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

Posts from the ‘Rivers’ category

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.  For more of my work, please go to http://www.capturewisconsin.com.   Much of my work is available online in a book called “Hidden Gems of Central Wisconsin” at http://www.blurb.com. You might want to check out their special holiday discounts at  http://www.blurb.com/gifts.

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It is amazing to me as to what others see in my images.   Here I photographed this bridge as I have many times since it was converted from a railroad to a pedestrian bridge.  Like all of my images, I start shooting in RAW and in color.   The day lent itself better to black and white.   For that, I went into post-processing and used the wonderful tools in Adobe Lightroom 4.

 

Some photographers dislike Lightroom, but I have grown to love it.   In Lightroom, I converted this image from color to black and white and made a jpg copy with all the keywords for search engines to guide people to this image and this and other sites that I might have it uploaded on.  The picture says winter is here!

Here we are looking west towards Barker-Stewart Island on a dreary December Saturday.   Even on dreary days, nature provides us with something to see.  Icey Bridge (1 of 1)

The wheel chairs symbolize limitations.  But on the water, there are no limitations.

The wheel chairs symbolize limitations. But on the water, there are no limitations.

Disabled Vets on the water in training.

Disabled Vets on the water in training.

The Wausau Kayak & Canoe Corporation has supported and promoted some amazing things on our Wisconsin River in Downtown Wausau.  But this is kind of special, and, most certainly heart-warming.   You see, these paddlers are not your ordinary athletes that come here to compete.  They are special.   The wheel chairs symbolize their disability earned in war.   These paddlers are disabled vets.

The wheel chairs symbolize their disability is only on land.   While on land, they cannot walk, run, or ride a bike like normal healthy people.  On water, they are free.

Back To The Beginning

Waiting In Line Whitewater Rodeo-2
Whitewater Rodeo-4
Boat-acrossI chose the title and these images to me represented a part of a major foray into becoming a published photographer albeit in 35mm film as the world was changing to digital.

I spent a lot of time at the Whitewater Park Kayak Course on the Wisconsin River in my home town of Wausau, WI.   This called me into the challenging world of getting these images published as well as other subjects.

My sister had talked me into shooting images of this sport, and I walked off the course in a state of half shock because I had just ran through $100.00 worth of film and processing because I was learning how to judiciously use my camera’s motordrive.   I learned that shooting action sports is a lot of hit and miss.

Being a somewhat avid cyclist, I found a commonality with these guys in their spray skirts on a warm Sunday afternoon.   Some sports are ageless.   In the events last Sunday, I saw young gals and old men with the stamina of youth.   As I near retirement, I am inspired by that.

No one in their right mind retires to the rocking chair right away.   We all want to get the joy out of life with our mind and our bodies because we all know that our time on earth is limited and the years after age 65 go by so fast to the point where all we can do is look back.

The river is always flowing and the trail is always leading somewhere.   You just have to be ready to follow it.   More work will be coming.  Perhaps it will be in the form of a book.  Perhaps, I will get to set up that dream sales site.   Perhaps I will get to sell my work in a gallery somewhere.

This is the Quarter-mile bridge on the Mountain-Bay State Trail as viewed from the seat of my Trek 920 mountain-bike.

This is the Quarter-mile bridge on the Mountain-Bay State Trail as viewed from the seat of my Trek 920 mountain-bike.

 

 

Mosinee, A City On the Move

I have often ventured in to Mosinee on a number of different occasions throughout the year.  Most of my readers might have seen my other blogs like Mosinee in the Mist.   Mosinee has more frontage on the Wisconsin River than many of the larger cities like Wausau or Stevens Point.  The river adds character Mosinee.  With Mosinee Papers now known as Expiron, this city is a mill town.   It is the southernmost community in the Wausau Metro Area and it is on the Metro Marathon County bike route system.

 

I ride with my eyes wide open.  I can see things that others miss.  Mosinee struggles with attracting customers to local businesses in its downtown.  For too long, it has been seen as place that you just have to go through to get someplace else.  State Highway 153 is often seen as a route  to get from the interstate to places like Marshfield.  There is a lot right here for people to stop and explore.   So get out, check the shops out.  Spend some time in beautiful Mosinee!Mosinee, A City On The Move

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

Winter in Black and White

SnowA View From Klaver Kame Winter in Black and WhiteThe All Season TrailThese photos are my entries in the black and white challenge on CaptureWisconsin.com.   Please go to that site and vote!

