Archive for the ‘Freeport’ Category

Sadly, many, many locations I scouted and used for photography are gone now. Bridges widened, houses demolished, crop land increased by a few feet, and then, poof, history disappears! Thank goodness for photos that remain. This location, on the edge of Shannon, is where I took some beautiful shots of Paige in 2011. It’s difficult to see in the bottom photo but there was a lush canopy of trees that met in the middle with grass below. A week ago I took the top, left photo with my phone and, then, Tuesday, the last trees were waiting to get hauled away. As a photographer, I’m especially sensitive to changes in my environment.

3 rectangle

New Adventures

May 21, 2015

It has been so long since I posted an update, I had to relearn my blogging software a bit. I have been trying to decide how to best utilize my long-term blog since my photography business has slowed a bit and our travel life has increased. My plan is to update more about that and our family adventures, for now.

This past week I was very interested in the Galena Triathlon that has been running for the past 20 years. Last Saturday the athletes began with their swim at Nixon Beach. We were really interested since our daughter, Dawn, has been training for an upcoming triathlon in Davenport next month.

Last Monday, Molly, Jason and four of his friends came to Freeport hoping to get in the lake, ride the trails and hang out together before they started their summer jobs. Jim and I are so proud of our oldest grandson who just completed his freshman year at Fordham University. He brought friends that he has know since early grade school and despite awful weather, they managed to have fun. Tuesday was the best weather day so we headed to the lake, built a fire and they rode around the entire lake on our souped-up golf cart. Then, we headed down to the lake for a little fishing only to discover the marina closed and we were without bait. A few minutes later I secured wax worms from a veteran fisherman and we were in business. The sunshine felt so good that afternoon. Wednesday was terribly cold and rainy so Molly drove the group to Monroe – one of his friends has done very little travelling and Wisconsin was added to his newly extended list of states. We said goodbye to the group this morning around 8 am.


On Tuesday, my Highland friend, Jeanne and her husband, left for an extended trip to Canada and Oregon. I love to follow their trips on her retirement blog.

Today, we also got ready for a very brief visit from Dawn’s family who is flying to Germany tonight. They packed their suitcases into the Highlander so Jim could drive them to O’Hare and after a quick lunch, we said goodbye. Time for a little relaxation, knitting and dog walking. And, some camping this weekend at Apple Canyon Lake. Who says retirement is boring??


What I’ve done so far:
sun flare

What I want to do:
side lighting
smiley faces?
I plan to be back out there searching for something new and fresh tonight after a couple nights of rain and mosquito spraying. I read this in a recent issue of Rangefinder magazine and I can affirm the points made:
…dispels the concept of artist-as-casual-wanderer who finds pictures. This is work. There is a structure. And making these pictures, hitting the street-discovering new neighborhoods, or revisiting old ones, is what this kind of fine art project is all about. You want to be an explorer going up river, he says. It’s just about you and this very stringent standard, which is, “You either nail it or you don’t. ” You don’t have much to fall back on except your wits, your cunning, your charm, your experience and the variety of responses you’ve developed over time. And for me, that’s so exciting….Tom Alleman

I took this one a little earlier than sunset so added a couple of texture layers to it. I’m intrigued by this rundown, turquoise house, though. Turquoise is definitely going to be included in my new logo and branding that is currently in the design stage by Danielle Zuberbuhler.

OK – I’m a very bad blogger. I’m a pretty good micro-blogger but these days, I can’t seem to set aside the time for the real blog with the big and beautiful photos and the thoughtful writing. Anyway, here I am. I’ve started a sunset study and plan to carry it through the month of June. I just cannot imagine how these photographers do the 365 projects where they post images every single day for an entire year. I’m just not that disciplined but I can see how this will be a valuable learning experience. Plus, I’ll get out into the country during the most spectacular time of year when the days keep getting longer and the corn grows and it’s warm and just lovely. I’m not venturing any farther than a 10 minute radius from my home in Freeport and I won’t be gone for more that an hour. This is the hard part for me. Once I get going it’s hard for me to stop. This is true in photo sessions, as well. I’ve already discovered roads that I didn’t know existed with places like Pheasants Forever and the RC Modelers field that I had never driven by before.

