Friday, July 30, 2010

Skinny Dipping

Did we get the skinny dipping in today. Hours upon hours of swimming and bobbing about on all kinds of floating thing-a-ma-jiggers . I look like a lobster and my legs feel like rubber. Everybody had a great time however and are looking forward to the next go around.
Ran out of beer so we had to call a halt.
One lost sun visor hat when the Rogue Flipper came up under an air mattress and flipped the sleeping gal into the water. Other than that, no injuries or damage.

Some images from the Swansonville pontoon

Just in case you thought you were having a good summer.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chop chop

Abigail ~ June of 2005

Still raining. Attempting to line up a model for a shoot at Starved Rock on the 9th of August but not having much luck.
Left messages with several models who might be interested but no one is home at the moment.

Someone that I know, who I wish would model for me one day, won the world champion log sawing contest in Wisconsin a few days ago. She is about 90 pounds, soaking wet but her and her family have been involved in the lumberjack tournaments around the world for many years. Last heard she was off for Australia for a log chopping tournament with several axes worth several thousand dollars each. And they don't have any moving parts, just a handle and an axe head. I guess I should not complain about the cost of cameras.
Go get em, Denise.

Update: Heard from the model I was hoping would be able to go on the Starved Rock trip and she is raring and willing.
All is right with the world.

The coyotes are going nuts this morning.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coffee Time

Sarah Jean

Picked up the repaired mower deck from the mower doctor and paid the Dr. bill. Then I took it back and re-attached it to the tractor before dad could help me again. I'm running out of fingers that function correctly.
It is good to go once again. It should last until he gets on it, then I give it about five minutes before we do the whole thing all over again.


This image was taken on the Temperance River in June of 2004. I had been working with Sarah Jean for a year at that point and we had gotten to know each other well enough that we didn't have to be able to verbally communicate while shooting. She knew what I would be looking for in the image and went to work on getting it underway.
We made a good team.
I hope she is doing well out in Studio City, California.

I think it is time to go have coffee at Gert's Tavern.
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It was made of leather....

Sarah Jean
"Let me see if I got this straight. We are hiking over to the base of that mountain range and there are going to be rattle snakes.
This outfit is suppose to keep me from getting bit?"

I don't think Sarah Jean believed the snake proof outfit routine I was attempting to sell her on but she was willing to wear it while we hiked anyway.
Of course I let her lead.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sometimes you feel like a duck, sometimes you don't

Mayla ~ In Little Rainier Lake

Bonus image today with one of her in the studio as well.
It began to rain.
Go figure.

"Touchdown, Vikings"
It could stop raining anytime now.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Make your reservations now

Jolene ~ Flame

Finished the Adirondack L o v e S e a t today. Spent all day on it. Now I am turning it over to the wife to paint. I don't do paining.


I'm taking *reservations for the Arc. A $300. deposit will assure you a place aboard, $500. if you want a railing side cabin. Remainder of the $450,000. fee to be paid by July 30th. Launch date is anticipated to be August 15th but notices will be sent out 24 hours in advance if that schedule changes. You must be at the Arc terminal one hour before launch.
*Only females between the ages of 28 and 52: Redheads will will be loaded first with black hair and brunettes next. Blonds will be sailing standby.

I have given up attempting to cull the diseased leaves from the shrubs and plant do to the non-stop rain we have had. It has gained on our attempts and now it is a matter of letting it run its course and see what lives next year.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Abigail ~ South Dakota

The lawn mower...
As I pulled into the in-laws place I noticed (hard to miss) that he had mowed a section of the woods that contained sapling trees about as big around as your thumb. He had been throwing rocks in that patch for thirty years. My heart sank.
After about half an hour I had assessed the damage and about all that was salvageable of the mower deck was the clip pins that held it in place. Both spindles were bent and both blades were broken. Even the housing was toast.
As I was reaching under the mower in an order to pull the pins so I could remove the deck, he decided he would help me and raise the deck. That move caught the little finger on my left hand in the scissor mechanism, breaking it nicely, thank you very much.
After talking to god about that little move I finished removing the deck and loaded it up in the car for a trip to the lawn mower doctor. I'm thinking a whole new mower deck is going to be cheaper than attempting to fix this one.

