Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years everybody! I thought I'd show a word cloud I put together recently for some stock photography / illustrations I am doing.

Fishing Fun

Well ice fishing wasn't great today but I got some nice photos. Here is one I snapped and added a bunch of texture to. It adds a nice vintage effect. If only that truck would have been a 1950's model:)

Fishin' Up North

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. We will posting some great new pics this week, hopefully, and experimenting with some new toys, more to come on that. Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fun on a Saturday

I've been working on photos all day today, kind of a nice break from my normal life. Been working on stock photos and illustrations. Also trying some new things. Here are two experiments I rather liked so thought I would post. The first is a recycling concept image and the second is a collage of last weekend's winter storm. I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Gifts?

I get this question from time time so I thought I'd publish a quick post about it with the holidays coming up. The question is "Can I buy one of your photographs?". The answer is yes and thank you!

All you have to do is go to our main page and find the picture you want. Once you decide on it, click on BUY. It will bring you a pop up where you can select anything from a small size to 8 x 10 to much much larger to specialty items such as canvas prints, wall art, shirts, mugs, mousepads, etc. All of this is professionally made and will be sent directly to you. If you have any questions, let me know but it is very easy.

Lots of people buy and frame some of these photos. I hope you find something you like. Thanks for your visits.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1st Place!

It's been awhile since I've posted. I've been very busy. I thought this was worthy of posting an update. I recently won first place in a local photo contest in the Nature and Wildlife Category. Here is the winning photograph "Time for Reflection".

It's a picture at a local park. This is the first contest I entered so while it is a small contest, I am happy with a win.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Having fun with Textures.

Well I've been busy and haven't posted much. For those of you interested my Project 365 is still alive. I am a little behind posting the latest photos on my Flickr photostream but some of them aren't great anyway. Just quick shots to keep the streak alive. Today I discovered texture layers in Photoshop (remember I still learning) and have been playing with these all day. Below is one example of what I have been doing. I have added a grunge old texture to this photo.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 32. Belted Kingfisher.

Well I've now passed a month in my Project 365. Only eleven more to go! Today I struggled with a photo. It was incredibly windy here today which took out macro outdoor shots and I wasn't sure what else to shoot. I then discovered a little red squirrel running along the bank all day collecting green pine cones that where falling from the trees. While I pursued the perfect shot of this little guy all day I kept the camera handy by the patio door. Despite lots of shots I didn't get one I was happy with.

Then I looked up and saw this Belted Kingfisher sitting on our boat canopy frame. I have been seeing this bird all week fly by with fish in his mouth and making lots of noise at anything approaching but he was always too far way. I quickly grabbed the camera and slowly opened the door and began shooting. Despite the distance I still got some nice pics that I had to crop down. Below is my favorite. Maybe I'll get lucky and get some more chances to photograph this beautiful bird this week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Project 365 Day 30. Sun Burst.

Well I was up early today, very early for me. I was watching the sun come up over the river and very thick fog. As the sun started to clear the trees it lit up the fog and sky. I tried to capture the image the best I could in low light. I hope you like the result.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Project 365 Day 28. Yellow.

The streak is still going and today is day 28. There have been some nice photos and some rough days just to keep the streak alive. Here is my picture today.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Project 365. Day 15

Day fifteen and still going strong. Spent the last couple of days up north and my wife's flower gardens have lots of great photo ops. The key is to stay away from all the bees. The cone flowers have just started to come into full bloom. Below is a macro shot of a pink one.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Project 365 Day 11. A happy face.

Well it's been a couple of days since I posted. I hated my day 9 photo so you won't find it here. Day 10 was a stock photo of a scantron sheet. I'll probably post it at some point, and day 11 is below. I need some inspiration although I have been shooting a lot of stock the last couple of days.

Anyways here it is. Let's put on a happy face:)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Project 365. One week plus down.

Well it's been a week and eight photos in Project 365. It's been fun so far. I thought I would post some interesting observations and comments.

-It has energized me. I have had to take the camera out of the bag each and every day for eight days now. It has been a long time since I have done that.

-I'm having fun. While shooting stock photos makes me some extra cash, it can get boring. Some of the shooting this week have been fun ideas and photoshopping that I would never do for stock. It has allowed me to experiment and have a blast.

-Everyday can be a grind. Just when you think you are done, drag that camera back out. It's a new day.

-This has gotten me back into photography. I haven't been this active since January.

-I finally get black and white, sepia, and vignetting. Love the effect.

-Photoshop is amazing. I knew this but I'm getting better everyday.

-Did I mention I'm having fun?

Stay tuned. More photos coming. Better yet, start your own 365 project and join the fun. Let me know if you do.

