Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Subtle Detail

The morning after Christmas I was out putting salt out on the driveway to help get rid of the couple of inches of ice we had received a couple of days earlier, when I noticed the light. I ran back inside and grabbed my camera and snapped this image.

It was snowing lightly that morning and the way the sunlight in its winter angle revealed the subtle detail in the yard. I have always found images like this appealing.


This is another image of my grandfather. Taken in the 20s, It hangs proudly in our home.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


It is so weird to know the people in this picture. Some of the people here I have known for years, others I have been told about by my mother. This summer was the first time I had ever seen it. This image was made in the early 60s. Aunts,uncles and cousins make up the picture. There are not too many pictures of my family from my mother's side. I never had the privilege of meeting my grandfather and grandmother. Before I had seen this picture, my mother only had two pictures that they were in. That's them on the left. Someday someone will ask me who these people are and I can tell them they are my family. From left to right, Back row: Grandpa and Grandma Martin,  Chuck, Junior, Mae, Blonde, Charlie. Front row: Bobby, Ivy, Yvonne, Elsie. This picture made in another time other than the one I know is their's. I am thankful to the person that took the time to round up my family and capture a moment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Altered State

I was sitting in my truck today waiting on Ethan to take a drug screening. Time to break out the Crackberry and take some self portraits.

This image is a little weird. I moved the phone just as the picture snapped. It looks a little surreal I think. It may not be a real perception of life but like Bob Ross might have said, "A happy accident."


Not bad for a cell phone pic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hang On, Let Me Adjust The Drag!

I used to fish a lot. I spent many hours on the water in the summer. I love to fish. The species really do not  matter. Spending time fishing for Bluegill, Largemouth bass, Catfish, and Trout is very relaxing. Especially catfishing very little skill or cost involved. All one has to do is get some simple tackle and bait and go out and sit on a river bank or the shore of a lake and wait. As recent last summer,  Melissa and I would fill a cooler with beverages and snacks like Oreo's, Funyouns, and Beef Jerky and off we would go. Some summer days were almost like being at the beach with a small transistor radio stuck between two camp chairs watching for a tale-tale sign of a rod bending over as a fish would take the bait. Then  hang on for the fight. For many years, I chased Largemouth Bass. As a sport, bass fishing is a multi-million dollar industry with people spending loads of money on tackle, lures, and boats. I figured out  a long time ago that a person can can catch the same fish with a johnboat and a lawn chair as a person that has invested thousands of dollars in a state of the art bass boat. I have used live bait and artificial lures to catch the big one. Spent time with family and friends and countless hours cleaning fish afterwards. Fishing taught me patience and to enjoy being out in nature. For several years I had to tell people that I had caught some trophies in my time. Some people would look at me and I could see the look in their eyes like here comes some fish story.


These fish hang proudly on my wall. After being in storage in my sisters basement for four years. They made the trip north this summer. They need to be retouched but on a cold winter day they hold dreams of days to come.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snow Day

I finally got the driveway clear before the next snow and cold temperatures hit. I thought I was prepared for the snow. Earlier this season I bought a used snowblower. I had to put a fuel shut off valve on it and change the oil. So last Tuesday night just as the snow was starting to come down I brought the blower out of our shed to the garage. before I could get it into the garage the chain broke. So I went to the local hardware store and picked up a chain. Great. Eleven bucks for the chain and twenty-three dollars for the tool to make the chain the right size.

It is great that Ethan is here. I put him to work clearing the driveway. After the snow, we were greeted with sub-zero temps. Ice melt only works when it is so cold.

The view from our backyard. At least I don't have to worry about mowing for a couple of months.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fall 09

Sometimes a day can make a difference. Earlier this fall I had a day where I just planned to find a few covered bridges in Waupaca County. The leaves had just begun to turn colors. Some trees were on fire with color while others remained green. I had found two bridges in the county one in the Waupaca area and one down by Wild Rose.

This is the Crystal River.

The bridge here is a foot bridge. I must admit I found the place a little touristy. Since I was the only one around I did not seem to mind.
The next place I traveled to was the Springwater Bridge. This bridge was a little more conventional in the fact that it is a real working bridge. As I got out of my truck I asked a homeowner if I could park there and take pictures. The owner told me to take as many pictures as I wanted and that I could also use his property to access getting a good shot. I thanked the man as he cleared leaves from his yard.

Occasionally the view in the other direction can be as appealing as the original subject.

I try hard in some of my landscapes images to leave out unwanted elements when I can.
 Signs can take on so many meanings and statements whether intended by the photographer or not. Q has become a whimsical friend.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A New Look

My last post mentioned that my camera was dying. So Santa got me a new camera this year for Christmas. I have made a switch to Nikon. I have used Nikon in the past and have always had good results. A new camera is exciting and scary at the same time. My old camera took me a lot of places and I knew how it worked in and out. I also had confidence in it.  Will this new camera be able provide me with the images I expect?  The answer is yes. I knew the moment after I made the first image that my confidence had been restored.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Light Tight Box

My camera is slowly dying. As I make exposures I get an error message, the shutter makes an odd sound. After doing some research on the internet, I found that the problem is supposed to be the contacts from the lens to the body of the camera. I have cleaned the contacts in the past but the symptoms always reoccour.
This problem  has happened at the most inoppourtune times. I bought the camera back in 2004. Five years is a long time for a digital camera to last. I believe, I have even made mention of its fits this in earlier posts.

A nod to the gods?