Shot while we were in the Badlands

Friday, July 23, 2010

Muse????? Anyone?????

Sarah Jean ~ Government Point on Turtle Lake

I'm in need of a new muse. And that is a terrible state to be in.
For years I had several. Sarah Jean, Abigail and Erin. All have left the area now and I am museless. And although Abigail remains my best friend (and always will be) I need someone to play in front of my camera. Someone who will be around whenever I need them.
Pickings in Marcell, Minnesota are pretty slim. A few good wives, but their husbands are not that liberal. Even the ones who moved here from the cities are not that liberal.
I don't get it. Why would you not want your wife to model nude while she is able? In twenty years I bet she would be happy to look back on images of herself in a good piece of art.
I bet the husbands would be happy to show off a good piece of art of their wives when they looked good.
Small town thinking. No one can see my wife naked but me.
Good thing I have neighbors who don't think that way or life would be boring around here. Pontoon rides would be as boring as Dan's. Clothed, but we have beer.
What the hell fun is that?
Pontoon rides at Dave's house: You don't get on if you are wearing clothes, and we have beer too.
But I need a local gal that is available all the time to model for me.
One that is willing to create art with me.
Any wives out there that want to do something different for a change?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Love seat?

Abs & I

Thought I was done making furniture for awhile but the wife wants a love seat Adirondack chair for the screen porch, so back into the shop I went and managed to scrounge up some pine, some, oak and some black ash. Enough to build the damn thing. Since she is going to paint it no one will know there are three different kinds of lumber.
Yesterday I managed to get all the pieces cut out and rough sanded. I won't get a chance to do anything with it today as I will be at the in-laws all day working. Maybe by the weekend I can wrap it up.

My best friend, Abigail (see picture above) wrote me early yesterday morning to let me know her father was in a serious car accident. She was leaving shortly on a flight to be with him at a hospital in Springfield, Illinois.
My best wishes go out to him. He is a very wonderful man.

Yesterday we finally had a day without rain. Almost. It did sprinkle on me for about five seconds, but that really doesn't count.
It was a grand evening with a calm wind. Roberta and I went out on the pontoon boat and toured the glass smooth lake. She drove and stopped awhile to practice her fly fishing. She is beginning to learn the evil ways of fly rod fishing. Mostly the cussing part.
I have been there. I went through the hardcore fly fishing days. I understand how it sucks you in and makes you spend thousands of dollars on equipment and fly tying gear, clothes, waders and then the flies. The $60. hand tied flies, of which you need hundreds.
Somewhere down the pike in about ten years you snap out of it and realize you are catching less fish than everyone else and it is costing you ten times as much.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another, Where's Waldo

The sky was not cooperating with me that day and in order to get the cliff correct I was forced to wash out the sky. I'm not into adding skies that were not there so you must take it as is.
This image does bring that cliff into perspective however.
Did you find Claya?

Still have not given the images from the last trip a good going over. The last couple of days has been hot enough that we are doing a lot of swimming to keep cool. I have a piece of furniture that I am working on in the shop that gets about an hour every day paid attention to it. It is going slow.
We still have not started the outdoor pizza oven project but I hoping we can get it underway before I take off around the 8th of August.
And once again it doesn't look like I am going to find the time to build the green house.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blue Moon


Another light painting around midnight. Quite the difference between the area I painted with the flashlight and what the moon light did to the water with its different color temperature.
She is a little blurry but again it was about a three minute exposure and that is a long time to hold perfectly still, especially when you are laying on sharp rocks and the mosquitoes are out in full force.

I was having coffee with Tim and Dan this morning. Gert came out into the bar with a pajama top on and some pants that were covered with sequins. Looked like something out of, A Clockwork Orange. The thought still sends shivers up my spine.
Anyway Gert said she was going to turn the place into a sports bar. And with that she slapped an old football on the counter under the whiskey bottles before heading back to her bedroom.
Dan, Tim and I looked at each other and agreed that the remodeling into a sports bar did wonders to improve the ambiance of the place but figured Gert would raise the prices of her drinks to cover the cost.

