Another Kind of Circus

Camera in the Glen

It doesn’t matter what ring you’re in. Whatever it is, there those who watch, those who appreciate and those who apprentice.  There are students who teach, teachers who learn and people who just like to be “experts”.  I had a discussion with a friend the other day on Facebook on this topic in response to a blog I had written about kayaking and coaching.  You know, it’s the same circus in photography. Well, in all of life actually.. but today I’m going to try to stick to photography…  Continue reading

The Wild Season

Trumpeter Swans 2014

To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering. – aldo leopold

It’s migration season according to the sun. According to the foul Wisconsin weather we’ve been having, it feels more like January. This cold weather means that a lot of birds are coming to or through Wisconsin and finding no open water in which to land or feed. Although it’s not great for them, most will do just fine until warmer weather arrives. In fact, it looks to start really warming up in just a few days. Now, the one upside of the cold, is that it’s a lot easier for camera crazy folks like me to find the birds. Practically all you need to do is find some open water. If you can do that, you’re likely to find ducks, geese, swans and a whole menagerie of other animals out there!    Continue reading

Say Goodbye Schmutz. Goodbye Schmutz!


There are a thousand things I love about digital cameras, but that bit where you get schmutz, shmuts, smut or all thoes other fun “S” words on your sensor really sucks!  Most of us are really, really not happy about the thought of trying to clean our sensors and will do just about anything to avoid it.  Imagine my sadness when a big bit of sh__, um, “Stuff” showed up on all of my pictures recently.  Not happy.  Not happy one bit.     Continue reading

Cameras, Birds & Grapefruit

cranes-geesethe moment’s come and go like water
i try to hold them but they’re fading
- p. gabriel

If you ever want someone to stop taking pictures of wildlife, you’ll have to invent critter proof lenses. (or wait for your fellow humans to wipe out wildlife..)  Let’s face it, if you’ve got a camera in your hands and you’re anywhere where there’s animal activity, you have to get out the camera. You have no option. You’re hooked for the day!!  Sounds bad I know, but really, there are worse drugs out there!  Continue reading

What Kind of Kayaker Are You?


You built this house with your hands, and your time, and your blood / We built this up in one day to fall downward and…
Never really feel the same / never gonna be the same
no it’s never gonna be the same / never gonna be the same
- Manchester Orchestra

I think you get a strange, skewed view of kayakers and kayaking if you’ve done it for  years. Of course, social media doesn’t help either. If you believe Facebook, every kayaker in the world is either making a video, writing a book, jet-setting across Europe or working for a kayak company. Oh, and of course there are those who simply enjoy paddleboarding in a bikini sans life jacket… Continue reading

The Emperor is Lost

allislost-imageEverywhere the sea is a teacher of truth. I am not sure that the best thing I find in sailing is not this salt of reality.
(Joseph) Hilaire Pierre Belloc c.1910  The Cruise of the Nona.

All is Lost is being hailed as one of the great films of recent history; “..a gripping, visceral and powerfully moving tribute to ingenuity and resilience.”  And here’s the thing.. I think it is a great film. Robert Redford turned in an amazing performance. The camera work and the direction were spot on.  That said, I can’t help but wonder if the director, J.C. Chandler wasn’t playing a game of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”  with their audience.  I’m tempted to say, they even telegraphed the idea…  Anyway, here’s my conspiracy theory…    Continue reading

AlgoraCopia 2014


I want to live alone in the desert / I want to be like Georgia O’Keefe
I want to live on the Upper East Side / And never go down in the street
- zevon

And another way to look at it is this; Many of us kayakers and canoeists hate, or at the very least disdain the human mob that is modern society. We paddle, to escape. It doesn’t matter if it’s the open water or down the river, paddling takes us AWAY!  Which, when you think of it, says something else about the massive Canoecopia event held last week in Madison, Wisconsin. Even though it may make our hair curl to spend 10 minutes in trapped in the crowded din of humanity, we’ll somehow manage to spend 3 full days at Canoecopia. Continue reading