Category Archives: Urban Photography

Best Laid Plans

Freight Train Moonrise

The best laid plans of mice and men

Go often askew,

And leave us nothing but grief and pain,

For promised joy!

Robert Burns

August full moon and I was ready!  It was a beautiful night in Oshkosh – just perfect!  Temp was around 80, modest humidity and there was music playing at Waterfest.  I arrived on time and set up the perfect shot.  I would capture the full moon rising between the girders of the rail road bridge across the Fox River.  This would be an awesome shot with the diagonal bridge outlined acaings the darkening sky.  I used Google Sky to line up the shot and had my 400mm lens all set up.

The moon peeked over the hills on the far side of Lake Winnebago – and I was ready.

Then it happened!  In the distance I heard the triple blast of the warning horn, a train was coming and the bridge started to drop!  My perfect shot ruined!  I ran to a new position and caught a few shots – not bad but not what I wanted.

Then I turned around and saw the Main Street Bridge.  How wonderful it looked in the moonlight.   Turned out to be a pretty nice picture (hanging on my office wall right now).

Life is like that sometimes.  You plan and scheme and just as things look good something happens.  You can either get mad or you can get busy.  I try and get busy!


Thursday Night in Oshkosh


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Top of The World

Sunset on Top The World

Sunset in beautiful downtown Neenah!

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 105mm | 1/60s at f/5.6

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Frisco Emporium

Frisco Emporium - Colorado

The Frisco Emporium, Colorado, is an amazing store full of every variety of junk you can imagine.  Now some people see this stuff as treasures so who am I to judge?  I liked this composition so much because of the interesting lines.  They draw your eyes into the frame.  I converted to black and white because the color was just too distracting.


Canon 5d MKIII | Canon 35mm f/2 II | 1/30s f/4.0

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Trout Museum at Night

Trout Museum at Night

A kind of boring building can become magical at night with the right lighting.  Maybe its the same with people; if we see them in the proper light we find out who they really are…  Maybe that thought is too deep for a Wednesday morning…

Anyhow, this photo is kind of extraordinary in a way.  Not too many years ago this photo would have been impossible.  I took this handheld at 1/30s and ISO 4000.  Big deal you might say.  Well, only a few years ago ISO 4000 was impossible – no film (at least available to a normal person) was that fast and no digital sensor could go that high.  1/30s was also not possible for me as i could not hold the camera steady at that slow speed – and now we have IS systems that compensate for hand shake.  What a wonderful world we are living in now days!

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 45mm | 1/30s at f/5.6


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Taking a Break in Savannah

Taking a Break in Savannah

A texting break on River Street in Savannah.  It is always nice to get away from the kitchen and spend some time on your life.  It is so interesting to think that here in the alley it is quiet and almost nobody around, but just the other side of the building is crowds and noise and a parade of tourists.  It is good to find some refuge in life if only for a little bit.

Taken with a Panasonic Lumix Lx7.

Lx7 | 9.8mm | 1/40s at  f/2

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Cathedral of Saint John The Baptist

Cathedral of Saint John The Baptist - Savannah

Cathedral of Saint John The Baptist in Savannah Georgia.  A composite of 10 images showing the vaulted ceiling of the church.  The construction of the church started in 1873.

Panasonic Lumix LX7 | 4.7mm | 1/6s f/3.2

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Anchors can be many things.  They can hold you fast and safe when all around you are storms and danger.  They can weigh you down when you want to move fast.  You can pull them in any time you want – or even cast them into the sea.  They can be so real sometimes and other times they are only imaginary…


This was taken in Savannah, GA, in a fountain on River Street.  I used my LX7 in 16X9 mode to give this a very wide angle/aspect ratio.

Panasonic Lumix LX7 | 17.7mm | 1/100 at f/2.3


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Sunset on The Savannah River

Heading to Savannah (Sunset)

Sunset as a trucker is heading for Georgia over the Savannah River.  Traveling again and spent the week “down South” where it was warm, sunny and a bit wet.  Missed the snow and cold in Wisconsin – will Winter never end?!?

I love spending time in Savannah, especially on the river.  Lots of interesting people and things to see (more posts this week).  I think the river is my favorite.  Ships go by on their way to the open ocean and I wonder where they are going and what they are carrying.  I think it is romantic!  Part of me has always wanted to go to sea on a ship and sail the world.  Of course, if I ever did it I would probably find it is not as romantic as it seems.  Days filled with work and monotony and the time in port is too short to see anything.

Oh well, I can always have the dream…

Taken with my Panasonic Lumix LX7 in the 16X9 format.  The LX7 is an interesting camera in that it uses different areas of the sensor to capture different sized pictures.  No digital stretch or squeeze or cropping to get the picture you want.  I took this shot in manual mode to keep the ISO and the noise down.  Camera held on a piling to keep it steady.  I also bracketed  +/- 1 1/3 stop to make sure I got the right exposure; the camera can be easily fooled by the relatively bright sky next to the dark land.

Panasonic Lumix LX7 | 17.7mm | 1/200 s @ f/4.0

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A beautiful young lady in Madison.  Trader Joes run this weekend for coffee, ginger snaps and various urban supplies.

Just a simple portrait in a toy store.  So much joy and happiness in this picture.  You can see an awesome future ahead of her!

A quick pose – no flash.  Set the camera to aperture mode f/5.6 and let it meter the shot.  The Canon 24-105 f/4 L is one of my favorite lenses for trips.  It has a nice focal range, not too heavy and very nice color rendition.  Only an f/4 so not the best at low light but with the 5D you can pull off shots at high ISO and still have very low noise.  Thought about the 24-70 L II but it is too heavy, too expensive and the 70mm maximum range is a bit limiting.

Canon 5d MkIII | Canon 24-105 f/4 L | 32mm | 1/40sec at f/5.6

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1848 at Sunset

The flagpole in Riverside Park, Neenah.  Grey Winter day and I was not seeing much to photograph so here is what I came up with.

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Top of The World

Top of The World

The 2nd day of January and so many things to be thankful for!  We watch the news and go so riled up we think the world is about to end – but it has always been that way!  Right now we have more prosperity than any time in history.  Hunger and want are at the lowest level ever.  Spiritually I think we are in the beginning of a new awakening.

Yes, there are problems. There always are and it is our responsibility to do what we can to make things better.

But don’t let that stop us from thanking God for all the good things we have!

We are truly sitting on the top of the world!


Photo: Downtown Neenah.

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