POTD

Ice Caves at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superior

For the first time since the winter of 2009, the ice caves at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore near Bayfield, Wisconsin were open for the public to access.  Conditions have to be just right to form ice on Lake Superior that is safe enough for visitors to walk approximately a mile from Meyers Beach to the ice caves.  Winter 2014 has been brutal in Wisconsin, so the conditions were right.  As soon as I heard that the caves were accessible, I was in!  What follows are my twenty two favorite photos from January 24, 2014.

Prints are available for purchase at http://on.vncpd.us/1fio3SI

The colors of the ice and sandstone cliffs was breathtaking.  And look at the size of those hanging icicles!

The colors of the ice and sandstone cliffs was breathtaking.  And look at the size of those hanging icicles!

Looking out toward Lake Superior from inside one of the deeper sea caves.

Looking out toward Lake Superior from inside one of the deeper sea caves.

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The ice in this crevasse was very smooth compared to the ice on less protected areas of the sandstone cliffs.

The ice in this crevasse was very smooth compared to the ice on less protected areas of the sandstone cliffs.

A cave eroded out from the middle of a peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior

A cave eroded out from the middle of a peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior

Beautiful frost had formed on dome of the icicles in some of the areas that were exposed to wind-borne moisture.

Beautiful frost had formed on dome of the icicles in some of the areas that were exposed to wind-borne moisture.

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Some trees on the bluffs above Lake Superior were bent over with the weight of ice clinging to their branches.

Some trees on the bluffs above Lake Superior were bent over with the weight of ice clinging to their branches.

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Some formations, such as the curved section near the top of this photo, were incredibly delicate looking, yet were made of literally tons of frozen water.

Some formations, such as the curved section near the top of this photo, were incredibly delicate looking, yet were made of literally tons of frozen water.

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It is humbling to think of the wave power needed to create all of the caves and coves in the sandstone bluffs.

It is humbling to think of the wave power needed to create all of the caves and coves in the sandstone bluffs.

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The reds, whites, and blues in this ice formation almost felt like patriotic bunting seen around national holidays.

The reds, whites, and blues in this ice formation almost felt like patriotic bunting seen around national holidays.

The roof of this cave had a very clear, slick coating of ice from which the icicles dripped.  This was one of Amy's favorite photos.

The roof of this cave had a very clear, slick coating of ice from which the icicles dripped.  This was one of Amy's favorite photos.

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The colors in the ice and bluff here were mind blowing.  And look at the size of the icicle in the background compared to the person standing near it!  It was unbelievable!

The colors in the ice and bluff here were mind blowing.  And look at the size of the icicle in the background compared to the person standing near it!  It was unbelievable!

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I would love to see the three waterfalls inside this cave during the summer.  I have a hunch that they wouldn't be quite as impressive (and also that I'd get crushed by the lake's waves trying to get a kayak to a position to see this cave).

I would love to see the three waterfalls inside this cave during the summer.  I have a hunch that they wouldn't be quite as impressive (and also that I'd get crushed by the lake's waves trying to get a kayak to a position to see this cave).

All if the different ice colors are visible in this little cove.

All if the different ice colors are visible in this little cove.

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POTD: Dosed

Kayla and I had been trying to organize a shoot for my Dreams series for quite a while.  We had several conceptual options that we had discussed, but for one reason or another, we were never able to make any of them happen.  Finally, this week, despite scheduling and weather almost getting in the way, we finally made it happen.

Kayla was awesome, standing tough in snow and ice pellets and windy conditions to make a photo that I love.  I know it was horrible because I was dressed well for the weather, but kneeling in the snow to get the shot was absolutely horrible.  I couldn't complain, however, because I wasn't the one wearing a sun dress on a typical Wisconsin winter day.

This is Dosed.

Dosed  is VincePad's latest fine art photo in the Dreams, 2013 series

Dosed is VincePad's latest fine art photo in the Dreams, 2013 series

POTD: You Get What You Ask For, Sometimes

I love the delicate beauty of this clematis flower's petals juxtaposed with the almost mechanical intricacy of its filaments.  This flower is from Amy's favorite plant, gifted to us by a beloved friend, Lydia.  

Shot with a Canon 7D at ISO 320, f/8 for 1/40 sec.  The camera was stabilized on a tripod. The file itself was processed in Lightroom, Photomatix Pro, Lightroom again, Photoshop, with Topaz Adjust, and then final tweaks back in Lightroom.

Enjoy!

This clematis plant has nearly taken over the corner of our house

This clematis plant has nearly taken over the corner of our house

POTD: Georgia on My Mind

Georgia O'Keeffe occupies a place of honor in the art histories of my home state and my current residence.  She was born here in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (just outside of Madison) in 1887.  Georgia began to spend part of her year in Taos, New Mexico in 1929 and moved to Abiquiu, New Mexico permanently in 1949.  

Lilies were one of Georgia's favorite subjects to paint.  In honor of her amazing work, and an absolutely fascinating biography, here is a tribute to one of America's greatest artists.

Black calla lilies have many symbolic meanings and are one of my personal favorite flowers

Black calla lilies have many symbolic meanings and are one of my personal favorite flowers

POTD: Tranquility in Red

I love this picture because of the contrast between the red and the white.  It is not a selective color image, meaning that it is black and white and one other color.  Instead, Julie's skin is in color, but rendered very pale.  Her eyes are their natural tone.

Anyway, I think Julie's expression is incredibly peaceful, a sense made stronger by the fair, pale tones.  The red, however, jumps in and provides an intensity to the photo, seemingly at odds with the tranquility of Julie's pose and the tonalities.  However, the symbolism of the color red fits for me.  It works to make the character of Tranquility deeper, more complex.

This is one of my all time favorite photos.

Julie, playing the character Tranquility

Julie, playing the character Tranquility

POTD: ...But It Also Breeds Creation

Michelle is an awesome model.  We are always able to collaborate and come up with some rockin' (if I do say so myself) photos.

This shot was almost a throwaway from a session in which we were concentrating on other concepts.  She had just gotten a new tattoo of a lyric from the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song Californication.  

This lyric happens to have a lot of meaning for me, so I definitely wanted to get a great shot of it.  The only problem:  Michelle had the tattoo inked around her torso from back to front, callously ignoring my needs as a photographer.  We quickly came up with the idea to use a long exposure and "roll" her body from back to front so we could show the entire lyric.  Other than toning and some finishing touches, there's no Photoshop or digital trickery in this photo - it's all one shot.  

The tattoo reads:  Destruction leads to a very rough road, but it also breeds creation.  Awesome lyric.  Awesome tattoo.  Awesome model.  Hopefully an awesome photo.

I need to work with Michelle more often.  Her Red Hot Chili Peppers tattoo made just one awesome photo that we've created together.

I need to work with Michelle more often.  Her Red Hot Chili Peppers tattoo made just one awesome photo that we've created together.