Monday, July 19, 2010



Couldn't take it any longer and made my way toward Gert's Tavern. Stopped at the post office and picked up a weeks worth of mail. Nice having a post office box rather than a mail box at home because I think once a week is often enough to get mail. Saturdays? They could do away with all but one day delivery as far as I'm concerned. What is with the mania of receiving mail?
As I left the post office I noticed a sort of garage sale going on at the now closed down cafe/laundromat so I swung in. Large brown glass bottle, firewood hauler, cast iron crank handle off of something, a book on glass bottle collecting, a book on Pissarro, a jig saw, a computer CRT monitor....$17.00 total.
Then I proceeded to Gert's Tavern. It was Saturday and I expected no bar tender as usual but it was a treat to find Bonnie behind the bar. The only other person in Gert's was Tim so I sat down next to him.
"You been camping on the north shore?"
"Yeah. Got back late Thursday night."
"So you don't know what's been going on around here?" Tim started to cackle.
"No clue. Fill me in."
"Well on Monday night two cops came in and one grabbed the kid that works in the kitchen and the other one grabbed Gert. They hauled them off into separate rooms.
No idea what that was about.
Then on Tuesday afternoon the cops showed up with a flatbed trailer and loaded up Gert's 20 year old riding lawn mower and hauled it away."
Tim began to chuckle again, this time blowing beer out his nose.
I started laughing at Tim and it became contagious enough that Bonnie let out a giggle.
Tim said he had no more information.
I'm pretty sure Gert bought a hot lawn mower when she was down in the Cities 20 years ago and someone has finally tipped them off. Probably the kid with the dumb look on his face that works in the kitchen for all the crap Gert has put him through the last month.
Maybe he is not as dumb as he looks.

The rains were heading our way so I excused myself and headed home to take the sleeping bags off the clothes line.
I have managed to clean all the camping cook ware, organize the gear and wash umpteen loads of laundry. Ready to head out once again.

This image was taken on the Baptism River at what is called the Cascades. This section of river is closed to people because of an avalanche that took a goodly section of the canyon away leaving the area unsafe for foot travel. We paid no attention to the signs and had it to ourselves.

Update: Went back to Gert's. Dan was there along with Tom and Tim who had not left since I had seen him this morning.
Dan (the guy who looks like the Skipper on Gilligan's Island) said he drove into town this morning and while en-route he had his arm out the window and a bee went up his sleeve and stung him on his boob. I was rolling on the floor. What a hoot. That took the edge off the day. Life doesn't get much better than that in these parts.
I will be working with the images from this last trip and putting things in files. Some of them I will share over the next couple of days.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Were's Waldo


There was so much to do on these cliffs. But the heavy rains came and the rocks got slippery.
It's one thing to fall ten feet, but a whole different ball game when you fall two hundred feet. And I saw no way to get down to the body should she have fallen. Boat. We could have rented a boat and came back for her remains, but that just seemed like an added expense that need not be incurred on this trip so we called it quits for the day.
And yes, that section she is on is breaking away from the main cliff. But if it can hold up just a tad longer we can get some good images.
Models will be around forever but that cliff face may be gone tomorrow.
Make note of where am standing for this shot. I don't ask the models to do anything I am not willing to do. Almost.

I wanted to get over to Gert's Tavern today and catch up on what has been going on, but it is the weekend and I have no desire to be in there when the out of town assholes are sucking up good air.
I am becoming less and less tolerant of city people.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sweaty mess

Camille ~ "Sum Of All Fears"

Another light painting from our trip. This time Camille was on the other side of the lens and we were working next to the ragging Baptism River in the middle of the night. I painted some of the white water in the background that created this mushroom cloud effect after going over her and the rock she was on with the flashlight. It add that third item that is needed in this image. Just her and the rock would have been lacking, as beautiful as she is.

