Thursday, December 29, 2011

100 Prints Project #27 - Flag

Taken during a summer trip to Duluth.  My daughter was in the front seat of our vehicle holding this little flag and I was sitting in the back.  The light was beautiful.  If you look closely, you can see her in the side mirror of the truck.  One of my favorite images ever.  I hope you like it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

100 Prints Project #26 - Grand Portage Fort

Taken at the National Monument in Grand Portage.  One of the first images I created when I made the switch from color slides to black and white film.  An early indicator of my love of pattern and texture.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

100 Prints Project #25 - Fence

Taken at a town baseball game at Black Sox Park in Freeport, Minnesota -  my home town.  I think it was the only photo I took that day.  Another example of my quirky vision.  Hope you like it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

100 Prints Project #24 - Wet Concrete

Taken in downtown Minneapolis on a rainy evening while I was waiting for the bus. I loved the combination of the texture and the shadows. I intentionally chose a very shallow depth of field and focused on a small area that had a bit more interesting texture than some of the rest of the stone. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

100 Prints Project #23 - Isaac

Isaac is one of the most photogenic people I have ever photographed. Within a few minutes of meeting him he had won me over. I told him early on that if he looked closely into my lens he might be able to see the fairy that lived in there. I don't know if he believed that or not, but he was awesome at connecting with the camera. I had a great time photographing him and his family and especially his beautiful baby sister. One of the photographic highlights of my summer for sure.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

100 Prints Project #22 - Lauren

This is an image I took during the "People and Place" Workshop with ColdSnap Photography. We had a little over an hour to shoot our models and I think I took a couple of hundred images in various spots around Two Harbors. This quiet, dreamy image was one of my favorites from the shoot.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

100 Prints Project #21 - 21 prints, 100 excuses

While I seem to struggle with finding what the next image will be, one thing I seem to have no problems finding are excuses as to why I'm so far behind in the work to complete this project on
time. There seem to be at least 100 of those. No need to even list the top 1 excuse here, but I had no idea when I started that this would turn out to be so hard on so many levels. Took a bit of a road trip this weekend to attend the opening of an exhibit at the Waterfront Gallery in Two Harbors as well as drop off some of my husband's art to be scanned. The time in the car allowed for some soul searching about whether or not I even wanted to continue to project or even continue the blog for that matter. I don't know what the long term answer will be, but in the short term I'm going to try to buckle down and overcome the excuses and do the work. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

100 Prints Project #20 - Message set in stone

Taken in Lakewood Cemetery in South Minneapolis. Taken with a Lensbaby composer, double glass optic, f5.6 aperture ring. Converted to black and white in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

100 Prints Project #19 - When I find myself in times of trouble...

"When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be."

John Lennon & Paul McCartney

Taken in Lakewood Cemetery in South Minneapolis.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

100 Prints Project #18 - Cash register

Another image taken while hiding in the settler's village at the Marshall County Fair. It's one of my favorites from that trip.

Monday, October 24, 2011

100 Prints Project #17 - Memories of Grandma

This was taken at the Marshall County Fair in Warren, MN. While other workshop participants were out capturing kick butt images of people, I was hiding in the old settler's village hoping no one would notice me. I came across this scene in the replica of an old farmhouse and it made me think of my paternal grandmother who is now 101 years young. She was a proficient artist with dough and made bread and other delicious things, including caramel rolls the size of your head that would make you cry when you took the first bite. I think my maternal grandmother, Grandma Rehkamp, was a talented bread maker as well, but I didn't spend as much time with her in the kitchen as I did with Grandma Nett. The other day I was going through some boxes in the basement and came across a notebook from the last time we baked bread together and she tried her best to pass on her dough recipe to me. Maybe after all of these years I can muster enough courage to try it. While searching my film contact sheets this one touched me and made me think of simpler days and the smell of egg coffee, freshly baked bread and ultimately home. So this is a small tribute to the family I love and miss so much.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

100 Prints Project #15 - Stone Monuments

I received a special request for some cemetery photos. We're getting close to Halloween and such. This one was taken in the church cemetery in Freeport, Minnesota - my home town. It's another one that started it's life on black and white film and then made it's way here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

100 Prints Project #14 - A Thoughtful Reflection

This image is the reflection of my daughter in the screen of her laptop while watching one of her favorite movies when we were on vacation this summer. In the bottom right corner, if you look very closely, you can see my lens there. I sat looking at her reflection for about 10 minutes before I risked getting up and taking out my camera and then felt a mild sense of anxiety that I wouldn't see it in the same way when I sat back down. Luckily, after a minute or two, my eyes picked up the quiet beauty I had seen earlier. It's become one of my favorite photos of her.

