The Big Weekend

This past weekend was a marathon in many ways.

Big Weekend part 1

Friday, I helped set up at  the Jefferson County Photography Club competition and exhibition. This is a print competition and I was a judge for it last year.  The quality of work is off the chart. The competition has grown to just under 600 images and it draws a good size crowd.

This year Molly and I entered several images as new competitors. After the set up and other stuff, Betty and Paul Fisher, Leah and Scott Villmer met Molly and I at our house and  had Lancito’s pizza. Lancito’s is a must when you are in New Haven–great pizza.

Then it was off to the New Haven Balloon Glow. The glow is held in the city park and the balloon “captains’ are warm and friendly allowing some up close and personal interaction.  Molly and I have a ton of images and we are in the midst of major home project, so post processing is essentially “on hold’. This one shot will have to do until I get off my posterior and get with the program.

Big Weekend Part 2

Saturday was award day at the Jeffco Photography Club. Molly won a first place in Wildlife and a 3rd in Transportation. The club takes all of the 1st place images and picks the best of the 1st place, same for 2nd and 3rd. Each place has a ‘best’ overall. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the 2nd Overall and 3rd Overall winner.

For a list of winners and the Overall images go here

6th Annual Jefferson Photography Club Competition.

Big Weekend Part 3

The Battle of Pilot Knob Reenactment

Every 3 years they have a reenactment of the Battle of Pilot Knob (Google is your friend for further knowledge)

Molly has always had an interest in the Civil War and has wanted to attend for several years but we were either too late or it was not one of the years they have the reenactment. This year, all the stars aligned. We spent the night in Farmington and got an early start arriving as the camp opened for visitors. We took our nephew Zachary and spent the day photographing all the activities. We joined up with  Scott Villmer and Will Solomon from the JeffCo club and swapped stories and settings for capturing the action. Again— way toooooooo many images but I am going to share this one with everyone. Molly was essentially adopted by the reenactors as you can see. One of the reenactors used her camera and did a pretty good job as well.


Congratulations to Wayne Sheridan for being chosen as the Grand Prize Winner in the St Louis Post Dispatch Eclipse Photo Contest.  Link to StlPD article

Wayne’s image was chosen as the Best of the Best out of 900 images. Carolyn Schleuter alerted me to Wayne’s win and I sent him an email asking if I could post his image on the blog. He graciously said yes. I also asked him about where he took the image and equipment and settings. Here is his reply.

Hi Bill, sure. I went to my moms house in Millstadt, Il. Because in St Charles we weren’t quite in the totality path. I made a filter from a thin ND sheet i bought on eBay and superglued it onto an old UV filter. I was really not expecting too much just wanted to enjoy it with wife and mom. I mounted the filter on my 40-150mm Olympus Zoom with a 1.4 extender and tried to capture the diamond ring. I used the old trick of stopping down the f stop to f22 to increase diffraction artifacts and got a real nice star effect. Lucky! It was a wonderful experience just observing the eclipse. Hope all is well with you and yours!


Wayne, who refers to himself as a ‘persistent photographer’  has shown himself to be quite ingenious developing the improvised filter as well as a talented photographer.

Join me in congratulating Wayne on his well deserved award.

(used with Wayne’s permission)

Well Looky Looky

Normally, this blog is to promote Molly’s photography but every once in awhile, I accomplish something worth tooting a horn about.

I recently had an image that was used as the cover for a regional hunting magazine. The magazine is published by Scott Gordon and is a labor of love that promotes the people that love duck hunting. Scott and I both have a love for the stories written by Gordon MacQuarrie, Labrador Retrievers and wild windy mornings in a duck blind with friends.

You can read more about Take’ Em magazine here:

Take’em Face Book Link/ and here Take’Em Website

Photo by Carolyn Schlueter (taken with an IPhone while visiting New Haven)



Some tidbits

Just a few things that caught my interest that may be of interest to other photographers

In case you have been under a rock, you know we had a total solar eclipse earlier this week. Here in New Haven, our guests had 2 minutes 31 seconds of totality….along with a lot of good food and drink. A good time with good people was had by all.

Here is a tutorial on working up your eclipse sequence.

How to make an eclipse sequence in Photoshop, Solar eclipses and Lunar eclipses

While this guy is not exactly on my faves list, he does know his stuff and his video-blog has some good info. His product reviews are very good also.

Large Print Canvas article From Breathing Color

BC Community: James Bourret on Immersive, Large-Scale Canvas Prints


Magical Tuesday Mystery Tour

One of our goals this summer was to visit the three covered bridges in Missouri that we have not been to yet. Like they say about the best made plans and all that– we haven’t made much of a dent in that goal.

