River Sunrise

Rising early in the morning has its benefits, sometimes.  This Photo of the Week was captured along the  Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota. We were staying at my nieces house long the river and the sun was just coming up behind the bluffs on the Wisconsin side. You could see the whiffs of moisture and fog rising from the river as the day began. It is unusual to see the water so still anytime during the day on this river.

It was a delightful morning on the river but soon the sun disappeared behind the clouds.


River Sunrise web copy

A Life’s Journey

As I sit here contemplating my 75 years of existence on earth,..a life’s journey (11-11-11), I look at all the changes that have happened in photography since I took my first photograph as a child. From taking snapshots and rushing the film to the rural community drugstore…or putting it in the mail for processing…and receiving prints back a week or 10 days later mostly fuzzy prints…we now  have instant gratification seeing the results of our efforts.

With photography we can see photos of our parents, grandparents and even great grandparents. We can see our children as they were when they were babies…40 or 50 years ago and relive those precious moments.

We jump forward to the digital age where we take a photograph, see it in the camera, rush home and insert the memory card into the computer and presto….we see the results in minutes..not weeks. We correct our mistakes with photoshop and other editing programs. With the miracle of the computer and internet we can then send these photos around the world or post them on social web sites without leaving our chair. Or we take a photograph with a cell phone and in seconds share it around the globe.

The internet, whether we think it is good or bad, has connected us with friends and relatives we have not seen for a long, long time. About two yeas ago I received an email from a person who asked, “Are you the Frank Brueske whose children I  baby sat in Minnesota?” I was.. and we reconnected and emailed about the 35 years we had lost touch. She and her  parents lived around the corner from us in another lifetime.   We can “chat” on the computer with our old bosses who have moved away of years or friends who we  met in New Your City 50 some years ago when we were fresh out of college looking for our first jobs.

I can email a photograph to my  “cousin” who lives outside of Prague, The Czech Republic.  She responds in Czech ( I can not understand it) and I respond again in English (she may have someone translate for her.) But we stay connected through generations and thousands of miles. Her grandmother and my grandmother were sisters. in the late 1800’s.

Just this past week I had a posting on my website regarding a photograph of a statue I had taken on my trip down the Mississippi River:
There was a link to a website. It belonged to the sculptor of the statue…Erik Blome,  What a great connection!  You can see more of his work on:   http://www.figurativeartstudio.com/id62.htm.

My photographs take me back to times and places I can’t return. Like the photograph of “Peace Within,” a view of an elderly lady’s hands on a bible.  Her daughter (who must have been in her 60’s then) provided meals for single businessmen in the community and a college student or two. I happened to be one of them. The lady’s name was Mary Monihan. I can’t remember her mother’s name. But the memories are still with me in the photograph.

I can revisit journeys down the Oregon Coast, or looking for lighthouses on Michigan Beaches and being eaten alive by swarms of black flies, to traveling  the backroads of Pennsylvania and North Carolina searching  for old barns and covered bridges.

Or  more recently, a  visit to the Battlefields of Natchez & Vicksburg, a sad time in our history, but a time for reflection. Here you revisit and read about the terrible battles that occurred here many years ago.

But most of all I enjoy sharing my photography with you, so that you can see my visions as I see them and share my journey of life.

I too, have changed with the times, and am now doing mostly digital photography…something I said would never do. My passion is still the true art of photography, black & white, but I do enjoy some color.

Photography will never make me rich in terms of dollars, but it has made me rich with a wonderful journey of friends and  memories that keep growing day by day…and all of you are part of my life’s journey. I have been truly blessed

Lazy Day By The River

Lazy Day By The River Original retouched  72  copyWhat could be more relaxing than a lazy autumn day along the river just watching the river flow by..without a care in the world? The autumn scene was captured at Vicksburg, MS along the Mississippi River. The lighting in the scene turns just about everything into a silhouette…the park rail, the bench, the tree and the individual in the as well. It provides a depth to the entire photograph.

This scene is duplicated thousands of times along rivers across America, just a lazy autumn day outdoors. This photograph was taken in September, 2010.

When is Enough…Enough??

Street Car 3rd viewStreet Car 2nd view

Street Car 1st view

The question is when do you stop shooting a particular scene? As you know I am not an advocate of over shooting, but you also do the opposite of not doing enough if the you have time to do it.

In this blog, I have taken several photos of the St. Charles Streetcar in New Orleans.  The first one was from quite a ways away…the next was  closer..and the final was closer yet. We lose some of the street “scene” with the closeup view but it show more of the streetcar that the mid range view.

It is all in the eyes of the beholder. I think I like the mid view best and my second choice is the closeup view. In this digital age, you can afford to take more than just one photo…but be sure you do not over do it as well.  Then it asks the question…”which one is best?”

Taking A Walk

When you are shooting an outdoor scene, don’t just stay in one place and take one or two or a hundred pictures of the same thing, walk around a bit…even if other people walk up and take the scene from the same angle that you are taking it from…and then walk away.

Use your imagination and see what the scene looks like from 50 feet away…a hundred feet away or by some nearby trees.

I always complain that most people tend to take many more photos that they should of one scene..there is nothing wrong with taking many different photos of the same scene or subject from different angles.

This was true in my case. I was taking photos of old southern plantations in Louisana as part of my Mississippi River project and wanted to include three plantations.

The last one, the Nottaway Plantation between New Orleans and Baton Rouge presented a very good example of “talking a walk” around the subject.

The three photos with this blog are taken of the Nottaway Mansion. The first one is the one you see in many of the brochures. It is ok.

First  view. JPGThe second one is the front entrance of the mansion that faces the river…but you can’t see the river because of the dikes along the river bank.

Second view

A groundskeeper told me one side of the mansion was designed to be like the White House. So I walked to that side and that is where the best photograph was taken…between the large oak trees. You rarely see this side of the house in any of the brochures. It was beautiful because the leaves were just starting come out on the trees and the curved branches of the old oaks proided the perfect frame. The afternoon sun provided both highlights and shaded areas.

Final view  1 copy

Of course I like the last view best.

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