Lovely Snow Season at Riveredge

Lucky for me, the quickest way to get around and take pictures is on cross country skis.

Taking photographs of Riveredge School Students

The other day, while out on the trails, I ran into the students (and teachers) of The Riveredge School trekking out for recess at Riveredge Nature Center. These kids seem so happy having daily access to nature. Click the arrow for a few more pictures.

The theoretical timelessness of black and white photography

Light and Clouds Came Out to Play

This was a fun afternoon jaunt at Riveredge. The clouds and light were out in full effect.

Photography and Flowers at Riveredge Nature Center

I’ve been working my way through learning how to make photographs. I took an intro to photography class in my last semester at college and it gave me some insights and some confidence in using the manual settings on a camera.

I’ve been attempting to capture shots of the wildlife and landscapes at Riveredge. This spring I took my first photographs of warblers that I was happy with, something I’d never attempted in the past.

I’m learning that, in general, if you can take bird or flower “portraits” often times F8 is a preferable F stop to use. That way a sufficient amount of background I know this is no great wisdom about photography, but it’s new to me as I learn it and imbibe those conclusions.

Taking photographs of flowers has been interesting, and more than anything else possible, the light is really important. Too much sunshine and most of the color will get blown out. I also learned a lot about ISO settings in photographing these orchids. For some reason, I seem to have overall neglected the ISO, maybe the cameras I’d used had it sent to auto so I hadn’t played with it much.

I took the below series with the ISO setting I’d had for quickly dashing songbirds – quite high something around 5,000 for the ISO. As you an see, much of the yellow coloration is washed out white on the surface of this orchid. This also has to do with how bright the sun was at that moment.

I realized the folly of this and went back later to take the below photograph, which I’m much happier with, once the sunlight subsided due to cloud cover. I’m much happier with the resulting detail and considerably less resulting patchy noise throughout the photo. The ISO was probably in the low hundreds for this shot.

I don’t relay these observations as some sort of especially knowledgeable person about photography, rather more as realizing my own stumbling blocks or evolution, and hopefully some of these realizations might help someone else in their own process.

This opportunity has taught me many lessons about how to capture which subject matter and I’ve appreciated the opportunity to gain these insights. Check out this recent blog of Blooming Spring Flowers at Riveredge.

Milwaukee Press Club Award

An excellent way to close out my journalism degree from UW-Milwaukee with a photography award from Milwaukee Press Club. Thanks to the Press Club and to all of my instructors!

Film Photographs from Photography Class

I’ve been taking an intro photography class at UW-Milwaukee. Each class in this, my last semester, is an elective. Poetry, drawing, architecture, photography.

Anyhow, the class has so far been taught entirely in black-and-white film. The above are my most recent snaps for an assignment, this time the theme was to capture intersections, in the broad definition of the word.

Below is the first assignment for which I made printed photographs. I’m pretty happy with how the nighttime one turned out.

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It’s my last semester at college and I’m celebrating having my required classes complete with some fun ones. These are from the intro photography class I’m taking. The entire class is old school #film darkroom style. These prints are from a “take a roll of pictures on your block” assignment. Being in a darkroom forces me to stop and wait. Initially that was stressful, the doing nothing but waiting for chemistry to happen. But I’m beginning to like the waiting moments, the titillation of wondering what image will appear in the tray, how it will need to be tweaked. There’s fine tuning, not just immediate cause and effect. A process. Having to give over to the idea that it’s a discovery and there’s no way around being along for the ride. . . . . . #photography #blackandwhitephotography #cityscape #urbanphotography #dearmke

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I wonder, in a few years, looking back at these, what kinds of criticisms I’ll have. For now, I’m enjoying practicing the seeing of a compelling moment and then trying to capture a photograph of it.