July is getting to be Photowalk month!

The Hudson Walk-About

Hudson Walk-About by Candiss DelCastillo

Group photo by Candiss DelCastillo

Because the Phipps rented out our meeting space this month, we were forced to meet outside.  What a happy circumstance!  We had beautiful weather and a nice turnout.  After making introductions, we headed in small groups to different locations around town.  I appreciated the chance to spend time with some of the newer members without the distraction of running a meeting.  We will have a gallery of photos and from the ones I’ve seen so far on our Facebook group, I am inspired.  It was an opportunity to learn from one another and get to know each other better.

One of the off-shoots of the Hudson Walk-About is that we got to talking about shooting fireworks.  Troy Schmidt immediately pulled out his phone for the date of the Minneapolis Aquatennial fireworks and since he would not be working that night, he set up this photowalk opportunity.  Thanks, Troy!  I have been to this location and it is in a safe place, with good parking nearby.  Troy adds that we will not have to beat the crowds.

Minneapolis Aquatennial Fireworks Photowalk

Saturday, July 23 at 8pm – 11 pm

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Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info

July Events and Reminders

Next Meeting – July 13

We will not be meeting the first Wednesday this month!  Instead, we will have a Photo Walkabout on Wednesday, July 13, 6:30 pm.  Bring your camera and meet at the band shell at Lakefront Park and we will capture our river town.  There is plenty of subject matter along the river, architectural detail in town and street photography subjects.  It will be an opportunity to partner with more experienced shooters and to get to know each other better.  We will have a gallery of the photos and will want your contributions.

Waterfalls Photo Walk – July 20


  • When: Wednesday July 20th @ 6:45PM (Rain date: Wednesday July 27th @ 6:45)
  • Where: Glen Park, 355 Park St, River Falls, WI 54022
  • Organized by Troy Schmidt

It’s time to take what we learned from Rikk Flor and put it into action!  We’ll travel to Glen Park in River Falls and walk the paved trail to the falls of the Kinnickinnic River.  There is a bit of a hill, so be prepared for the walk back up. There is a shallow stream to cross to access the falls, so waterproof shoes with good traction are recommended.  The river is fairly shallow, so it is possible to walk into the water to get your shot.  This spot provides other photo opportunities as well, including a man-made falls adjacent to the power plant, a swing bridge, various birds, and fly fisherman can be found at any time.

Recommended equipment: Tripod, remote shutter release, circular polarizer and ND filters, wide angle lens, rain cover, soft cloths to wipe your lens, waterproof hiking shoes, and bug spray.

We will meet at 6:30PM at the Park & Ride across from the Hudson Target store.  If driving on your own, we’ll meet in the park’s west parking lot at about 6:45PM.  There is no fee to access the park.

In the event of bad weather, an email will be sent, a post will be made, and the calendar page will reflect the rain date.


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Posted in Club Event, Educational

June was a big month! (Really big)

On the first of June Bryan Hansel appeared before a packed crowd to talk about composition.  Aside from what I learned, I was struck by how down to earth and personable he was.  He’s told me he would be happy to come back some day.

Temperence River Falls

Temperance River Falls – Terry Butler

Then on the 15th, Rikk Flohr gave a presentation on waterfalls that was filled with good advice and inspiration.  It was especially nice to have John Hanson, Adobe software engineer, as a guest since he brought many goodies for a drawing.  My take-away from Rikk’s presentation was not to include the sky, shoot from downstream and don’t shoot when the sun is shining on the falls.  It’s not necessary to have a filter to make a waterfall photo that shows movement, especially if you are in the woods or it is cloudy.  Shoot in aperture priority with the lowest ISO possible (50 or 100) and use a small aperture like f/22.  Using a polarizing filter will also help to get a longer shutter speed.  I was up on the North Shore with John Gregor just a few days after the meeting and got this one.  This was shot at ISO 100, f/22 and 4 seconds, using a 4-stop neutral density filter.

Save the date!

My next blog post will include detailed information about a waterfall photowalk that Troy Schmidt has planned.   The date will be Wednesday, July 20, 6:45 pm with a rain date one week later and the location is Glen Park in River Falls.

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Posted in Meeting Summary, News

Waterfalls and Save the Date!


High Falls on the Pigeon River by Rikk Flohr

Rikk FlohrRikk Flohr will be the guest speaker at the special meeting on June 15, 6:30 pm.  The title of his presentation is “Waterfalls” and it will include capture techniques and loads of inspiration.  Rikk is a professional photographer, image consultant and instructor, serving the imaging community with a variety of services related to photography, graphic design and instruction. In addition to full studio operations, Flohr shoots corporate events around the US. and is also currently employed by Adobe as the Community Manager for Adobe Voice.

