Art Photography Collections

I'm an Appleton, Wisconsin native and I'll always have an affinity for my hometown. It's such a great place to live or visit. There's a lot of great places to go and fun things to do. It's also a wealth of photo opportunities, from the Fox River to its historic downtown.

I've always been drawn to black and white photography. When I was learning film photography in high school, I was always compelled to order black and white supplies because I loved contrast and the sharp, inky look. While I love a good, bold color palette, some photos just scream for a striking black and white print. This collection also encompasses monochrome photos with colorized blacks, like the cooler, silvery tones of a winter picture, or the warmer, antique look of a shot treated with sepia tones.

I've always been unconsciously drawn to bridges artistically. Not sure what it is about them, but I think it may have something to do with my love of architecture and the mix of textures you get in such photos -- the sharp, strong lines of the bridge and the softer, smoother, wavy textures of the waterways below. Maybe it also has something to do with the juxtaposition of man and nature. These things also extend to other subjects too, like boardwalks and trestles. Each one is unique, and I love finding interesting ways to feature them in my photos.

Canal Park is one of my absolute, all-time places on earth to photograph. It's got just about everything you could want as a photographer - scenic lake views, a number of lighthouses, great architecture, public art installations, great trails, and plenty of people-watching opportunities. It's home to the famous Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and there's always something interesting to be captured there in any season.
I've always treated my photography as a painting of sorts - the original camera image is the canvas, and anything I add to it in the way of enhancements are my oils. But lately I've been experimenting with digital overpainting using a variety of tools to recreate a hand-painted look on top of my original images.
I don't live that far away, but every time I visit Wisconsin's beautiful Door County peninsula, it always feels like a completely different world. It's so picturesque, relaxing and friendly, which makes it the perfect getaway spot. There's so many great places in Door County to take pictures, from Peninsula State Park to Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant with its goats on the roof. Sunsets never disappoint in Door County either.
Anderson Barn - now home to the Hardy Gallery in Ephraim, Wisconsin - is a real gem in Door County. It's an iconic symbol of the peninsula, and with its hundreds of hand-painted names emblazoned all over the structure, it's an ever-changing work of art. It's a must see on any trip to the Door.

Famed 19th Century Danish-American landscape architect Jens Jensen, who designed many of Chicago's beautiful parks, eventually settled in Wisconsin's Door County peninsula and founded "The Clearing." According to the Wisconsin Native blog, he had a hand in designing a stretch of Highway 42 near the very tip of Door County, between Gills Rock and the Northport terminal for the Washington Island Ferry. This spot, often simply referred to as "Door County's winding road," is a hotspot for photography enthusiasts year round, as this unique piece of art snakes its way through Door County's picturesque landscape. This has become one of my favorite places to shoot, though it's not uncommon during peak times of year to have to share this spot with other photographers. A weekday afternoon in winter is a great time to catch this spot in solitude and enjoy its splendor for yourself.

I've always been curious about how things work or how they were made. Perhaps that's what draws my camera lens towards architectural subjects, and especially the Aerial Lift Bridge found in the Canal Park area of Duluth Minnesota. I find it functionally and artistically fascinating, and it's absolutely one of my favorite man-made subjects to photograph.

I love photographing nature, and I love bold, colorful palettes in my photos. Every autumn, nature lends me a hand by painting the landscape with an awesome array of lush reds, oranges and yellows. This is a collection of my fall color photos, perfect for keeping the natural splendor of autumn alive all year round.

Even though I've been living in Green Bay for a few years now, it still feels new to me. I'm still coming to grip with living less than two miles from an NFL stadium. Yes, Green Bay is home to Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers, but it's so much more. It's a great town to live in, affording many of the perks of living in a big city while still maintaining a smalltown kind of feel. I'm still finding all the little photographic gems in the area, but I have no doubt this place will offer me boundless opportunities for great photographs!

A few years ago, before my wife and I were married, she introduced me to Jay Cooke State Park on a trip up north to see her family. My introduction to the remarkable swinging bridge that makes the focal point of the park came on a chilly winter day. It has since become one of my favorite spots in the Northern Minnesota area. It has since been badly damaged by the historic flooding in the summer of 2012, but I'm thankful I was able to enjoy it while I could and capture it in pictures. I'm hopeful the state will rebuild it better than ever.

As a semi-amateur photographer who's always practicing my skills, lighthouses are both a joy to shoot as well as a challenge. Their very nature, standing proud and tall, causes me to think of all the different ways to frame my shots. They're also full of character and history, and I love accentuating the details when developing those shots after the fact.

I've always been a fan of wide framing. At the tail end of the VHS era, I was the one who special ordered the widescreen edition of movies. I love going to big movie theaters and getting enveloped in images that fill my field of vision and get me to look at a scene from side to side. Perhaps that's why I love composing panoramic shots. I'm not just talking lush wide vistas of scenery, but also composing wide photos filled with subjects, like I'm blocking an old VistaVision film.

My photographic style is heavily influenced by rich colors, striking contrasts and heightened versions of reality. I usually always try to turn up the volume on what my camera captures to push it above what you would see if you were there in person. Sometimes, I take it another step further, adding a layer of artistic embellishment to make it something totally unique.

I love a good sunset, and a good sunrise if I can get myself up at the necessary hour to capture one. Sunsets are probably my favorite thing to shoot. No two shoots are ever the same. I look at sunsets like an artist's canvas. You can paint a picture in so many different ways by combining the right atmospheric conditions and clouds, the right setting, the composition and many other factors. I then often like to make the color palettes nature gives me explode by pumping up detail and saturation in digitally-developing the photos after the fact. A great sunset photo is truly a once in a lifetime gift.

I'm not from Northern Minnesota, but my wife is. Since getting married, it has become a second home to this Northeast Wisconsin native. We don't get up that way as often as we'd like, but every time we visit, I fall more and more in love with that area. It's bursting with photographic opportunities, from its wealth of interesting architecture to its picturesque landscapes. The twin ports of Duluth Minnesota and Superior Wisconsin is one truly special place.
Wequiock Falls is a county park between Green Bay and Door County, and the true meaning of a hidden gem. Drive by it and you would never know it's there. Its natural beauty is practically underground, with gorgeous natural cliffs and a spectacular waterfall. It's beautiful in any season, but particularly in the winter when the enormous ice walls form. Seek it out - it's a sight to see.

I live in Wisconsin, so winter is a pretty unavoidable fact of life. Though I'm more of an in-between season kind of person -- sweltering summers aren't always fun either -- winter makes for some of my favorite images. I'm a fan of black and white photography, especially the inky contrasts and the textured grain. Winter is tailor-made for black and white photography, and the photos are worth every frigid trip outside.

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