I'll be posting some random thoughts here about my photography: my travel plans, technical information behind some images, stories about how certain pictures were captured, etc.  The timing of the postings will also be random as my priority is capturing new images rather than writing about existing ones.  I hope you will feel free to comment on any of my postings and I appreciate you taking time to read my entries.

 

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"Bond Falls" Wins Photo of the Day!

November 11, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "Bond Falls" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured during my road trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in September. This is the fourth time one of my photographs has won this contest since I migrated to mirrorless with the Nikon Z7ii camera.

This marks the 81st time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.

Bond FallsBond FallsImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for November 12, 2011


Carhenge

November 01, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

While visiting Scottsbluff, Nebraska, I took the 100 mile round trip drive to Alliance, Nebraska to photograph Carhenge. Carhenge is a replica of England's Stonehenge It consists of 39 vintage automobiles arranged in a circle.

It was surreal seeing this massive sculpture on the open high plains of Nebraska in the middle of nowhere. It was also a test for my first all electric road trip. I recently purchased a Tesla and drove it 3,000 miles on this road trip (more on that topic later).

CarhengeCarhengeCarhenge sculpture at 2151 Co Road 59 near Alliance, Nebraska on October 16, 2021. Carhenge is a replica of England's Stonehenge. Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, all covered with gray spray paint. Built by Jim Reinders. CarhengeCarhengeCarhenge sculpture at 2151 Co Road 59 near Alliance, Nebraska on October 16, 2021. Carhenge is a replica of England's Stonehenge. Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, all covered with gray spray paint. Built by Jim Reinders. CarhengeCarhengeCarhenge sculpture at 2151 Co Road 59 near Alliance, Nebraska on October 16, 2021. Carhenge is a replica of England's Stonehenge. Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, all covered with gray spray paint. Built by Jim Reinders. CarhengeCarhengeCarhenge sculpture at 2151 Co Road 59 near Alliance, Nebraska on October 16, 2021. Carhenge is a replica of England's Stonehenge. Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, all covered with gray spray paint. Built by Jim Reinders. CarhengeCarhengeCarhenge sculpture at 2151 Co Road 59 near Alliance, Nebraska on October 16, 2021. Carhenge is a replica of England's Stonehenge. Carhenge is formed from vintage American automobiles, all covered with gray spray paint. Built by Jim Reinders.


South Dakota Road Trip Itinerary

October 28, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I just completed my road trip to South Dakota (from Chicago). It was a 12 day journey that covered just under 3,000 miles.

This was the first trip that I took with an all electric vehicle. I purchased a Tesla just weeks before the trip. The Tesla performed well throughout the road trip...and driving an electric car on a long road trip can be the subject of another article.

Here was my itinerary for this trip:

Day 1:  Omaha, NE (commuting day)

Day 2:  North Platte, NE (Nebraska State Capitol, Pioneer Village)

Day 3:  Cheyenne, WY (Buffalo Bill's Ranch, Wyoming State Capitol)

Day 4:  Scottsbluff, NE (Scotts Bluff, Carhenge, Chimney Rock)

Day 5:  Deadwood, SD (Fort Laramie, Register Cliff, Deadwood)

Day 6:  Deadwood, SD (Deadwood historic Main Street, Spearfish Canyon)

Day 7:  Rapid City, SD (Bear Country, Art Alley)

Day 8:  Wall, SD (Badlands National Park)

Day 9:  Wall, SD (Badlands National Park, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site)

Day 10: Pierre, SD (Badlands National Park, South Dakota State Capitol)

Day 11: Sioux City, IA (Native American National Scenic Byway, Yankton downtown)

Day 12: Orland Park, IL (commuting day)


"Smoky Mountains" Wins Photo of the Day!

October 10, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "Smoky Mountains" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was captured nearly 8 years ago with the Nikon D800 camera.

This marks the 80th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.

Smoky MountainsSmoky MountainsImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for October 10, 2021


"Prison Cell Block" Wins Photo of the Day!

September 15, 2021  •  1 Comment

This morning, my "Prison Cell Block" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in July at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. I arranged for private photography access to this fascinating building. In order to maintain sharpness throughout the frame, I used the "focus stacking" technique to create this picture. This is the third time one of my photographs has won this contest since I migrated to mirrorless with the Nikon Z7ii camera.

This marks the 79th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.

Prison Cell BlockPrison Cell BlockImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for August 18, 2021


Basilica to Myself

September 05, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

During my recent trip to Des Moines, I was fortunate to secure a couple of hours of private access to the Basilica of St. John. I enjoy photographing places of worship, so this was a real treat. In fact, I have now visited 247 places of worship!

When I visit such a location, I always offer to share any photographs I capture with the church. The church can then use the full resolution files for any purpose they wish--for no charge. So, I strive to do my best in presenting the church in the images.

Here are some of the pictures from my visit:

Basilica of St. JohnBasilica of St. JohnNave from the balcony of the Basilica of St. John at 1915 University Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021 Basilica of St. JohnBasilica of St. JohnNave from the balcony of the Basilica of St. John at 1915 University Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021 Basilica of St. JohnBasilica of St. JohnPipe organ and rose window of the Basilica of St. John at 1915 University Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021 Basilica of St. JohnBasilica of St. JohnBasilica of St. John at 1915 University Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021 Basilica of St. JohnBasilica of St. JohnBasilica of St. John at 1915 University Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021


Ohio State Reformatory

August 30, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I enjoy photographing prisons. So, when I discovered that private photography tours could be arranged at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, I made plans to visit. The Reformatory was the filming site for the popular movie "Shawshank Redemption".

I, along with two other photographers, were granted access to the interior of the prison from 9am until 11am. At 11am, the prison opened to the general public. I was permitted to stay, so I ended up visiting for five or six hours.

