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I occasionally write essays related to my photography. If I do, I'll post them here.


Eau Claire River Lightning

Fathers, Sons, and Storms:
Defying Rain, Lightning, and Familial Fear to Get the Perfect Photograph

VolumeOne, September 19, 2018

“I think it would be a good idea if you got out of the water,” Dad implored as lightning brightened the dark sky above me. “Just a few more minutes,” I responded, as if this conversation had occurred 30 years earlier andhe was instructing me to come in for dinner. “The sky is incredible right now, and it’s not even raining yet!” Of course it wasn’t the rain he was concerned about.

It was an unseasonably warm spring evening and a thunderstorm was rolling in. It progressed purposely across the landscape from west to east, just to the north of us. The bolts of lightning were distinct and stunning. Amid all the electricity, I was waist-deep in the Eau Claire River.

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Capturing The Perfect Shot
Wisconsin Life, July 28, 2017

[Note: this is an essay I recorded for Wisconsin Public Radio's "Wisconsin Life." You can listen to it by clicking below.]

I’m running late. By the time I show up, the sun has already sunk beneath the horizon. Despite my best intentions, it appears I have missed the opportunity I was hoping for.

​I’ve always loved sunsets, but I only recently discovered a joy in photographing them to preserve and share with others. On this evening I hike to a spot on the Eau Claire River to capture the sun setting over a meandering section of the stream. I came across this place previously while boating and thought it’d be an interesting location to take a picture. Though I didn’t realize at the time what it would take to get there by foot.

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Turn Your Eyes to the Skies:

I Don’t Waste an Opportunity to Experience the Northern Lights

VolumeOne, November 2, 2016

A little over a year ago in this space, I wrote about my transformative experience viewing and photographing the northern lights in our area. Since then, I’ve observed the aurora borealis quite a few times, both from here and points further north. And I’ve become somewhat obsessed. Some people are fixated on the Packers; others, on craft beers. For me, it’s observing the luminous effects of sun-sent electrons blasting the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Morning Glory: In a Wisconsin Spring, the Early Bird Gets the Best Show

VolumeOne, April 20, 2016

I looked up from my breakfast bowl, which was filled to the brim with milk-soaked Frosted Mini-Wheats, and noticed through the sliding glass door which faces east from our house, through the decades-old white pines a sky so bright red that it gave the impression that the needles had been set aflame. The vibrancy of this pre-dawn color was jolting, especially against the backdrop of early spring drabness. I dropped the spoon atop the miniature bales in the bowl, jumped up from my chair and sprinted for my camera.

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Inspiring Art: Living in the Valley’s Art-friendly Environment Can Spur Anyone’s Creativity – Even Mine

VolumeOne, August 19, 2015

I never thought I’d find myself sitting alone on the southern shore of Lake Wissota at 2 in the morning with a camera – affixed atop a tripod – pointed skyward. But there I was, a few weeks ago, trying to make a permanent portrayal of the famously ephemeral aurora borealis. Like many in western Wisconsin, I was giddy with excitement that the northern lights were visiting us here with such vibrancy, so far from their typical range. But my goal on that particular evening wasn’t merely to see the lights, but to record them in a way that spoke to me, and perhaps others, long after they had retreated back to the arctic.

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