PJ Anderson Photography: Blog https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog en-us (C) PJ Anderson Photography pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Wed, 20 Jun 2018 05:18:00 GMT Wed, 20 Jun 2018 05:18:00 GMT https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u84973247-o201017832-50.jpg PJ Anderson Photography: Blog https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog 120 120 The Pasqueflower https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-pasqueflower Some years, winter seems to drag on forever. This year was actually a very mild winter until it was supposed to be done.  Then came March and April. I never thought spring would come.

I know each year when winter has lost its grip when the South Dakota state flower starts blooming.  The appearance of the Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens) is a time of serious joy in my heart.

 

DSC_0855Sunset PasqueWatertown, South Dakota

 

I’m not sure if it was the late spring or just pure luck on my part, but this year I was able to photograph these wonderful early spring blooms for longer than I ever had in the past. It was a very enjoyable several weeks.

 

DSC_9684Pasque MacroWatertown, SD

 

Many of the Pasqueflowers I photographed this year were on St. Anne’s Hill below the hospital here in Watertown, just a few blocks from home. I’ve often wondered if people wonder what I am doing as I crawl on the ground or bend in crazy ways so I can get a low perspective on these very tiny flowers.

As they are so tiny and I am often shooting in the low evening light, the focal range is very small. I have to fight the seemingly constant wind of South Dakota waiting for the flower to stand tall and not shake. Many, many photos turn out blurry from the motion, but patience does pay off eventually.

 

DSC_5872Pasque in the windWatertown, South Dakota

 

While the season has moved on and I’m not photographing other wildflowers, I’ve created a gallery under recent work on my website to show off some of my favorite shots of Pasqueflowers. Hope you enjoy.

 

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) nature outdoors pasqueflower photography south dakota spring wildflower https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/6/the-pasqueflower Wed, 20 Jun 2018 05:18:21 GMT
Sica Hollow May 2018 https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/sica-hollow-may-2018 I had my first chance to visit one of my favorite state parks, Sica Hollow. I was expecting to maybe find Pasque Flowers as they are the first to bloom in the area, but I was shocked to find several surprises. 

I thought that I would share a few photos of the day.  

The first flower of the day was also the dominant flower in the park this trip. The Bloodroot. Such a brilliant white flower, it really stands out in the forest. Saw these happy flowers throughout the entire park from at the bottom near the creeks all the way up to the top of the hills bordering the prairie. These flowers only bloom for a day or two before dying.

 

BloodrootBloodroot(Sanguinaria canadensis)

 

As often happens, when I slow down to photograph one thing, I'll spot something else that I might have walked past if I hadn't stopped for something else. In today's case, while I was photographing one of the first Bloodroot flowers of the day, I happened to notice a tiny plant with tiny flowers. Dutchman's Breeches. They tend to be white, but when I spot them at Sica Hollow they are often pink.

 

Dutchmans BreechesDutchmans Breeches(Dicentra cucullaria)

 

Just a little further on by the running water, the Marsh Marigolds were abundant. These are brilliant yellow flowers with dark green leaves. They are so bright yellow, they are often very challenging to photograph. I decided to get in tight and shoot macro to try to get more of the detail that is hard to see.

 

MarshMarigoldMarsh Marigold(Caltha palustris)

 

As I climbed higher in the park, I mostly only continued to see Bloodroot, but I was surprised to see two small Canadian Violet flowers. Again, it would have been really easy to walk right past them. In several weeks, there will be a lot more throughout the park, but it was fun to see them today.

 

Canadian VioletCanadian White Violet(Viola canadensis)

 

Finally after climbing all the way to the top of the park, up on the prairie, I was able to find the flower that I most expected to see. South Dakota's state flower, the Pasque. Although they just started blooming in Watertown, it appears that Sica Hollow did not have the snow cover that we did late in April. Seems that the Pasque may actually be near the end of their bloom at Sica Hollow. This clump was right on the edge of the trail. I did find some close by on the hills, but none quite as photogenic as this bunch.

 

PasqueflowerPasqueflower(Anemone patens)

 

I'm planning on visiting the park a couple of times a month until then end of autumn. Hopefully, I won't get interrupted too many times with summer surprises in my schedule.

Until next time!

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) bloodroot canadian white violet dutchman breeches marsh marigold nature pasque photography sica hollow sica hollow state park south dakota wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/5/sica-hollow-may-2018 Mon, 07 May 2018 04:06:17 GMT
Jigger Engineer https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/jigger-engineer For the last couple of years, I've found another creative release that is pretty much equal to my love of photography. Exploring and creating vintage and classic cocktails.

 

Kamikaze CocktailKamikaze Cocktail

Kamikaze Cocktail

 

In a way, this other release tends to pull me right back to the camera to document what I'm doing. It is natural for me to research, prep and create a cocktail in the kitchen or a bar and then rush the finished product right to a set in front of my camera. I find it just as rewarding to put a craft cocktail in front of a guest at the bar as I do sharing the photograph of the same cocktail on social media.

 

Clover ClubClover Club

The Clover Club

 

As I continue to be focused on the art of photography, I know this beverage work is going to start playing into the return of my commercial photography at some point. 

I'm working on a few other projects that I'd like to bring you up to date on soon. For now, however, take a look at the recent work tab to see more cocktails that I've been working on or click here.

Until next time!

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) beverages cocktails commercial photography liquor https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2018/1/jigger-engineer Sun, 28 Jan 2018 23:04:27 GMT
Seasons and Transitions https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/9/seasons-and-transitions Back in 2008, the economic bust lead me from a career in technology to take a chance at making a business out of my passion and artistic release. With a ton of support from friends and relatives, I created PJ Anderson Photography. 

Lots of brides, models, products and events later, it is time to make a change. Just like summer has changed to autumn, it is time for me to adjust what photography means to me. My happiest moments with photography have always been when I am in the moment trying to make images that people overlook, or miss or can't see. I feel I can do that better when I am not trying to pay bills, taxes, insurance and all the other things that are involved in running a small business.

 

DSC_9263-EditDSC_9263-Edit

 

I've shared this decision with some of you over the last several months, spent some time grieving,  but today I'm going to put it into writing - the business of photography has ended and the return of the artist commences. 

