Andrew's Blog

This site is about photography and the inner thoughts of photographer Andrew Plath.

Storm Creations

Late winter storms can be hard on people with the amount of ice, but then ice adds  its own sense of art work.  Here along the River Edge Walkway and in Oak Island Park in the City of Wausau, WI along the banks of the Wisconsin River,we see what nature has done with trees and shrubbery.   Many trees around Wausau were covered with ice on Saturday Morning.  People woke up wondering if it really was April 4, or were the calendars wrong when they saw the slippery glass-like coatings on everything.   This is nature.Spring Conditions-1-5Spring Conditions-1-3Spring Conditions-1April Storm-1-3April Storm-1-2

Wausau’s Northern Riverfront in Winter

I was looking for open water when I took these images.   Some will grumble that winter is dragging on too long.  But there still is a mystery to it.

 

Underneath that smooth surface of a river is a torrential current that is still flowing.  Soon, we will hear the noises, the cracking and crunching of the ice as the river begins to open up.  These scenes come from Wausau’s northeast side where the river, the railroad, Horseshoe Spring, and North 6th Street seem to come together.  It is where two of Wausau’s most unique and somewhat exclusive neighborhoods of Forest Park and Riverview come together.   Both, like the rest of the city, are shaped by the Wisconsin as it makes its journey down to the Mississippi.   From Brokaw to Big Bull Falls, the river slows a little and the journey ponders each moment.

The boat landing at Forester Park longs for the spring when it will be open to anglers as they get ready to go after the walleyes that populate the once polluted waters of the Wisconsin.  It  is clean again, and the dream of warm summer days on the river is going to be real again.

The river front takes a person away from the hubbub that makes up city life.  Can we say that a river flows through it?  Yes we can.

Enjoy the blog.  It might be in hardbound books later on.
Gilbert Park 2

Gilbert and Forester Parks are situated between the Wisconsin River and North Sixth Street on Wausau's East Side offering splendid views of the river.

Gilbert and Forester Parks are situated between the Wisconsin River and North Sixth Street on Wausau’s East Side offering splendid views of the river.

Horseshoe Spring Horseshoe Spring

 

Petunias in a hanging Pot

Petunias in a hanging Pot

A Solitary Rose

Lupines do add their color.

Lupines do add their color.

Spring Celebration 4-1Tulips From the TopTulip Fire

The first flowers of spring.

The first flowers of spring.

With the depth of snow and cold, I thought that we needed something to look forward to.   I decided to check my archive on WordPress and found these gems from my yard.  Take a close look at the lilacs, and you can just smell the aroma.  Within 6 weeks the crocuses should start to push their heads through to the surface and begin blooming followed by tulips and all of the other perennials.

Some of these things were planted by me. Others were planted by the generations that lived here before me.   In the effort to beautify Wausau’s near west side neighborhoods, I think I am ahead of the game.

The temperatures are sub-zero today and I had hopes to do some snowshoeing and move a little further along on the photography for “Faith In the Heartland”  which is something that I really want to put together.   However, I needed to help people become a little more optimistic for the season to change.  This is after all Wisconsin and not the arctic.

All of the photographs that I use in my blogs are high-resolution and would make quality enlargements.  So, if you really love them and have walls to decorate, e-mail me at andrewplath@frontier.com and I will see what we can do.  I have a PhotoShelter site too.

Faith In The Heartland

St. Paul's Lutheran, Town of Berlin

St. Paul’s Lutheran, Town of Berlin

This part of a project that I hope to engage in over the next few months.  It could result in a book.  St. Paul’s Lutheran, Town of Berlin, http://www.stpauluac.net/ shown here is one of those places where the Gospel is being preached to the country side.   Like many rural congregations, St. Paul’s membership traces its linage back to the original settlers who immigrated from the northern German region of Pomerania to the United States in the 19th century.

These people came here for many reasons.  Freedom of religion is chief among those for “old Lutherans”  who were simply looking for a place to live and worship their Lord without government interference.

This project that I am aiming to start may result in a hardbound book looking at the faith of those who settled this land and the roots of many who live here now.

The faith communities which I intend to showcase are not  boarded up pieces of  old architecture with nothing but decay.  I will be providing the  website URL’s for congregations like  St. Paul’s so you can see that they are alive, growing places of worship where all are welcome.

 

 

Winter Sports: Fat Tire Bikes

When I first saw one of these things in a bike shop, my thought was “you’ve got to be kidding”.   On Saturday, January 18, 2014, the Central Wisconsin Off-road Cycling Coalition http://cwocc.org/ held its first ever snow bike race out on the newly carved trail system in Sunnyvale County Park.   I decided that I should check these things out.   I wanted to see how they performed. I should have stayed around for more.

