A Medley of Favorites

Hi everyone,

Welcome back for another look back at some of my favorite photos from the archives. This week I feature a variety of photos taken here in Wisconsin. We moved here from North Dakota in 1987 with the intent of staying for a few years while I attended the University of Wisconsin. It didn’t take us long to fall in love with Madison and the state. From it’s quirky politics and interesting people to the abundance of natural beauty from the border with Illinois to Lake Superior in the north, there is a lot to like. We are still exploring the state like our first visit a couple of weeks ago to the Kettle Moraine State Forest. If you missed it, here’s a link Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit.

This first photo was taken about fifteen years ago on a walking path near Rhinelander. We (my Traveling Partner, The Youngest, and our dog Ebony) decided at the last minute to “to go up nort” for a couple of days of respite from working and life. We found a decent hotel room at a reasonable price that would allow us to bring a dog. The poor dog was getting old so on this trail, we took turns carrying her. During one of my hands-free moments, I spotted this leaf on the path. It’s natural. I didn’t move it or touch it or edit the photo. It’s not the sharpest photo but one of my favorites anyway. Looks human, doesn’t it?IMG_2476.JPG copy

Several years ago, the city built a new shelter at Elver Park located about a mile from our house. I took a group of 4-H photography kids for a photo shoot late one afternoon. As we were walking around I saw the strong reflection of the shelter in the nearly still water. This photo has a lot of detail and make viewers take a second look, wondering why it’s up side down.IMG_2823.JPG

It was in late October many years ago when I took this photo of the sun rising over the Wisconsin State Capital. I was in the parking lot at Picnic Point when I saw the sky lighting up, if only I could get a better angle. The water was low on Lake Mendota that year so the cattail swamp was somewhat dry and there was a frozen crust on top of muck. I carefully edged out among the cattails until I decided not to get into trouble by going further. I set up my tripod and took a few photos and then headed back to the hard ground on the shore. I should re-edit and do some cropping but I like the pureness of the the result below.Capitol Morning.JPG copy

One fall I was wandering around Madison with my camera totally undisciplined and unsupervised when I stopped by the UW Arboretum. It was mid-afternoon and students in a seminar on controlled burns were practicing their skills.  I spent a couple of hours watching them work and taking photos until the outdoor session ended. I like the variety of colors worn by the participants. IMG_3078.JPG

This next photo was taken soon after I purchased my first digital camera, a 6 MP Canon Rebel DSLR. It was December 2004 and I would go out on photo shoots to learn how to use the camera. Of course I could have just turned it to Auto and snapped away without any worries, I wanted to learn and do more with this new fangled tool. The Madison lakes were just at the point of freezing over, the wind had whipped up the water and a thick layer of ice covered everything within a few feet of the shoreline. I saw this interesting (to me at least) composition and made a few photos. I would do it differently now that I have more experience but for me at the time, it was ok.Ice and twigs.JPG

We arranged for our city 4-H club members to visit a dairy farm west of Madison. We were led through the open air shed where some cows were waiting to be milked and others lounged after milking. Some of the kids were overwhelmed by the earthy smell, I thought it smelled like money! After touring the milking parlor and petting the baby calves, we were about leave when I saw the setting sun filtering through the fence and open door of the barn. Fortunately, I was ready with my camera to make this photo.IMG_3024

My friend Wayne and I made a photography road trip down to Mineral Point, a town of about 2500 people in Southwestern Wisconsin. It was founded in 1827 when immigrants from Wales came to mine lead and zinc. There are several historical sites located around town and in the few hours we were there visited most of them. This photo is of the shadow of a gate with fleur-de-lis like ornaments.IMG_4364

These corduroy clouds (scientific name – altostratus undulatus) appeared one evening when we were at the UW Union Terrace. We often walk part way down the Lakeshore Path to enjoy the scenery and the lake. I watched as a fishing boat came into the scene and popped off a few images. I like the interesting clouds but find the golden color and the silhouette of the fisherman add a lot to the photo.Lake Mendota Fisherman

While I was still working at the VA, I volunteered to shoot photos at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games held in Milwaukee. One of my assignments was to photograph the rugby matches. If you’ve ever watched a rugby match, its a contact sport and can be brutal. It was the same with the players sitting in wheelchairs, crashing into each other trying to block the opposing player from making a goal. I focused a lot on this guy, he was so determined, in fact “Determination” is my title for this photo. I also photographed bowling, pool, and the first pitch at a Milwaukee Brewers game. It was a fun and inspiring time.TM2Determination

This photo was taken on Madeline Island five years ago as part of a photography workshop. I’m not big into astro photography that is all the rage with some landscape photographers but gave it a try with a bit of guidance from the instructor. I was pleased with the result in camera but after some light post-processing the Big Dipper added the necessary accent to the outline of the barn.Madeline Island-2

I hope you enjoyed these ten photos from my archives. Next week I’ll bring another set from a different location.

Until next week, happy virtual travels!



12 thoughts on “A Medley of Favorites

  1. Great pictures! Sharing what you see adds so much! The Big Dipper over the barn is stunning! Thank you Tom!

  2. I love the stories with the photos! I am loving that Big Dipper photo especially much!

  3. Tom, I especially enjoyed this set of photos, especially the Mineral Point photo. I have one just about like it. 🙂 Wayne

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