Project 365. Day 8

Day 8 of the project. Changed things up a little today and went boring stock. Picture of a Heddon Punkinseed antique fishing lure.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Project 365. Day 7

I don't have much time today so I made this quick. I am also really enjoying experimenting with black and white, sepia, and vignetting. I really like the way these pictures are turning out. I never really got black and white before but I really see the appeal now. Here is our oldest "boy" Nelson. I really like the way this turned out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Project 365. Day 6

Well to continue my pattern I had to get my last child in here. I had a hard time getting him to pose and finally I just started shooting. I think this captures the essence of Mitchell.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Project 365. Day 5

Well I had so much fun yesterday I decided to do something similar. Today I took a picture of my oldest son but wanted to not only do black and white but give it more of an old fashioned look. I decided to make the picture look like an old west photo such as a young gunfighter. Once we got the hat and modeled the picture I converted to black and white and added a sepia effect. From there I applied vignetting in reverse with white edges as these photos used to look and have aged. Overall I like the look. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Project 365. Day 4

Inspiration struck me quickly today. While thinking what to do I thought about a black and white photo of Maddie with a color isolation. I took the picture, cropped tightly, converted to black and white. Isolated back out the red flower, then added grain and vignette. I really like the results. I hope you do too. This was great as it was something I wouldn't do for stock but a lot of fun to do.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Project 365. Day 3

Wow, it seems like day 2 just ended. Oh wait, it did. Time for another photo. I will say this. So far this has forced me to take my camera out of the bag on a day I wouldn't have otherwise. I guess that's one of the points of doing this. Anyway here's a toy cow isolated on white. I thought it was kind of cute and may end up doubling as a stock photo.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Project 365. Day 2

I had limited time today to take a picture so I had to get creative. I picked a moose in the hotel room and arranged a silouhette against the wall to try to show the shadow. I then converted to black and white and adjusted some levels. Nothing too fancy but it kept me taking a picture today and allowed me to experiment.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Project 365. Day 1

Well I am excited to start this project and spent some time outside today taking some pictures. When my daughter saw this she started to pose. After a few test shots I got one I like. She is sitting on a chair alongside the river. I purposely wanted the water blurred out in the background along with the shoreline. I hope you enjoy the pic. Tomorrow's will be a bit more challenging as I will be on the road.

I'm crazy.

Well as if my life is not busy enough I decided to finally take the plunge on something I have been thinking about for quite some time. I am starting a 365 project. What is that you ask? It is a committment to take and post a photo a day for 365 straight days. The idea is it makes you take the camera out of the bag and shoot. It also gives you a chance to get creative and look for everyday beauty to capture.

I have thought about this for quite awhile. My life is insanely busy right now and some days I am not sure how I will manage but I think it will be a good challenge and one that will force me to grow as a photographer.

Stay tuned for the details and my picture of day 1!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blackbird shouting it out!

Up river this year there are new signs telling people to slow down their boats to help protect the wild rice beds. Well these signs have quickly become part of the environment as this bird is showing. As we approached this redwing blackbird he was trying to call us off and keep our distance. As I shot away with my Canon 1D Mark IV I got some cool pictures of the bird and sign. At first I was just shooting a picture of the sign to show someone but upon further inspection I really like this photo. It shows the bird with his beak fully open yelling at us as if to be reading the sign to us. I hope you like the picture too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Whitetail Fawn

Whitetail deer are one of my favorite animals in nature and to photograph. As abundant as they seem at times they can be quite elusive when you have a camera in your hands. A couple of days ago I got an opportunity to photograph a fawn laying in some grass in a field while her mother was laying a little ways away. With the power of my 100-400 zoom lens I was able to get some decent pics although it was tricky trying to get the deer and not blowing grass in front of the deer in focus. My favorite one is below.

Friday, July 8, 2011

More Eagles

Went out on the river looking for eagles and herons today. Got some decent pics. Saw about 3 eagles and only got real close to one. Saw a bunch of herons and have to look over all those pictures yet. Here's a quick one of an eagle that I like.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hot day on the lake.

We were out on the lake today and it was a hot one! To cool off we pulled the kids behind the boat in the tube. It was a great time and a great photo opportunity. As we pulled them I snapped away with the camera on burst mode and got some great action shots. While some of them wiping out were pretty good, my favorite one is below. It is so hard to believe how hard it is to get a photo with two people looking up and smiling with eyes open at the same time.

I'm using the camera more this week and really enjoying posting here again. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eye of the Eagle

Today we were floating down the river through wild rice beds and doing some fishing and sightseeing. After several hours of this we had seen countless ducks, herons, eagles and more. As the weather started to turn we needed to get back before a storm rolled in.

As I came around a corner I got a glimse of this majestic bird perched on an old duck blind on the side of the channel. I backed off the motor and grabbed my camera gear. While my wife slowly idled the boat and the kids were amazingly quite I snapped away with my Canon Mark IV. I took about 100 total pics of this bald eagle before we floated by him. The pic below is my favorite. If you want to see the full large version of it go to our main page. If you view the larger version you can see the eagle has a band on his leg.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Long Time Away

Well it's been a long time since I've posted to the blog. Honestly after a strong start to the year I just haven't been into photography much since. I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and enjoy the hobby again. It's finally summer here in Wisconsin and with it some great photo opportunities.