He’s been a featured­ columnist for CorelDraw Unleashed magazine, writing about various digital photography and image editing topics. He also teaches at national software conferences like CorelWorld, the CorelDraw User’s Conference, PowerPoint Live Presentation Summit, and Adobe’s Photoshop & You.  In addition, he regularly present at regional photographic societies and teach a variety of topics in digital capture, processing and workflow.

Currently Rikk’s work can be seen at his website and he also maintains Holy Crop, a blog devoted solely to the cropping of images.

Save the Date!  St. Croix Valley Photo Day

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, Inspiration

Brian Hansel and Parnell Prairie in Somerset

Bryan HanselAt our June 1 meeting (6:30 pm) Bryan Hansel will present “The Elements of Composition:  Simplicity, Flow and Relationships”. Bryan’s program description: “Did you know that the rule of thirds was contrived and created by a statistician with no art background who was trying to determine where best to put a subject in a painting? Or that there are many valid reasons for placing the horizon in the center of a photo of a photo? These and many other rules of composition take away from the way that our imaginations and creativity actually work. During this presentation, you’ll learn a more organic approach to composition — one that works the way that we do in the field. While organic, the method accounts for how photos are viewed as art and focuses on how best to exploit how your photo’s viewer sees.”

I am looking forward to hearing about this approach to composition.

Bryan is an award-winning professional landscape, portrait, commercial photographer and outdoor educator. He was named as one of the top 100 landscape photographers to follow by 121Clicks. He has over 25 years of photography experience with publication credits ranging from National Geographic and Outdoor Photographer to Lake Superior Magazine and National Park Traveler. He started his popular photography workshop program in 2006. His programs take students to the best and often unknown locations in the northland and across the nation to many National Parks. He lives in Grand Marais, Minnesota and his work can be seen at his web site, Bryan Hansel.com

Club Project News-Parnell Prairie

Parnell Prairie Somerset-6 Continue reading »

Posted in Club Meeting Info, Club Project

Club Project Update from Lori Moilanen

Western Prairie Final Graphic Image with Black Background and Lighter Text Below ArchAs you may know, our club is doing something new this year – a club project called “Capture the Western Wisconsin Prairie”.  The overview of the project and its goals is here.  There are links for background information, DNR resources, and project photo galleries.  The photo galleries page includes instructions for uploading images, and an updated list of image priorities, as well as quite a few photos.   Also, please note that we will add a new gallery for creative images once we receive some.  Now you can feel free to pan, blur, composite, or creatively post-process to capture the spirit of the prairie landscape and its inhabitants.


Project Meetups

Monarch Butterfly on Clover - Marianne Diericks

photo by Marianne Diericks

We had our first project meetup a couple of weekends ago. Seven members met to scout nine locations in the New Richmond and Star Prairie area. Things are now starting to pick up on the Western Wisconsin prairie sites.  Resident birds are nesting and hatching young, bumblebees and butterflies are on the wing, migratory birds are returning, and native plants are starting to flower. I’m working with other WWPC members and DNR contact Missy Sparrow to plan additional project meet-ups.  Our goal is to have a couple of organized shooting opportunities each month, from May – September.  The list includes shoots at at least one private site, the Carpenter Nature Center Wisconsin Campus, Prairie Days at Willow River State Park, the DNR prairie nursery, Maplewood Nature Center, and the native butterfly house at Beaver Creek Reserve near Eau Claire.  If you have other location suggestions, please feel free to pass them along.

Save the Date for the Next Meetup!

photo by Melissa Anderson

photo by Melissa Anderson

The next scheduled meet-up is planned for Saturday morning May 21 in the Hudson area – SAVE THE DATE.  We’re hoping for some native lupines in bloom, but the lupine forecast is a still a little hazy at the moment.

Sign Up for Meetup Notifications

To be kept informed on planned project meetups please sign up at a meeting, or use the contact form here, on this website.  Though we expect to create Facebook events and make blog posts, this will be the best way of informing interested members of last minute updates or cancellations.