Autumn On the Ice Age Trail

This is what people see as they leave the parking lot.

This is what people see as they leave the parking lot.

This is what the Ice Age Trail  is all about.  This is the Plover River Segment just north  of Sportsman Drive in the Town of Plover near the eastern border of Marathon County.

This segment in Marathon County first opened in 2010.   The great scenery is made accessible by many volunteers in the Mobil Skills program of the Ice Age Trail Alliance.   I have been on this segment already in different seasons, but autumn produces these stunning colors as the trees ready themselves for winter.   It is the change of the season and the crispness in the air.    Nature is taking its course.

This is Wisconsin at its best.  Our weather is not boring here.  It changes with the seasons, and all nature responds to it.   Though definitely not as popular as the Dells Segment, the Plover River Segment has its own experience  with kames, kettles, eskers, and drumlins that make up the terminal moraine.

My hope is that you will enjoy these images and want to get out and explore the Ice Age Trail here in Wisconsin.   Come see our changing seasons.

There is more to see on CaptureWisconsin.com.

Look Up and see the ColorSavanahA View From the FieldField & ForestYoung Elms (1 of 1)Young Oaks (1 of 1)Meadow

Autumn in My Hometown

Autumn shows it's colors on 4th Avenue in Wausau, WI

Autumn shows it’s colors on 4th Avenue in Wausau, WI

 

The Paff Woods in Autumn

Paff Woods Paff WoodsThe Wisconsin River takes on brilliant colors along its banks each fall. The Wisconsin River takes on brilliant colors along its banks each fall.

 

Paff WoodsPaff WoodsThree Boats

Living in the north country gives one a real sense of the seasons. Just by taking a walk down my street here in Wausau in either direction, there is a rich collection of maples, elms, and oaks with leaves of every color.   Add in the greens of evergreen trees and you have it all.

Looking across the river from almost any point in town, you can see the rich colors that the Wisconsin flows by on every day.   The Wisconsin River makes the character of every city and village that it passes through or by.  Wausau is nestled in a valley with hills that come alive with color each fall.   Some, like, Forest Park, almost touch the river.

If you enjoy these images  and wish to have one for your own, then journey over and pay a visit to my sales site, http://www.wildlightphotography.photoshelter.com.   Images can be printed on a wide variety of materials  from matte and lustr papers to canvass wraps to metalic.

They make great gifts and will make for any decor.

I will also license images to businesses and corporations for calendars, etc. too.

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans often line the banks of Wisconsin's Rivers.

Black-Eyed Susans often line the banks of Wisconsin’s Rivers.

Not every image leaves a digital camera perfectly.  Sometimes you have to correct the image in Photoshop or, in my case, it’s Capture NX2.   To bring out the color, you often have to adjust brightness, etc.  Capture NX2  allows for this by letting the user adjust the histogram graph which I did.  I then adjusted the primary colors.

I wanted to bring out the water of the river in the background.  I then turned up the blue setting.  I also made adjustments to red and green as well.  The results are what you see.   The flowers were photographed using my 70-210mm f4.5-5.6 Nikkor Zoom.   And I lost a lens cap in the process…

Images of an Early Spring

A hike to the parks on Wausau's riverfront brings home some gems.

A hike to the parks on Wausau’s riverfront brings home some gems.

The first flowers of spring.

The first flowers of spring.

Spring on the Wisconsin-1-4

Spring on the Wisconsin-1-2Spring on the Wisconsin-1-3I went around some of Wausau’s riverfront parks yesterday morning searching for images of spring.  Instead I saw the jewels that the river makes as it begins to open up in springtime.

Stopping a shutter down or increasing the speed for a greater depth of field makes the pictures stand out.  The color is there.   I just try and bring it out.     I also make adjustments in my post-processing too to create the maximum effect such as I did with the tulip.

The River

Water running over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire County Park..

Water running over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire County Park..

Downtown Play Holes_032

Water pouring over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire River.

