but I was really just putting off purchasing new film.

Yes, this is a corn field. These photos aren't that exciting, but I wanted to just run the film through and experiment with different light situations. I looks like I have been overexposing, but I haven't been writing down my settings, which I should do.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the camera. I finally broke down and ordered more film, so I will play around with it some more. The film advance is a bit off, I shot a few photos before for the film started becoming exposed, so I had only eight exposures instead of twelve. Hopefully I can work out something so I don't waste so much film.

Monday, June 21, 2010

First Day of Summer

Today is the first day of summer! I celebrated the end of spring by mountain biking at Nine Mile and Levis this weekend, as well as taking my whitewater kayak out for the first time (ever!) on the Black River. I didn't flip and the rapids were much more manageable than I was imagined. Since I was busy with bikes and boats this weekend, I didn't get to take a lot of photos. I don't bring my camera into situations where it will most likely be damaged by water or by running into a tree.

Here are a few photos that say summer to me. They are from our trip last year to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.

Sunset at our campsite on Knife Lake.

Paddling through the Boundary Waters. Dan made this paddle for my mom and I borrowed it for the trip. This could be pretty much any season, but it says summer to me because of the colors and the gold-ish light of the sun setting,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blue Barn

It finally stopped raining today. Out of the past 17 days, it has rained 15.

I passed this blue barn today and it just went with the (finally) blue sky, so I pulled over and took a photo. I was headed to do a weather feature photo about the drought that isn't a drought this month. It apparently has been a drought up here for the past seven years, except for this month, which is looking like it won't be a drought. Go figure. I love the Midwest in the summer. It makes winter bearable to know that summer will come and the grass will be this green and the sky will be this blue. There also is something I love about driving on rural roads. I have loved it since I got my license and with that the liberty to go exploring around where I live and finding new spots. On an unrelated note, I got my Canon 40D back and all fixed up. There were no dust on the spots on the sensor, which is nice. Saves a lot of post-processing time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Toy!

Why yes, I did get a new toy! I recently acquired a Ricohflex twin reflex 120mm camera. I am beyond excited, quite giddy in fact! I have been wanting a twin reflex since college but never really had the extra money to spend on a camera for fun and not for work. I got it from a friend's dad who was going to to get rid of it. It was his father's and he remembers going to the 1959 air show (from the sticker) in Utah.

I loaded my first roll, Illford XP2 400 B&W film successfully and I will post photos once they are shot and developed! If anyone has tips on using a twin reflex, let me know!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mead Nature Preserve

This weekend I went on a little jaunt to the Mead State Wildlife Area in Marathon County. I was hoping the flowers would be blooming in the prairie, and they were! My digital camera (Canon 40D) and my nice portrait/macro lens (Canon 28-70) are somewhere getting fixed, so I had to use my film camera, which was lovely. I picked it up and said, "Hello old friend!" And it seriously was like an old friend. It is a Pentax ZX-30, I got it after high school graduation when I realized that I might want to be a photographer. It served me well, all through college and until I finally got a digital camera at the end of my fifth year.  Anyway, here are a few photos from this weekend. Most of the photos I shot with my Pentax 50mm f 1.4 lens.

Prairie flowers, but I am not sure what kind they are.

A series of daisies
I had to cover my head with my hood and lay in the dirt to get this. I was scared of ticks jumping on.

I know these scans are a bit dirty, but they are kind of a pain to clean. I do miss the look of film. I think it looks nice when nature photos are a little less sharp and a little more dreamy.

I have no idea what this plant is, but I like the symmetry.

These photos were at the beginning of my roll from last year. It seems like even though a year has passed, I was in the same mind-set last time I used my film camera.


That is all I have for now. The rest the scans were too bad to look decent to post. I will just have to re-scan them. I have another roll that hopefully won't take a year to finish. I put it in and then realized it is slide film that expired about 8 years ago. I am not sure if I can even get it developed anywhere around here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

I just discovered that my photo was featured on the website, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography on June 1! Thank you to them! That was kind of a surprise, it is great to have my work out there and know that people are looking at it.

Here is the link to my photo on : CCLap

This photo was the featured photo. I took it after photographing sunrise Easter services in Wisconsin Rapids. It was still really, really early when I drove back and looking at the sun work me up. I usually am not up for the sunrise, so it was nice to be in it and feel it. It ended up being a nice Easter morning, one I wouldn't have had if I hadn't had to start work at 5 am!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How does my garden grow?

Once again this year have a plot int he Marshfield Community Gardens. They use a technique called square foot garden, where the box is divided into square feet and you plant a specific amount of plants in each square. For example, a tomato plants takes one full square foot, but you can plant four lettuce plants in one square foot, or nine snap pea plants. Last year, my first year ever having a garden, I had a bountiful harvest. I made over 12 quarts of spaghetti sauce and 17 jars of salsa. It was fun to learn to can and make food, but especially fun to eat things that I actually grew. It made me feel fully satiated, not only with food, but also in spirit.

I haven't been able to take photos of my garden this year, every time I go out there I forget my camera, but I did manage to snap a few last night.

Sugar snap peas
I have to create a trellis for them to climb up. Last year they all made it about a foot and then kind of collapsed on themselves. I tried to string them up, but it was too late. I only harvested about 9 actual peas, enough for 1.5 servings. Hopefully they will do a bit better this year.

More sugar snap peas
As you can tell the garden is divided with string into the square feet.

