Weekly Photo Challenge: Wisconsin Tour Guide

“Share with us an image, or two, or three, (or more!) of where you live.” 

If you look up over this post title, you will see two links to separate pages labelled “Wisconsin Historical” and “Wisconsin Outdoors”. You will find quite a few more than three photos there!

I moved to Wisconsin 7 years ago from Illinois, and have absolutely fallen in love with my new home state. I used to summer at Girl Scout camp as a child in northern Wisconsin, but I’ve come to feel like I’ve always belonged outside, here, even after living for 15 years in California. When I first moved north, I worked for 3 summers at Old World Wisconsin, a 575-acre living history museum that recreates 19th century farm and town settlement. Last year, I moved onto a property that is owned by the land trust that employs me. I have thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by 56 acres of Wisconsin woodland, wetland, and restored prairie. 

Wisconsin is a ridiculously photogenic state. It can take your breath away, fill you with pride, and surprise you at every outing. When we’re out hiking, my partner Steve very often just flings wide his arms and remarks (to nobody in particular), “Ladies and gentlemen — Wisconsin!”

Yes, it deserves your attention and applause. Here’s why: 

Tour Guide

Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

In my mind, there can only be one theme for today. Today is my daughter Susan’s birthday. I’ve been photographing her for 33 years now. She is one of my very favorite subjects, not simply because she has a beautiful smile and is ridiculously photogenic, but also because she is an extraordinarily caring person. You can see how her warmth touches the other subjects in these photos. 

Happy Birthday, my darling daughter! May your endlessly creative variations continue for many more years. 

Variations on a Theme

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

Silence.
I am at the end of a 12.5 hour work day. The very word ‘silence’ speaks healing and restoration to my soul. I long for silence.
I imagine a muffling snow falling on a wilderness landscape, and I project that onto this view from my front door…

I think of contemplatives in monasteries, reading and meditating… I remember the peaceful silence of still waters…I hope I’ll retire tonight and sleep in dreamless silence. What could be more restful? Good night! 

Silence

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” — author unknown

                                                                                                                              

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” — Buddha

“Like water, we are truest to our nature in repose.” — Cyril Connolly

 

 
Serene

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

When my son asked me to do a photo shoot with his fiancee, and casually mentioned that they had already gotten the marriage license, I was (1) elated and (2) terrified that I would disappoint them.  Without a ceremony, the photo shoot was likely to be the most public and enduring record of this important milestone. I wanted it to be very special. And I was totally unqualified. I have never done portrait photography. This was one grand experiment – and turned out to be a ton of fun and very successful by all opinions gathered. Whew!

To start, I practiced trying out portrait settings. I knew we’d be outdoors. I live on 56 acres of conservation property, so my front yard was a great stage. My test subject was Jimmy Bear, appropriately clad in his concert tuxedo. He made a fine and very patient groom, but he’s a little short. My music stand gave him a boost.

I learned a lot about fill-in flash, back lighting and bokeh. The wedding entourage of 7 people helped with carrying in props and equipment and providing support of all kinds…and were great photo subjects as family. Here are a few of my favorite results of this joyful experiment. 

 

Experimental