On Friday April 28, at the Naperville Art League Fine Art & Gallery Fourth Friday event, judging of the "Chasing The Sun" show was held. I am honored to announce that my entry to the show, Guiding Light, was selected for the Best of Show award. The piece is a 24" X 36" metal print, Satin Finish, subject is the Menominee North Pier Lighthouse overlooking Green Bay in Menominee Michigan. Photo was taken June 7, 2016 about 10 minutes before sunset, 30 second exposure f/19.
Northwoods Project – Work in Progress
In 2014 the first dedicated photo trip to the Upper Midwest region known locally as The Northwoods occurred and marked the beginning of my Northwoods project. As we begin 2017 I can say with certainty the Northwoods project will be lasting for a while to come. The more I shoot the Northern Wisconsin and Michigan UP locations the more photo opportunities are revealed and during 2016 two more photo trips were completed. A June trip encompassed approximately 1,700 miles, photography began in Marinette Wisconsin continuing to Baraga Michigan and the Keweenaw Peninsula, to Hurley Wisconsin and points in between. During the trip 9 waterfalls and 3 lighthouses were photographed. Waterfalls included Black Slate, Potawatomi, Dave’s, Eagle River, Gorge, Jacobs, Long Slide, Silver, and Twelve Foot Falls. Lighthouses shot were Copper Harbor, Eagle Harbor, and Marinette North Pier.
In October I returned to the Upper Peninsula region specifically Ontonagon, Michigan traveling another 1,310 miles and photographed 6 waterfalls, the Ontonagon Lighthouse, and many off road scenes capturing fall color. Waterfalls included a return visit to Black Slate Falls first photographed in June, and Manabezho & Manido Falls previously photographed in 2015. In addition to the sites deemed worthy of a second trip, Bonanza, Canyon, and Overlooked Falls where included in the October trip.
Over the two 2016 Northwoods trips I took 1,874 raw photos resulting in at last count 130 (Finished) photos with post processing of the October trip still being completed. The plan for 2017 includes visiting the northeast section of the Michigan Upper Peninsula to capture more waterfalls scenes such as Upper and Lower Tahquamenon falls and other great scenery. Another untapped and target rich area is eastern Minnesota along the western shore of Lake Superior. Essence of the Northwoods Volume 2 may not be far away. Lighthouses are another subject I’m beginning to focus on, the shores of Lake Michigan and Superior offer many subjects and they will be included in future photo trips.
In November 2015 I joined the Naperville Photo Group (Meetup Group). They are a very active group with multiple events scheduled each week. The first event I attended was the opportunity in January to shoot the historic Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove, Illinois. The group leader, Bruce Jones obtained exclusive access for 2 hours on a Sunday morning and it was a wonderful experience. The results of that event may be seen in the (Artifacts and Culture) gallery. The group has also undertaken a few charity events to benefit the Naperville Human Society. (Photos with Pets). For a small donation to NHS, families and their companion animals got a 30 minute sitting with photographers from the photo club resulting in a family portrait and digital files. For two of those events I set the camera aside and gained experience as a photo assistant.rights/copies. You don't have to have a pet to participate! R
The local Brookfield zoo was the scene in May for practice shooting the 70-300mm lens combined with a 2X Tele converter which necessitated all manual focus. A few shots came out very well including the male Lowland Gorilla who was approximately 80 yards away and in low light.
Finally, the year was closed out with an evening at The Morton Arboretum taking in the “Illumination” show, (Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum). That was a learning experience, iIt was snowing about 1” per hour, temperature around 18 degrees which created a challenge to keep gear free from snow while getting clean shots. Photos from this shoot may also be seen in the (Artifacts and Culture) gallery.
Looking forward to 2017!
In June I continued the Northwoods project, based out of Ashland, Wisconsin this time I photographed 11 more waterfalls located in Northwest Wisconsin and the Western section of the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Upon completing that project I assembled my second photo book focused on the scenery of Northern Wisconsin and the Michigan UP. The landscape genre has been of special interest to me in my pursuit of photography. The Northwoods region of the Upper Midwest offers remarkable beauty, stunning landscape vistas, and ideal landscape subjects. With this book project in mind, I took over 1,500 original photos and traveled 4,000 miles.