Last year I had problems with my peppers too. I don't know if it wasn't warm enough last year or I didn't water them enough, but most of my pepper plants died. This was unfortunate since we made so much salsa. I planted about six pepper plants of different varieties, so hopefully it won't be a waste. Last year I got one jalapeno pepper. It was a sad, lonely little guy. 

I will post more photos as I take them. I have also planted lettuce, tomatoes, basil, beans, and some other things that are unmarked. I guess I will remember when they start coming up!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I was photographing the last day of school in Stevens Point yesterday and I got distracted by bubbles.

 I like bubbles. They are simple, clean, happy, and pure. Well, that is what I think. 

 I am not sure which bubble I like better. This one I shot against the sky, the first one I shot against trees. This one seems lighter, but the other one has better color.

I am sad this didn't turn out. Dang focusing on my camera. I thought the bubble was in focus, but I don't think it is either. If I could shoot a "perfect" photo, I would have liked his hands to be in focus. I think I had the focus on al servo, which keeps a moving object continuously in focus as long as you hold down the focusing button. I think the connect is a little slow from my camera to the lens. I always have problems with al servo, especially when the focus is in the center of the frame. 

Here are some Holga links that I have been looking at recently:

Photos from the oil spill in the Gulf:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Work Photos

I hate it when life gets busy, but I like it when work is busy. I haven't had much time to blog or shoot my own stuff, but here are some work photos from the past few weeks.

Finally a baseball photo from this season that I actually liked. The game was a regional playoff between Spencer and Owen-Withee, which Spencer won. This photo isn't just an action shot, but also tells the story of the game. Owen-Withee was making lots of unfortunate errors, this was the first of two errors (that I saw) that were at home plate.
1952 Chevy Impala from a car show in Stevens Point. I love old cars, especially the interior design.

This from a photo shoot with Miss. Wisconsin Rapids, Lindsay Lobner, at the museum in Rapids. It was fun and she was super-easy to work with and had a lot of time to let me set up lights and try different things. There will be a photo gallery later this week that I will link to. I liked how her ballet costume worked with the background in that they both have similar tones.

Girl Scouts preparing for the Dairyfest parade. 

Handing out balloons at the Dairyfest Parade. I didn't get a chance to get this woman's name, so this just ran in online in a gallery. I was trying to get the scramble for candy, but I wasn't happy with any of the shots. I like this one because of all the kid's arms reaching out. 

Relaxing before Lincoln High School graduation. Graduations are always a challenge to try to get something different. Luckily the graduates are always pretty emotive, so you have a few different chances. I like this photo because of the waiting aspect. One last day of waiting in lines in school.... then freedom! Graduations bring back many memories. BTW, my 10-year reunion is next year! Holy cats time goes fast.

The Spirit helicopter came to Stevens Point air show and fly-in. I had to cover the air show.... blah, blah, blah, people looking at airplanes..... Don't get me wrong, I like airplanes for the most part, but sometimes air shows are visually boring. So this photo is me trying to do something different with people looking at airplanes, or in this case a helicopter.

So this is what I have been doing lately. I worked this weekend, so not a lot of down-time then. I did, though, run my first 10K! It was long, but I think I want to do another one this summer.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Piecing together panoramics

While in the San Juan Islands I tried to take photos in a row and then piece them together to make a panoramic.

I wouldn't say it is a complete fail, but the piecing together isn't exactly spot-on. I am not sure if I like it a little off or not. I scanned the individual images and then pieced them together in Photoshop. I with the color was more uniform between the photos, but the scans were all a little different.

This is a series of digital photos that I shot while in the Boundary Waters. I put them together in Photoshop to make the panoramic. I think this one works a bit better because it seems more cohesive. The waterfall one just seems a bit more haphazard. You really don't need to have a multiple image panoramic either of the waterfall. If I had shot a digital photo, I probably could have fit the whole fall in, they weren't that huge.

If anyone has tips about lining up photos, let me know! I always have mine tilted a bit off and then have to transform them in Photoshop so they are correct. I don't have much patience for that either.... I am just going to have to go with the photos being all a little off.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer time and the livin' is easy

 Summer time and the livin' is easy!

I know, I know..... a total cliche photo of me somewhere,  but not really a photo of me, just evidence of what I was doing and that I was actually there. That is all I was up for this weekend. This was the first Memorial Day weekend in four years that I didn't have to work. I spent it on the lake relaxing and learning to eskimo roll my new-to-me whitewater kayak. The eskimo roll was accomplished and so was the relaxing in the sun. It was pretty much my  perfect summer weekend.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A to Z Pizza

When we arrived back in Wisconsin after our trip (which was two weeks ago now! I just just finished picking up my place and doing laundry from the trip) we hung out in Eau Claire for the day. It was quite the perfect ending to our trip. We napped in our friend's lawn, biked at Lowes Creek and then drove through hill country to A to Z Produce and Bakery for some delicious pizza.

If you haven't heard of it, it is a farm that is near Stockholm, WI that serves pizza every Tuesday. I have no idea how we got there.... but it is about an hour on curvy roads southwest from Eau Claire. Their pizzas are a-ma-zing! They grow everything for the pizzas on their farm and fire them in a stone oven. You bring your own drinks and eating tools and relax on the grass and eat scrumptious pizza. We ordered two because it was that good and we were starving. It's the best.

Here are a few links that write a bit more prolifically than I do on the topic of A to Z Pizza.

Eco Metro
Camacho Watcho
Pizza Blog
Volume One Magazine

I didn't take a ton of photos, I was more into eating pizza and drinking wine.