I believe there are many, many more photos to share with you. More learning. More observations. Maybe a few crazy ideas tossed in as well. 

Thanks for being a part of my journey. Hope you'll stick around for the next phase.

This is a good thing.

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) art artist business photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/9/seasons-and-transitions Sun, 25 Sep 2016 19:14:02 GMT
Surviving and Rebuilding https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/surviving-and-rebuilding Some of you know that it has been a challenging 6-8 months for my photography business. I spent a good chunk of that time committed to pursuing some other career directions that unfortunately didn't end up the way I had hoped. However, the silver lining is that I'm putting more effort back into photography and my photography business.

In order to see this through, however, I need to try to build up some working capital again. So, I'm going to have a sale on some of my Art Fair inventory. These are photos that have been around a while and I need to update with newer work. The prints all have white mats with white mat backing and sealed in a plastic bag to protect them at shows. I have three sizes in inventory:

           4x6 - $8 originally priced $12

           8x10 - $12 originally priced at $20

           8x12 - $12 originally priced at $25

You can see the photos that I have in inventory in this album http://www.pjandersonphotography.com/sale  Please look at the description of the photo to understand what sizes are in stock. These items will be coming directly from me and not the lab, so if you wish to purchase one of these sale prints, please email me at pj@pjandersonphotography.com 

You may also purchase these photos directly from my lab in a wide variety of sizes or wall art products if you wish.  Just select a photo and click "buy" and then choose the appropriate product.

Sale runs through May 31st!

 

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) art festival photography prints sale https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/surviving-and-rebuilding Mon, 16 May 2016 18:20:13 GMT
April at the Academie Agencie https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/april-at-the-academie-agencie I love my affiliation with the Academie Agencie in Fargo. Over the years the collaboration and friendship has been amazing and invaluable.

 

The latest shoot there began with the modeling meeting theme of "Super Heroes" and I had fun shooting a few imaginative and fantastical looks.

 

DSC_6841-EditCatherine

 

DSC_6981-Edit-Edit-EditLiz

 

Moving on from there was more of the traditional commercial portfolio work. We shoot these several times over the course of the year for new models and those doing updates to their portfolios.

 

DSC_7079Ashley DSC_7347Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7438Ronnie DSC_6965-EditCatherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7207Mark DSC_6949Catherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7009-EditAshley DSC_7467Ronnie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7132Catherine DSC_6982-EditLiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time!   PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Academie Agencie PJ Anderson Photography modeling photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/5/april-at-the-academie-agencie Wed, 11 May 2016 19:56:46 GMT
Bitter Irony https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/3/bitter-irony For the last several months, I sort of put my photography on the back burner while I spent most all of my time working for the Goss Opera House, where my studio has been located for the last several years.  AND, what a beautiful workplace it is. Sad that I was unable to use it often enough either from my workload or the fact that there hasn't been adequate heat or air conditioning for a couple of years.

 

Yesterday, I worked my final day at the Goss. Which frees me up to pursue photography again. Sadly though, I've also given up the space. There may be future opportunity there, but for today, it was a sad goodbye. Ironic to finally have the time available when I no longer have access to the space.

 

As I finished sweeping, I thought I'd take a couple of snaps. This one probably should have been a self portrait, but I didn't bring my camera with me, so I was limited to my Galaxy Note 3. Sort of feels like a modern version of a toy camera, so using Lightroom and PhotoEffects I decided on a Holga B&W treatment would be best. 

 

final beer001A final beer in Studio 8Last day in my studio at the Goss Opera House

 

I'm taking a short time off to contemplate on new directions. However, spring is here and I'm sure to be out crawling in the mud soon and chasing all the light and color of the season.

 

Until next time - PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2016/3/bitter-irony Mon, 21 Mar 2016 04:52:23 GMT
The Hidewood Valley & Turning Back https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/12/the-hidewood-valley-turning-back Just a quick post today as it has been entirely too long since I last posted. A lot of business and creative work going on behind the scenes.

I was driving home from Estelline, SD after doing interviews and photos for an upcoming Public Opinion article. Lately, I have had little free time as I pursue lots of projects right now, but as often happens when driving, I'll spot something and think to myself that the scene would make for a great photograph. Seems like most of those occasions do not allow for me to stop as I need to get somewhere else.

Driving north yesterday on interstate 29 I started crossing the Hidewood Valley, a beautiful landscape that I always love seeing. It is named Hidewood as this is where some of the Sioux involved in the U.S - Dakota War of 1862 had fled from Minnesota and hid for a time. You can read more about the Hidewood in this article from South Dakota Magazine.

It was a foggy day and as I drove into the valley I came out of the fog. The light was great and even though the color was rather dull due to early winter with no snow cover, it still was a pretty scene. I drove up the other side of the valley and back into the fog and it crossed my mind that I may never get another chance to see the valley with fog hanging around this way ever again. This time, I had to turn back. I found the next exit and worked my way onto a secondary highway that crossed back under the interstate so that I could stop and find a place to shoot.

This is a landscape photo that really needed a panoramic presentation as the sky was just entirely too big and white. Thought I'd get this one posted and let you see a little bit about what I notice driving down the highway.

Hidewood001Hidewood Valley, South Dakota

I'm hoping to get some additional posts for you soon.

Wishing you a happy holiday season!

PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Hidewood Photography South Dakota landscape https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/12/the-hidewood-valley-turning-back Sat, 12 Dec 2015 21:27:50 GMT
End of the Season https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/11/end-of-the-season I made a quick run to Sica Hollow yesterday as we had one more warm day in the 60's.  It feels odd for November, but I know winter isn't far away. I needed to resolve a few work issues before I could go and as these things often go, it took a lot longer than planned. So, I made it to the state park with only about 90 minutes of daylight left. It was overcast, compounding the situation.

I spent most of this trip on the Trail of Spirits, which was a nice way to end I think. Most of the year, I spent deep in the park on trails that aren't used as often as the very accessible Trail of Spirits. However, this trail is where I first fell in love with the park. It is a beautiful walk, although it often frustrates me due to the ignorance and carelessness of people. Plenty of beer cans, cigarette wrappers and plastic bottles all taking away from the beauty of the forest and in places that will damage the fragile water system.

