Posts Tagged ‘documentary photography


storm snaps

I’ve gotta say, don’t you just love cellphone cameras? They allow us to capture so many things that only a few years ago would have remained only in our mind’s eyes, if at all.

Here are a couple recent scenes which made me happy I had my cellphone along. The first was during my commute home, when a storm was darkening the sky less than a mile away, while the sun shone brightly from the other direction. The freaky contrast was delicious.

farm w storm behind

The photo below was taken just about 9 p.m. as Mike and I crossed the Hennepin Ave. bridge into downtown Minneapolis for the all-night Northern Spark festival. As the sky suggests, it was to be a very rainy night. I suppose both images are pretty representative of our wet and stormy spring!

Minneapolis at Northern Spark sm


agate bay

A couple weeks ago we were on our way up the North Shore, and stopped as we often do at Agate Bay.

Not far from Duluth, the bay contains traces of days when iron mining, shipping, a railroad, and a plethora of saloons made the town one of the busiest ports on Lake Superior. Now largely empty, the area around the bay is at once forlorn and, perhaps in part because of that, strangely attractive. Tourists come to look at the fenced-in lighthouse and comb the beach for agates. Locals walk along the bay and its shoreline footpaths. Seagulls call, and an occasional mournful horn blast from the taconite loading docks breathes out over the water. Nature is cautiously filling in the spaces where no one else lays claim. That afternoon, it was this apparent no man’s land, bordered by the obvious attractions, that I was most drawn to.

While I was there, vendors were quietly setting up for the weekend’s Heritage Days festivities.

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April snowstorm

I’m probably one of the last people in Minnesota who is still happy to see snow. And snow it did yesterday – perhaps 8″ in our area.

It’s been awhile since I’ve taken my camera out for a spin, so I stopped by Tamarack Nature Center in the blustery aftermath to see what Nature had to say.

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Hampton Beach Sunrise

Last week I was perusing some older photographs and came across shots I’d taken in 2008 on the beach in Hampton, NH at daybreak. Since we recently had our first snow here in Minnesota and every day brings more and more darkness, these images were a welcome, reviving sight.

Much appreciation to my good friend K.R. Seward for sharing his lovely music.




Kilve beach

Last September, while on a walking tour of the Quantock Hills in Somerset, UK, my husband and I spent the morning on perhaps the most amazing beach I’ve ever seen. Forged during the Jurassic period, the natural formations of fossil-embedded cliff, bedrock, stones, and today’s seaweed were endlessly interesting.


Hands Across the Sands

More work with the Sierra Club today, photographing our local Hands Across the Sands event – one of many across the country – calling for an end to offshore drilling and federal action to support clean energy.

Concerned citizens came out for the rally along Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, signed petitions and joined hands in a line that stretched about half a mile. We also got coverage from KSTP (Channel 5), WCCO (Channel 4) and community radio station KFAI.

I wanted to document this event in part, to be able to look back on it one, five, ten years from now, and think about how much has  changed.

The area of the oil spill (visible on the water) superimposed on the state of Minnesota



Last week was the fishing opener here in Minnesota – the start of a sacred season.

I’ve never been a fisherwoman, but I do feel a certain kinship with others who come to be by the water before dawn and at dusk. To me these are times of quiet and communion, when I feel especially at one with the world.

Here are a couple photos I took last summer – one at dawn and one at sunset – of people fishing on Bald Eagle Lake.


What do “green jobs” look like?

Last fall, as part of my volunteer work for the Minnesota Sierra Club and Blue Green Alliance, I participated in a photo project to capture images of “green jobs” – in particular ones that involve energy efficiency and clean (nonpolluting) energy production.

The Green Jobs Photo Project includes images from work being done around Minnesota, much of it by union members. I was sent to shoot an apprentice training program at the St. Paul Carpenter’s Union, where apprentices were learning the most current methods of insulating homes. The training space was huge, perhaps the size of an airline hanger, and filled with people working on different practice projects. Shooting conditions were challenging, with sawdust thick in the air, lots of materials lying about to be mindful of, all kinds of equipment in use, and on top of everything, I had to wear safety goggles. After capturing different activities and ending with some quick shots of insulation being sprayed, I made a quick retreat before most of the insulation dust could reach my camera.

I was so impressed with the focus that all the apprentices displayed, and I understand that 100% of these people have already have jobs waiting for them when they graduate from the program.

Since it was completed, this project has been displayed at the Common Roots Cafe in Minneapolis, the Minnesota State Capitol, and now this week it will show at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington, DC. We are hoping to see an online gallery of the images in the future.

Before I started this project I only had only a very general idea of what green jobs actually looked like, so it’s been very rewarding to learn more and share with others.

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