I have not had a chance to review the work we did on this trip just yet. A couple of random ones you have seen here were grabbed over the last two days but the bulk of the work has been unexplored as of yet. Been busy making up for taking a few days off. Spent yesterday at the in-laws, of course. Wife is heading there again today but I am going to hang around here and get some laundry done. Just about all the clothes I own came home from this trip soggy because of the rain or I was in them while wadding in the river. The sleeping bags were wet from sweat as it was in the 60s at night and most of my bags are rated for -20 degrees with some to -50. So all those need to be washed.
The camping gear got jumbled up something fierce on this trip and I need to spend a few hours getting things all sorted out again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fun times had all

Claya France ~ "Christopher Walken's Revenge"

Back home and what a time we had. Of course it rained solid one whole day and it was nice that I had brought the screen porch to sit under so we did not have to hunker down in the tent for hours at a time. Red wine in the rain as long as you are under something to keep you dry make for a good day also.
We got quite a bit of shooting in on the cliffs and the rivers, but some of the best was done after it got dark, dark.
This image above was light painted around midnight on Tuesday. I had the camera on a tripod in the river and the image was exposed with a standard flashlight which took about three minutes to paint. Some nice cedar tree roots gave for a good setting and nice textures to work with.
After I was finished with this one, my only one that night, I helped R. Lynn experiment with light painting Claya in the roots. She had only done one other and that was with me one night last year.
She did do some light painting of me in these roots on Tuesday night and when she forwards them to me I will let you have a gander.
I did manage to light paint her on Wednesday night after a bit of modeling in the river nearby earlier that evening.
We did a bit of work on the high cliffs until the rains started and the rocks up there were getting a bit slippery for me to be comfortable with having the models hanging over two hundred feet of nothing.
When my feet went out from under me and I was sliding toward the edge, it was time to call it quits.
But some nice work that I will share over the next few days.
Great trip, but good to be home again.
Two more weeks and I take off for another one.

Mountain Stream


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fall Fun

Abigail & Erin

I'm still gone and no computer with me so you will have to settle for just pictures for a couple of days.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

PLEASE, don't lay down

Erin ~ "Ice Blue"

I mentioned that I thought augmented breasts look ridiculous. Well they do. I don't care how many nasty-grams I get from gals who have them or redneck men that think they look hot.
When I see a gal with augmented breasts I think this guy is her husband or boyfriend and he talked her into having it done.

They may look nice if done in moderation and you are upright with a dress on. But sooner or later you will have to take that dress off and lay down. Then they look silly. Worse than silly.
I can see if you had a mastectomy and it is done for reconstructive purposes, but otherwise it is like a man shoving four inches of a broom handle in his penis. The visual aspects are similar.
And no, there are no good ones out there. They all look bad. All of them.

I should be setting up camp when you are reading this. The girls will be along shortly. I like to have camp up and going before they arrive so we can sit and visit a bit comfortably before we get to the work end of the deal.

Erin shot in the town hall one night.
If only Diane knew.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Naked people thrashing about in the river at night


Tomorrow morning I will be off for the north shore again. Two gals this time, Camille and Claya.
Claya will be the primary focus of my lens with Camille helping me as an assistant. She may model as well, along with me if things begin to flow in that direction, but for the most part we will be working with Claya as the model.
I will be doing some light painting after dark and that almost always necessitates the need for two people operating the equipment. I'm going to attempt to light paint Claya in the "Sleepy Hollow" tree that I have used before. That means setting up the camera on the tripod in about three feet of rapidly moving river while Camille and I wade about in the river with flashlights painting Claya in the tree roots with light. Should be quite the interesting experiment. If nothing else it will be fun and I'm sure much talk will center around the shoot when we are back at the campfire with a glass of wine.
I seem to loose a camera to the river or lake about every other year. This just might be the trip.

This is Olivia in that tree. I am hand holding the camera while better than waist deep in the river. There is no other place to stand to get a good angle on this set of tree roots.

