Tag Archives: night photography

A Photographer And His/Her Work

16 Sep

Art Crawl 8x10 prints-3

Hello again! Life sure moves along. With a full-time job and other commitments as well as all things photography that I continue to pursue, things got a bit behind more than I’d like in posting a blog. It is always my intent to share a blog at least every other week. Thank you for your grace when that doesn’t happen. I do not take this for granted and I really appreciate your support by following this.

This image is one of my pieces that will be showcased and offered for sale at the upcoming St Paul Art Crawl October 12-14. Click here to keep on reading

Hot Night In The City

19 Jul

Union Depot-1

I’m a hot person. No really…I am. I’m hot, baby! Ok, maybe not in the handsome, sexy, rugged type of way like Tom Selleck and George Clooney among others (yes, I know this dates me sharing these names with any of you “youngsters” reading this and I’m secure enough in my manhood that I can say that about men). Fortunately, my wife would say I’m very handsome….I think… 🤔

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In The Wee Small Hours

20 May

Star Trails At The Tombolo-1

“In the wee small hours of the morning, while the whole wide world is fast asleep..”                                                                             In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning/Music by David Mann/Lyrics by Bob Hilliard

I’m a loner.

Don’t get me wrong…I like people. I love hanging with friends. I love those we are privileged to call more than a friend.

For instance, my wife is more than a friend. While I’ve been called many things by my wife that are not flattering and of my own doing, she calls me more than a friend. I’ve not had many over my years on this earth but I have had a few friends that “stick closer than a brother” as the writer of Proverbs talks about. Hopefully you have that kind of a friend. We all need them.

But…I’m also a loner. I like being alone. Partly, it is ingrained from my father. He was a people person but he prized his times alone as well. I can imagine him saying, “solitude is a restorative for the soul”. Partly, it is the result of my years growing up. Chubby, glasses, a hearing loss and speech impediment garnered me more than a few bullies and not very many friends within the four walls known as school. Partly, it is just who I am.

Some of us are wired to be around people, perhaps all the time. Not so for me. I’m wired with a need to withdraw from the human populace at various times…at least as much as I can. With all our technology today, it’s difficult to truly be alone. Technology is amazing and I embrace it fully. But it comes with a cost. How much of a cost depends on how addicted we are to our technology.

The lyrics above came to mind as I was captioning this featured image evoking tranquility in the loneliness. The song is a standard for loneliness and introspection among other things. Behind the scenes of this image, I stood alone and an introspective figure on the shore of Lake Superior. Nothing clamored for my attention as I looked up into the infinite vastness of the stars. My mind simply took in the view and marveled. The rhythmic dance of the waves hitting the rocks was the only sound I heard. The wind blew steadily and with a slight chill. I zipped up my jacket, pulled my hood up and counted myself blessed. Blessed with people in my life. Blessed to be alone in the wee small hours of the morning while the world slept.

Comments/thoughts are always welcome. Feel free to post below in the comments section. Thanks for allowing me to share with you  “images from a quiet world”.

Interested in this image for your home/professional environment? Clicking the link below will take you directly to a gallery page where you can order it.

In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning

 

The Stars Of Mount Charity

12 May

Mt Charity Overlooking The Mississippi River-1

Ever sit back on a dark night and just look at the stars? Whenever I do this, I can’t help but feel tiny. Stars have a way of making even my hefty frame feel diminutive. When I see the layers upon layers of stars that are visible to my eyes, I feel a sense of wonder, of awe, of an affirmation that, speaking of my own personal beliefs here, this is no mere happenstance. Rather, I personally believe this is the work of Intelligent Design, or to be frank, Jesus. Among the resources that you can google and find, here are the words of one scientist which aligns with Job 38:6 and 7 written so many years ago …

‘He said: “Essentially stars resonate like a huge musical instrument. Stars make sounds naturally but we can’t hear this as it is has to travel through space.

“Like a musical instrument, stars are not uniformly solid all the way to their core, so the sound gets trapped inside the outer layers and oscillates around inside.

“This makes the star vibrate causing it to expand and contract. We can detect this visually because the star gets brighter and dimmer and so we can reconstruct the sounds produced from these vibrations.” ‘

Here’s that article for further reading.

Star’s Song

Mount Charity is a bluff within John A. Latsch State Park in southeastern MN that had been on my mind for awhile as a potential night shoot. I was trying to think of a less populated place to shoot the Milky Way and decided to give this bluff along the Mississippi River a shot. I knew light pollution could be an issue as this state park is near various light sources. However, the sense of adventure of a 1/2 mile vertical hike of 450-500 feet gave this hearing-impaired 55 year old body the impetus it needed to continue to refuse to settle for less. Here’s a link for more insight about John A. Latsch State Park.

John A. Latsch State Park

I did a check of what living monstrosities I needed to be on the lookout for. It turned out the worst, if I were to believe Wikipedia and we all know the internet to be reliable and truthful, could be timber rattlesnakes and coyotes. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was pretty sure it was too cool to happen upon a rattlesnake as long as I stayed on the path and coyotes generally avoid humans. I knew I would be hiking in pitch dark so I grabbed my trusty headlamp and two flashlights – one for each hand to dispel the darkness like a gunslinger dispelling bad guys – to provide a little light. Also of help is that there is a steep – and I mean STEEP – stairway that leads to the top so the hiking on uneven ground is minimal. Oh, I also came armed with Deet to combat ticks and mosquitos. Deet is every Minnesotan’s cologne of choice in every season but winter. It’s quite a lovely smell. You’ll know a visiting Minnesotan to your state by their cologne. Come winter, we dispel with colognes. Who can smell you under 15 layers of clothes?

