Saturday, December 21, 2013


     While much of Wisconsin is facing the threat of a winter storm tonight and into tomorrow, I am in my nice, warm home looking over some photos I took today before and after picking up my son in Arena, Wis. (near Madison).
     That part of the state got a pretty nasty ice storm on Friday night and still on Saturday many of the trees and fields still were covered in ice, which made for a nice trip down there and back.
     Saturday marked the first official day of winter -- even though many of us in the state already had snow for about the last month. Winter is probably my second favorite season to take photos of - after autumn. I like how the snow and ice make everything look so fresh.
     Here are some of my images from today.
     Happy Winter! You can see more of my images from today by clicking HERE and then clicking on "winter".

Thursday, December 5, 2013


   It's about three weeks away from Christmas, lights are up on the house, tree is up and the whole family is starting to get in the spirit. How about you, are you?
     We also received our first real big snow fall of the year this week, getting about four inches of the white junk on Tuesday and another two inches or so on Wednesday night. While I hate driving in the stuff, I love taking photos after a fresh snowfall. Things seem so peaceful at that time.
     I decided to take a walk into my backyard and mess around taking photos back there during the snow fall and the Christmas lights I already had up.
     It's a fun time to to experiment with your camera, with low-light situations and just see what you come up with when it comes to taking photos of Christmas lights.
     Here are a few of the photos I ended up with.
     Enjoy the holiday season!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


     Well, my new camera equipment came in a couple days ago. I decided to go with a Canon 60D with an 18-55 F3.5 lens and a 70-200 F2.8 lens. I liked the options the 60D had, especially the video option, which I will be experimenting with in the coming weeks as the holidays near.
     On Wednesday night Rhinelander got a nice, fresh layer of about 2 inches of snow, so I decided to take a drive around town and see if I could come up with any photos using the new camera equipment. I did and it was fun taking the photos with the new camera.
     Rhinelander is the county seat for Oneida County and the courthouse is pretty neat. The green dome is lit up every night and I thought that it would be a nice spot for some photos last night. I was only out for about a half-hour, so I stuck around the downtown area.
     I'll be going out to play with the camera more this weekend and as the winter sports season kicks off. I'd like to try it at some basketball games to see how it does.
     Anyone have any big plans for the holiday season? My family and I will be visiting other family in the Green Bay area, so it's going to a busy next few weeks.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


     As many of you may know already, my car was broken into on Sunday night and all of my camera equipment — my Canon 50D, my Nikon D7000 body and two lenses attached (a 70-200 F2.8 Sigma and an 18-105 Nikon) were stolen out of my car.
     It's the first time his happened to me and I'm not too happy about it. After filing a report with the Rhinelander Police Department, there isn't much more I can do except to wait and see what happens and save up money for a new camera and lens.
     It may take a while for that to happen, but at least my "Photo of the Day" Project will continue — all of those photos are taken with my Nokia Windows Phone.
     Speaking of my "Photo of the Day" project, I'm not up to 177 images as of yesterday, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013. It's been a challenge some days finding something to take a photo of, but it's fun to be challenged each day by it. Getting close-ups of items that you normally don't see that close, seeing what it looks like in black and white and making sure its the right image I want to post.
     Some of my favorites lately are posted below, but of all my favorites from the past couple days, the one at the top of this blog is probably my second all-time favorite since starting this project. It's just a simple autumn leaf laying on a grate walking path of a dock. All that dark stuff under is the calm water under the dock.
     Enjoy and don't forget to check out my Photo of the Day project by CLICKING HERE

Monday, September 23, 2013


 Autumn is officially here — as of Sunday at 3:44 p.m. — and the orange, reds and yellows are starting to show up in the leaves in Northern Wisconsin. Over the past week the colors have really started to pop a bit.
     On Sunday afternoon I gathered up the family and decided to take a little drive out to CAVOC (Ced A. Vig Outdoor Classroom) here in Rhinelander. It's a neat little area that the Rhinelander School District uses throughout the year. The trails are wonderful, paved areas and very easy access.
     Of course I dragged my camera along with me in hopes of catching some nice fall color-type photos. I found a few out there, but probably by next weekend there will be even more, maybe I'll take another swing out there if the weather is nice.
     For those of you who plan to go out and get some fall color photos, here are five easy tips:

  1. GET CLOSE — You may be tempted to get those wide shots, of entire forests or hillsides with all that color, but try some up close photos too. A lot of great fall color can be found in the details. If you have a Macro lens, try that. If not, stand a little further back with a telephoto lens. 
  2. LIGHTING AND TIMING — If you want that perfect fall color photo, you should try and go out into the forest/woods at the perfect time. The ideal times to shoot are during the golden hours — the first half-hour right after the sun rises in the morning and the last half hour before it sets at the end of the day. The sunlight will have that warm glow to it.
  3. LOOK BEYOND THE COLOR —For most people, one of the most difficult aspects of fall color photos is looking beyond the color. Sure, you can just point the camera at a leaf and take the photo, but take a step back and look for a minute first. Look for the perfect subject, composition or lighting. Find something that looks interesting. Don't just point and shoot at the leaf just because it is a pretty red color.
  4. TRIPOD — If you have a tripod, take it with you and use it. If you're using a Macro lens or trying to get a close-up photo of something, you'll want that camera stead and a tripod is the best way.
  5. CONTRASTING COLORS — Look for color contrasts. Look for those bright red or orange trees against an evergreen background. It'll make the colors pop that much more.
     Here are some images that I captured this past Sunday. I'll soon have a link on my website for "Colors of the Season" where you'll be able see more of my fall color photos throughout this season.

Monday, September 16, 2013


   Ah yes, the NFL regular season is finally here! Actually, it was last week, but this past Sunday was the Green Bay Packers home opener. The Packers hosted RGIII and the Washington Redskins for the home opener.
     The Packers gave the fans a real treat, defeating Washington 38-20 with a big performance by quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Not a bad day at all.
     I was lucky enough to be on the field taking photos for a local paper and got several nice images, especially from Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb and running back James Starks.
     I was worried heading to the game as it rained the whole way from Rhinelander to Green Bay and I thought that it was going to be raining throughout the entire contest. Thankfully I was wrong. The rain lingered a bit into the first quarter, but after that it was dry, overcast and cool. Perfect football weather.
     One of my favorite photos from Sunday's game was when Green Bay's Sam Shields good a Washington receiver by the shoulder pads and whipped him to the ground. There was also some good emotional photos like players reacting after just missing an interception.
     It's just the start of the season and I have three more games that I'll be shooting this year. So far it's off to a good start.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


     Don't worry, this won't be a post about covering sports, but there was some racing involved.
     This weekend marked Rhinelander's first Potato Fest with several activities to take part in. I wanted to check out the Couch Potato Racing event. I've heard of other communities doing something like this, but have never seen it. So, of course, I brought my camera along with me.
     The rules are pretty simple:

  1. A couch on wheels with one person riding and four others pushing it. 
  2. Halfway down the road, the person on the couch and to jump off and compete in a bean-bag toss.
  3. The teams then raced down to the end of Brown Street, turned around and stopped again halfway back. 
  4. This time the person riding on the couch had to play the ladder golf game and get one sting of golf balls on a bar before continuing. 
  5. The fastest team won.

     There were only eight teams signed up for the event, but the crowds watching seemed to really enjoy it. I thought it was pretty neat seeing how the teams dressed up. We had a team there with the Duck Dynasty theme, a Charlie Brown theme, a sports theme, a radio station theme and others.
     There was some fun emotion to take photos of too, like teams cheering for each other as they pushed the couches, celebrating with a fast time and reaction if a wheel fell off.
     Here are some of my images from the Couch Potato Race held in Rhinelander.

Monday, August 26, 2013


"There's a sunrise and sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don't miss so many of them." — Jo Walton, science fiction writer    

