Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's here again.

With October almost over, winter is almost upon us. Temps today are at 32F already. Winter is one of my favorite times of the year to shoot. A fresh snow fall is just an amazing sight and morning frost is killer. A good snow storm is what I sit and wait for and it is just yard to beat. 

My hatred of the cold makes this a difficult time of year though. There is nothing worse then the constant internal struggle. I look outside and see the conditions that just burn inside me and drives me into the cold to go photograph in, just waiting outside the door. Soon they could be gone and I need to get out there. All I am thinking is why would I want to leave this warm house, struggle to bundle up and get all my gear ready, sit in the cold doing all I can to keep my camera from fogging up and the lens clear of snow. Well nothing makes that struggle any better, but my Blizzard Stalker boots from Rocky sure do keep my feet warm. I have never experienced warmer and more comfortable boots in my life. They are actually one of the most comfortable pieces of footwear I have ever worn. 1200 grams of Thinsulate does it's job. My feet have yet to get cold in these boots, even after hours in the elements. I'm not the only one that loves these. I have a few friends I talked into buying a pair and they will give you the same review and reaction I gave you. They are good boots, period. So for any of you winter photographers out there, these boots may help you as they have greatly made my winter shooting more enjoyable. 

Rocky Blizzard Stalker Boots

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hard Drive Surprise

With the amount of photos I take, I need some serious hard drive space.  Every photo I take gets uploaded to my PC hard drive, copied to an external hard drive, burnt to a DVD 4GB at a time, and then it gets deleted from my PC hard drive. One set of data is stored off site. All processed photos are then backed up on an off site server. 

I really like the Western Digital external hard drives. They have good reviews and have served me well. My Seagate drive had an issue and has a bad reputation via reviews. So as spaced filled up I went out to get myself another hard drive. I picked up a Western Digital My Book Essential that was on sale. That was a mistake. My other drives are all My Book Essentials also. You plug them in and you now have another hard drive that you can just drag and drop files and folders into. Slick and easy. The "new" My Book Essential drive has SmartWare program on it. This program turns the hard drive into a cheap and hard to use automatic backup system. It is horrible. You plug it in and you have no choice but to download this program before you can do anything. Once the SmartWare is downloaded, you spend hours trying to figure out how to disable the system to make it a normal external drive. After clicking on every option and setting that comes with the drive with no success, I was about to return it. A few minutes searching the internet led me to a solution. Western Digital offers a download that disables this SmartWare program and turn this drive into what it should have been out of the box. This was a disaster of a purchase. There was no indication that this was not a normal drive in the directions, packaging, or on the box. Western Digital dropped the ball on this drive. To save any of you this parasite of a program here is the link you will need to disable the SmartWare.

Western Digital needed to make the SmartWare program an option from the beginning and not mandatory. They also needed to inform buyers that this drive came with this program and or how to disable it. A External plug and play hard drive should not take 3 hours to get it up and working. Will I buy a Western Digital drive again? Yes, but I will do better research and make sure I get a SmartWare free version.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shooting Bands

Shooting a live band is as rewarding as challenging. It is awarding in the mood and emotions that the lighting, colors, fog, and musicians can evoke in an image. The challenge comes with ability to deal with the low light levels and access that is needed to get the shot. This was my first summer shooting the band scene and it went very well. I have found a love in capturing the mood and emotions of the band as they are  performing to an audience. The band ELEMENTS booked me to shoot them at Rock Fest in Cadott, WI and the Northwoods Rock Rally in Glen Flora, WI. I had a blast with great results and they put on a hell of a show.

ELEMENTS - Tigerpalooza

CRUSH - Tigerpalooza

ELEMENTS - Rock Fest

Returning the Favor - Tigerpalooza

I guess busy bees get behind.

Being busy is better than not having anything to do but being too busy can put you behind as it has me. Not a lot to say in this post but my latest photo shoots have been a blast and have kept me on the move shooting in Eau Claire, WI, La Crosse, WI, and St. Paul, MN.

Taber was a maternity shoot that went really well and she was a blast to work with.

We had two shoots with Qulab, one in Eau Claire and the other one in La Crosse. Both went very well with multiple different looks for her to add to her portfolio. 

The Fredrickson and Gardner family shoot was done at Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire.

Nu had a look and style I love shooting and fit well with my style. Look out St. Paul, MN.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Angels over the Chippewa Valley

Had a blast watching the amazing power of the jets at the Chippewa Valley Air Show in Eau Claire, WI. On Saturday a cold front moved in along with the wind and the rain that never stopped. Still got some great images even though I lost the feeling in my thumbs and was chilled to the bone. The whole show is something to see but the Blue Angels really pull it all together and put on a remarkable show.

On Sunday we were threatened with bad weather but besides a few sprinkles we just made it by without getting wet. Yet another great show with a few added stunts then I saw on Saturday. If you have never been to an air show, you should make a point to get to one.

For more photos from the show, please visit

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentines Day Fire

On a very cold Valentines Day night a fire broke out in one of Eau Claire, Wisconsin's historic homes located on Lake Street. With the hazardous weather conditions already using many of the cities resources, crews were called in from neighboring cities. The fire broke out around 10pm and the crews were on scene until at least 2am. The snow was on and off as the fire continued to rage on this very cold night. After time went on the crew gained control and all that was left was water covered streets and trees of ice.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Glossy or Lustre

One question many ask is what finish they should get their photos done in, glossy or lustre. I prefer glossy in most applications. It has that great shine and deep colors which really makes the photo pop. Applications that I would get glossy prints in would include your run of the mill 4X6, photo albums, framed without glass, portfolios, and many other ways you choose to share and display the photograph.

Lustre is much flatter then glossy but has a much better look then a matte finish. It is in between the two finishes and cuts down on glare while keeping good depth in the photo. I will choose lustre for a majority of my black and white pieces as I think it sets the mood and feel of most black and white works of art better. Whenever I frame any photo behind glass I will get it done in the lustre finish. The glass will add the glossiness that you lost with the lustre finish. When you frame a glossy print behind glass you end up usually getting a reflection off the print which can degrade the quality and cheapen the look of your framed artwork. You will also notice any waviness of the print behind the glass which is minimal with a lustre finished print.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The first post. Welcome to

The new site has been up for awhile now as I have been slowly adding photos from 2006 to the present. Once I get caught up with all my older works, things should roll much smoother and more efficiently with my newest work. I hopefully will also have a little more free time to get caught up on many other projects that are at a snails pace. As always, feedback is welcomed.