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

Archive for ‘December, 2016’

Experiments With A Zoom

Call these things mistakes or a waste of time and money or even an insult to creative marketing genius.  Like a lot of photographers in the Wausau area, I could not help but spend some time on Third Street in Wausau’s downtown this past month.  These lights were strung up in place of the umbrellas that hung there just a few months ago.  They are part of the creative marketing genius of Mark Craig, General Manager of Compass Properties, the major real estate development company that owns much of the downtown.first-thursday-1-of-1-7

festival-of-lights-1-of-1-3third-street-1-of-1third-street-1-of-1-2 As you can see the transformation in these pictures from umbrellas to lights  hanging from wires strung across the 300 Block from building front to building front.  As a photographer, I tend to look at things and ask myself what do I see in them.   The umbrellas and the lights were to be an attraction to draw people into the downtown to visit the bars & restaurants and shop the stores that line the street in this area.  They cause  people to pause and look up.

Once the lights were up and lit, I looked for a way to interpret them.  At first I came downtown to just simply take one or two wide-angle shots like the one you see just below the umbrella photo.  Then I though I should try something that I had never did before.  My 70-210mm telephoto zoom works like the slide on a trombone.  At that I could create the effect of the streaks of light by pushing the lens forward or pulling the front elements back while shooting exposures at slow shutter speeds.  With film photography, this can be disgustingly costly in what seems like wasting materials.   With digital photography, it is just an image file that can be deleted  if it is not worth keeping.

I have already submitted these things to Capture Wisconsin where they do get critical review from some of the best photographers  around the state.  I feel like I am in a crowd there where we all give each other pats on the back for the work that we all create.

Wausau is a beautiful city and I am not boasting because it is my hometown.  It is a city that fights to move its way forward, and the downtown shows it.  If you have not visited our downtown, please do so.


A Challenge For Rib Mountain or Why We Fight Encroachment

It even looks good in black and white.
It even looks good in black and white.

Turkey Vulture On  A WingOver a year ago, I was approached by someone who wanted me to show some concern over the prospect of a nearby golf course expanding into Kohler-Andre State Park near Sheboygan, WI.   I did not act on that.   Now Rib Mountain State Park near the City  of Wausau where I live is being challenged.  The local Ski-hill operator who leases land at Rib Mountain State Park from the Wisconsin DNR under the name Granite Peaks plans to expand further into the park, and that means further to the west of of the present ski runs.

Take a look at these photos.   These are from the Quarry at Rib Mountain State Park.    The quarry was purchased from 3M Corporation several years ago.   It is a part of our local history in many ways.   To bury history is to destroy it.   Before the quarry was developed, 80 acres of that land belonged to the Knapf family who had homesteaded there between 1880 and 1904 when they sold their property to the then Wausau Mining Company.

The quarry is habitat to turkey vultures as seen here.  Streams often flow down the mountain side near the quarry too.   All of this would be destroyed should Granite Peaks be allowed to expand.   If you have a diamond in your hand would, would you throw it away?   These are the diamonds in our back yard place of respite that we call Rib Mountain.   

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A Turkey Vulture searches for carion in and around the quarry at Rib Mountain State Park
A Turkey Vulture searches for carion in and around the quarry at Rib Mountain State Park

Changing Seasons

Every once in a while I like to take a walk along a river.  My river of choice is the Wisconsin which flows for 500 miles from Land O Lakes up north on the border with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Prairie du Chen on the Mississippi.   This river amazes me in ways that might seem odd to some people.   It never stops to inspire.

I caught these leaves on the Cedar Creek Trail in Rothschild, WI just south of the Domtar Dam.   In one spot, I could find so many possibilities.    It really is amazing what a simple macro lens like the 60 mm Micro-Nikkor f2.8D could capture.   The way the light fell on these young oak trees fascinated me.   With the river in the background, I was able to capture the effect of the changing season with a shallow depth of field.

May these images be a feast for your eyes.   Much of my work is available online in a book called “Hidden Gems of Central Wisconsin” at You might want to check out their special holiday discounts at

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