 

The weather was cold, but beautiful.   It was a good day to see cyclists slug it out with these big tire bikes in the snow.Fat Tires-0256 Fat Tires-0239 Fat Tires-0243 Fat Tires-0241

Mosinee In Winter

One of the little known gems in Central Wisconsin is the City of Mosinee, WI http://www.mosinee.wi.us/.   Not too long ago, much like the other communities along the central stretch of the Wisconsin River, Mosinee managed to develop a riverfront trail.   The Wisconsin Riverwoods Trail http://www.mosinee.wi.us/parks/Wisconsin%20Riverwoods%20Trail.html is a beautiful example of public-private cooperation.   Much of the river frontage in Mosinee was owned by the local paper company which also has a  hydroelectric dam.

It is a very scenic trail meandering through much of the wooded shoreline of the Wisconsin River in Mosinee past the dam south of Main Street and the Highway 153 bridges.   I walked up from Chuck’s Landing, one of three boat landings on the Wisconsin River in Mosinee.   Chuck’s landing is south of the dam on the west side of the river and is accessible from Third Street in Mosinee at Freemont Street. http://www.mosinee.wi.us/parks/maps/Wisconsin%20River%20Trail.jpg

So, if you are traveling through Central Wisconsin, take the Highway 153 exit off of I-39, go into downtown Mosinee and do check out the Wisconsin Riverwoods Trail any time of the year.

Mosinee River Trail Boardwalk-0213 Mosinee River Trail In Winter-0209 Chuck's Landing-0216

Another Look

If you really think of what digital photography has done, you might realize just how things have changed.   Not too many years ago, to take photograph in both color and black and white, you would have to either shoot the image with two identically equipped cameras, or hope to make a print usually from a color negative on pan-chromatic black and white emulsion paper.

The way I use digital photography for this end is to make a black and white conversion of the image in post processing with my editing software on my pc.  I think like that.   I look first at an image in color .  Then I think about how it will look in black and white.

In black and white landscape photography, there are two great photographers who I consider to be mentors.  Clyde Butcher and Ansel Adams, whose primary tool has been the large format film cameras called field cameras for their ability to fold up compactly and be transported to the location with the greatest of ease, produced large images that transported the viewer into the environment where the scene was shot.  While I am not sure that my 10 megapixel D-80 could do that, the enlargements that I have gotten from images taken with that camera do hold up quite well.

To create a black and white image and make it work, it changes the way one thinks.  I generally change from thinking about color and more about tone and texture.   I think more about the surface of that piece of quartzite or the texture of this piece of granite than whether one is red or gray.   I think more about the tone of the image.  I think more of grayscale and the zone system that was originally conceived by Ansel Addams.

The cameras work differently.  With film cameras, this is done with different colored filters on the lens ranging from red to green.  Adams used Red #25 most often.   In digital photography, this is done with the electronic filters in software.

However, you look at it, these scenes are yours to enjoy.

The Quarry in Winter - Black and WhiteThe Quarry Wall in Black and White

On December 28, 2013, my birthday, I joined in with the Friends of Rib Mountain State Park for a day-time snowshoe hike.   I love this park and the big hill that it gives a name to.  I’ve hiked its trails many times.   What a beautiful day it was.  The trees were frosted in a way that nature provides Rib Mountain with its own Christmas decorations.   It speaks to me.  It calls me to come out and help show off the beauty.   My D-80 is almost always in tow on these hikes.   I stop the camera down to ISO 100, use shutter priority and exposure compensation and hold on still since I was not carrying a tripod-pod or even a monopod.

Looking Towards the Valley

TFrom the southern side of Rib Mountain near the top.
From the southern side of Rib Mountain near the top.

The Quarry In Winter

Hello Winter

Cones forming on a tree that my aunt had given me about 15 years ago.

Cones forming on a tree that my aunt had given me about 15 years ago.

The Tree-0080 The Tree-0071I have a passion for the things I see and I have grown to love life in Wisconsin even though it means enduring cold.  The river here in Wausau is so much a part of life.   It offers lot of fascination at each season.  I even doubt  that Wausau could be Wausau without the river.

It shapes our lives from season to season.   Even in the stillness of winter, it is still flowing under the ice and snow churning and driving the turbines that make our electricity.

Christmas happens in winter.  It may also be the winter of our lives when all seems dismal and dark.  God comes to us with the Light of the World.  He comes to us as a baby born in a forgotten manger in a nondescript village in a far corner of the earth.

Winter On The Wisconsin RiverWinter On The Wisconsin

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