     I love take photos of sunsets, not one looks like the other. Even ask my wife how much I enjoy taking photos of sunsets, she'll probably tell you about a whole wall at our house littered with sunset photos that I've taken over the years.
     This sunset photo here to the right is one I captured this past Saturday, Aug. 24, while making a quick stop at work. It was right off the dock at Town Line Lake in Three Lakes with a boat coasting slowly along ... I wish I had a boat, I'd be out there every evening. Anyone want to donate one to me? 
     Sunsets can be a little tricky for some to get photos of. If you have just a point-and-shoot camera, it can be even more difficult, but here are some pretty basic tips I can give you for shooting sunsets.
  • Slow down and look around — Don't always be in a hurry. Slow down and look at your surroundings, beautiful sunsets happen quite often, but if you're in a hurry, you'll never see them.
  • Follow the lines — Look for leading lines, which are elements in your photo that can be used to compose and draw your viewer into the photograph. Some good examples are docks and trees or even boats.
  • Silhouettes are fun — Look for silhouette options. They don't work all the time, but one of my favorites (which you can view here) is a silhouette I captured on Shawano Lake a few years back. Trees are real good for silhouettes too.
  • Find something in the photo — Put something in the foreground. If you're shooting a sunset and just have the sunset in the photo and nothing else, it might look a bit boring. Try putting in shrubs or trees or something in the foreground to make it more interesting.
  • Low ISO — I like to keep my ISO at 100 for sunsets and adjust the shutter speed. This way there is less grain in the image and the colors seem to pop that much more.
  • Take a lot of photos — The last time I can offer you is take a lot of photos of a sunset, from different angles. You never know what you'll end up with.
     Now, go out and try getting that sunset photo. Oh, and don't forget to check out my other sunset photos and my website at


Green Bay Packers TE Andrew Quarless leaps forward for
more yards as he is tackled in the fourth quarter.
     The other day I blogged about getting back to taking photos at the high school football level. Well, this past Friday it was back to the pro football level also, covering the Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers preseason contest at Lambeau Field.
Cornerback Loyce Means reacts after giving
up a touchdown to the Seattle Seahawks.
     I'll be covering four games this regular season, so being able to shoot the preseason game was a good way to warm-up for the season. It was fun getting back to the historic stadium. Your blood always gets pumping as you walk down that tunnel to the field -- even when you're a photographer.
     Covering pro sports is a lot of fun. The speed of the game is a lot faster -- minus the TV timeouts -- and the hitting is usually a lot harder, which makes it fun to photograph. Seeing the stars up close is pretty cool too, but at the same time after covering the Packers since the 2002 season, you learn fast that these are just regular people who are doing a job -- and getting paid a lot to do it.
     There are some things I've learned from covering pro football that I now use when I cover high school football, like kneeling on the field to get a better angle of the athlete, learning how to keep your eyes on everything on the field so you don't miss anything and how to dodge a hit if they come running to your sideline.
     The next Packers game I'll be at will be the home opener against the Washington Redskins. Here's hoping for a good season.
     Tomorrow I'll be getting another level of football, middle school, but this time I won't be covering it for anyone. My son will begin his 7th grade season down at River Valley Middle School. Good luck Blackhawks!

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews sacks Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson in the first quarter.

Baloons are set free following the National Anthem.

Green Bay Packers TE Jermichael Finley attempts to gain more yards as he is tackled in the first quarter.

Packers quarterback Vince Young looks for an open receiver while under pressure in the third quarter.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


     Wow, it's been a while since I posted on here. Over a month ago. Sorry about that, it's been a little busy these last few weeks.
     The weather is getting cooler, some leaves are slowly starting to change color and school is just around the corner. You know what that means, right? Yep, it's football time!
     Middle school, high school, college, pro — it doesn't matter, it's all exciting to watch and take photos of.
     With me not being in newspapers full-time anymore, it took a while for me to get back out onto a football field to take photos, mainly because of time. This last Friday, however, I took at drive down to Bowler to catch a football scrimmage between Bowler/Gresham, Oakfield and Three Lakes. I was taking photos for the Vilas County Newspaper of Three Lakes.
     The three schools play 8-man football and it was fun getting photos at it. 8-man football is a little more fast-paced than 11-man football with more passing.
     On Friday I'll be covering the Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers preseason football game, so it'll be great getting back on that field this season.
     Soon volleyball, tennis, cross-country and all those other fall sports will be in full swing. It's the fun time of the year!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


