Corrected Save the Date and an Update

The event is on October 21

Little Log House Pioneer Village

The St. Croix Valley Camera Club (SCVCC) has invited us to join their members at an outing to Little Log House Pioneer Village on Sunday, October 21 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. 

The village has some forty-five restored buildings, a replica of the Hastings Spiral Bridge, a flower garden that spans over 40,000 square feet and even a dirt track for tractor and truck pulls. The only time when they are open to the public is for their Antique Power Show, a three day extravaganza for which they charge $10 a day. Our clubs will have a unique opportunity of having the place to ourselves. We will meet at the exit 2 Park and Ride at 1:00 pm for carpooling and arrival a little before 2:00.  Our club was there a few years ago, and we had always wanted to go back. There is tons of subject matter as seen by the interactive map of the village and a few photos from our previous visit.

This is a great example of how our membership in the Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs has benefited our members.  We have made greats friends with other clubs and we owe Mike Chrun our thanks.

  • Date: Sunday, October 21
  • Time: 2:00 – 5:00 pm
  • WI Exit 2 Park & Ride Meetup time: 1:00 pm
  • Place: 21889 Michael Avenue, Hastings, MN  55033
  • Map Link

St. Croix Photo Day Important Update

Towards the end of St. Croix Valley Photo Day on Saturday the host club (SCVCC) found out that the Folsom House wasn’t open earlier in the day.  In checking, they found out that the manager was still dealing with a flooded basement following almost 6” of rain Thursday.  Chad apologized and offered a deal to camera club members.  If people still want to see and photograph this historic home, they can identify themselves as camera club members and Chad will allow them to do so free until the season ends sometime in October.  Here is the Folsom House website for times when it will be open.

Posted in Club Event, News, Photowalks

September News Part 2

N4C News

The N4C Convention was held last weekend in Dubuque, IA, capping off the N4C year that runs from September to May.   At the end of their year, all images receiving first place, second place, third place and honorable mentions during the year are judged again to determine the “Best of the Best”.   Chuck and Sue Oberstar were at the convention when the awards were announced and they brought home three 1st Place awards, two 2nd Place awards and seven Honorable Mentions for our members!  

The photo essay that I put together, “Capturing the Western Prairie” earned 2nd Place.   It’s an award that should be shared with all the great photographers whose stunning images were in the slide show.  That includes Melissa Anderson, Betty Bryan, Terry Butler, Marianne Diericks, Ginny Gaynor, Mary Penny Johnson,Lori Moilanen, MJ Springett and Michael Waterman.  Special thanks are due to Marianne for her assistance in the production.  The other “Best of the Best” winners will be announced at the October 5 meeting.  This video is slightly longer than the version submitted to N4C.

The Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival

Each September, the Phipps Center joins the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau in presenting Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival in Lakefront Park. The event features food, live music, and an art fair.

  • Saturday, September 22, 10-5pm
  • Sunday, September 23, 10-4pm
  • No admission fee and open to creative spirits of all ages.

Visitors will experience a variety of creative talent, including the original artwork of 90+ juried artists, hands-on demonstrations and creative activities while sampling a variety of fall flavors.   Click here for more information. 

Posted in Club Project, N4C, News

September News Part 1

Craig Blacklock

Photo by Carl Wegener

It was almost a year ago when Anastasia Shartin at the Phipps contacted me to say that Craig Blacklock would be featured in an exhibit this September.  And would I be interested in having him give a presentation to our club?  I was thrilled!  I found he was very friendly, down to earth and easy to work with.  Carl Wegener gave a heart-felt awesome introduction.  I learned that Craig prefers to include a lot of foreground in his landscapes to make it more real to the viewer and gives them a place to step into the image.  He also does a lot of panoramic work as a way of increasing the file sizes that he needs to have to print big.  Many of his images uses focus stacking to include sharp detail from some very close foregrounds all the way to the background.

Many of the prints in the exhibit are in the lobby so get to the next meeting early enough to view them.  Better yet, visit the Phipps before 5:00 pm so that you can see a dozen or more images of his in Gallery One on the main floor, an awesome video and the other Heart of the River Exhibition pieces in the galleries upstairs.   I was blown away by some of his drone images and now believe I need a drone of my own!

St. Croix Valley Photo Day this Saturday

It appears that registration is still open.  It will be a great day sponsored by the Twin Cities Area Council of Camera Clubs and hosted by the St. Croix Valley Camera Club.  For more information and to register, click this link.

Exhibit Updates

Continue reading »

Posted in Uncategorized

Special Presentation by Craig Blacklock is Next Saturday

This presentation is co-hosted by our club and the Phipps Center for the Arts and is part of the Heart of the River: Celebrating the First 50 Years of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.