Monday, October 3, 2011

100 Prints Project #13 - The Cowboys of Effe #1

This was taken with black & white film several years ago up in Effe, Minnesota.  I was there with some friends and we were lucky enough to be allowed to photograph over the 2 days of the rodeo.  Cowboys seem to be wired differently than other people I know.  I didn't know if I should consider them courageous or crazy - or a bit of both.  In any event it was a great time and a subject that took me out of my comfort zone.  I hope you like it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

100 Prints Project #12 - City lights

Taken from a studio that I used to spend some time in on University and 280 in St. Paul.

Friday, September 23, 2011

100 Prints Project #11 - Lake Superior Sunrise

We used to stay at a small resort on Lake Superior called "Halcyon Harbor". We stayed there quite often over 15 years before it closed. One of my favorite things about the resort was the spectacular sunrises over the lake. This one is by far one of the most beautiful and dramatic that I witnessed there. I wish you could all see how this looks on the color slide. I'm not sure I can do it justice here, but I hope you like it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

100 Prints Project #10 - Crosses

Taken with black & white film in a cemetery in South Dakota. It's ironic that on my first photo roadtrip with my new digital camera that year I ended up filling 8 rolls of film. When I developed this roll in the darkroom something funky happened with the chemicals and the negatives almost looked as though the film had been cross processed. I was never able to successfully print this one in the darkroom because of scratches and dust, but thought it was worth revisiting for this project. There's only one place I love more than abandoned places, and that's cemeteries.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

100 Prints Project #9 - From the Outside

This is the abandoned house from the outside. After having been inside for a few minutes I felt like I needed to pay tribute to the house by capturing its portrait.

Monday, September 12, 2011

100 Prints Project #8 - Abandoned house

This one was a real challenge. I had totally missed the exposure so trying to bring out any details in the shadows while not losing the eerie glow from the windows and the delicacy of the curtain gave me a fit. This was the best balance I could find without selling my soul to Adobe.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

100 Prints Project #7 - More abandoned house

I usually don't do much work in Photoshop during post-processing other than a little sharpening and maybe some brightness or contrast adjustments. However, this one didn't translate well from the film scan to print so I did some additional work in Silver Efex Pro 2 to make it pop a bit more. I think I'm going to finish the abandoned house images before I move on to some different subject matter so hopefully you aren't sick of them already.

Friday, September 2, 2011

100 Prints Project #5 - The front door

If you've followed my blog for any length of time you know I have a fondness for abandoned places. This is another image in the series that I call "If These Walls Could Speak". After this project has been completed, I'm going to work on putting together a folio of images under that name that will be a compilation of all of my images of abandoned places to date. I have to finish this project first. Hoping to pick up the pace next week once school has started and things are calmer here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

100 Prints Project #4 - Double Exposure

Double exposure taken on Fuji Velvia 50 color slide film down near Carly State Park. I'm already behind on my pace for the project. Have been kind of paralyzed by the idea that I have to find 100 decent images. I guess the good news is that I dont' have to find 100 right now, I just have to find the next one.

Monday, August 22, 2011

100 Prints Project #3 - Birch Trees

This image was taken in front of the Minneapolis Public Library. I've thought for awhile about going back after it's rained to take another image with the slate wet to see how that looks. An oldie but goodie taken on Ilford FP4 125, which is my favorite black and white film.