However, I tried to remain upbeat and enjoy the forest for one last trip. It was damp and there was plenty of water flowing in Roy Creek in this part of the park. A few remaining hardy green and red plants along the ground were around to break the monotony of the brown fallen leaves from the oaks and dogwoods. I couldn't find any blooms at all. Looks like I'll need to wait until spring to see the early blooms of the Pasque flowers and the Bloodroot.

I paused after driving over the hill leaving the park for a look back. The setting sun was lighting up some of the gloomy clouds and the light was sort of neat. I took this photo as I was saying goodbye for the season.

 

LeavingSicaHollow001Leaving Sica Hollow 2015View back toward the setting sun

 

I started this year with the intention to visit the park every two weeks from snow melt to snow fall. I did reasonably well on that intention, however, other responsibilities did pull me away for a bit. I'll be summarizing my year in a longer post later. Looking to the future, I'll most like attempt to make at least the same number of trips next season. I might also pop in during the winter months to see what I see.

Until next time,

PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Sica Hollow Sica Hollow State Park South Dakota nature photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/11/end-of-the-season Thu, 05 Nov 2015 18:50:56 GMT
Funny thing happened at work today https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/10/funny-thing-happened-at-work-today Mike VeeckMike VeeckMike Veeck is a nationally renowned speaker, entrepreneur, college professor, marketing, promotions and advertising expert as well as an owner of six successful minor league baseball teams.

 

This is Mike Veeck. 

Mike Veeck is a nationally renowned speaker, entrepreneur, college professor, marketing, promotions and advertising expert as well as an owner of six successful minor league baseball teams, including the St. Paul Saints.

If you are old enough to remember KC and the Sunshine Band, you might know of a particular promotional event that hastened the end of the disco craze. The Disco Demolition promotion, July 12th, 1979 at the Chicago White Sox vs Detroit Tigers double header.  If you aren't quite to my advanced age or need a refreser, take a quick look at this Youtube video. As interesting and memorable as this is, it certainly was the beginning of a tough stretch for Mike.

As my business and my portfolio career continue to evolve, yesterday I took my first stab at reporting for the local paper. My first assignment - cover a seminar called "Fun is Good" featuring Mr. Veeck.

Feeling pretty solid on the photography side didn't quite ease my anxiety about actually writing a story for the paper on this event, but there I was, determined to do my best.

As the event gets started, I'm working the back of the room with a long lens so that I am not distracting from the presenter - just like I would have done in the past at weddings. However, much to my alarm, Mike Veeck points back at me and says "Are you taking photos of me?"  Of course, I nod my head yes and he immediately calls me to the front of the room.  So much for being inconspicuous. As I am coming to the front, he plops down on his knees so I am taking a photo from above him to make sure his chin looks good.  Ok, this guy is funny stuff.

What followed was three great hours of Mike Veeck and his co-presenter Fran Zeuli talking about making sure there is fun in the workplace and in your career and in your life.  Even better, when the presentation was done and everyone else left, I got to sit down to talk face to face. Interview style for my big article.

I got a ton out of it, but more so for me as a creative than anything I put in the article. Tons of validation for me as I embrace the concept of portfolio career. Turns out Mike Veeck is the perfect example for making a portfolio career work.  He "gets" the challenges that a creative like me struggles with.

End of the day, I get the first step toward one more element of my portfolio career by adding "reporter", but I also got to be inspired by a guy who has overcome challenges that put some of my darkest moments to shame.  I immediately began to read his book and you can be sure I'll be trying to learn more.

Yup, a funny thing happened at work today.

PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Mike Veeck business portfolio career https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/10/funny-thing-happened-at-work-today Wed, 14 Oct 2015 13:21:23 GMT
Wilderness in the Middle of the City https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/9/wilderness-in-the-middle-of-the-city Spent quite a bit of time in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area this last few months. While I've been able to keep up with my regular trips to Sica Hollow State Park this summer, I've definitely had more time in urban areas as opposed to wilderness this summer.

Recently, an uncle mentioned that there was a nature center in Richfield, a suburb of Minneapolis, just off a ridiculously busy stretch of Interstate 35. Last week I decided to take a look. All I can say is that the city of Richfield has a glorious gem of wilderness. Although, I could never really escape the sound of the cars on the highway, the wildlife and the flowers didn't seem to mind, so neither did I.

The Wood Lake Nature Center is a 150-acre natural area dedicated to environmental education, wildlife observation, and outdoor recreation. It has three miles of trails and these are very nice trails making for easy hiking. The park has marsh, forest and even a stretch of prairie (reminders of my South Dakota home.)

Found lots of great late summer flowers as well as quite a bit of wildlife including ducks, geese, great blue herons, cranes, a muskrat and even a couple of deer. 

Purple LoosestrifePurple LoosestrifeWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

First wildflower I came across on the shoreline of the lake was Purple Loosestrife. Loved the wonderful purple color against the grays of the reflected sky in the water. Unfortunately, I found out later this is an invasive species that tends to crowd out the natives like cattails and other wetland plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Loosestrife DiptychPurple Loosestrife DiptychWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are two photos to show more detail of the individual blooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted Touch Me NotSpotted Touch Me NotWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

The next flower I found was one that is familar to me from the wet portions of Sica Hollow State Park in South Dakota.  The Spotted Touch Me Not. Although, the blooms here had little or no spots, unlike their cousins in South Dakota.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DuckDuckWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

The wildlife here is clearly used to people walking through their home. This duck actually swam closer to where I was on the shore to hop up on this log perch.‚Äč

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American BellflowerAmerican BellflowerWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

Next flower along the trail was one I hadn't seen before. This is a tiny bloom, but such cool detail. This is the American Bellflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild MintWild MintWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This next flower was a new one for me as well. This is Wild Mint. The color and the blooms are very similar to the Wild Onion that I run into quite often in South Dakota, but the position of the blooms along the stem had me stumped until I could get to the field guides for identification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild MintWild MintWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a detail shot of two clumps of blooms on the Wild Mint. What a cool wildflower!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted HorsemintSpotted HorsemintWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not far behind the Wild Mint, I found another new, but sort of similar flower as it also had clumps of blooms along the stem. Nature is nothing short of amazing! This is the Spotted Horsemint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted Horsemint DetailSpotted Horsemint DetailWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

Closer detail of the blooms along the stem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White SnakerootWhite SnakerootWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

Next up was another wildflower that I've seen quite regularly on my hikes out in nature. This is the White Snakeroot. This can really be a tough flower to photograph, but the sun being low in the sky and filtering through the forest gave such a cool backlight, I really couldn't ignore this shot.