  • Saturday, September 15
  • 1:00 pm
  • Black Box Theater
  • Phipps Center for the Arts – 109 Locust Street, Hudson, WI
  • Free and open to the public


At the same time Craig Blacklock will have pieces in the lobby and Gallery One.  This special exhibit “Heart of the River” will begin September 14 and will end on October 21.  Please share this with your friends and family.  Craig Blacklock’s photographs are noted for technically perfect, impeccably clean compositions, making complex subject matter easily seen. Most of Blacklock’s 18 books have depicted the interface of water and land. Most notable, are: The Lake Superior Images; A Voice Within—The Lake Superior Nudes; Minnesota’s North Shore; Apostle Islands — From Land and Sea; and Pictured Rocks — From Land and Sea.

This is Blacklock’s first work to include images made from a drone, which he used extensively to show the meanders and islands of the rivers. Blacklock kayaked every accessible mile of both the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers — some sections several times. Taking full advantage of the speed available in digital capture, Craig has included much more wildlife than in his previous books, with several incredible flight shots. Consistent with his past work, he has spent a lot of time focusing on the forest floor, capturing ferns and wildflowers with a distinctive Blacklock style.

Craig will present many of the photographs from the book, telling some of the hows and whys behind the images, along with his impressions of the rivers, and suggesting what we, as individuals, must do to protect them into the future.

The program is free, and open to the public. Craig will have copies of his books for sale and will be happy to personalize them after the program. To learn more about this photography project, or reserve these very limited edition books, go to:


Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, Inspiration, News

September is here!

At our meeting on Wednesday, September 5, 6:30 pm, Kent Johnson of Midwest Imagery will give a presentation on Photoshop that will include some of his time-tested methods he uses in his workflow to make his images pop.  Kent is a professional photographer who makes images of landscapes, wildlife and people. Kent’s fun and informative classes will help you learn to shoot and retouch like a pro.   You can see his work here.

Before the presentation, Ken Wolter will share an experience regarding photographers rights.  And then, (drum roll) Richard Hudson will reveal the winners of the Scavenger Hunt that was held in July.  The scavenger hunt gallery is here:  Members who participated each chose their favorites in each category to determine the winners.

Other September News

On the St. Croix River – Mike Chrun

  • According to our Facebook Group, a number of us are planning to attend the 1:00 pm rodeo at UW River Falls on September 8.
  • Chuck and Sue Oberstar will be attending the N4C Convention in Dubuque, Iowa, beginning on September 13. Hopefully, they will be bringing back some awards for our club in N4C’s “Best of the Best” year-end competition.
  • Craig Blacklock will be a prominent exhibitor in the Phipp’s “Heart of the River: Celebrating the First 50 Years of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway” exhibit.  The exhibit begins on September 14 and on September 15 at 1:00 pm, Craig will be giving a presentation in the Black Box Theater.  More information on that soon.
  • September 22 is the Free Interstate Photo Day hosted by the St. Croix Valley Photo Club.   See this post for more information.

The Club Calendar 

How often do you visit our calendar page?  It is the most up to date listing of what is happening in the club.  Recently, I’ve added a couple of great events.!

  • Thanks for the generosity of Mike Chrun, president of the St. Croix Valley Camera Club, we have been invited to participate in their outing on October 21 to the Little Log House Pioneer Villlage.
  • Thanks for the persistence of Carl Wegener, Valerie Jardin, internationally acclaimed street photographer, will be at our November 7 meeting.


Posted in Club Event, Club Meeting Info, News, Photowalks

Late August News

Belwin Conservancy News









Four of us participated in the Bison Buggy Ride at Belwin Conservancy last Thursday evening.  This opportunity was extended to our club members so that a new outdoor exhibit next year would feature photos of the bison who call the prairie their home during the summer months.  The shooting far exceeded my expectations and aside from that, it was wonderful just being there with the bison, Susan Haugh, our driver,  and photo club friends.

Celebration of the 2018 Show and Partnership

  • Lucy Winton Bell Athletic Fields
  • Pinwheel Building
  • Wednesday Aug 29, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
  • The public and all members are invited to the celebration!
  • Directions

The buildings feature poster-sized prints of photos by our members.  Let’s have a great turnout for the celebration!

Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo set for Sept. 7 and 8 at UW-River Falls

“Come with Me” by Willie Gorham

Willie Gorham sent me a notice last week about this opportunity.  He is not able to attend this year but his shooting tip is to get down on the ground level.  Last year Willie was awarded 1st Place for the Realistic category for our 2017 Year End.  Members of our club will attend the 1 pm performance on Saturday, so plan on joining us.

  • The public is invited to the 54th annual Falcon Frontier Days Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, 7 and 8, at the outdoor rodeo arena at the UWRF Campus Farm, 1475 S. Wasson Lane, on the corner of Wasson Lane and Cemetery Road in River Falls.
  • There is a single performance Friday evening at 7 p.m. and two performances on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Food will be available for purchase at the concession stand.
  • Tickets prices are $14 for adults, $12 for UWRF students, and $10 for children 5-12. Children age 4 and under are free. Tickets are available at the gate or online.   More information here

One last thing…

I expect the last chance to experience and photograph the Blooming Butterflies exhibit at Como Park will be on Labor Day.  For more information see this blog post.