Friday, August 19, 2011

100 Prints Project #2 - The Guy at the Green Door

The second in the 100 prints project series. This one was taken during the People and Place workshop that I took a few weeks ago. As part of the workshop we went to the Green Door bar in Beaver Bay where they were having a street dance in the parking lot as part of "Bay Days". This was one of the security guys that adorned us with neon green wrist bracelets attesting to the fact that we had been deemed old enough to drink. He was a lot of fun and liked to give me a hard time. This image was taken with my Lensbaby with the double glass optic and the f4 aperture ring. Hope you like it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The 100 Prints Project

And so it begins, my new creative journey.  This is a project I've been thinking about and fretting about for quite a long time.  It's inspired by a similar project that was done by Brooks Jensen who is the editor of LensWork magazine.  The project will be to create a new image that is ready to print and ready to post every three days and then post it here.  Over the course of a year I should have 100 new images finished and ready to share.  The project has many personal goals for me - to develop the discipline of regular, consistent work, the opportunity to explore random or orphaned images that aren't part of a project and give them a home, to motivate myself to create new work.   I hope that by making this commitment and following through it will serve as a lubricant to productivity and inspire me to make new images.  I'm also hoping that because I'll be posting to the blog more frequently, that you will have a reason to visit the blog and take the journey with me.

Having said all that, I'm heading out of town on vacation tomorrow and will already be missing my self imposed deadline of a new image on each third day, but I know that if I waited to start until just the right time, that "just the right time" would never come and I would never begin.

So here is 100PP #1.  I hope you like it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Window shopping #2

The disturbing male companion to the post on Monday.  I wish I had been able to capture both of them in the afternoon when the light was just right and there wasn't a reflection in the window.  Both times I tried to do just that,  the shopkeeper came out and yelled at me so I needed to take the photos during store closed time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Window shopping

A find in the window of an antique store in Two Harbors.  I've seen this doll and her brother in the window several times in past trips and they've always intrigued me.  This weekend I participated in a workshop that was across the street from the store and she seemed to call to me over and over again.  I knew that before the weekend was over that I needed to capture her.  I waited until the light was right and the tan building across the street would be reflected just right in the glass to give it a foggy, kind of dreamy look and then I snuck over and took this image.  Wednesday night I'll post the one I took the following morning of her kind of creepy looking brother.

Friday, July 15, 2011

And now for something completely different

Okay so I don't take pictures of people...  Made an exception this time for this young model who wanted me to take some images of her while she was dressed in her version of the character "St. Jimmy" from the Green Day musical "American Idiot".

I souped this one up a bit in Lightroom to make it more dramatic.  Thank goodness for presets because I'm pretty sure I'm not smart enough to figure out how to do this on my own.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Simply Hardware #6 - Elbows

Another in the hardware series.  This one was printed large for the show and the silver gelatin print was really striking.  Hope you like it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What a friend we have...

Took my camera to church on Sunday morning to take photos of my nephew who was going to be an altar server for the first time.  At the end of the Mass I wandered around a little bit and ended up on the altar.  This cross has been hanging in the church since I first started going there 24 years ago, but I don't think I really noticed it much because it's all wood and normally hangs against a wood wall so it doesn't stand out much.  Sunday morning it did and I captured this version.  I did major burning around the edges to give it a vignette effect.  What do you think?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Simply Hardware #5 - Drill Bits

Another image from our exhibit at the hardware store.  I'm looking for some feedback on what kind of images to post next.  I have maybe three more hardware images, but I'm wondering if you're tired of them and if I should post something else and then maybe come back to them at some point in the future.  Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

When I was a little girl, I never understood why my mom worried so much about where I was or what I was doing or why I couldn't wander through my hometown after dark, especially across the railroad tracks. As a mother to be, I still couldn't understand why my mom would still worry about me even though I was 36 years old. Then it happened - they handed me my newborn daughter and I was overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility and clear understanding of why my mother would worry about me. Just like my daughter would always be my baby, I would always be hers too. Tears filled my eyes then as I thought back to all of the times I made her worry needlessly because I was careless with my words or defiant. The tears still fill my eyes today as I think back on all of the sacrifices she made for me and my siblings and how her steadfast love has sustained us through life's highest highs and lowest lows. My mother is without a doubt the most remarkable woman I have ever met and I feel so lucky to have her in my life. She's a constant source of inspiration and strength - and tough love when I need it most. As I watch my 14 year old daughter grow up way too fast, my daughter also struggles to understand why I worry about her so much even though she is a teenager now. I know that she won't understand my worry until her first born is handed to her too and I'm okay with that. Happy Mother's Day to my mom and to all of the mothers out there. Thank you for holding us all together. You are much loved.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Simply Hardware #4 - Light tubes