 

 

 

 

 

SowthistleSowthistleWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

It is easy to write this flower off as it looks so similar to the backyard pest Dandelion, but this is a tall flower. This is a type of Sowthistle.  The yellow was fantastic in the evening sun.

 

 

 

 

 

Bittersweet NightshadeBittersweet NightshadeWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another flower I am very familiar with.

This is the Bittersweet Nightshade, a non-native species and while it is incredibly beautiful it can really overrun a backyard garden and choke out other plants. I first ran into this in our backyard and I really thought it was great find. However, it proceeded to kill off the honeysuckle that was next to it. It can be a persistent little bugger, but if you keep at it, you can get rid of it.

After I've said all that, it is still a really cool flower!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AsterAsterWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

A happy bunch of Aster. Always a pleasure to see these guys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New England AsterNew England AsterWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

Sort of embarrassed to admit that I didn't recognize these beauties out in the field. I was thrown off as most of these blooms weren't open completely, but this is another Aster, the New England Aster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee on New England AsterBee on New England AsterWood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

The New England Aster is an important late summer bloom for the bees. Even though the summer is fading fast, there were still quite a few bees working these plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is absolutely wonderful that a city like Richfield sees the importance of wilderness and makes this wonderful park available to its citizens. I enjoyed my visit and I know I'll be back to see what is blooming next spring. I'm sure it will be beautiful!

If you are in the Twin Cities area, I'd really recommend that you visit this island of wilderness in your backyard.

Until next time - PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Wood Lake Nature Center photography wilderness wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/9/wilderness-in-the-middle-of-the-city Thu, 17 Sep 2015 05:15:45 GMT
Freedom to Create https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/freedom-to-create A lot of the work I do has some sort of restrictions, expectations or specifications. Whether it be time or location or client needs. As a business person, I get that and I accept that. However, that can be a bit stifling when the artist wants to come out to play.

I've said it many times before, I have such a great location where my workspace is located. The light is great, the space is great, the colors and textures are all fantastic. So, when I have the time to "just shoot" and a super friendly local model to work with, well, that adds up to artistic freedom. I recently had that opportunity model Keri and had a fantastic, laid back, fun shoot.

 

DSC_3575DSC_3575

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've had the pleasure to work with Keri on a couple of occasions and she is just a gem to work with.  Great look, great smile, super easy to work with and I'm pretty sure she can't take a bad photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3560DSC_3560

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't always get the chance to work with many of the models I've photographed more than once. When the opportunity arises, it is fantastic. First off, I already have a bit of an idea of how that person works. I also don't have to work through introductions and first time jitters. There is just a huge gain in time, productivity and the freedom to get right to the creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3615-EditDSC_3615-Edit

 

 

 

The same is true of a place you've worked in many times. Where you have a feel for how the light is going to work. Where colors are going to play well. How certain locations or angles will allow you to set a certain mood. That's the way I feel about the Goss Opera House.  It doesn't matter what time of year, or what time of day, there is always a place for me to capture a great image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3656DSC_3656

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having this great comfort level of working with a model I've worked with before in a location that I know very well lets me let loose and see how the light impacts me.  How a different angle changes a mood. How similar or dissimilar things can blend in a composition. Pure artistic freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fun thing to play with is taking essentially the same shot and then with post processing create a completely different feel. Like in the next two photos.

 

DSC_3697DSC_3697   DSC_3696-EditDSC_3696-Edit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3740-EditDSC_3740-Edit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, a very rewarding day and a really nice change of pace. Much thanks go to Keri for being so generous with her time and her willingness to work with me in a really unstructured way.

Days like these allow me to really stretch my creative muscles and make me that much better when I am working on jobs for business clients or individuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a business or individual that needs advertising or marketing photos that involve people, I do have access to a large pool of models and actors through my association with the Academie Agencie. Especially for my local clients, there is no reason to think that just because we live in a small community that we can't do big things with our advertising and marketing. Please give me a shout anytime.

If you are someone that has an interest in modeling (or a parent of someone interested in modeling), please feel free to let me know. I'd be glad to help you explore that. I've been involved with that industry for over 15 years and I feel confident that I can point you in the right directions.

Until next time!

PJ

 

#unstarvingartist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) art creativity modeling photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/freedom-to-create Mon, 31 Aug 2015 04:49:59 GMT
Commercial Photography of Food https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/commercial-photography I think most people's personal contacts with photographers would typically be with the portrait/wedding photographer.  Of course, I've shot my share of weddings, seniors and other portraits, but that was never really my intention getting into the business of photography. Therefore, I've returned to my origins of art photography and commercial photography.

I live in a small market and I spend a bit of time educating people on how my business is different from portrait studios. Let me be the first to say, there are a ton of superb photographers in my network that totally rock weddings, seniors and babies.  If you are in the market for that type of work, I'd be glad to point you in the right direction.

I've often shared my art photography here online, so today I want to discuss the commercial side.  Commercial photography relates more to advertising, marketing, model and product photography.  I've also shared quite a bit of modeling photography through my work with the Academie Agencie in Fargo, so this time I thought I'd share product photography and specifically food photography.

I have the wonderful opportunity to work almost daily with an outstanding chef. Chef Trevor Heintzman of Charley's @the Goss has been blowing away diners with his creations since his arrival at the Goss Opera House. I recently shared how much fun it is to photograph musicians and their passion. I can tell you, it is equally as much fun to photograph Chef Trevor's amazing creations.

There are different ways to photograph food. Some are staged and use a variety of "tricks" to make the food look better. I'm sure most of you have seen the extreme of this. Look for a photo of a Whopper or a Big Mac and then compare to the one you get from the drive thru. For fun, here's a post that shows some of the different ways food can be "styled". I certainly want to show food or any product in the best possible way, but I am not a fan of gimmicks. When a customer views my photo and then comes to purchase that item, I want them to see the same thing.