I walked the 100 feet or so to the base of the stairs and began the ascent. Every few minutes, I’d have to stop to rest due to the steepness and weight of my pack harboring my tripod and camera gear. Just to be sure, I’d take that time to shine my light all around and make sure those monstrosities (which according to Wikipedia also included the likes of the deadly red fox, the peeing antic of the white tailed deer [you did see that in the documentary Grown Ups 2, didn’t you?] and the rascally opossum) were not surrounding me. Here’s one image of what I saw taken with my iPhone…

IMG_9439

About a half hour later, shortly after midnight, I reached the summit of the bluff. I took it all in for a while before I even began to set up my camera equipment. Looking straight up into the vast numbers of stars is always mind boggling to me. Sometimes we just need to be in the moment. Don’t be so busy with stuff that you forget to live in the moment. No doing…no thinking…no speaking…just be silent and be still. Take it all in. Breathe in deep and admire the scene before you. Much like Sean O’Connell tells Walter Mitty…

Sean O’Connell In The Moment

After a while of stargazing and taking in the view over the Mississippi River, I set up my equipment and enjoyed some time photographing the views above me and in front of me. There was too much light pollution to see the Milky Way but I was just as enthralled with the stars and the lights of Lock and Dam No. 5 spanning the mighty Mississippi River. I left and headed back down the steep incline with indelible memories and captured images on my camera’s memory card.

If you have any thoughts or comments, share them in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.

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If you are interested in the Mt Charity image at the top of this blog for your home/professional environment, please click the link below and it will take you directly to the gallery page where you can peruse varying print and wall art options. I add new images on a regular basis (some which may or may not be featured in my blogs) so check back on a regular basis to see what has been added. You’ll find a link to my website on the right side. Thanks for your support!

 

The Night Light Of Hidden Falls

3 May

The Nightlight Of Hidden Falls-1Are you afraid of the dark? I mean really dark places where you sometimes cannot even see right in front of you? Sometimes you have to fight the mental battle to move ahead as a photographer. I’m no stranger to this. In fact, with my hearing loss, it can sometimes be even more of a battle as I not only can’t see, but I most likely can’t hear anything as well.

This particular night I went to Hidden Falls Regional Park to photograph the falls. Check out this link if you’d like to know more about this park.

Hidden Falls Regional Park

It is the lesser known cousin of Minnehaha Falls but no less beautiful to me. I drove down the steep entry incline and parked only to be told by park security that parking was closing for the night. “But” he said…I like those buts as it meant I was not out of luck…”you can park up on the streets outside the park entrance and hike in”. Beautiful words! 10-15 minutes later, I was back in business having trekked down the steep incline into the park for a second time, this time on foot.

I started off in the direction I thought was correct as I had been here once before in the daytime a couple years ago. About 15 minutes later, I knew something was wrong. I should have been to the falls by now…maybe even sooner. Instead I was in pitch dark, punctuated only by my headlamp and flashlight, back in the hidden recesses of the forest in this park. The path I had taken was now less noticeable. That mental battle was starting. I turned around and headed back the way I came from. I had to constantly remind myself I was alone with maybe the exception of forest critters wondering who this was invading their playground. As long as I didn’t startle a skunk, I would probably live to see another day.

I finally got back to where I started and figured out where I needed to go. As I got closer, disappointment was creeping in. Where water should have been pouring out as the snow pack had been melting, there was barely a trickle. There were no falls; there was only a small stream meandering its way down the carved gorge. While not deep, it still had a drop of up to 5 or 6 feet in varying spots.

Photography always requires flexibility. Without it you’ll end up being frustrated over and over again. My goal was to practice a technique called light painting which is still very new to me so I changed my plans slightly. Check out this link to better understand what light painting is.

Light Painting

I decided to follow the gorge upward toward the falls by walking along along the edge of the gorge. I slowly walked along the edge as I shone the light down into and all around the gorge. Since the light was pointed into the gorge, my path was not lighted. One misstep and I’d be down in the gorge myself.

As I went up further, the edge transitioned into walking on a manmade stone wall so now I had the added risk of falling back onto the ground with one wayward step. You may be thinking, “but there’s plenty of light to see” as the featured image shows. Even though the image is well lit, this is also a long exposure image of about 6 minutes. In the moment as I was light painting, there was only the light of my flashlight pointed into the gorge.

Light painting can be casual or it can be a pretty exact science. In this case I wanted to make sure I did not light the area outside of the gorge so it required a bit more finesse. I shot upwards of 10-15 long exposures that night all roughly around the 6 minute mark. The image you see here is the one I like the most. I really like how the gorge gives off a night light look and feel. If you look closely, you will see that the sides of the gorge have been shored up with manmade stones as well to help prevent erosion of the walls. The gold in the image almost dead center is a reflection from the lighting sources above the park. Due to the type of light source along the outer rim of the park, the forest has taken on a warmer tone. It lends a fairytale feeling to me.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog! Please leave any comments and/or feedbacks in the comments section below. I’d be happy to answer any questions or thoughts you have regarding the featured image and/or blog post. If you are new to this blog, please consider following me by clicking on the follow button to the side or the WordPress blog button on the bottom right.

If you would like to purchase this image for your own home/professional environment, click the link below and it will take you directly to the image on my website. I do have other purchasing options available beyond what is offered on my website if you do not find one that meets your needs.

The Night Light Of Hidden Falls

 

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