Yeah, to the gods. That he is fallible. That perfection is unobtainable. And now the wait begins shifting the exposure dial back to the left, pulled by the powers inside the earth. It's alive, this image! A living sculpture and down through contact, always down, striking the shutter gently but, with character. A tuning fork goes off in your heart. Such a pure feeling is the well-exposed image.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lucky Lease

When we came to Stevens Point to look for housing, we thought we had hit a brick wall. Somehow we landed in this rental just out of town. We love it.

Road Trip

This summer Melissa and I got the opportunity to go to Door county on the Wisconsin Peninsula. Our plan was simple, just to meander and see where the road went. We will return.

Campfires and Katydids

Little Grassy Lake, Jackson county, Illinois.

Someday I will get off this planet and fight the evil empire.

New Old Pictures

This summer while visiting with my mother she shared with me more photos of our family.  My Mother  had recieved some pictures from her niece that we had never seen before. After looking at them I took them with me our new home to scan and turn into digital files and then returned them. 

This is my Uncle Chuck. The picture looks to be from the Korean War. I don't know who took the picture but it is spot on.  Very captivating. More to come.

The River and Backwater Delta Land

The Mississippi river at Columbus, Kentucky.

I had seen this field as we drove through Kentucky. I am glad I stopped on my way back through a couple of days later.


A lot of miles have been put on this year. Moving and visiting family with only the bare minimum plus our two kittys. Toll roads, vending machines, rest areas, gas stations, burnt diesel, interchanges, campsites, lakes, fishing licenses, nightcrawlers, campfires ,primitive toilets ,catfish, bobbers,road construction, rainy night glare, crickets,  lawn chairs, camera equipment, roadside belt repair,coolers, 13 states...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spring is Here

Turn the key on the lock. A short break is on the way. Stay tuned in  a couple of months there will be more.  Days to fish camp and spend time with family.  

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Whole Moose and Nothing but the Moose

Okay, I told my son I would post pictures of the dead moose we had seen on our Safari.

Crazy Mooses.

Moose track.

Image by Dean Baker
Moose Hoof.

Dead Moose.

This is Backwater of a creek

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Moose Safari

As Melissa and I begin to start packing for our next adventure. Our friends treated us to a Moose safari on Good Friday. So we spent the day touring the back roads of Maine looking for moose.We did not pay to go on tour.

The only moose we did see had been dead a couple of days. I may add those pictures soon but not today. I did take a couple of landscapes that I really enjoyed. Since we will be leaving Maine in a month or so, it was good to get out and see the countryside.

A frozen lake with mountains in the background and the image exposed the way I like it.

This is a stand of trees planted by Plum Creek for later harvest. The hues of gold is a sure sign of spring.

This is an image of Low's Bridge in Guilford, Maine. Covered bridges are becoming a thing of the past. I have not seen too many in my lifetime. I tweaked this image to give it a dreamy look. Breaking with tradition is good.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Random Things

While waiting for the thaw to come in a couple of months, this is a good time to reflect on random things and projects that are works in progress.

Skiers beware. You can see them here by the stickers they have on their vehicles. Mountains conquered, memories made,and free advertising SugarLoaf is a popular mountain here in Maine to go to ski. I like to collect bumper stickers of places we have visited. We just don't put too many on our vehicle. Like a badge of courage to say we have been to this place and now we are forever attached to it.

This is a sticker for SugarLoaf. Why not personalize it?

Movies. I do enjoy them. One of my favorite movie clips of all time is from the Wizard of Oz or should I say the Dark Side of The Rainbow.

I guess it is the music set against chaos of the movie scene, while a tornado dances on the plains is what I like. I always liked the scene even without Floyd. Cinema at its best.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Illinois Dean and The Quest for Poutine

Catchy Title. Rolls off the tongue. Squeaks like cheese curds on teeth. What!!! Melissa and I had dinner at a local restaurant tonight. On menu Poutine.

I had to give it a try. We had heard about this dish that supposedly originated in Quebec, Canada in the 1950s from some friends. We even had even seen it on an episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.

When the waitress set the dish in front of us, we were a little apprehensive. It kinda grows on you as you eat it though Melissa and I think we should go up north and give it a try. This dish is a regional take on the Canadian original which, is supposed to include real cheese curds. The dish we had contained shredded white cheddar cheese, fries, and beef gravy. After doing a little research this is obviously a low brow dish and some Canadians do not like to admit to eating Poutine.

Alley Cat Alert !!!

On many occasions we have found some article of food that has been molested by our beloved cats. Melissa and I for the most part have had to live the lifestyle of campers by securing all food products away in a safe place. This morning we had a breech of food security. The latest victim was a food sweetener called Purevia. The little packets are just too fun for Mallory to resist. She has a fetish with wrappers any wrapper. Any opening of a wrapper will bring her from anywhere in the house. Melissa and I may cannot start securing our food way up high like we were in bear country. Mallory is too smart for that. If it has a wrapper she will find a way to get to it and if she can't eat it. She will play with it.

The Crime scene.

Caught in the act!!!

For now Mallory has won. Until we find a better security system in place, Melissa and I will have to dance the soft shoe with Purevia at our feet.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Melissa and I have resolved over the last couple of years that we have to drive on snow.

Snow Yet Again

Last night we got another couple inches of snow. I took a few shots from our porch at about 6 a.m. this morning. Today we are supposed to get some more snow along with some strong winds.



(Above)The snow is piled up on the truck. Notice the snow shovel on the hood. It is touching the top of the hood.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Snow

I hate to beat a dead horse but the other day we got dumped on again. The official report was said to be 11 inches. Sure seems to be a lot more than that. The interesting part is that the snow continues to pile up along the roads. Melissa and I had seen a stop sign today that had snow piled up at least 4-5 feet above the sign.

This is I-95 North. The road is well taken care of.

Rural Route Winter