Tag Archives: Minneapolis

Seeing your world

Where do you aim your camera whether it be a phone or a regular camera? Chances are, especially, given our current obsession with selfies, most of your photos are of you and your friends or family. Now ask yourself how often you photograph your surroundings, something that attracts your attention, something that you’ve passed by frequently and never noticed before? Or the desire to preserve record of your life’s context so you can share it 30 years later?

Take a look at your phone’s camera roll, what is the proportion of selfies, family and drinking shots, to photos of your surroundings? Now ask yourself what would you or someone else think while looking at your camera roll 20 years from now; what would they learn about you and your life? Would they or you wonder why you had so many photos of yourself and or friends absent any context or, would you or that future stranger be able to gather some clues about life 20 years in the past?

There is an inherent contradiction in the way most of us capture a record of a place or time, since the camera became popularized we often feel an instinctual urge to “take a picture of that” only to leave it sit in our phones, our computers or in the shoe box in the hall closet. If you’ve ever gone through your families old photos you’ll likely be able to get some sense about their lives and where they lived. However, it is more likely that the “where they lived” portion will be considerably smaller, leaving you with no clue as to the context of their everyday lives.

While getting this photo ready to post I found myself asking the same questions, because while a good percentage of my photos show what life was like at a particular slice of time, photos of other places dominate the archives. Even though I either have my phone’s camera or a real camera with me most of the time, the number of contextual photos lag. So, most of my photos of the three years spent Houston are family related and mostly lack the context of our lives.

The lesson here is there are vistas everywhere and the ones that capture your life’s context are important especially 20 to 30 years down the road. So, paying attention to our surroundings is important because our surroundings put our lives in a context that completes our story.

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Sunset through the skyline

As the snow and seemingly winter along with it starts to disappear here in St. Paul, today’s photo is a reminder that winter does have some redeeming value.

I stumbled on this photo yesterday while sorting files for my web site and store. The photo was shot in 2010 down the road from St. Antony Main, I was working on capturing the sun set behind the sky line when I noticed the sliver of light that crossed the river. You can trace the light beam to the space between two buildings on the skyline. The sunset itself was pretty spectacular as it bathed the skyline.

This past week on our way back from Sioux Falls we witnessed a similar display of golden light while on 1-35. Unfortunately by the time we got to an off ramp the golden light was pretty much gone.


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Explorations in the Minneapolis Mill District

The Gutherie Theater design has always fascinated me, with its’ metallic blue skin reflects whatever is nearby, and the cantilevered “porch” that seems to defy the laws of gravity. When we were shooting weddings, the Gutherie and the Mill District were always our favorite locations for engagement sessions, because they both offered radically different environments for capturing young couples.

While shooting Friday I was struck by how this new structure would change the human scale that is what makes the Mill District feel good. I couldn’t help but notice how the area will be drastically changed in scale with the completion of the new Vikings’ stadium, a metallic and glass monster that will loom over the Mill District like a mother ship.

Today’s photo was shot while I was capturing some initial views of the erector set like bones that will hold the stadium together. I was looking for shots that included the stadium frame in contrast with the Gutherie, however, the sun wrapping the Theater in its’ beams was to much to resist.


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A welcome day of light

After many disappointing predictions, that bright light that sometimes appears in the sky and is called the sun, finally appeared. Our cameras have been tucked away for the last several weeks because extreme cold and electronics don’t play well together. So with the appearance of the sun and warmer weather we headed out for some fun.

We had a loose agenda, starting at Nicollet Island and wandering to some locations we’ve wanted capture in winter. TheseĀ  two shots were captured on Nicollet Island across the Mississippi looking towards the lock and dam and the 3rd Ave bridge. I used my newest camera, Sony a7mkII and 28-70mm lens. I was experimenting with a newly available technique of taking my light readings off the highlights instead of the middle tones. The new sensors are now capable of collecting many times the light info that our Nikons ever could. Which translates to better shadow detail and less blown highlights.


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