DSC_3845Filet OscarChef Trevor Heintzman - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

As in almost everything else I photograph, I much prefer the "real" light from the sun as opposed to studio light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_4891Pecan crusted troutChef Trevor Heintzman - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

While I don't go in for gimmicks, color, texture, shadow and layout are very important to me in the composition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3943RouladeChef Trevor Heintzman - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

Much like photographing musicians, it is so much easier to photograph true passion. Chef Trevor's food is as much art as it is sustenance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AvocadoSeafoodCevicheAvocado Seafood CevicheChef Trevor - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe product photography is a huge advantage in relaying information to customers. Sure, the menu at Charley's @ the Goss gives a nice description of the Avocado Seafood Ceviche, but I'm not sure most customers would be able to visualize this fantastic appetizer in their minds quite like the photo in conjuction with the the text can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_2408St. Louis Style RibsChef Trevor - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, it isn't even specifically just about photographing the end product, but the preparation. Trust me, showing customers this photograph of Chef Trevor going the extra mile by spending all night smoking ribs for an outdoor concert event made a huge impact with his customers.

 

 

 

 

 

SalmonPinwheelSalmon PinwheelChef Trevor - Charley's @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

One more of Chef Trevor's creations, just because it looks so darn good. If you happen to find yourself in Watertown, South Dakota, you really ought to visit Charley's @ the Goss and sample some of this fantastic food for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_1257Irish CoffeeCrossroads Bar @ the Goss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to photographing Chef Trevor's amazing creations, I also get an opportunity to photograph cocktails.  Here's one we whipped together for a promotion.

Cocktails are often as much about environment as they are about the drink. This one was fun to bring in the colors and lights of the bar into the composition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd love for more businesses in my market to learn about commercial photography and how my business can help bring the pictures to their stories. Give me a shout, I'd love to talk.

Until next time!

 

#unstarvingartist

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Charleys @ the Goss Chef Trevor Heintzman Commercial Photography Food Photography Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/commercial-photography Sat, 29 Aug 2015 00:47:20 GMT
Summer shoot at the Academie https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/summer-shoot-at-the-academie I've been a bit slow at poting the last shoot at the Academie Agencie.  I've been associated with the Academie now for over 15 years and it has always been a very rewarding and fun relationship.  Several times a year, I go to Fargo to shoot with their new models and also to update portfolios for models that have been listed in the past.

Without any additional preamble, let's get on to this round of models.

Victor019VictorAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victor had a great intense look that I wanted to feature. Think he nailed it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciara019CiaraAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure print commercial look by Ciara.  Excellent smile and a ton of fun to work with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary032MaryAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Fargo has always been a fun place to shoot, but it has changed dramatically since 1999.  Such great energy uptown with all the new things going on.  Of course now, there are a lot more challenges with more people (and tons of other photographers!)

Worked hard to find a spot that was out of the intense light and some of the congestion for this shot of Mary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken031KenAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really liked the light and color of this particular location.  Played really well with, Ken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan005MeganAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probably the most fun working with Academie models is when I get to work with them multiple times.  It is always rewarding to see how they've grown with experience and over time.

Been a while since I shot with Megan, she was quite a bit younger, but it was great to reconnect.  What a beautiful face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie018LeslieAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loved the different looks that Leslie was able to pull off and the wardrobe and props she brought with her.  Revisited this gritty alley again, the light was fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciara064CiaraAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Ciara again.  What a fantastic look.

Used some tools from OnOne Software to give this more of an old school look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken065KenAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Ken again.  I love the completely different look the Academie gave Ken with a dramatically different hairstyle.  

This alley has completely transformed over the years. Originally it had a roof and was very seedy.  I usually took a walk through the alley to make sure it was safe before I ever brought a model here. Now, for a good chunk of the day, I was unable to shoot here as it is now outdoor seating for a restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelsea032ChelseaAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The alleys near the Academie always give me a good mood for this sort of photo. I've actually shot several boxers and fighters over the years here.  Chelsea certainly fit the part. Talk about an intense look.

I used tools from OnOne Softare again for this "Holga-like" look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie094LeslieAcademie Agencie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Leslie again.  Completely different look from her first grunge shoot earlier in the day. Also another new look from when I first started shooting in downtown Fargo.  Back then, this was a parking lot.

The lighting in this lobby is really cool and a fun change from working outdoors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've got a few more blog posts lined up to send out to the interwebs over the upcoming days.  Hope you'll stop back and check them out.

Oh, and I love to hear comments.  Don't be shy.

Until then,

PJ

 

#unstarvingartist

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Academie Agencie modeling photography models photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/summer-shoot-at-the-academie Wed, 26 Aug 2015 03:07:20 GMT
Concert Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/concert-photography Most who have followed my photography, probably know how much I like working with musicians.  It is awesome to use my passion for photography to capture their images while they are celebrating their passion for music.  Their energy draws me like a moth to the light.

As the photographer at the Goss Opera House, I have the good fortune (and awesome responsibility) to record the events that cross our stage. Recently, three of the most accomplished guitar players in the country came through on tour. Greg Koch, JD Simo and Johnny A.  

For those of you not familiar with the Goss, it was built back in 1889 (the same year as the Eiffel Tower was built and the year South Dakota became a state). The ground floor currently houses Charley's restaurant and Crossroads Bar,where I spend a lot of my evenings serving drinks to guests.  The second floor is where the opera hall itself resides.  It is really quite a large room, able to accommodate more than 500 in the audience.

GregKochToneControlsGreg Koch& the ToneControlsGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

To give you a sense of the space, here's a view from the main floor of the opera hall of the headliners, Greg Koch and the Tone Controls.

 

 

 

 

 

The big room brings many challenges.  Of course, it is much darker than it seems with the naked eye when you are watching a performance.  Shooting a wedding here is darker than most churches and can give photographers a real challenge. After three plus years of working in the space, I've learned a lot about how to approach photography here.

 

GregKochGreg KochGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to wonderful colors throughout the building, the Goss also features amazing textures and backgrounds.  These are fun to highlight. They work particularly well when I take an image into the black and white realm.

 

 

 

Dark backgrounds in conjuction with sometimes very bright stage lights sometimes really lend themselves to moody black and white images.  I thought it also really suited this intense look from frontman, Greg Koch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3829JD SimoGoss Opera House

 

 

Bright stage lights also give me a chance to play with colors and mood beyond black and white.  For example, JD Simo happened to be playing in a portion of the stage that was primarily being lit by a blue light.