Here are some images from my visit:

Ohio State ReformatoryOhio State ReformatoryExterior of the Ohio State Reformatory at 100 Reformatory Road in Mansfield, Ohio on July 19, 2021 Ohio State  ChapelOhio State ChapelChapel inside the Ohio State Reformatory at 100 Reformatory Road in Mansfield, Ohio on July 19, 2021 Cell blockCell blockEndless bars of the cell block inside the Ohio State Reformatory at 100 Reformatory Road in Mansfield, Ohio on July 19, 2021 Ohio State ReformatoryOhio State ReformatoryStaircase inside the Ohio State Reformatory at 100 Reformatory Road in Mansfield, Ohio on July 19, 2021 Hand printHand printHand print on the wall of the Ohio State Reformatory at 100 Reformatory Road in Mansfield, Ohio on July 19, 2021 To view more of my photographs of the prison, please CLICK HERE.


Too Time Consuming for Symmetry

August 23, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

During my last trip to Des Moines, I revisited the Iowa State Capitol. The law library inside the capitol building is one of the more impressive interior spaces that I have seen. I was fortunate to have the library to myself for the better part of an hour.

The library was challenging to photograph. Harsh sunlight was shining through the windows. The sunlight not only made it difficult from a color perspective due to the mixed lighting sources (daylight vs. the warmer light from the chandeliers), but it also made balancing the exposure a challenge. I converted the picture to black and white in part due to the color issues.

Law libraryLaw libraryState Law Library at the Iowa State Capitol at 1007 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 28, 2021 I pay attention to symmetry in my photographs. No matter how carefully tried to align things, the picture continued to look unbalanced. The reason for this is that the tables were not centered on the floor. Notice how the tables are positioned such that they align with the second set of diamond tiles on the left, but the third set of diamond tiles on the right. If I were able to move the tables to the right, I could have aligned the tables with the chandeliers. But this was not to be. As I tried moving the first table, I quickly noticed that the weight was going to make this process a big effort. There are a lot of tables--and before long I would have attracted the attention of the librarian. The tables make a lot of noise when they slide on the tile. I had already moved some trash cans from the scene (although I missed some on the left).

So, I ended up shooting the scene as is. I like it, but not as much as if I had moved all the tables!


"Wisconsin State Capitol" Wins Photo of the Day!

August 18, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

This morning, my "Wisconsin State Capitol" picture won Imaging Resource's "Photo of the Day". CLICK HERE to view Imaging Resource's Photo of the Day page.

This photograph was captured in June in Madison, Wisconsin. I was visiting the area while coaching my 14U travel baseball team in a tournament. I got away one afternoon to capture some photographs in downtown Madison. This is the second time one of my photographs has won this contest since I migrated to mirrorless with the Nikon Z7ii camera.

This marks the 78th time that one of my photographs was recognized by Imaging Resource as its "Photo of the Day". A photographer is limited to one winning entry per month, so this series of winning images stretches back more than seven years. Click here to view all of the winning entries.

Wisconsin State CapitolWisconsin State CapitolImaging Resource's Photo of the Day for August 18, 2021


"Professional" Shoot at the Art Center?

August 15, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Last month, I traveled to Des Moines. One of the locations that I visited was the Des Moines Art Center. The Art Center features interesting architecture. The buildings consists of three wings--each with its own architectural style and designed by different architects.

A few years ago, I discovered this building and captured some exterior images of one of the wings:

Des Moines Art CenterDes Moines Art CenterDes Moines Art Center at 4700 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 16, 2016 Stairway to NowhereStairway to NowhereDes Moines Art Center at 4700 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 16, 2016 This time, I entered the building in hopes of capturing some interior pictures. But, at least initially, that wasn't to be. I was told that I couldn't enter with any professional gear, including a tripod. I asked if I could take some photos with my camera--handheld. At that point, I stripped my gear down to its smallest size...my Nikon Z7ii (without grip) with one lens attached (the Nikon 14-24 S). No tripod. Security personnel said it was OK.

I was mostly interested in taking pictures of this contemporary staircase in the Richard Meier wing of the Art Center. I set my camera for a three frame exposure bracket (using high speed frame rate) and fired three snaps while trying to keep the lens as steady as possible. It helped that my Nikon Z7ii offers image stabilization. So, even though my lens didn't have vibration reduction--the camera did steady things. I was able to capture an acceptable photograph. Yes, that's a "Taco Pizza Slice" chandelier hanging from the ceiling!

Des Moines Art CenterDes Moines Art CenterStaircase in the Richard Meier wing of the Des Moines Art Center at 4700 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021. Justin Favela is the artist who created the "Taco Pizza Slice Chandelier" hanging from the ceiling. I also captured this photograph of a corridor in the same wing of the Art Center. While composing this image, I placed a knee on the floor to gain a lower perspective. As soon as my knee touched the ground, I heard one of the employees approach me from behind. She shouted "now that's a professional photo shoot!" She told me to stop taking pictures as it was clear that I was a professional. I explained that I was cleared by security after I left my "professional" tools (mainly the tripod) in my car. I also said that just because I lowered myself to change the perspective doesn't mean that I'm a professional. I had no plans to sell these photos. She relented and I continued shooting.

Des Moines Art CenterDes Moines Art CenterCorridor in the Des Moines Art Center at 4700 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021 Before leaving, I captured this photograph of a staircase inside the wing designed by architect I.M. Pei. The brutalist style of this wing contrasts with the contemporary wing designed by Richard Meier.

Brutalist staircaseBrutalist staircaseArchitect I.M. Pei designed this brutalist staircase in the Des Moines Art Center at 4700 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa on July 29, 2021 In the end, I found many interesting subjects to photograph during my short stay in Des Moines. CLICK HERE to view those images.

 

 

 

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