July 2 – Family Reunion

July 2-14th of July has always been a memorable holiday. When I was growing up, my parents would host a huge picnic. A couple of hundred people, lots of food and fun. I married into the annual Haugen family reunion. Some great themed gatherings – Hawaiian luau, hillbilly, ‘60s, Olympics. Mostly hysterical. Today was the 2016 reunion. No theme this year. It was great to gather at the Haugen farmstead. It has been in the family since 1881. I love visiting there.

Choosing photos from today was a struggle between people and place. My default is place. I am better at photographing places than people. I took some interesting pictures while wandering around the farm. I have some good people pictures, but they tend to mean more to family. However, people won out. I want to be better at people and stories.

This picture is Sally and Kathryn having a grand time with sidewalk chalk. It is the joy of enjoying simple things and a child’s view of the world on a beautiful day. And, Happy 4th of July!

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July 1 – Ready, Set, Go!

July 1And so it begins. 365 days of photographs. It feels sort of like running a marathon (not that I ever have or will). You start with loads of energy and enthusiasm and struggle to keep your focus for 26 miles. Coming up with 365 days of photos does not seem particularly daunting. There are lots of beautiful settings in Minnesota. Toss in my adorable cat Stanley and you’ve got the year covered. I want this to be more than a “check the box” exercise. I want to be challenged to find interesting pictures in my walk of life and find the words to explain what makes the photo interesting. Ready, set, go…

A sunrise seems to be the right starting point. A new day. Beginnings. I love the way the rising sun lights up downtown Minneapolis. It is harder than I thought to find the “right” shot. Hard to find the right angle, right light, right composition. I didn’t want just another skyline photo. So, I went downtown this morning waited, watched and walked. I ended up at the new football stadium with this striking reflection of the skyline. If you don’t turn around, you might miss the best picture.

Stars, Stripes, Sunrise (practice #2)

Sun-10Having the camera with you is one thing, taking time to use it is another. Every week day when I leave the gym, I make a bee line for downtown Minneapolis. I hate rush hour traffic! This morning, the rising sun lit up the passing clouds. I couldn’t space up the opportunity to try to find a good picture. I needed something to frame the image. Not an easy thing to do sometimes. Stores? Houses? Trees? The flag flying atop Eastview High School works for me.

Hosta Tour (A practice post)

Hosta-9I know it is not July 1. I am new to blogging and I want some practice blogs that can be critiqued by my social media savvy daughter.

My wife is an extraordinary gardener. Our backyard is beautiful. It rolls right into our neighbor Jeannine’s backyard that may be even prettier. Jeanne and Jeannine have given me many of the subjects for my flower photographs. This amazing setting was a stop on the Minnesota Hosta Society’s Glorious Gardens of the South Metro Bus Tour. About 50 or so people ate lunch, had a glass of wine and strolled through our backyards. It sounded like Jeanne and Jeannine were the hit of the Tour. There was even talk of coming here in 2020 when the national hosta convention (bet you didn’t know there was one) is held in Minneapolis. Well done ladies.