Our schedule this week left only part of Tuesday as a ‘free day’. So I surprised Molly with a ‘scouting’ trip to the Union Covered Bridge in Monroe County. Since this was a scouting expedition to check out the sun, the location and what views were available, we traveled light with two cameras and no tripods. The Google Maps laid out a travel plan up HWY 15/HWY 54 from Mexico, Mo. Our GPS had other plans and we were in no hurry. All was well until we ran into road work on the main road to the destination. This resulted in ‘going over the river and through the woods’ on gravel roads. At one point I asked Molly if she was hearing banjos and she said, “No but she figured we would in another mile or two”. Our neighbor Linda often says that as long as you have a full tank of gas… are never really lost. We were wondering if this was our chance to test the theory. 🙂

Long story short– the latitude/longitude coordinates took us exactly to the bridge. Of course an expert landscape/architecture photographer would have been sitting in some cafe having their second cup of breakfast coffee when we arrived. For landscape images were a bit ‘late’ and the light was a bit hard.  I think this is an early morning place for the most part, so like so much travel photography we shot what was there when we were there.

If you decide to visit the place, realize that the interior has a fair amount of graffiti but the bridge is one of the few double Burre Arch covered bridges still in existence. Once you get past the graffiti, you start looking at the details of the structure and appreciate the engineering.

I can’t find my notes on the latitude/longitude but the bridge information says the address of the bridge is 20700 Monroe County Road 962,Paris MO 65275.

We had to be back in New Haven so Molly could be at the Open House at her Day School that evening,so we took HWY 15/HWY 54 back to I-70 which was much faster than our earlier ‘scenic’ route. Much less scenic but faster.

The website for Union Covered Bridge Historic Site is

Here are a few images that Molly took from our day trip.

Eclipse mania

Unless you have been off the grid for a very long time, you have heard that there is going to be a solar eclipse on August 21,2017

Here is a link to an image with the path etc in Missouri

Missouri Map with Eclipse path

Here in beautiful New Haven, here is what we will get:

Latitude: 38° 36′ 30″ N Longitude: 91° 13′ 09″ W
Duration of Totality*: 2m 31s Partial phase start: 11:47:59AM (CDT), at “1:30 o’clock” on the sun’s disk
Totality Start*: 1:15:02PM (CDT)


St Clair is directly on the path and they will get 2:40 seconds. I think we can live with 9 seconds less than St Clair 🙂


There is a ton of information on YouTube about how to photograph the eclipse.

I liked this clip for several reasons but mostly for the sources for photo filters by Dan Watson—  

The above on YouTube has links to the gear– sorry, it did not come through on the ’embedded media’

yes, you need a filter so you do not damage your DSLR’s sensor and it has a link for the solar viewing glasses. (so you do not damage your eyes–not many blind photographers to my knowledge– protect your eyes and your sunglasses won’t cut it)

Have fun folks…..






Congratulations are in order

The Jefferson County Fair recently conducted a photography contest.

We are pleased to announce that our good friends Betty and Paul Fisher and Leah and Scott Vilmer  did very well in the competition.


The Jefferson County Photography Club has a very nice write up at this link:

Please take the time to read the article and look at some very fine photography.

Congratulations to Leah,Betty,Paul and Scott for their excellent photography.

How Time Flies

Here it is— July 4th already. Seems like it was just yesterday it was Memorial Day. Summer is about half over and we have a ton of chores to do here at the house.

Zachary was here last week after attending his running camp. It is his senior year and we hope he does well both in running and his studies.

Molly and I were having coffee last Monday  morning thinking of where to take a day trip. We were looking at Meramec Springs Park and then we received an email from our good friend Fred Henning. Fred is one of the most dedicated and talented bird photographers. He was talking about not finding any Redheaded Woodpeckers and said he found some at ….yep, Meramec Springs Park. A quick reply and Fred told us where he found the birds and we planned a trip for Tuesday morning.

Tuesday arrived and we were fogged in. When it lifted we decided to take a road to I-44 that we had never been on before. Talk about over the river and through the woods 🙂

Anyway– these are ones that Molly took that I thought were interesting showing feeding behavior between adult and juvenile.

All taken with Canon 40D and the Canon 500mm with a 1.4 extender.

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A Photographic Puzzle

One of the goals in photographing prop driven aircraft is to get the full circle effect of the prop. This eliminates the ‘plane on a string effect’ that happens if the image is taken with a very high shutter speed. It is more difficult that it looks and I am posting an example.

The two images in this post were shot at the same Shutter Speed (1/160) and approximately the same distance from the camera. The differences are:

  1. Time of day. The white plane was taken in the afternoon. The copper one was in the morning.
  2.  Number of Props. The white plane has 2 props. The copper plane has 3 props. Add the copper plane had stickers on the prop which picked up the light and gave the 2 concentric circle effect.

The white plane also made a pass back over the air strip and I lowered the shutter speed to 1/100– the prop disappeared.

3. Molly shot the copper plane as it taxied at 1/200 and got a full circle as well.

Question: Why did we get a full circle on the one plane and not on the other? Slowing the shutter speed as the white plane zoomed the field ( and then facing into the light) made the prop disappear.

Is this like steering into a spin when driving on ice?

Years ago , I photographed an air show and a good friend told me to photograph the prop planes at 1/320. I did with mixed results. The best ones gave an “iron cross” effect that was pretty good but not the “holy grail– full prop circle”.

Any ideas on developing a relatively ‘standard’ approach to getting full prop circles for this type of photography would be appreciated.

For larger image click the thumbnail.