Water pouring over the rocks at the Dells of the Eau Claire River.

Rivers are wild living things always flowing, always meandering,  working their way down hill.     These pictures remind me of springtime when the forces of nature awaken from a long wintry sleep.

These rocks are part of the gorge  created  by the Eau Claire River in eastern Marathon County, WI.  A fine stop on the Ice Age Trail.

The Wisconsin River itself flows through the heart of the City of Wausau on its own journey to the Mississippi and to the Gulf of Mexico.  The Wisconsin is a part of life here in Wausau.  On it’s east channel near downtown paddlers challenge the rapids and play holes of the racecourse at Whitewater Park, while, over on the west channel, anglers work to land walleyes.   Each in their own way see the river as  a natural resource to be shared by all people..

Ice Age Trail In Winter

This is the trail going north from Popular Lane.

This is the trail going north from Popular Lane.

Even in Black and White, the trail looks good.

Even in Black and White, the trail looks good.

Looking Towards My Favorite Erratic Rock

Looking Towards My Favorite Erratic Rock

Ice Age Trail Best inMid-WinterIce Age Trail Best inMid-WinterIce Age Trail Best inMid-WinterIce Age Trail Best inMid-WinterSo seldom in Wisconsin do we get winter snow that actually remains on trees.  Usually by the time the skies clear, the wind has blown the fluff off.

On January 26, 2013, I ventured out to the Plover River segment of the Ice Age Trail near Aniwa, WI.   It was an awe-inspiring experience  just to be out there.  It was so peaceful to get away from the hubbub  of life in Wausau and experience this.

I love breaking a trail through new fallen snow in the quiet stillness of winter.  The peace is there.  It is my hope that you feel just as moved by these images as I was when took them.   It was a great day just to put on my snowshoes and take a walk through the woodlands of eastern Marathon County.   We are really blessed in living here with so much so near and four seasons to boot.

I will be out on the trail somewhere this weekend.

The rock seen here was one that I encountered while working with Will Sanford on a clean-up crew from the Marathon County Chapter back in 1996 on the Ringle segment near the landfill just north of the Mountain- Bay State Trail.   We laughed at it because it was right in the way of the trail.

It is an erratic moved into position by the last Ice age glacier.  As such, we were not even going to try to remove it.   It is a part of the trail in Marathon County.

The Snow Fence

SnowIt is amazing how common ordinary objects can make one think about how they look.

The snow fence is one of those ordinary objects where form follows function.    It has a pattern all of its own.  Digital photography allows one to shoot in color, but think in black and white.

Winter Along The Wisconsin River in Wausau

These are rocks that make up the Kayak course at White Water Park in Wausau.

These are rocks that make up the Kayak course at White Water Park in Wausau.

Snow adds to the beauty in Riverside Park.

Snow adds to the beauty in Riverside Park.

Wisconsin In Winter-12 Wisconsin In Winter-13

The natural beauty of the Wisconsin River never takes a vacation in Winter.   In these scenes  water continues to flow past snow-covered rocks in the channel past Whitewater Park where water still ripples, splashes and falls even in the cold dark nights and sunlit days of winter.

On the other side at Riverside Park, one can hear the crack of ice as the water continues to flow underneath.   The river is never silent even in winter.

Autumn Along the Wisconsin River in Wausau

I like to take long walks in town just as much as I like to hike wooded trails out in the country.   A walk along Wausau’s riverfront this morning yielded these gems.   Most were taken with a Nikkor 20 mm lens on my D-80.   I walk these trails quite often and it is nice to have peace in a city full of hubbub.

Color is not always high in the air.

The aspens on Barker-Stewart Island glow in late autumn.

The yellow leaves of a maple tree glow as the river calmly passes by.

And The Trails In Wausau Grow

The Wisconsin River from the west bank north of Bridge Street in Wausau.

Northern end of the Rivers Edge Walkway on the west side.

Wausau is continuing to expand my favorite walkway in the city.

