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

Posts from the ‘Sports’ category

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.

 

 

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

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..

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.

Strangers at the Wausau Balloon Rally & Glow

I have done photography before at Wausau Balloon Rally & Glow. But this time some unique and different things happened. Beginning with the woman who struck a chord with me over my Rails to Trails bike jersey and going on to a guy who kept giving me tips on how to get great pictures of the balloons I felt a little like some how these strangers saw a connection with me in a peculiar way.

The photography comes natural. It is a little bit of trial and error in finding that right exposure setting. To do the kind of stuff I was doing tonight with a film camera would be difficult if not impossible. I doubt if you could make one shot with an ISO of 250, the next at 400, and the next at 1000. It is just not possible.

I am confident, though. What I saw on my camera’s rear LCD screen was brilliant! At a hot air balloon glow, one just lets the glow from the burners light the images!  The color shown here is proof that digital photography can carry color.  I did no adjustments to these images.   They are in their natural tone!

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!

Winter Fun In Iola

Ski-jumping at Iola

The hearty Danes and Norwegians that settled Iola, WI knew how to bring fun into a cold Wisconsin Winter.   They created the ski-jumps at Iola’s Winter Park just for that reason.   In the cold of Winter they celebrate their carnival.

The Bowl at Winter Park has long been the site of many competitions including the Olympic styled Badger State Games.    A day filled with competition shows here in this image.   Nestled in the terminal moraine from the last Ice Age, this area is filled with scenic beauty of kames, eskers, and drumlins.  Winter Park is a bowl or kettle just perfectly shaped as a landing  area for ski-jumpers from all over.

“The One Constant Through-out All The Years is Baseball”

Robbie De La Cruz makes a hit that turns to a home run.

If there is any one constant in the history of this country, it is baseball.  One could go to places like Miller Park in Milwaukee, or more storied stadiums like Wrigley Field in Chicago.  The closeness of the fans to the teams can often exist in smaller ball parks too.  Wausau has it in Athletic Park.   The smell of hotdogs and bratwurst is in the air.   This is baseball at its most basic and even the best.

At game time, Athletic Park hums with activity from the crowds as they pour in. The concession stands are ready to feed the fans.  Friends and neighbors gather to cheer on their home town team.  Athletic Park, which once saw up and coming stars like Paul Molitor, the future #4 of Milwaukee Brewer fame, when Wausau’s minor league  Timbers played here, is home to the Northwoods League’s Wisconsin Woodchucks.   Athletic Park does not have sky-boxes like the big league stadiums do, but there are open decks that companies or other local groups can book for a game.   Mine was with Thrivent Financial and we were on the Channel 9 Sports deck off left field. That deck had excellent viewing on a cool summer evening.  From there you have a complete view of the field.

In baseball, there is a strategy.  There is subliminal communication that goes on between the pitcher and the catcher.   The goal is to psych out the batter.   Our batters including Robbie De La Cruz were up to it this last Tuesday and we won the game by 2 runs.   The end of a perfect day.

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