 

 

I had to work a bit with white balance in the post production to make the skin tones work, but I love the way the blues worked in this image.

 

 

 

 

 

More than anything though, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I'm so drawn into the passion of the artists.  It guides me through the process to how I'll process an image. I want that image to have the feel of that moment when I clicked the shutter.  The mood of the song, the intensity of the player, the energy of the audience.

 

DSC_3850-EditJohnny AGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

This gritty shot of Johnny A is exactly what I was aiming for when I captured the image. You can see the intensity on his face.  I think the energy really comes though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working at the Goss and having been there for a while allows me the chance to shoot from perspectives that almost no one else gets to see.  Having the opportunity to work backstage or from the balcony or from the catwalk offstage lets me get more of what the artist experiences.  


DSC_3881Greg Koch and the Tone ControlsGoss Opera House, backstage

 

 

 

 

 

Here's a glimpse from backstage and looking into a portion of the audience. You can just make out the far right side of the balcony as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_3926Johnny AGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

Backstage also allows me to be at the same height as the performers and quite a bit closer depending on where I shoot from. Here's some more great emotion in a black and white of Johnny A shot from backstage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DSC_3914JD SimoGoss Opera House

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a similar shot of JD Simo from backstage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am truly blessed to have these opportunities to capture and record these very special events. I've worked with some fantastic people that set me up for success.  I can never thank them enough.

I've got a few other blog posts queued up for the next few days.  My last shoot with the models at the Academie Agencie, the latest trip to Sica Hollow and the latest shoot with a fantastic local model.  So, until then!

--PJ

 

#unstarvingartist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Event Photography Musician Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/concert-photography Mon, 24 Aug 2015 07:29:48 GMT
That's a great camera (or What camera should I buy?) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/thats-a-great-camera-or-what-camera-should-i-buy Yesterday at my parent's home, my mom called me to the kitchen to shoot a photo of a tiny chipmunk on top of a sunflower. It was working at getting out the last few seeds.  As any good son would do, I went to get my camera (I'm also sort of fond of these little critters, so I suppose that also played into the equation).

The flower was probably ten feet from the sliding glass door.  I figured I  ought to shoot through the glass as opening the door would probably startle the little fella.  I shot a few frames and then popped open the door to try for a more clear shot. Unfortunately, as I expected, the critter bolted.  I knew I had at least one shot in the can and so I'd be ok with that.

 

DSC_3997Chipmunk on Sunflower

 

I packed up my stuff and was returning it to the bedroom with my other gear and I overheard mom and my sister-in-law say something like this: "He has a great camera and it takes great photos."   Arrgghh!  My own family said that!  I went out and told them the old comparison that photographers will use when our cameras get the credit for the images.  Do you tell a chef that "you have really great pans, they make really great food"? Of course not. While the tools certainly help us to do our best, it is still the creative making the art (photo, painting, food, song, etc.)  

So, we had a bit of a laugh about that.  However, later in the evening while I was reviewing some photographs that I had shot earlier yesterday at historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul and I started to wonder.  During this visit to the old fort, I carried a large bag with my photo equipment from the parking lot, to the visitor center and finally to the fort.  It was a bit of a trek and it was pretty hot and humid.  I'd have been better served if I wore the backpack I usually wear when I am hiking in the wilderness, but I hadn't thought that through when we left.

 

civil war snellingCivil War ReenactmentHistoric Fort Snelling, MN

 

 

The fort was having a Civil War reenactment and there was a great turnout of visitors.  There were a ton of things for me to photograph, but my bulky equipment and the tight spaces combined with a lot of people, really made it rather unpleasant.  I ended up killing about 20 minutes returning to the car with my equipment bag and dropping off everything except my camera body and one lens.

 

Feeling a ton lighter and more maneuverable made things a lot better and I was able to capture some photos around the fort.  I did, however, come to the conclusion that I really want to re-visit at another time when it is a little less busy and I have more freedom with my schedule.

 

 

 

 

What I did find was that I shot a lot more photos with the camera on my Galaxy Note III phone and that brings me more to the point of this blog post.  People ask me "what is the best camera?" often enough.  The answer I generally give is "the one you have with you."  Which at a deep level is really a good answer.  It is an answer that often makes those that have been doing photography for a while stop and think a little.  BUT, it is probably NOT a very satisfying answer to those just getting started.  If that is you, check out the website dpreview.com for some great resources in determining what camera works best with your skills, interests and budget.

I've been shooting more with my cell phone camera in recent months and feeling more satisfied with what I am able to capture as I learn more about what it is good at and what it struggles with.  This all hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. There I was in a situation where my pro equipment was completely awkward and the phone in my pocket just felt like a better solution.  As a result, the better photos of the trip are the photos that I posted to Instagram from my phone (I'm @pjinsodak if you would like to follow.)

 

Insta PotOld equipmentHistoric Fort Snelling

 

 

 

 

 

Old iron pot and other metal work in the blacksmith shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insta BarrelBarrelsHistoric Fort Snelling, MN

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Storage barrels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insta OpiumOpium BottleHistoric Fort Snelling

 

 

 

 

 

Bottle of Opium in the display discussing wounded Civil War soldiers and the aftermath of war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a sense, my cell phone camera saved the day.  It allowed me to capture meaningful photos in a way that I wouldn't have been able to easily with my professional gear. It was the "BEST" camera at the moment. Of course, I wasn't out shooting for a job or for photos that I planned on being able to deliver as wall art.  These were for fun and for my own memories.

As useful as the cell phone camera is even with their improved quality, they still can't get shots that take a little more thought and effort.  For example, the photo of the chipmunk that starts this post.  I couldn't have shot that in a million years with the cell phone.  Shooting a small, fast object in a busy background, through a window and from some distance, I would have been lucky to see anything.

It really comes down to making the best of the equipment you have with you and using what is most suited to the moment. Sometimes, for me, that means taking a step back from the very serious business of photography and allowing the joy of capturing an image come front and center.  For example, here are too very different and at the same time, very similar images.  First one for fun with the cell phone over morning coffee - the other on a trip into the wilderness to capture high quality images.  Both stand on their own for what they are.

