Sapphire Point Hike

This was our first hike in Colorado. We picked one of the easiest in Summit County. The Sapphire Point trail is a simple loop trail that is less than a mile, but provides some amazing views of the Dillon reservoir and the surrounding mountains. The kids loved this easy hike, and it was a great way to start our Colorado hiking as we would find out that night that Nikki was suffering from altitude sickness.

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The Sapphire Point Trail

I took my DJI phantom up for a spin after the hike and discovered some beautiful, winding bike paths and roads. Seeing a place from the sky allows you to appreciate it’s beauty all over again!

Parnell Tower Hike

Got to go on a hike with Teva this afternoon at Parnell Tower. We hiked the 3.5 mile loop and stopped and snapped a few photos as well. Part of this trail merges with the Ice Age Trail. I’d love to come back here and backpack this part of the trail. The area is actually quite hilly (for wisconsin) so we got in a good workout. We didn’t actually go to the top of the Tower (I’m not much on towers) and since the kids weren’t along (they love towers) I didn’t have much motivation too 🙂

Camping at Kohler Andrea this past weekend

I’ve definitely been enjoying taking my family on more adventures this spring. This past weekend we headed to Kohler Andrae State Park. It’s a short drive from Port Washington and offers Lake Michigan sand dunes and unique forest that are especially diverse because of the lake’s natural cooling effects. We felt the effects of this “natural air conditioning” as well. With temperatures dipping into the low 30’s, it barely felt like spring, but we had a great time none the less.

The lake also brought along a lot of fog our first night. It almost felt like being in the PNW with the damp air and tall pines. The fog made for some really great photos of the trees, like the one above.

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Two fires. One in the sky and one at camp.

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Enjoying the last bites of supper as the sun sets.

 

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Warming up with some oatmeal in the morning.

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Hanging out in the forest. I’ve really seen my kids blossom into nature lovers this spring.

Ice Flows – Harrington Beach State Park

Call me crazy, but when I hear the the high temperature for the day is going to be 8 degrees I am somehow not dissuaded from going outside. The colder it gets the crisper the air and the fewer people there are. I headed out Saturday afternoon for a ski up at Harrington Beach State Park. I wasn’t even planning on visiting the lake on this particular trip, but when I caught a glimpse of it through the trees I knew I needed to take a look.

The extreme cold combined with the relentless waves of Lake Michigan had created huge ice flows that extended 150-300ft out into the lake. These ice formations were not simply flat sheets of ice, but instead they were practically hills and valleys leading up to the open water.

There was one other brave photographer out on the ice with me and he helped me provide a sense of scale in the photos. It was really an alien landscape. I made me feel quite small and reminded me of just how small we humans are on this earth.

During this excursion, I also put a new piece of gear to the test. My Patagonia Torrentshell hard shell jacket. It performed great. I am going to figure out a way in the coming weeks to start posting formal reviews of some of the gear I use. In addition, I am planning on soon opening up an online print store. Be sure to check back for details!

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Port Washington Fall Hike with M

I have found in recent months a true love for hiking and the woods. In fact, if I do not get out into the woods at least about once a week I get a little grumpy as I am sure my wife would attest to. Micah and I decided to venture out for a hike today in Port Washington starting at Upper Lake Park. My plan was to follow a rather wide path down to the river where there is a new bridge installed to facilitate a mountain biking trail. Micah however quickly got distracted going down a deer trail and sent us down a rather steep valley side, tumbling over logs and scrambling down gulleys. Needless to say we were both having fun.
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I can’t think of a time when the woods are not beautiful. Every time there seems to be something different and unique. At this point most of the leaves have fallen but there are still vibrant spots of color to be found.

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After crossing the river a couple of times, we did link up with a more established trail and had a great time exploring and taking photos.

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Micah took some photos too. Here is my favorite.

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The trail we got on is actually part of the mountain bike trail. There are some fun little features like a tree tunnel that Micah really liked.

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Cedarburg Fall Family Photography Preview

I had a great time making photos with the Deckers again. Our first session, just about a year ago, was mainly inside because it was absolutely frigid out and Bentley was much too little to be exploring outside anyways.This time we were able to enjoy their back yard. It was so much fun to see my little client toddling all over the place exploring nature this time around. Bentley loves exploring the outdoors and “tasting” everything in sight. We had had true lifestyle session that I hope really captures who this great family is.
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My Camera Doesn’t Make Me a Photographer

Last night our family took a trip up to Harrington Beach state park. Often on these kinds of excursions we will be delayed for about 5 minutes as I choose a camera body and lens combination that I want to bring along. On this particular occasion though I decided to try to live a little bit more in the moment. I left all of my cameras at home.
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As we walked in the park the sun was just beginning to dip into the horizon casting a golden hue onto everything around us. At the time the air was beginning to get a fall chill causing fog to rise off of the warmer bodies of water.

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I began to kick myself for not bringing “a capable” camera while this surreal scene unfolded in front of me. I soldiered through with my iPhone, thinking to myself that I wouldn’t really get anything usable. What I realized though, was that because I didn’t have gear and I wasn’t planning on taking photos I was present in a moment in nature and with my family in which I would have otherwise been distracted. I saw things from different perspectives. I slowed down and appreciate what was in front of me before raising a viewfinder to my eye. The results I think speak for themselves.

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What makes me a photographer is not my camera, not even my technical prowess, even though those things are helpful. What makes me a photographer is the willingness to see, to slow down, to not rush past the beauty that is contained in the mundane. What makes me photographer is not my camera, but my soul.

*All photos taken with an iPhone, while actually enjoying nature and my family.

Shaunna & Kylun Country Wedding Sneak Peak

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I have to begin by saying I’m super excited to share these photos with all of you. I had the privilege of photographing Kylun and Shaunna’s wedding in Johnson Creek this last weekend. They were an amazing couple to work with and they planned an absolutely beautiful wedding. There are so many great moments to share that a sneak peak blog post will not do them justice.

It was really neat to see all the ways that Kylun and Shaunna made the day extra meaningful and special. It was the first time that I photographed a foot-washing during a wedding ceremony. I have to say that it bore more meaning to me personally than unity candles or sand ceremonies that I have photographed in the past. It truly reflected the attitude of service that Kylun and Shaunna have toward each other.

Here’s a quick sneak peak. I can’t wait to share more!

Port Washington Family Photo Preview

A couple of weeks ago my Cousin and her kids were in town from Michigan. I got to take some quick family photos for her. Her middle daughter was very shy with me, but it is amazing the photos that can be created even with a shy child when they interact with there parents. We took these photos in my parent’s yard. Not what I would usually choose as a setting, but as you can see, the people are what make a photo. Here’s a sampling below.
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