Winers Tree #1 toned by matt-anderson

Toned Version. Along a rural country road in Wisconsin is this amazing tree. It not the biggest tree around nor a fancy species. But when you see it, you can tell it quite special. It sits alone on a small hill. The prairies that surround provide a sea of serene white in the Winter season. Albion, WI

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©2015 Matt Anderson All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without permission of the photographer. Hey, just email me if you have usage questions. Also, if you want to buy an awesome fine art print of this image.

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One Small Step by PhilKoch

I usually do not post the background stories of what happens when shooting Horizons. But today I
will. You see, there was this bush.
My day always begins the same way when the alarm scares the crap out of me at 3:10 am. I dress

in the dark so as not to wake my wife Mary (unless I forget to turn off the secondary backup alarm and that is a whole other story) and stagger down the stairs to start the coffee machine, usually tripping over my sleeping dog. I step outside at 3:15 to have a smoke and listen to the distant, and often not so distant, gunfire of the city of Milwaukee. That must be the golden hour of discharging firearms here. To me it is no different than the sound of crickets these days. (Oh ya, someone forgot to prep the coffee machine this morning so I cooked air) At 3:25 I fill up my mug,grab my camera and hit the road to start my work day. At 4:00 am I get to our office, take an hour getting the orders for my morning deliveries together, punch in to my digital time card and then head out into Horizon land.
As I was cutting through the back roads in Racine county at 5:45 am, as I have been doing now for 17 years, the sun hit the Horizon with the softest of light. The sky was perfect, all I needed was one thing that stood out in the landscape. And there it was. A bush with white flowers about 200 feet off the road. Cool. Awesome. Time to wade through knee high grass and get soaked before a full work day and 180 orders to deliver. So I parked on the side of the road, threw on my flashers
and worked my way to that bush. Damn thing is, the closer I got the bigger it got. I should have brought a ladder because by the time I got to the bush it was 8 feet high and about 20 feet long. Well, I do not little things like this bother me. I worked my way to the front of this bush ( you will notice I have no idea what this or many other plant life are called. Too much information takes away from the beauty of the photo. LOL)
So I worked my way to the front of the bush and pushed in about 5 feet through a tangle of branches, held my camera up as high as I could and began shooting bursts of bracketed shots. In the photo I posted, “One Small Step”, those pretty white wild flowers were eye level to me. And just to my right and behind my that bush must have been 8 feet high. Or so I thought.
Did I mention the Red Wing Blackbirds? No? Oh, yep, they must have had nests in this bush because as soon as I stepped in and started shooting they took flight, circled, and started diving bombing me. I brought my camera down, took a peek at a few of the some 50 bracketed shots I took blindly and knew I had something to work with. But with mosquitos ringing in my ears, my shoes and
socks soaked through and crazy birds wanting me dead I decided to try to get a couple more from just a little bit to the right. Just “One Small Step”. Just, you know, a little more. So I moved my right foot over about two feet, raised the camera over my head and pointed it at the Horizon, put
my finger on the exposure button (yes, all this at once) and put my foot down…….on nothing.
There are moments you remember. Like my kids being born. Like the night I asked Mary to marry me and ten minutes later we get rear ended. Like a first kiss. Like when the earth disappeared and you find yourself falling backward with a camera over your head as if you are being devoured by a giant bush and evil black birds are laughing at you. Ya, like that. That moment, falling about 8
feet down and backwards into a ravine through tangled masses of branches not quite knowing when the ride will be over.And what was the one thought going through my head? My cell phone was in my car. As I layed there in the belly of the 16 foot monster bush from hell looking at the filtered morning light of sunrise I realized something. I realized I was laying in water and once again wet through and through and I had an 8 hour shift yet to be done. But hell, I got the shot.

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Cerebral Explosion by Like_He

Please press M for full size view!

Uploaded it yesterday for a few hours but I felt like it needed some extra work. Retouched a bit to increase the contrast, not a repost.

Lighthouse at Canal park, Duluth, Minnesota

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