 

Insta TigerstripeTiger Striped SwallowtailCell phone image

 

 

DSC_1307Tiger Striped SwallowtailSherburne NWR

 

I'm out chasing butterflies!  Until next time.

--PJ

 

#Unstarvingartist

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) DSLR PJ Anderson Photography Photography cell phone camera https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/thats-a-great-camera-or-what-camera-should-i-buy Mon, 17 Aug 2015 19:20:37 GMT
Share the art? https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/share-the-art I've been thinking a lot about where I go with art and creativity going into the future.  A lot of thought continues to rest with the Fugitives on the Forgotten Highway project which, by definition, is a collaborative effort.  I'll be collaborating directly with a small group of creatives, but also hopefully with the larger region of creatives (or at least those that support the arts and creativity).

I've also been thinking about a return to the world of painting as a medium to supplement or complement my photography. I mean, these days, photographers are a dime a dozen.  I ask myself, "How can I be different?"

Anyways, with both of these thoughts in the back of my mind, I happened upon a website called PBNify, which brought me WAY back to my childhood. Back then, there were lots of "paint by number" kits.  Some might say paint by numbers is cheating.  Why not go and create your own?  But, the act of actually putting paintbrush to canvas has a lot of benefit.  One does not just pick up a brush and paint a masterpiece, it comes with a lot of work and a lot of practice.  Call this part of the training.  Learning how paint hangs on a brush.  Learn how much you have to apply to the canvas.  Learn how different colors seem to need different approaches.  See those two numbers right next to each other that have nearly identical colors?  Here's where you learn about light and shadow.  If you don't really look, do you really see?

This morning I shot a photo of a water lily in the backyard with my phone.  I thought it looked sort of paint like. Maybe this might be a fun photo to PBNify and see what the results look like. So, here's the original:

 

11754541_10155864173870075_85267876477405466_oOriginal Waterlily image

 

I dropped this original file into the website www.pbnify.com, which then instructs the user to click several points to set a palette of colors.  I ended up selecting 20 colors as seen here:

 

PBNPalettePBNPalette

 

I then let the website do its magic and it showed me what the filled in painting would look like.  Of course, you lose a lot of detail in a painting like this, but I definitely like the feel of this:

 

PBNWaterLilyPBN WaterLily

 

And finally, here is the actual "paint by number" outline.

 

PBNLinesPBN Outline

 

I'm thinking, "pretty cool".   You should probably watch for more of this in the future as we push forward with the Fugitives project and perhaps some other community things I have been tossing around in my mind.

Until next time!

PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Art Collaborate Community Paint by Numbers Photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/8/share-the-art Sun, 02 Aug 2015 20:18:43 GMT
Revisit with Fresh Eyes (and new tools) https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/revisit-with-fresh-eyes-and-new-tools I've made several trips to Badlands National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota over the years.  Back in 2003, I breezed through both locations as I was in Rapid City for a business conference.  Unlike most trips where I plan and prepare for photography, this trip was photography only when and IF I could.  Turned out "when I could" was often too late in the evening to shoot the way I'd have liked to with the limitations of the equipment I had at the time.

Back then I was shooting my 2nd professional DSLR, the Fuji S2 Pro.  My first two Fuji cameras were beyond compare when it came to color, but they lacked in lower light and in sharp detail.  This made them fantastic for working with models, but a little more challenging when I was out crawling in the mud.

Last evening, I connected to an older hard drive looking for an image and found this group of photos from 2003.  These are images that I would have said "There's a photo in there somewhere", but sadly, back then, I couldn't edit/process them well enough to be happy about.  Fortunately, with newer technology and a better skill set, the photos that I knew were there have arrived - a dozen years later.

These were edited in Adobe Lightroom CS and onOne Software's Pefect Photo Suite 8.

Enough talking, jump in the wayback machine with me and visit the Badlands and Black Hills as I saw them in 2003.

BadLandsDSCF0327-EditThe prairie beside the BadlandsBadlands National Park, South Dakota

The prairie looking out of the Badlands toward Wall, SD.  The sun was low in the sky and the color was so vibrant that I'll never forget it.

 

BadLandsDSCF0343Badlands Evening SkyBadlands National Park, South Dakota The amazing colors of the Badlands, the green grass, the colored sand, the bands in the mountains and the setting sun making the sky glow.

 

BadLandsDSCF0341Deer in the BadlandsBadlands National Park, South Dakota Local residents.  I had no business trying to get this shot back in 2003.

 

BadLandsDSCF0333Badlands Evening Sky 2Badlands National Park, South Dakota Another vista in the Badlands as the sun is getting low.

 

BadLandsDSCF0350Badlands Evening Sky 3Badlands National Park, South Dakoa Looking right into the setting sun.  I'm surprised I was able to find this much detail in a photograph that was ridiculously blown out.

 

BadLandsDSCF0285-2-Edit-EditSpearfish Canyon FogBlack Hills of South Dakota This fog was so cool.  I was very disappointed that I just couldn't make it work back in the day.

 

BadLandsDSCF0270-2Bridal Veil Falls, Spearfish CanyonBlack Hills of South Dakota Bridal Veil Falls, I had limited space to work with to capture the height of this waterfall in the canyon.  Probably still be a tough photo.  Time to go see it again, I think.

 

BadLandsDSCF0282-EditRoughlock Falls, Spearfish CanyonBlack Hills of South Dakota The new tools allowed me to strip away distracting elements that ruined this image for me back in 2003. This is the top of Roughlock Falls. It is a little grainy from shooting a long exposure, but for a black and white like this, it feels right.

Two morals to this story:  First, don't give up on images that you KNOW have merit.  Second, if you haven't been to the Badlands and the Black Hills, uhmmm, what are you waiting for?

 

Until next time,

PJ

 

 

 

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Black Hills PJ Anderson Photography South Dakota badlands national park landscape lightroom photography https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/revisit-with-fresh-eyes-and-new-tools Tue, 14 Jul 2015 23:56:31 GMT
How I Identify Butterflies, Moths and Wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/about-butterflies-and-wildflowers I grew up in the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota.  Nature has always held a special place in my heart and I try to escape to it as often as I can.  It might be little harder, maybe,  being that I live on the Great Plains now, but the "working harder" to get to the forests probably make it that much more special to me.