Posted in Club Event, Photowalks

More from Bill Donovan

It was such a pleasure to have Bill Donovan at our meeting on Wednesday…until my laptop chewed up half his program.  Argh!   Bill is so down to earth that he took it in stride.  Although Bill has experience shooting a wide range of subject matter, architectural photography has a special place in his heart.  He appreciates the symmetry and often shoots with a wide angle lens close to the subject to exaggerate distortion.  Another technique he often uses is HDR.  For software Bill uses Photomatix and a free-standing program, Smart Photo Editor.   He also uses the Nik software suite as a plug-in to Photoshop Elements. 

Bill shoots a lot of his landscapes in the Twin Cities metro area and often tries to get shots that are a different take on subjects that are often photographed by others.  We were inspired by his exterior shots and enjoyed having more time to ask questions.  To make up for the loss of his interiors, he was gracious and generous enough to share some of these that would have been part of his program.  Click here to see more of his work.

Hover over the thumbnails to see the location and click on the thumbnails to see full size.

Posted in Club Meeting Info, Inspiration

Free St. Croix Valley Fall Photo Day Registration is Open!

Interstate Photo Day

  • Saturday, September 22
  • Wisconsin Interstate Park, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
  • Sponsored by Twin City Area Council of Camera Clubs
  • Planned and Hosted by St. Croix Valley Camera Club




  • Keynote Speaker: Craig Blacklock on his book, St. Croix & Namekagon Rivers—the Enduring Gift
  • “On Being a Birding Bird Photographer”
  • “Composition-Creating Compelling Photographs”
  • “Simple Tips for Outdoor Portraits”
  • “Macro Photography”
  • “Growing as a Photographer for Novices”

Photo Opportunities:

  • —Guided photo hikes by park naturalists, a Master Gardener, and club members
  • —Self-guided photo locations—over half a dozen possibilities
  • —Photo Scavenger Hunt

Free River Boat Cruise

Please look over the other documents before you register!

You should know where the events take place as they are spread over 10 miles and you should know something about them before registering.  For example, the Pothole Photo Shoot shouldn’t be taken if you have mobility issues or you should decide which boat ride you are taking first and build your schedule around that.

Information and Registration Link



Posted in Club Event, News

August Photowalks Update!

Great Forecast!

The “Get Inside the Hive” outing will happen on August 9 and the best night for the Milky Way outing will be on Friday, August 10.  See below for more information.







G­et Inside the Hive

  • Date August 9
  • Time: 6:00 pm
  • 678 Edie Lane Hudson. Park on the road and walk to the house set in the woods about 100 yards from the road.

Bee There:  Get out your macro lens (for the brave) or telephoto lens (for the timid) and see what life is like inside a beehive.  You will come away with a new understanding of honey bees for sure.  The bees always welcome visitors.  Willie Gorham has been keeping honey bees for over 20 years and every year people he knows come for a visit, just to get inside the hive.  If you have bee sting allergies let him know as he has a couple of extra bee suits one can wear.

Milky Way at Deer Park Cemetery

The Milky Way season will soon be over with the core slipping below the horizon by September. 

  • Friday, August 10 wil be the best night!
  • 21­80­­-2188 WI Hwy 46, Deer Park – (about a mile south of Deer Park town center)  Enter the cemetery on the north entrance, go around and park in the center driveway and then turn off your headlights.  We will set up along the south driveway.
  • Arrive by 10:00 pm. Shooting will begin close to 10:30 pm
  • Bring a tripod, wide angle (15-24mm) fast lens (f/2.8). Pre-focus your lens to infinity during daylight hours
  • Bring warm clothes and a flashlight (red is best)
  • Bring binoculars to see Andromeda in the northeast sky

I will bring three suitable lenses to share that have Canon EF mounts.

Posted in Uncategorized

More good stuff coming this month!

Bill Donovan on Architecture

Photo by Bill Donovan

At the August 15 meeting we will have a special treat!  Bill Donovan is a photographer who takes pride in his work and enjoys shooting a diverse number of subjects from the state of Minnesota, as well as places he travels.  What started out as a hobby, has developed into a passion of using photography to capture the beauty and uniqueness of the world around us.  His hope is that through an exploration of his work you will experience the wonders of light that he captures through the lens.  Check out his web site for inspiration. 

In My Mailbox Today…

Seasons on St. Croix is a premier gallery located in downtown Hudson and they are promoting a Plein Air event.  22 local and regional artists each create 3 paintings in 3 days. “En Plein Air” is a French expression meaning “in the open air” and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.  You will see artists busily working throughout the community on August 17th, 18th and 19th. Feel free to visit, chat, and learn from the artists about their technique and process … maybe even give them some hints as to where to paint in our beautiful community.  And bring your camera!

And then there was this one that made me think of my nearly four years as president!  It made me smile…

Posted in Club Meeting Info, News