Probably one of the images that provoked the most conversation of all of my hardware photos. People at the exhibit opening would look at the photo and then ask what it was. When I told them it was fluorescent light bulbs, they would look puzzled and then ask me to take them into the store and show them where I found them. Standing in front of the box, invariably they would scratch their heads and ask "how did you see that"? I never have a good answer for that one. I don't know why I see things in a way that other people do not or why I don't see what other folks see. I'm gradually making peace with that mystery and trying to embrace it instead of wondering what makes me defective. I hope you enjoy the image. I have a few more hardware images to come and then some fun stuff from Holy week at church after that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Simply Hardware #3 - Phone

The phone from the hardware store where we took so many photos. I have a few other versions, but always seem to land on this one. Taken with Ilford HP5 400 film which has a nice structure and grain.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Simply Hardware #1

A few years ago I did a photography project with my friends Jerilynn and Tony. We took photos in a neighborhood hardware store in St. Paul near IFP where we were taking darkroom classes. The project culminated in a photo show in the windows of the hardware store. It was a great project and I think one that all 3 of us are proud of. All of the images were taken with film. This one was taken with a wonderful film by Fuji with a 1600 ISO rating. That accounts for the larger presence of grain. I took this one using my 100mm macro lens at 2.8. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Rivets from the underside of the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth. Makes me homesick for the North Shore and homesick for black and white film. I think I might still have some in the freezer. Hmm...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Back to my black and white roots for the next few posts I think. This was taken in a little toy store in Stockholm, Wisconsin using my film camera. I've scanned a lot of my black and white negatives and have spent hours in Photoshop removing scratches and dust spots. I guess the good news about Photoshop is you only have to do that once and then you have a clean digital file, but I really miss the wet darkroom - the smell of fixer, the sound of the revolving black door as folks went in and out and the miracle of putting a blank piece of paper into what looked like a tray of water and watching the image appear like magic. I wish you could see how this one looks in a gelatin silver print. If you're ever in my neighborhood, stop in and take a look at that version along with many others that are languishing in plastic bins in my basement. I'll put on a pot of coffee or tea and you can go on a treasure hunt.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lessons learned from outside my comfort zone

Last week was a big week for me photographically. My vocal instructor, Kenny Kiser, puts on a variety show every month. Kenny allowed me to take photos at the rehearsals this week for him to maybe use on the show's website. On top of that, after rehearsal on Thursday night he was going to perform in an upcoming music video by a great singer and performer named Sean Ensign. He got the okay for me to hang out there and take photos while the video shoot was going on. Those of you that know me and know that I am not a landscape photographer, also know that I am not a people photographer - so you know this journey was a big old trip outside of my comfort zone.

The rehearsals for the Kenny Kiser show went well and the performers were very kind and ignored me. It was great and I became less self-conscious as the rehearsals went on. Sean Ensign and his team were very nice to me and generous with letting me get in the way during the video shoot. It was an awesome experience.

There were lots of lessons learned about shooting in challenging lighting conditions, shooting at ISO 6400, shooting subjects that didn't stand still and hand holding a long, heavy lens. There are many things I'd do differently if given another opportunity that would make the images technically better. I also learned lessons about the generosity of artists and how it feels to be treated like a real photographer. And, probably most valuable of all, lessons about me on my creative journey. Here are a few of my favorites from behind the scenes of the making of the video. I hope you enjoy them even a little bit as much as I enjoyed making them.

Please check out The Kenny Kiser Show. It's an awesome production with a great variety of artists that are extremely talented. The next show is on March 26th at the Old Arizona Theater. Maybe I will see you there.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Old Friend

The last 3 weeks have been a creative struggle for me so I went back to see an old friend to see if she had a message for me. I saw her there, standing alone in the snow, and wanted to capture her quiet beauty and strength amidst the grip of our Minnesota winter. I didn't quite have a long enough lens to capture what I saw in my mind's eye, but I am comforted by knowing that she's there when I need her.

Monday, January 10, 2011

His face

This was taken in the cemetery in Two Harbors. Cemeteries are one of my favorite places to shoot.