I've learned a lot of things over the years and the miles of hiking, but there is so much variety and diversity in the wild, there is just no way for me to know the names of everything I see.  That's where field guides and the internet come into play.  Thought I'd share my "Go To" resources.  Of course, they are a little biased to my part of the world, but hopefully they could be resources to you too, or a at least a starting point.

 

Northern Pearly-EyeNorthern Pearly-EyePhotographed at Lake Bemidji State Park in Minnesota

Without the field guides I use, I'd have had a hard time figuring out the butterfly above was the Northern Pearly Eye (Enodia anthedon) when we spotted it in Lake Bemidji State Park in Minnesota.  The guide I have is fantastic and it appears to be the one most recommended by butterfly enthusiasts.

It's called the Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America and it is organized by groups such as Admirals, Whites, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Metalmarks, Brushfoots, etc.  The guide includes range, actual sizes, great images, helpful identification hints and quite a bit more detail.

 

Kaufman ButterfliesKaufman Field Guide to Butterflies

 

In addition to the field guide, I also use the website Butterflies and Moths of North America which is an excellent resource with tons of great photos. Often, I'll find what I think is correct in the field guide and then verify using photos from Butterflies and Moths of North America and Wikipedia.

For their cousins the moths, things are a little more challenging.  Maybe because they are often unseen and generally go about by nighttime, they just don't seem to be as popular.  I use the book below called Discovering Moths - Nighttime Jewels in Your Own Backyard by John Himmelman.

Discovering MothsDiscovering Moths

 

This is the tool I used to be able to find out that the following photograph was of the Virginia Ctenucha (Ctenucha virginica), when I happened upon several in Sica Hollow State Park in South Dakota. This one happens to be a daylight flying moth.  The Butterflies and Moths of North America website is helpful for moths too.

Virginia CtenuchaVirginia Ctenucha

 

For wildflowers, I have to use a variety resources to track them down.  It seems to be a little more challenging to identify wildflowers than butterflies. Perhaps it is because wildflowers can change so much in their lifespan or because there is such amazing variety.  I usually start with the Peterson First Guides for Wildflowers (Northeastern and North Central America).  This is a handy small size, so if I carry a book into the field with me, it's this one.  It is also organized by color which I find VERY helpful.

 

WildflowersGrasses and Other PlantsWildflowersGrasses and Other Plants

 

The second book  pictured above, that I usually go to is Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Plants of the Northern Plains and Black Hills by Van Bruggen (above)  This one has nice images and is also sorted by color.  The photos in this book generally match what I see in the field better than other books. It is in this book I found out the following wildflower is a Bracted Spiderwort and that it can be seen anywhere from pale pink to dark purple or blue.  The book goes on to explain that this may be related to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil.  SO much to learn!

 

Bracted SpiderwortBracted Spiderwort

 

The third book I use is Wildflowers of the Northern Great Plains.  This book has great details and I think it is an excellent book.  It isn't quite as easy as the others for identification, however as it isn't organized by color, but by the traditional taxonomic order (I'm sure this is great for botanists, but not as helpful to this crawling in the mud photographer).

Maybe even MORE helpful than the books in this category is an online resource that I think is absolutely amazing.  The volunteer run Minnesota Wildflowers site.  So many advanced search tools to help you find that elusive wildflower ID.  If you find this site useful as I do, please consider donating to these fantastic wildflower people.

So, there you have it.  That's how I track down the things I see in my world. If you have a resource I haven't mentioned, I'd sure love to hear about it in the comments.

Until next time!

PJ

 

 

 

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Butterflies Identification Moths Photography Wildflowers https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/7/about-butterflies-and-wildflowers Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:14:18 GMT
Ad Interim https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/6/ad-interim In the past, I've mostly kept my blog posts very narrowly focused around specific photography sessions.  However, my business and life have changed pretty dramatically over the last half year or so.  Rather than have the blog getting dusty or living in a vacuum, I've decided to share more of where life is taking me in addition to the photography.

The first change I'll mention is how at the end of last year, I decided that I was getting out of the wedding photography business.  While we had wonderful couples and families to work with and along with my partner photographer, Lindsey Jungers, we shot some amazing photos, it just really wasn't where I wanted to focus. Also the time sensitivity and demands of wedding photography took away a lot of the prime time that I shoot other things.

Ever since I moved my workspace to the Goss Opera House, I've become more and more involved with the operation.  I've been fortunate to work with so many fantastic people over the years.  Last summer, in addition to website, social networking, marketing and such, I've started working behind the bar as well.  Been a lot of fun to spend one on one time with a ton of great customers.  Plus, the paycheck was helping me in the photography business model transition.

The biggest change for me, however, is that I've moved to Burnsville, Minnesota.  Probably for the entire summer to assist my mother in the care of my father who is challenged with Parkinson's disease and dementia.  It is a struggle for my family and the team at the Goss, but they have been incredibly supportive.

HOWEVER, even with all this going on, I want to assure you the photography goes on!  I've been doing commercial work all along and of course the project of documenting one of my favorite state parks, Sica Hollow continues.  I'll be working very diligently at posting photos from that project and other artistic work for you.  Thus, the title of this blog post is Ad-Interim, which in Latin means literally, for the time between.

For the near future, here is my temporary workspace at the home of my parents in Burnsville.

Temporary WorkspaceTemporary WorkspaceTemporary Workspace

You'll be able to spot a few important things here in the photo.  Obviously, my photo gear and my computer/editing tools. You'll see my Tenba messenger bag, my big Galaxy Note 3 (needed for my big fingers!), several field guides for wildflowers and butterflies, a photo of my kids from when they were little, my Minnesota Wild hat, my blue pillow and of course a coffee cup!

And for a sneak peek, I'll post the image I was editing in the workspace photo from my trip to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. I found a wonderful clump of Bluebells along the trail.  Such happy flowers! I'll be talking more about this trip soon!

BluebellsBluebellsCluster of Bluebells at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota.

Thanks for following along.  Until next time!

PJ

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pj@pjandersonphotography.com (PJ Anderson Photography) Photography business life https://www.pjandersonphotography.com/blog/2015/6/ad-interim Tue, 30 Jun 2015 03:44:43 GMT