     A couple of weeks ago my family and I went on our first big family vacation. We loaded into our car in the early morning hours of July 6 and didn't stop until we got to our destination — South Dakota. 
     It wasn't my first time there, I was there when I was about 12-years-old when I went with my brothers and my mother. 
    It was a blast getting back there to see all the sights. My kids really enjoyed the time out there as it was their first out-of-state voyage. 
    It was a photographer's dream everywhere we went out there too. The Badlands located between Sioux Falls and Rapid City in South Dakota is a sight to be seen. Vibrant colors at different times of the day, awesome rock formations, cliffs, vibrant-green plants.
    There was also Mount Rushmore, which always lends itself to great photos, from far away, or up close.
     We also visited an 1880s Town along I-90 between Sioux Falls and Rapid City. That was awesome to see and get photos at as well, all the wagons out there, the old buildings, the folks walking around dressed in old-west outfits.
    We also visited Custer State Park and saw herds of buffalo and more awesome scenics areas.
    It's an area that I could see myself moving to once I get old enough to retire -- in 30 to 40 years.
    Here are some of my favorite images from our trip out west. You can also see more on my website at and by clicking on "Projects" at the top.


     Well this week I broke No. 100 in my "Photo a Day" project where I take and share one photo a day via Facebook, Twitter and my webpage. The photo must be in B&W and something different each day.
     I honestly didn't think I would make it to No. 100 with how tough some of the days have been, but other days it's been super easy finding an image.
     No. 100 was an image of wild berries growing on a bush out at my aunt's house.
     So far in this project, I've made some very cool images. I'll be posting some of my favorites recently along with this blog post. Other days, I wish I could have back, but that's the fun in doing a project like this, finding something new everyday.
     This project has also helped me bring the joy back to photography. It allows me to be creative and give others a chance to see something in a new way.
     Just 200-some photos left to go until the end of this project. Summer is coming to a close in the next couple of weeks and then we'll change seasons. It's going to be fun getting photos the next coming weeks.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


     Well, the last few nights have been pretty nice in the Northwoods of Wisconsin with some stunning sunsets and I've been able to get out and shoot a few of them.
     It's been fun, trying to find the best spots for the sunset photos -- what works and what doesn't. Down in Shawano, I knew where some of the best spots where having lived down there for 12 years, but up here I'm still trying to figure out where those spots are.
     So far I've found one that I really like and that's over by the old Frito Laye bridge as you head from Rhinelander into Pine Lake. There's a nice little area to pull the car over there and you can walk on the sidewalk on the bridge and shoot over the lake.
     Another spot is in Pine Lake along River Road, just past Clover Drive. It's where my brothers and I used to fish all the time. Some nice scenes out there during the sunset and plenty of wildlife too.
     In downtown Rhinelander yesterday I got an image of the Rhinelander paper mill with a pink and purple sunset behind it.

Monday, April 22, 2013


     For my Photo of the Day photo today I knew I wanted to take a drive out to Pine Lake to find something and it didn't take long for me to find that something.
     While driving down River Road near Clover Drive (where I grew up as a kid by the way), I remembered the old gate that blocked the road to the old Pine Lake dump. Sure enough, that old gate was still there. When my brothers and I were kids we used to slide our bikes under that gate and ride along that road leading to the dump. It was one of many bike adventures we had when we were kids -- that and watching my youngest brother ALWAYS drop his sodas when he had them while riding his bike.
      If there is one thing this project has done for me, it's bringing back some memories of my childhood growing up in the Rhinelander area. It's been fun seeing some of the things I remember -- the old school house in Pine Lake, the State theater on Brown Street, Jets Dairy, the Fun Factory candy shop. All will surely be subjects of my Photo a Day project before the year is up.
     This photo was taken using the macro function on my phone, which I'm really beginning to like. It's one of the many free apps available on my Windows phone that I'm still discovering.
     Here is Day 9 of my photo project.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


     Sometimes finding the photo of the day comes easy, it's just right in front of you. Other days, you really have to do some searching and thinking about what you want to capture with the camera.
     Today it was a mixture of both from me. I shot a number of photos and it came down to three I really liked. The one I chose is actually the one I had to work the least to find.
     "Through the Glasses" was taken shortly after I woke up at 6 a.m. today. Sitting on the couch and watching CNN -- as I do every morning -- I looked at the coffee table in the living room and my wife's glasses were sitting there. The sun was peaking through the blinds just perfect, creating a very cool design on the table as it hit the glasses.
     I angled the camera to and close to the glasses and I really liked the image I captured.
     So, here is Day 7 of Photo a Day.