Today the sunrise was at 5:24 and the sunset was at 8:30. Maybe in September I’ll do a sunrise study when it’s a little later – yeah, right!

Blackhawk War Monument & Cemetery near Kent – great, expansive view here

I’ve Been Waiting for the Perfect Sunset to Photograph these Mailboxes

Oh, how I love to photograph newborns and young babies. Despite the fact that they frequently don’t go how I plan, the images that result make me sigh: the toes and nails that aren’t completely formed, the puckered little mouth, the sleepy yawns (as I wear them out) and the unpredictable poops and pees that come along with trying to photograph a naked infant. Meet Myles, Hannah and Leo – quite new to this big world of ours.

Mr Myles

I had to include this one, too, because I just love it so much. Right now Kelby is into Garfield, sharks and almost any other kind of fish. Kelby’s conversations recently centered around Bionicles and Pokeman cards so these topics are much more interesting.

I just experienced the most relaxing hour of my whole week and surprisingly, it was spent back at Highland. This time I was there for the 1st Annual King Day Celebration to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Freeport & Stephenson County. The event featured best selling author Kimberla Lawson Roby who echoed Dr King’s sentiments about following your passion. I was happy to donate my photography services again to add some multimedia to the event from last Saturday’s community basketball games. That was quite relaxing, too, as I am always so relieved from my daily stress when I get to immerse myself in the joy of photographing young people. These kids are from the various elementary schools in Freeport, first and fourth graders, were there to play basketball. Tomorrow they will start working on their soccer skills. They all seemed so joyful to be participating and were really focused on their coach, Ronnie Bush, and the drills they were doing. Please help support the club by a monetary donation or by volunteering on the community campus. Here are a few of the photos.





Now that our episode has aired, I am able to reveal a few more of the photos that I took as part of the M45 photography team. My shifts were scheduled at odd hours of the night but I knew I would have the opportunity to see some great work being done with some dramatic lighting. I was told that the place would be lit up like a football field and that was absolutely the truth. The volunteers were impressive and I felt somewhat guilty documenting the progress rather than doing hard, physical labor like so many others. I sure got tired, though!

I was enthralled each day to note how they utilized the cameras and the big boom arm that swung the camcorder out over the poured basement on my first night there and also, as seen in the first collage, that they had little yellow pieces of tape to indicate the purpose of each button. Now, that is something that I had to do when I first started my photography business – just to put up a light stand with an umbrella!!



I want to include this last photo because, while the production that aired Sunday night was indeed heart-warming and revealed much of the family circumstances, for time’s sake it had to omit much of what happened in front of the ABC cameras and in front of my camera. I was astounded on Reveal Day to see so MANY video cameras follow the Stott’s up to their house – what, is there seven of them?


I received a tip yesterday that Larry Elliott was planning to revive his brick-laying skills to help Jack Miller’s masonry team. So, when I arrived this afternoon Larry and crew were already hard at work. They are making some pretty quick progress on the West side of the church. Larry explained to me that he used his brick-laying skills to pay his way through the University of Wisconsin even though he is from Ames, IOWA. Guess he didn’t want to be a Cyclone.


These photos are from last Wednesday and already so much has changed. The cross inlay on the North side was in progress and today, at church, we saw it was completely done! I really like the combination of textures: brick, three kinds of stone and the stucco. It makes the facade so much more interesting, doesn’t it?

I had a friendly talk with the men working on the stucco as they had a few questions about the baptism tub and stage area. Our wide stage is made more intersting by the sweep of a generous curve.


The old fellowship area will be used for classroom space, I believe – note the addition of the designer-look columns. The fellowship area will be relocated to our old gym which will actually be a muti-purpose area with the new kitchen seen her in the background.

This photo shows our own Bob Logothetti wiring the stage area which will now be handicapped accessible with the addition of ramps on each side. The curves are continued in the windows and a few of the door frame openings – very nice design element.


I stopped in yesterday to take more photos of our “writing on the beams” and was mesmerized by the shadows and light falling through the wonderful new windows. They are such unqiue shapes and so big! I really have a feeling of being at home there even though the space is still partially exposed to the elements. They are currently working on the divisions for these huge windows and will be installing the glass soon. The drywall is also slated to begin this week and I’m told we will see major changes in the interior of the old basement area this week. My flash died on me so I will return for my photos later in the week.