Category Archives: Wisconsin

Wonderful Wisconsin Vacation Visit

It’s been a while since our last trip to Wisconsin to see Mike and Sara (April of 2015!), so Lynn and I were excited to spend a week with them at the beginning of August.  We were also quite happy to finally get to meet Avon – who is (probably) a mountain cur that they adopted from a rescue society.  He’s a real sweet dog!

I didn’t realize how big of a crop Sunflowers are in Wisconsin.  And fortunately for us, the beginning of August is peak bloom time.  In fact, Bergsbaken Farms near Cecil Wisconsin was having a Sunflower Fest while we were there so we stopped by.

Riding in the rain through the sunflower fieldsRiding in the rain through the sunflower fields

Even though it was a bit rainy that day, there was still a large crowd and we enjoyed seeing the seemingly endless fields of flowers. We also saw a few strange creatures:

Strange creature seen in Wisconsin fieldStrange creature seen in Wisconsin field

There were several of these tall, happy looking beings along one of the paths through the  field. Authorities didn’t respond to questions on where they came from or why they wore  sunglasses in the rain.  One of my Flickr friends commented: “A nice guy no doubt, but a little seedy, wouldn’t you agree?”  Yes, I do agree!

These cultivated sunflowers are different than our wild Florida swamp sunflower variety, which by the way will start blooming in late September or early October.

Field of sunflowersField of sunflowers

We had also planned to stop by the Wisconsin State Fair, but the weather forecast was iffy and we didn’t make it – maybe next time!  However we did do a few other touristy things in the area.

WindmillWisconsin Windmill in downtown Little Chute.  This is an authentic design, working mill built to celebrate the region’s Dutch heritage (see www.littlechutewindmill.org//)

Lake WinnebagoLake Winnebago – At High Cliff State Park, Wisconsin;  IR, B&W, panorama

Among other gourmet treats, we also stopped by Wilmar Chocolates for yummy custom chocolate bars (mine had gummy bears in it!).

Our Wisconsin stay was delightful, but ended way too quickly!

You can read other blog posts about Wisconsin at this link:   http://edrosack.com/category/photo-ops-categorized-by-place/photo-ops-outside-florida/wisconsin/.  And I’ve collected some of my Wisconsin photos in this album on Flickr:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/albums/72157628253961205

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go spend time with your family.  And make some photos too!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Climate Change

We had a wonderful visit with Mike and Sara last week in Wisconsin.  We waited until April to go so the weather would have time to warm up.  And it did – but it was still a change for Lynn and I.  We’re used to Florida’s climate.

On one day, we drove up into Door County and had a good time tasting local wines.  The area’s scenic, although not quite thawed out yet.  It was just above freezing with a strong wind – nice and brisk!  This photo is from Fish Creek Harbor.

Spring is on the waySpring is on the way – Door County, Wisconsin

By way of contrast,  yesterday in Florida looked like this.  When I made the photo, it was in the mid-70s and on the way up to 90 degrees F.

No one watching?No one watching? – Just south of Rotary Riverfront Park in Titusville, Florida

We did find patches of color while we were in Wisconsin.  Here’s one scene we all enjoyed on another morning.

S.A.L.T. Restauranct in De Pere, Wisconsin
S.A.L.T. Restaurant in De Pere, Wisconsin

So that’s our version of personal climate change over the last week.  It was chilly in Wisconsin, but we got a very warm welcome.  And if you clicked on this hoping for a debate about global warming, sorry.  Maybe another day.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go spend time with your family – and make some photos!

©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Thanksgiving in Wisconsin

I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you.  I apologize for the irregular posting, but I’ve been busy with little time for photography or  blogging over the last week or two.

Lynn and I visited Mike and Sara for Thanksgiving and Mary joined us, so we had a very nice family holiday.  Wisconsin was different from Florida.  The day we left it was sunny with a high in the 80s. In Wisconsin, it was overcast with a temperature in the 40s, and because it’s so much farther north, the sun set at 4:15pm – making the days shorter than at home.

One thing that was hard to ignore was all the geese – they were everywhere, and you could frequently hear them honking even while inside.  This surprised me, since I thought they all migrated south for the winter.  When I researched this, it turns out that many do stay in Wisconsin year round.  I wonder what they eat and how they stay warm when the snow gets heavy?

Canada Geese on the shore of the Fox River
Fox River shoreline near Kaukona, Wisconsin; Canada Geese in the distance

Mike drove us over to Manitowic on Lake Michigan where we went through the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.  It was interesting to learn that the shipyard here made submarines during WW II.  They moved to the Gulf via the Mississippi River.

Shipbuilding scene
Shipbuilding scene, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum; Manitowic, Wisconsin

There’s a WW II diesel boat that you can tour.

The USS Cobia, SS 245
The USS Cobia, SS 245, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum; Manitowic, Wisconsin

The "Christmas Tree":  the lights on this panel show the status of hull openings
The “Christmas Tree” aboard the submarine USS Cobia: the red and green lights on this panel show the status of hull openings

On the way home, I convinced Mike to stop and let me make a photo of this scene.

Lake Michigan Shoreline
Lake Michigan Shoreline; Manitowic, Wisconsin

Here’s one previous post I wrote about Wisconsin.  And you can see other photos from Wisconsin in this set on Flickr.

In some other news, the Fotobug podcast interviewed me last night.  We talked about my trip to the Circle B Bar Reserve a couple of weeks ago and the bobcat photo I made.  It’s supposed to come out this Sunday afternoon (December 4, 2011) and I’ll post a link to the episode when it goes up.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Sharing sights and vision – Goats on a roof

One of the things that makes photography so interesting is the ability to share sights and vision.  We photographers love to capture the sights we see so that we can revisit them later and show them to others. We also love to capture the sights we see in a different way so that even if someone else has already seen something, we can show our unique vision to them.

