Chris Schlosser Photography: Blog en-us (C) Chris Schlosser Photography (Chris Schlosser Photography) Wed, 25 Mar 2020 00:33:00 GMT Wed, 25 Mar 2020 00:33:00 GMT Chris Schlosser Photography: Blog 120 90 Power of Nature ...  

This past weekend my son asked me to go along with him on a photo taking trip to the upper Peninsula of Michigan. Normally going out to take photos is at the top of my list of favorite things to do. However, with the recent COVID-19 virus, like many others I was feeling the stress of hearing updates from the media, worrying about health concerns, financial concerns, and the unknown future. My instinct was to just stay in the house. But I didn’t want my son to go alone and he was going one way or the other. I decided I would go along. We packed all of our food and drinks so we would not need to stop much along the way. We left in the dark at 4:30 in the morning and arrived at our destination just after sunrise.

The upper peninsula looked like a winter wonderland! Being someone who loves winter photography, I was thrilled to see the snow. We had the entire place to ourselves. We both went in separate directions in search of the perfect point of view we were each envisioning. For me a spot along the bank of the snowy river was where I knew I needed to be. Time was of the essence and I quickly got set up. I was in the zone, with my camera on the tripod at a low angle to capture the flowing water and snow covered trees that made up the background. I was thinking about my composition and what elements I wanted to include in the foreground of the photo. I clicked a few shots and checked my histogram, made a few adjustments and clicked the shutter again. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a bit of brown motion. My first thought was that it was someone’s dog. When I looked over, I realized I was very close, and face to face with a deer. I’m not sure who was more surprised, myself or the deer. I could see the startled look on the does face when she noticed me. Just as gracefully as you can imagine, she stepped into the water and began to swim across the waterfall to the other side. This all happened so quickly and I was in awe. About the time it registered that I should be trying to capture this moment with my camera, she eloquently exited out of the river to the bank on the other side. With water dripping from her coat, she dashed off into the woods. All of this took place in a very short amount of time. I’ve never seen a deer swim before, especially not through a waterfall, in 2° temperatures. I sat there a minute reflecting on the animals instinct and what they endure to survive those long U.P. winters with lots of snow and cold temperatures. When my son and I met up again a little later I shared the story with him. He told me that he had caught a glimpse of a deer earlier that morning as well and we wondered if it was the same deer.

The path to the bottom of the falls was treacherous and glare ice. Not wanting to risk breaking a bone and needing to go to the ER with everything going on in the world, I decided not to take the path. We realized there was another way to reach the bottom. In the summertime there’s a parking lot and a very nice assessable walkway. Of course in the middle of winter that was not available. We were able to park and hike down the long hill to access the bottom of the falls. The hike was easy we just had to trudge through some snow. It was well worth the hike, as everywhere I looked was picture post card stunning! It reminded me of a Hallmark movie I watch at Christmas time. After many more shots and time spent just enjoying the crisp air and beauty, it was time to make our way back.

By this time I was getting pretty tired, as I had recently been ill and still didn’t feel as if I had a 100% of my strength back. About halfway up the hill I told my son I was going to stop and rest. I told him to go ahead and I would meet him at the car, I was going to take a little bit of a rest. I’m not sure what possessed me to do this, but I decided to just lay down in this fresh white clean snow. Since I was well insulated in snow pants, down jacket, and winter snow boots I was well protected from the cold. The snow was extremely soft and fluffy. I felt my heart rate start to slow. I looked up above me at the beautiful blue sky with wispy white clouds. The contrast of the white snow covered Pine trees and that blue sky was so gorgeous. To add to this whole experience I could hear the running water from the waterfall in the distance. I felt an extreme sense of peace and well-being. Once again I felt a connection with nature, and thankfulness for its restorative powers. In this particular moment in time everything was good, and I was so grateful to be experiencing it. After a quick prayer of thanks in my head, I hopped up to continue my hike up the hill.  I took a moment to look at the outline of myself in the snow and was reminded of making snow angels as a kid. This made me smile as I hiked the rest of the way up the hill, and soon I was back to the car.