Like I said, it will be a fun evening if nothing else comes of it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010



A few days ago I made one of the toughest decisions of my life. It is all either uphill or down hill from here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

No money, no food and a confused kid in the kitchen

Katy_T ~ "Sunflowers"
Shot on my deck

So I stopped by Gert's Tavern for coffee in the morning. Gert left for a trip to Devils Lake in the Dakotas. The kid she hired to cook in the restaurant came into the bar and was complaining that there was only one hamburger patty in the freezer, no french fries and Gert had a sign up for burger specials. We paid no attention to him and he finally wandered back into the kitchen with a dumb look on his face, which is probably why Gert hired him in the first place.
The beer delivery guy showed up with his truck and unloaded many cases and kegs of beer only to find out Gert took all the money from the register and the safe just in case she ran across a casino on her trip to the Dakotas.
Bonnie found a check book in Gert's bedroom and wrote the beer guy a check. After the beer guy left Bonnie said she has no idea if there is any money in that account.
We all looked at each other and shook our heads as to indicate we knew there was no money in that account or Gert would have taken the check book with her.

I took a bath in this tub last night. It was a bit warmer than when Katy used it, but then, she had fewer mosquitoes.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Days at Otter Hall

Claya ~ Not sucked in.
Wouldn't look good sucked in here.

My friend Dave L. has been involved with answering the question, Why must the models suck in their stomachs for the shot? At least that is my assessment of the question.
Dave has been posting images of Brooke that he had taken on the north shore of Lake Superior and she looks like her stomach is sucked in, however, I can attest that she looks like that when she is not sucking in her stomach. I'm not even sure she could suck in her stomach.
At any rate...I shoot them as they lay. Some in and up, some out and down. They are all good.
That is not to say I work with all. All shapes are good. Other things turn me off.
I won't shoot models with augmented breasts. They just don't lay natural, and to me they look ridicules.
I won't shoot models with large tattoos. They detract from the beauty of the scene. Tattoos are ugly. All of them. Little ones I can deal with but anything larger than a small chipmunk and I have zero interest in using them for models.
Each artist to his or her own creations and ideas.
I have enjoyed reading the comments on Dave's posts with this issue. Sort of like...What is porn vs art question.

Didn't rain yesterday! Woooooooohoooooo!

Did a lot of swimming in the lake yesterday. It was a nice day for that.
We bobbed about on the pontoon boat taking turns skinny dipping and floating about in a truck inner tube. Sometimes tandem floating about in the inner tube, which made life a bit more fun for those of us who gave it a whirl.
Life doesn't get much better than here in Swansonville where the Otter Hall compound is clothing optional. Good friends, good food, good drinks and a whole lot of great memories.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How dare you offer me money

Abigail ~ "Her Lover No Longer In The Picture"

I learned long ago to never let a woman pose for you who owes you money in exchange for money owed. I comes to no good.
So yesterday I was a bit perplexed and suspicious when a friend (who I have photographed many times) said, "If I pay you would you take some photos of me?"
That introduction of, If I pay you... not only raised the hackles on the back of my neck and caused my left eye lid to twitch uncontrollably but also sent wild visions through my brain of very evil doings.
I said, "No, but I will photograph you for free, just like all the other times."
She retorted with, "No. I'd like to pay you this time."
Red flags were popping up so fast it looked like a Chinese holiday.
We departed not having agreed to anything, and I think it will remain so.

I have never considered myself a photographer for hire. Be it clandestine images for a lover or for a model to better her portfolio. I don't want to be a photographer for hire. Although I admit it is nice a couple of time a year to make some extra cash when I am twiddling my thumbs trying to find something to keep myself occupied. But for the most part I just want to do my thing and sell my prints to fund my obsession of running around in the woods with beautiful, nude women.

I never had a need for image recovery software, but yesterday I thought it might be fun to play with the technology so I pulled a flash card out that I knew I had deleted two images off of after a shoot but had not reformatted it yet.
I Googled free ScanDisk recovery software and found their download. After getting it into the computer and inserting the card for it to read I made tea.
Upon my return it had said it recovered 112 images and to press here to preview and save. So I pressed here.
There were icons where the thumbnail images should have been that said the files were bigger than 10 mbs and could not be previewed. So I went to the save button and hit that. I got a message saying I could not save the images with this free version of the software but if I care to purchase the version I can save images from for $49.95 I could hit this button.
I have made my last purchase of ScanDisk equipment and will now switch to Lexar for all further CF cards.
The company has gotten too big to be friendly and has turned into Corporate America, screwing people out of their money and being assholes along the way.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Can you do a manhole cover?

