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Archive for May, 2010

This past Monday, I was lucky enough to spend a day in Door County, WI with my wife. The day turned out to be a perfect example of how diverse a day in the door can be. It also made me realize that a picture can be found anywhere, regardless of lighting and conditions.

For those of you don’t know, Door County is the “thumb” on the hand that is Wisconsin. On the west, it is bordered by Green Bay, and on the east, it is bordered by Lake Michigan.

We started our day in Sturgeon Bay, which is basically the gateway to the northern part of the county. Heading north from Sturgeon Bay, we made our way up through one small town after another in pursuit of the best smoked fish we’ve ever found. Gills Rock holds one of the jewels of the door: Charlies Smokehouse. We purchase the usual, which is fresh smoked Whitefish, straight from the waters surrounding Door County, and fresh smoked Atlantic Salmon, straight from… well… the Atlantic. A pound of each is the norm.

From Gills Rock we took the short, winding, scenic drive to Northport, which is where you are able to board the car ferry for Washington Island. We have yet to make the trek across Death’s Door, but hope to by the end of the summer. From there, we made our way back to Gills Rock, then back south through Ellison Bay, Sister Bay, and Ephraim before arriving for lunch in Fish Creek. Another of our favorite spots makes its home here, and that spot is “Not Licked Yet.” This restaurant sits just short of the south entrance to Penninsula State Park, which could be an entire blog in itself, and perhaps it will be. Offering great food and desserts, it’s a must try for anyone traveling through Fish Creek. How could you pass up a dessert with a name like “Cherry Bomb Sundae,” or the “Snowball Inferno Sundae?”

Leaving Fish Creek, we worked our way south again, passing through Juddville and Egg Harbor before arriving at our next stop, Carlsville. Carlsville is home to another of our favorite stops, the “Door Peninsula Winery.” Besides being one of our favorite stops, it’s also the oddest. One would think that stopping at a winery would end up with a wine purchase. This is not the case. Their cheese spread is amazing. Door County Cherry Wine Cheese Spread to be exact. I sometimes think that this alone would be worth the two and one half hour drive.

In case you are wondering, this is where the diversity part comes in. From the winery, we cut across the door to the east side, and to our single favorite destination in Door County. Up to this point, we had spent the entire day on the bay side of the peninsula, where it was in the upper 70’s, sunny, humid, and just abnormally uncomfortable for Door County. Upon our arrival on the east side, it was almost cold, breezy, and cloudy. To give you some perspective, the county is roughly 7 miles wide at this point, give or take. In that short distance the weather had done a complete 180. Now you’re probably wondering what our favorite place is, aren’t you. Cave Point County Park is one of the most beautiful places I personally have ever seen. Unfortunately the weather was less than picturesque, but it still lent itself to some amazing pictures. Sea fog was rolling in off the lake, which proved to me once again that “inland sea” would be a better term used in describing our great lakes. It rolled like smoke, and condensed on the trees making a beauty all its own. The lake of color offered up a perfect opportunity for some black and white photography.

Upon leaving Cave Point, we headed for home. The drive back is always long, and sometimes depressing. It’s one of those places, for us anyway, that you want to go to and never leave. It’s really a small piece of heaven on earth if I’ve ever seen it. I’ve attached a couple of my favorite shots from Cave Point below.

Until next time…

FPh

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Have you ever found yourself totally out of your element? I have, and I seem to find myself there more and more as time goes by. I spent the day today attempting some freelance work for a local riding stable, only to realize once again that I had no idea what was going on around me.

The energy that surrounds a horse show is far from electric, at least for me. For the participants however, these shows are the highlights of their summers. Hour upon hour are spent preparing their horse, much like a stock car driver prepares his car, if I may use that as a comparison. The rider, much like the driver, spends probably 90 percent of their time in the preparation, and only 10 percent in the show. Speaking for myself, the stock car makes more sense, but that is a whole different debate, and best saved for another time.

Back to the topic at hand. The terminology alone is like another language. And if one language weren’t enough, the terms differ from one riding style to the next. English to Western being a good example. I don’t know if the language is meant to alienate or confuse the rest of us, but only the equestrians truly understand it all. In case you’re wondering, an equestrian is basically a horse person. In fact, I will call them horse people from here on out.

Another area that is best left to the pros would be the tack or accessories as I consider them. We all know what a saddle is, and most probably understand where the stirrups are and what their function is. Now a bridal, at least I always thought, was the shower you threw for a bride to be. Again, totally out of my element here. Do they actually shower at those things? Anyway…

To truly understand it, you have to experience it firsthand. A few months ago I was lucky enough to take a trek to Oklahoma to see the NMHA World Finals. NMHA stands for National Morgan Horse Association. Which is not to be confused with the NHRA. But yet again, I digress. For the world finals, the barns and stalls are basically transformed into small towns. Each stable has its own colors and decor, which is impressive in itself. Then you notice the chandeliers, couches, and carpeted floors and your mind reels. Once the competition begins, you can almost feel a change in the air. For me to notice something like this is surreal considering that upon my arrival in Oklahoma City, I had no real interest in horses what-so-ever. My week down there changed all that…to a point. Let’s just say I get it now. I don’t quite follow the terms and tack, but I understand the competition. Even more than the competition, I understand the relationship that is created between the horse and rider. It’s something we should all be so lucky to have, with whatever we decide to have it with.

I’m not really sure where I went with this entry, but I got quite a bit out of my head and onto my screen here. Which is more than I can say for my day of freelance work. Poor lighting is now my sworn enemy, especially when using a flash is out of the question.

Until next time…

FPh

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As a photographer, I always find myself trying to “find the picture” in any given moment. I had another one of those moments tonight, and came to the realization that there was no way to truly “capture the moment.”

I was attending a 50th Wedding Anniversary, and the atmosphere was something not often experienced anymore. Everyone was talking, joking, and having fun. There was live music, dancing, and just overall happiness. What made this so different from most parties I’ve ever been to was the fact that all the fun was genuine. No drug or alcohol induced laughter to be found. That’s when I came to my realization. Sure, I could freeze frame the moments and create great memories, but the true feelings have passed. Capturing a smile on film, will always leave the laugh behind.

Now don’t get me wrong. This short blog entry isn’t meant to depress, but to impress. I realized something tonight that I’d forgotten. Live all the moments of your life to their fullest, before all the moments of your life pass you by.

Until next time…

FPh

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