A Few Cautions about Images

A couple of people have asked if images can only be taken on DNR and USFWS restoration sites.  While images shot on restoration sites are preferable, images from other locations are welcome as long as they are representative of native Western Wisconsin prairie.  One word of warning for flower photographers – please note that some of the most common and showy flowers along roadsides and other locations are invasive species – these should be avoided in project images.  DNR has published free guides that show common invasive species, available at http://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/fr/FR0464.pdf  And at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/invasives/documents/NR40_handout_Rd2_Final_vcs5.pdf

Shooting on DNR and USFWS restoration sites will help minimize the chance of including invasive species in your images.

Three Lakes Area - Troy Schmidt-1

Photo by Troy Schmidt

‘Bye for now!  – Lori


Posted in Club Event, Club Project

Meeting Date Correction

The special May mid-month meeting is on Wednesday, May 25th.  Sorry about the confusion.

Posted in Club Meeting Info

May Meetings and News

Special Mid-Month Meeting on the 25th

Mariann CyrMariann Cyr will be the guest speaker at the May 25 meeting that begins at 6:30 pm.  The presentation will be “Basics of Wildflower Photography” and will give you the information you need to capture these delights of nature.  It will include an overview of the equipment you can use, what “depth of field” is and how to control it, the best lighting to use, and how to control distracting backgrounds.  Mariann is active in several Twin City area photography clubs and the Camera Council (Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs).  She has served as president of the Minnesota Nature Photography Club and the 3M Camera Club. For a number of years, Mariann chaired the Minnesota Botany Exhibition of Photography, the only PSA international competition devoted to plants.   She is listed in the Photographic Society of America’s Who’s Who for Nature and has been published in the Minnesota Weather Guide Calendar and Minnesota Monthly.  She judges both local and international photo competitions.

Mariann Cyr-Pasque Flower

Pasque Flower by Mariann Cyr

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, Competition, Meeting Summary, News

May 4 Meeting Information

Alec Johnson

Photo by Alec Johnson

The May 4 meeting that begins at 6:30 pm will feature the second of four competition salons for the year.  Not all members are interested in competing, but I appreciate hearing insights about my images from people I respect.  I don’t always agree, but most of the time I come away from the experience with improvements I could make or my eyes are opened to defects in a photo I had fallen in love with.  It’s actually a learning experience for all the other salon images; I learn from those, too.  Best of all, I am inspired by the talent in this club!

Alec Johnson will be our judge.  Long time members will remember the presentation he gave to our club in 2013 on “Seeing in Black and White”.  He’s widely known for being a dynamic and inspirational teacher, honing his teaching skills as a professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas.   He is a regular speaker with metropolitan camera clubs, and his photographs have been widely published.  His fine art photography can be seen at his web site.

Reminder:  If you have prints to be judged (up to two), please bring them to the meeting 15 minutes before it begins.

Warning – Parking Challenge!

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Posted in Club Meeting Info, News

Club Project News and Coming Up

Short Notice – Club Project Scouting Meet-up – Saturday April 23

Western Prairie Final Graphic Image with Black Background and Lighter Text Below ArchPlan to meet and depart from Not Just a Cafe at 850 N Knowles Ave, New Richmond, WI 54017 at 8:00 AM. Early risers who’d like to meet for breakfast or coffee beforehand can come at 7:00 AM.  Please note that this is a different location than mentioned in the WWPC Facebook discussion last week.

The purpose of this meet-up is to scout several state and federal prairie restoration sites in a six-mile corridor northeast of New Richmond, in preparation for the “Capture the Western Prairie” club project. This will be a good opportunity to brainstorm shooting strategies for capturing the subtle beauty of this landscape and telling the story of its restoration.

Prairie Wetland Afternoon - Lori Moilanen

Prairie Wetland Afternoon – Lori Moilanen











We’ll visit the Oak Ridge, Bierbrauer, Amschler, Hanten ,and Star Prairie waterfowl production areas, the Oak Ridge DNR site, and the DNR prairie nursery. These sites have examples of several prairie habitats, including grassland, wetland, oak savannah, and woodland.  If there’s time and interest, we can also stop at Saratoga Springs Park in Star Prairie   I will provide a map and basic driving directions on Saturday morning.  Carpooling is encouraged form the meeting point. I expect to be back at the NJC starting point in New Richmond by about 11:00 AM at the latest.

At this early point in the season, there’s not much new growth.  I see this a more of a scouting trip than a serious shooting morning, so it will be a rain or shine event. Ticks are active now, so I recommend being prepared in case we want to walk a short distance on some of the mowed paths.

If you plan on taking part, please use our contact form to sign up and I’ll send you Lori’s cell and any updates.

Coming Up

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Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, Club Project