This morning, I revisited some photos I made in September of 2006.  Before Sara and Mike took Lynn and I to Wisconsin’s Door county, I’d never seen (or heard of, or even thought about) goats on a roof.  But on N Bay Shore Dr in Sister Bay, you’ll come across a small herd of goats on the roof of  Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant.  Not only that, but a Google search will reveal other goats on other roofs.  And – a search on Flickr returned 143 images this morning (actually this is a surprisingly small number) of goats on roofs.  I wonder if this is a trend?  You really do need to pay attention to keep up.

Door county is a beautiful place.  And it has goats on a roof too.  I don’t think I captured them in a unique way, but they’re certainly worth sharing with others.  What unique or unusual things have you seen and shared lately?

Goats on a roof 1
Goats on a Roof – 1

Goats on a roof 3
Goats on a Roof – 3

©2010, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Sometimes you take the photo, and sometimes the photo takes you

This is the story of a photograph that I made a couple of weeks ago when we were in Wisconsin at the Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary, and how I eventually made a print that I was happy with. Along the way, Lynn laughed at me for taking so much time to print a single photo and my photo friends gave me all sorts of suggestions on techniques to make this come out right (some of which I even used – thanks, Keith).

I knew when I saw this scene that there was a photo here. The lighting conditions were overcast and gloomy – exactly right for the kind of image I wanted, but this made capturing the photo a little difficult. And, it turns out – made printing the photo even more difficult.

I had my Canon G9 with me and used the built in flash in fill mode. I had visions of a 13×19 inch print, so I kept it in ISO 80 and saved it in RAW (like I always do). The skull on the ground looked like good foreground material, so I cranked the lens to the most wide angle setting and got up close to make this exposure (this is straight out of the camera, with no re-touching other than conversion from raw in Lightroom 2)(click on this image for a larger version).

Original photo - straight out of the camera

This is an interesting scene, I really liked the concept of this photograph, but the initial image left a lot still in my imagination. The sky is washed out, the skulls on the pole are way too dark, and the foreground skull is too bright. Also, the grass in the foreground is too bright and distracting (among other things).

I tried various methods over several days to make it work using mostly Lightroom2 and some Photoshop tools. Lightroom2 has some very nice new local adjustment tools which I played around with along with the usual curves, etc. to darken the sky and lighten the pole skulls. I also used the black and white conversion tools in Lightroom2 and generated the version of the photo that is posted in my previous blog entry. This was a lot better than the initial photo, but I thought it could be better. Here’s where Keith comes in. “Why not run it through Photomatix?” he said. “Why didn’t I think of that?” I said. And so …

Here are the steps I went through over several days (some of the steps multiple times – it’s a good thing Lightroom is a non-destructive editor)

1. Basic exposure, clarity, curves, etc. adjustments
2. Create 3 virtual copies of the image – one for the sky, one for the skulls on the pole, and one for the foreground. Adjust each one separately: First adjust the exposure and then convert to Black & White to highlight the appropriate features. Export these as 16 bit .tiff files.
3. Use Photomatix Pro 3.0 to create a combined HDR of the 3 B&W .tiffs, then tone map the HDR file and save.
4. Load the tone mapped file into Photoshop. Clone as needed from the appropriate B&W conversion file to highlight the skulls on the poles. Clone out a portion of the horn on the foreground skull. Crop to the final dimensions. Adjust levels, sharpen for output.

Here is the final image (click for a larger version):

The image after a "little" editing

If you want more details on the steps I went through, I’ve posted the intermediate photos for each step at this link .

It is quite a bit different from the original, and it looks pretty good enlarged to 13″x19″ (especially for a point and shoot camera). So I think it was worth the extra effort. What do you think?

©2008, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

We take a day trip through rural Wisconsin, after our son's wedding

We stayed an extra day and a half after Sara and Mike’s wedding to make sure everyone got back to the airport OK and all the tuxedos got returned, etc.

We also wanted some time to ourselves to relax a little bit. The weather on Monday was a bit sporty, so we didn’t want to spend all day outside at the Wisconsin state fair. Lynn did a little research on the web and located a wildlife sanctuary about 50 miles north of where we were staying, so we decided to drive up there and take a look. We wanted to see a little bit more of Wisconsin and ended up taking mostly back roads on the way up. It was a very pleasant drive (until we ran into some construction – but we routed around that easily enough). One place we went through was Port Washington, on the coast of Lake Michigan. It is a scenic little town, although they seem to have been hit pretty hard by the slow economy. This first picture is their lighthouse, built in 1860.

Port Washington Lighthouse

The Shalom Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bend Wisconsin was our main destination for the day. They have elk, bison, big horn sheep, several variety of deer, wild turkey, and other animals. You can drive through the property in a golf cart and if you’re quiet and the animals cooperate, you can see quite a few of them. The day we were there it was very overcast and in fact started to rain fairly hard by the end of our visit. Photography was quite a challenge due to the low illumination. I was traveling light with just my Canon G9, which is not a good low light camera, so my photos of the bison, are a bit blurry. Oh well – there’s always next time.

I do like this photo of a native American animal skull display. I’m thinking about making a large print for my office at work. I’m hoping it will warn my enemies to stay away. The rest of my photos from this trip are at http://edrosack.com/Port-Washington

Native American Totum

©2008, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.