Abigail & I ~ "Companions"

Ramping up for a camping trip with two models on the north shore.
Should be a grand time. I have worked with both of them several times separately but never together.
The wife is wanting to go camping too so we will have four people on this trip.
One of the models is also a good photographer so I will probably do a bit of modeling for her myself. I have modeled for her on two occasions in the past and have been very happy with the results. She has an artist's eye.
I only wish I was about twenty pounds more on the trim side. Old age is catching up with me at a rapid rate.

Neighbor gal came over and took a shower on my deck today. High water pressure (1/4 drill bit can ream out those wimpy shower heads) and the feeling of being free and not cooped up in a bathroom is a great.
Noticed a tattoo on the small of her back during her shower that I had not seen before. Turns out she was in New Zealand and saw a manhole cover that she liked so she made a rubbing of the design. Then she found a tattoo place and had it reproduced on her back.
Probably the only manhole cover tattoo in the world.
Like all tattoos, I don't get it. But hey...if it floats your boat.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2, 2, 2 Gerts in one


Maybe we can return to some peace and quiet now.

Went to Gert's Tavern for coffee this morning. Dan, Tim and Tom were there. Bonnie was tar bending and looked rather inviting with her low cut top and a lace tee shirt under it.
Things were going along well and I was catching up on the local gossip when all of a sudden...I could hear Gert bellowing in the back room. The door flew open and into the bar she came, only it wasn't Gert. It was Gert's daughter.
Gert's daughter was one of the prettiest gals you have ever laid eyes on fifteen years ago. Actually she was a model for a period of time.
Then...she turned into Gert. Doubled or better in weight and got that gravel voice that can't speak unless it is 90 decibels or higher. The work ethic thing followed suit and I don't think she has had a job in several years.
But she entered the bar in a Gert costume. Pajamas. Grungy pajamas and flip flops.
Now I know it was early, only 11:30 in the morning, but it is bad enough with one Gert let alone two Gerts parading about the bar in grungy bed clothes.
I decided I had made the trip to Gert's one day earlier than I should have and packed up and left.
Dan, Tim and Tom were still laughing about my disguised attitude when I hit the door.
I was not awake enough for two Gerts. It was a bit much and will give it another go about July 7th.

Sunday, July 4, 2010



I managed to get my body sun burnt. It has been very hot the last couple of days and I have been nude most of the time. Yesterday I was out on the boat for a couple of hours and I think that is when I char broiled my front side. In a way it is better than the backside as I can sit down comfortably.

Traffic in the northwoods is crazy this weekend. All the city people coming up here and blowing off firecrackers.
We northwoods people should get together some September evening and start lighting firecrackers in the middle of Edina.

Dave is grumpy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Sarah Jean ~ Yorick's Bride

I am excited about the campsite I found. What a view!
I have no desire to work with a model that just wants to pose on a bed, on a window sill or on a table.
I want a model who sits around the campfire after a good meal with a glass of wine and is excited about all the great things we saw, the goofs we made, the wonderful stuff we shot. A model who is proud that her thighs burn from hiking and her nose (insert whatever) is burnt from the sun. A bit of skin is missing off her backside from the rocks. One who knows how to cook a proper marshmallow over coals and add peanut butter to the gram cracker and Hershey bar.
They are terrible anyway you do them, but they do need peanut butter.
Points for cooking one golden brown. Points deducted for actually liking to eat one.
These are some of the qualifications I will be seeking in the two models I will be taking on that trip and to this campsite.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Applications being accepted for next June

Abigail ~ At twelve thousand feet. A bit windy.

Home. It is good to get back home, but I will miss the exploring. I did locate some wonderful spots in which to shoot next month and it was exciting, but now, home.
I also found the most prestigious camp site on the north shore and have already booked it for a four night jaunt next June. It is a bit hard to get into, but once there, there is not a more gorgeous view as what you are looking at from that site.
I will be taking applications from models for this one next year. And a hundred dollar bill slipped in with your application will be dully noted but not a sure thing.
Now...a little scotch to unwind.