The book, "Essence of the Northwoods" is available for sale on Blurb and may be previewed and purchased at:
Bridges of Parke County, Indiana
In October I traveled to Parke County, Indiana located approximately 60 miles west of Indianapolis and shot some of the covered bridges offered there . The trip was over 3 days, October 20th thru 22nd. I was blessed with beautiful weather, the following week the same area was deluged with rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Patricia.
I’m always on the lookout for interesting locations to photograph and I found out about this area in the Chicago Tribune Travel section September last year. In the accompanying Trib article they stated the covered bridges, once common in rural America had mostly disappeared. Madison County, Iowa still has 6 remaining bridges, (remember the movie?); and Lancaster County, Pa., has 29. Parke County has 31 bridges and calls itself the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World.” The article went on to describe while most counties have replaced these structures built between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Parke County did not have the resources to accomplish that task and that shortcoming led to a tourism blessing complimented by a yearly bridge festival. My trip occurred the week after this year’s festival. Over the time I was there, I was able to shoot 11 of the 31 bridges and along the way captured some interesting barns and fall color.
2014 was again devoted to regional Mid-West projects including Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and local Chicago area scenes.
Holy Hill Basilica
I travelled to Hubertus, Wisconsin to photograph Holy Hill Basilica. Holy Hill is located in southeast Wisconsin, on the highest elevation in that part of the state. Situated on 435 acres of rural countryside, it provides a beautiful and serene setting for photo opportunities.
Their website provides the following brief historical perspective, “As early as 1903, Holy Hill was declared a Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians. In 2006, the Shrine was raised to the status of Minor Basilica. But as far back as the 1700s and perhaps earlier, the American Indians came to Holy Hill because they considered it a sacred place.”
Air Classics Museum
July brought a visit to the Air Classics Museum in Sugar Grove, Illinois. There on display are some classic wartime aircraft that saw service during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
The Fabyan Windmill is an authentic, working Dutch windmill dating to the 1850’s located in Geneva, Illinois. In 1979 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 5-story wooden smock mill with a stage stands 68 feet tall and sits upon the onetime estate of Colonel George Fabyan.
North Woods Project
In October I travelled to Northern Wisconsin, and was based out of Eagle River. I photographed Bond Falls near Paulding Michigan, and Agate Falls near Bruce Crossing, both are on the Ontonagon River and located in the Ottawa National Forest. Another subject in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was Horse Race Rapids on the Paint River located near Crystal Falls, Michigan. The final day shooting was spent in Vilas County, Wisconsin capturing beautiful fall color.
I had planned additional locations but more time was required than originally planned. So one of my goals for 2015 is to complete the project and photograph waterfalls located in Northwest Wisconsin, Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Lake Superior scenes.
In addition to the Chicagoland Urbex trip to the Joliet State Prison other trips this year provided opportunities to add to the content here.
In February took a ski trip to Big Powderhorn in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and got a shot of the old train station in Ironwood among other sites.
During August, September, and October, made trips to our neighbor to the north, Wisconsin, and was able to capture The American Club in Kohler, Dells Mill and Museum, and Gibraltar Rock.
Dells Mill was built during the Civil War and was a functioning mill until around 1970. The site is located near Augusta, Wisconsin approximately 20 southeast of Eau Claire and is operated as a museum by proprietor Gus Clark.
Gibraltar Rock is located near Lodi, about 25 northwest of Madison Wisconsin. Gibraltar stands some 1,234 feet above sea level it’s sheer 200 foot cliffs offer an amazing view of Wisconsin River valley.
Sunsets and silky water affects all captured using a variable neutral density filter.
I joined the meetup group Chicagoland Urbex earlier this summer, attended my first group event on Saturday 8/10/13 when we paid a visit to the now shuttered Joliet prison and the (Rock Crushing) facility. See the images posted under (Urbex).
Two weeks ago I attended the DuPage Airport Coomunity Days event in West Chicago, IL. Showing there was the Commemorative Air Force with their B-29 Superfortress, "FIFI", the last flying B-29 and their Beechcraft C-45, "Bucket of Bolts". Also included was the Cavanaugh Museum's P-51 Mustang fighter, "The Brat III". All shots are filed under Aircraft, cool WWII era planes!
I recently started doing some work for The Northern Illinois Raptor Center. They are an organization that was formed to bring together different groups of specialists in the areas of birds of prey which includes Education, Conservation, Research, Veterinary Medicine and the unique cultural heritage of Falconry. I'm hoping my photos help them convey their message.