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.