We did some more exploring and hiking, waving at the people in the two cars we passed the entire day. Way up in the U. P. I was able to put thoughts of the coronavirus aside for a little while.  Life felt normal and good. Just like the deer did what it needed to survive, so will we. We will get through this and come out stronger on the other side. I feel gratitude for those who are tirelessly working the front lines to treat the people who are ill. I’m grateful for the folks working in the grocery stores, and the delivery drivers, the doctors and medical staff, and everyone else doing what they can to help. My thoughts and prayers are with us all. I know that the next time I need a break I’ll be heading outside for a hike with my camera remembering to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.


(Chris Schlosser Photography) Sun, 22 Mar 2020 22:22:24 GMT
The Little Things ... A favorite quote of mine is:

“Enjoy the Little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the Big Things.”

This is what was on my mind, one ordinary late spring morning. Just myself, with my camera resting on the tripod. The rest of the necessary lens and filters close at hand and ready for use. All elements in my control in place. This location chosen a couple days earlier, for what I hoped would unfold.

As I waited, the lilting notes of songbirds filled the air. The fresh, gentle breezes fluttered the newly budded leaves on the trees around me, adding the welcome color of new green to the landscape. In keeping with my self challenge, I focused on mindfulness and living in the very moment I was a part of. Just taking it in. The aroma of near by blooming Lilacs, such a welcome scent. I was reminded of my mom’s love of the flower, and memories of my sister and I bringing them to her every spring on her birthday.

It was almost time. 

By God’s Grace, the dark, colorless sky would soon be transformed, as if painted with water colors, into soft pinks, yellows and oranges. The shutter on the camera would click. Several more clicks. Some adjustments made. A filter added. More clicks. Creating an image for others to enjoy. Then the sun would rise and the bright blue sky of dawn would emerge. A long, lazy day unfolding filled with warmth and promise. Sweet tea, corn on the cob, fresh, locally grown tomatoes for BLT’s, root beer popsicles, and home made lemon cookies, cook-outs with family and time spent on backyard yard patios, Farmers Markets, Just an ordinary day in central Wisconsin. I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

(Chris Schlosser Photography) Mon, 25 Jun 2018 15:53:23 GMT
Let it Snow .... It’s that time of year again in Wisconsin when people start to really dream of a warm weather vacation or the end of winter altogether! The slippery roads and shoveling snow start to  become chores everyone wants to end. And while I can relate - especially after a very close call on a slippery highway today … there is something magical and irresistible about the season that draws me in year after year and makes it hard for me to imagine living anywhere else. 

That feeling of anticipation for the snow to come, watching weather reports and updates, until finally the snow is here! Sheer happiness, especially if its the weekend or a day off. That invigorating feeling of stepping outside, bundled up and warm with time to spare. Nothing compares to a winter walk in the woods, following a fresh snowfall.  Sounds  are muted by the deep snow blanketing the evergreens, everything white and glistening and clean. Landscapes are transformed and I find myself conscious of the sunlight and the way the light transforms the scene before me. I’m aware of lines, shadows, and shapes not noticed at other times of the year. I feel my heart rate slow, stress evaporating. I can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude and joy for being where I am at that particular moment.  Simply clomping through the snow in furry ,warm, Uggs, one step at a time, seeking out the perfect elements for my photo. Then if all comes together, and by the Grace of God, the shutter clicks, and the image is captured. A prayer of thanks …

When my nose is cold, and my hands are numb it’s time to go back inside. Reconnect with family and loved ones …  Cozy sweaters, thick warm blankets, big mugs of hot cocoa or tea and the smells of cooking chili or stew warm the body and spirit. Candles and the warm glow of the fireplace. The feeling of permission to just cozy in and enjoy a book or movie in the short days of winter is such a simple but welcome joy.

So when my sister, or my daughter, both living in the southern U.S. comment on the great weather they are having I just laugh and agree. After all, sunny and 75 degrees is hard to beat, or is it? 

(Chris Schlosser Photography) Fri, 23 Feb 2018 22:13:48 GMT