Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dark Ages

In a world of digital age. I need to try to get back to basics of a dying art form. Not a fancy darkroom but functional.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I went out this morning to get kerosene. After driving a mile or so I had to go back and get my camera.

I had seen this the day before but the difference today was that the sun was peeking through the clouds. Also moisture had found its way on the trees. I have seen pictures of trees like this flocked from Yellowstone National Park. The main difference from Yellowstone is the absence of deciduous trees.  

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Polonia Mission

Yesterday I got out to take a few pics driving the back roads of Portage and Waupaca counties. I like sunny days to take pictures but cloudy days can be just as good if not better.

We live in an interesting part of Wisconsin. Within Portage county we have flat farm land and rolling hills and to the north in Marathon county we have what some would call mountains but they are big hills to me. When the snow blows here it just blows with nothing to stop it but tree lines and ditches. Once the ditches fill with snow onto the road it blows.

Wisconsin is farm country and barns are plentiful. I have always loved barns they are great for landscapes. Barns also have character because no two are really alike. Barns in Wisconsin are also great for tourism. There are barn tours, countless calenders, and historical societies dedicated to preserving them.  When one catches my eye  I try to at least make a mental note of where it is so I can come back later to make images.

 I stopped in the village of Plolonia to take pictures of a barn that is on the property of Felician sisters. The place is now a school for about forty children but in the thirties was a orphanage for children.  I asked the caretaker if i could take a few pictures.

 I have been by this place several times since we have moved here but decided to not take pictures of until yesterday.  The fence and the barn are beautiful. The caretaker told me that no one has been in the barn since the early eighties. I would love the chance to get in there some day and see how the light shines from those glass block windows.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Ah. The title. I will get to it. Over the weekend, Melissa and I traveled home to see family. We have made the trip a couple of times over the summer and the fall. This was our first opportunity to make the trip after the holidays. I am always amazed when I get back to the region where I grew up and cover the land I used to frequent and see how it has changed very little, while I have been the one to change.

I don't always have my camera with me. Most of the time I do have my phone with me. Today's camera phones have come a long way but they still lack the ability to record and image the way it should be done.  I have become okay with what I get when I use the camera  phone. The fact that it gives a certain feeling to the images makes it worth using. The time lag when I press the capture button gives an uncertainty coupled with the grain in low light gives the images a dreamy feel. Another plus here is the camera phone gives a certain amount of stealth of unobtrusiveness. No one knew I was snapping a few images here. I had turned off the flash.

Oh I almost forgot. What does this title have to do with anything?  Well Saturday evening I let an image slip by me that will haunt me. The image above was made shortly after the moment had passed. Driving a long the interstate I had seen the image at 70 mph. A barn, on the plains, that reflected the cold of winter at twilight. I did not stop. Why did I not stop? I tell myself that it was cold outside, my monopod was in the trunk, and we were over 300 miles from home. Just wanting to be home.  I can make excuses all day but there is no getting what I had seen back. While I will be haunted by the image that I did not make. I realize that I had seen it and seeing images makes one a better photographer.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Last year, I wrote in my blog that it was really cold and clear. Today is the second day of the new year and like last year, it was -8 degrees out. I went out to the garage this morning and filled our kerosene heater and brought it in. As I lit it I could smell the kerosene and it reminded me of my childhood and the many places I have been where it was in use.  The house we lease uses No.2 fuel oil and it also has a fireplace. Even at three dollars a gallon, kerosene provides a nice alternative on a cold morning.