Today I spent some time with the camera and tripod taking some pictures of my wife's favorite flowers, peonys. The sun was probably too high in the sky for the pics but I do like the way they turned out. Probably a little too ordinary for a stock gallery but some nice pics nonetheless. Below is one of my favorites of a white peony with an ant in the center.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fun with Otters

Well it's been quite awhile since I have posted. This past weekend I had the priviledge to witness a staredown between a Bald Eagle and a River Otter. After the staredown, which the otter won I got a chance to watch three otters swim and play on the edge of the ice on the shores of the Wisconsin River. I followed them the best I could and layed on my stomach with my Canon Mark IV and focused through the trees to get the best pics I could. While most didn't turn out (as they were just out of great range), some did. I am in the process of finishing up some of these but just had to post this first one. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fun with Snow

I spent the day up north and while there wasn't much snow on the ground it started to snow during the day. I took this as an opportunity to head outside and try to catch some wildlife in the snow. Earlier in the day there were deer playing on the frozen river and birds everywhere. Well once I headed out with the camera there was nothing for wildlife. I took the time to have some fun and try some different shots. Most of course did not turn out great but I found a couple that I like. The first one is of a wreath on the side of our house with snowflakes flying around it. The second is just simple shot of a pine branch in focus with the background and snowflakes out of focus. Just some fun with the camera and practice, practice, practice. While I didn't get any masterpieces it was time spent behind the lens and I need to do more of that. A good day. I hope you enjoy the pics.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Greatest Training Ever!

Well for those of you who have been reading this blog, you know that I have been taking training classes through  I highly recommend them and more details will come later but below is a banner to their site and classes for those who are interested.  I highly recommend them!!!  They have taught me more on post processing in two months than I learned in two years.

Get more from your software.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wasting Away in February

Well after a very busy January, February has been disappointing.  We are already on the 20th in a short month and I have done almost nothing photography related.  I have added zero photos to my average port size and the goal of fifty seems really out of reach.  Income is trending alright for the month but my activity has been non-existent.  It's been a very busy month at work and home and I haven't been fighting through to be motivated to keep shooting. 

As I look at the remaining days of this month I am split between throwing in the towel or finding a way to fight for the fifty.  February is a brutal month here in Wisconsin.  Time to start shooting!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday and January Wrap Up

Well it's Super Bowl Sunday and in honor of that and the mighty Packers, below is a picture of the Green Bay sweep displayed on a chalk board with a football. 

For those of you wondering how my January ended up for goals, well.... just a little short.  I ended up adding to my portfolio average 49 new pictures.  Just one short of my 50 goal.  I tried rounding and still came up just fractions short.  So technically I missed the goal.  I am still happy with the effort though and will now turn my sights to February, a short and challenging month.  I'll keep you all posted.  I've also been learning a ton in Photoshop and will expand upon that further in a future post.

Well back to pre-game preparation.  Go Pack!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Little Behind the Pace

As this blog is still new, the topics are still just working their way out.  Sometimes the posts will be lots of new pictures of exciting new faces or places.  Other times it will be about what I'm into at that time in my hobby.  Sometimes it will be more stock or microstock photography related.

That's what time it is right now.  Microstock.  One of my goals this year is to add 50 new pictures to my portfolio each and every month.  Consistency is key here.  Well as I sit here on the 20th, I am half way.  I have added 25 new pics so far this month.  I need to step up the pace to hit that goal this month.  The problem is this isn't easy.  It's cold and white outside.  Not a lot of exciting topics to go shoot.  As a result they have to be indoor mini studio based.  Not as exciting and a lot more difficult to come up with new ideas. 

The good news is I still have 11 days this month to hit the goal.  Now back to work...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 Goals

Well I mentioned in my last post that I would post some of my 2011 photography related goals.  So here they are.  Some I won't mention as they are more personal. 

1.  Double my stock photography portfolio to 1400 images.
2.  Add 50 pictures to my stock portfolio every month.
3.  Learn Photoshop.
4.  Improve my skills (both photography and processing).
5.  Add posts to this blog on a regular basis.
6.  Try to take photos as often as possible, even if just for fun.

Well, those are my main goals.  The first two really will have me focused on my stock portfolio.  The next two are to improve my skills.  The last two are more for enjoyment so this hobby doesn't become a job.

What are your photography goals for 2011?  Add a comment and let me know what you think.  Now onto the Packer game.  Go Pack!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome Photoshop CS5.

New year, new challenge.  Well it's 2011, Happy New Years to all.  I will be posting some of my photo related resolutions later but I have embarked on a new journey.  I finally jumped in the deep end and purchased Photoshop CS5.  While it is certainly an investment it is one I felt I needed to do.  Prior to this I was using PhotoImpact X3 and previous versions back to Ulead.  While I loved this program (and its early roots are tied to PS) it is not the industry standard.  While Photoshop is a beast, everybody uses it and all tuturials are on PS.  This is something I have been putting off doing due to price and the new learning required but if I am going to be serious I need to take the plunge.  I first needed a new PC capable of running this program and I took care of that need in the last few days.  Now I have a new pc and a new program that all require some time to learn and set up. 

This will keep me busy for awhile but should result in better post production pics in the long run.  I'll post more as I learn but wanted to get a new post out there.  Stay tuned for an exciting 2011!!