While these photos were taken from the newest stretch of the River Edge Walkway on the west side, the city has acquired a 16 acre parcel on the east side to connect two existing sections of trail there. http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20121006/WDH01/310060147/-1/7daysarchives/Wausau-river-trail-expand-again

For the meantime, you can sample some of the fall scenery in my images here.   Many of my best images are available for sale at http://wildlightphotography.photoshelter.com/ and others are also seen on Capture Wisconsin http://www.capturewisconsin.com/photos where prints are also available.

If you have trouble ordering through Photoshelter, tell me about it.   I can help you select the print and give you a wide range of choices through myphotopipe.com   I have ordered prints through Myphotopipe.com and they have always come out on top with quality high-resolution emulsion-based prints and wraps of almost any size to fit your walls.   If you are looking for images for calendars, etc, my work will fit fine.   Just let me know.   Leave me a comment, and I will get back to you ASAP.

A River Runs Though It

From Lac View Dessert on the Wisconsin – Michigan border to its meeting with the mighty Mississippi at Prairie du Chen, the Wisconsin River is always flowing.   The Wisconsin is a living thing that man has merely harnessed but never contained.   As it flows through Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Merrill, Wausau, and Mosinee, it brings to each community a sense of character and purpose.

The river shapes the way people live in each community.   It makes Stevens Point special with its riverfront festivals.   It draws international class paddlers to canoe and kayak competitions in Wausau.   Loggers once used it to transport lumber to sawmills.   Today the waters of the river flow through countless turbines  to make the electricity that powers this man’s computer.

It is constantly flowing, constantly moving, like the stream of time since the dawn of creation.   It brings wildlife into the cities, and along with it, the thrill of the spring walleye run.   If you live along a river like the Wisconsin, it is a part of your life.

Enter My Lightroom!

The Quarry in Black and White.

Uncle Harry's Lamp-7

Carriage pull competition at the Draft Horse Invitational in the 2011 Wisconsin Valley Fair

Adobe is known as the premier producer of imaging software.   CS and Photoshop are their best known brands of photo editing software.   Add to that the Lightroom series and they have cornered the market.

I once took in Photoshop 7 on a trial basis.   It opened up like a Hollywood production with all the names of the software developers who worked to put it all together.   It works in layers (for those of you who remember film) each color is in a layer and how you expose it or under expose it affects the outcome.   I loved the software.  I just could not afford it.

Lightroom  is a different kind of imaging software.  Because it has its own separate folder, it has separate storage for the images that were worked on with it.  It does not exactly replace a regular editor software, but it can enhance the images and, if wisely used, improve workflow.

I am just beginning to learn how to use it.  Watch this blog and see what I learned.

I am learning a lot in Lightroom.   I will be able to add on Color Efex 4 to the software.  That is something I could not do with just Capture NX2 which is no longer in production.

Junior World Championships

The Biggest event on the kayak course at Wausau’s Whitewater Park is about to happen this week.   The city is a buzz with teenagers from around the world for the Junior World Championships.   So come on down to the river and enjoy the competition!

Bridge Over Big Sandy Creek

A Bridge Over Tranqil Water

Sometimes taking a camera along on a bike ride can bring in images like this.

On many of my bike rides, I often get absorbed into the scenery.  This gives me time to meditate, to pray a little, and basically praise my Creator for even the smallest things.

There is a hymn verse that comes to my mind.  “Where streams of  living waters flow, my ransomed soul He leadeth.   And where the verdant pastures grow, with food celestial feedeth.”  The King of Love My Shepherd Is  v2

Sometimes the best parks are the smallest.  This was taken from the banks of Big Sandy Creek just off of County Highway J in eastern Marathon County about 5 miles east of Wausau, WI.   This is a wayside park off of County Highway J  just south of Sunset Corners.   We need tiny little places in our lives to deal with all of the hubbub.   I look for these places.  These are the little gems in the State of Wisconsin.

Springtime

Sometimes the early spring brings up strange shapes.   Being fortunate to live in a city that is divided by a major river, I can see things that are naturally unique.   You can see what you want to see in this image.   You can either see a mass of roots or two whitetail bucks in rut fighting for the right to mate. Or you could see a crown of thorns symbolizing the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Form follows function and function follows form at the same time.

Black and white images require the photographer to think in terms of tones and shapes rather than color. The water may be brown or reflective blue.  It does not matter.  The gnarled root structure makes the image.

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