2018 PaintedSpur Photography: Blog http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog en-us (C) 2018 PaintedSpur Photography john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:10:00 GMT Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:10:00 GMT http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u425077459-o1036499317-50.jpg 2018 PaintedSpur Photography: Blog http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog 120 78 "Rejected" Exhibition at Minneapolis Photo Center http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2017/10/-rejected-exhibition-at-minneapolis-photo-center John and I have prints on exhibit at the Minneapolis Photo Center. Come see the photos from all over the state from photographers that were rejected by the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts competition. They are on exhibit now through Oct. 28, 2017. 

O'Loughlin FarmO'Loughlin Farm "O'Loughlin Farm Sunset" by Gina Stocker

Hollow Rock WinterHollow Rock Winter "Hollow Rock Winter" by John Stocker


     ~ Happy Trails, Gina


john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2017/10/-rejected-exhibition-at-minneapolis-photo-center Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:09:56 GMT
"Landscape Photography Magazine" POTM Finalist! http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2016/2/-landscape-photography-magazine-potm-finalist I am happy to announce that I received an e-mail from "Landscape Photography Magazine" that a photo that I submitted to January 2016 Photo of the Month contest was selected as a finalist. What an honor!

You can view it and the other finalist along with the winning shot at:


Happy Trails ~ Gina


john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) Gina Stocker Grand Portage Lake Landscape Photography Magazine Minnesota North Shore PaintedSpur Superior landscape photography shore shoreline waterscape http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2016/2/-landscape-photography-magazine-potm-finalist Tue, 02 Feb 2016 16:30:00 GMT
Photo of the Day on "Capture Minnesota" http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2016/1/photo-of-the-day-on-capture-minnesota I was pleasantly surprised to see my photo won POTD, on "Capture Minnesota" today! I am glad I was able to catch the frost still on the trees after I got off work at 9 a.m.. Hoarfrosts are few and far between so it is nice to be able to catch one for photos.

Happy Trails

~ Gina

john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2016/1/photo-of-the-day-on-capture-minnesota Tue, 19 Jan 2016 17:17:24 GMT
A Surprise Announcement From "Capture Dakota" http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2016/1/happy-to-announce I opened up my e-mail the other morning to an announcement that two of my photos will be published in the "Farm Forum 50" book. I had about 10 photos posted on the "Capture Dakota" site and they were chosen from those photos. I had forgotten I opted in a year ago and then completely forgotten about it. Reminds me that John and I are way over due for another adventure to the Badlands. Just love South Dakota!



john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2016/1/happy-to-announce Sat, 16 Jan 2016 15:12:59 GMT
Diffuse that Harsh Light! http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2015/4/diffuse-that-harsh-light Now that Spring is here I will be taking some more flower photos. Even though I always try to say "I'm not a flower photographer", I seem to take a fair number of flora photos, spend a good deal of time processing my shots, and actually enjoy doing so. I guess if I say "I'm a nature photographer", I can encompass flowers into that statement...and then I'm covered.

That being said, I have been asked by 100's of people (okay, maybe more like two people) about my flower shots. I happen to prefer maintaining a softness to my flowers, but like at least some detail to be prevalent. Most of the time I prefer to shoot flowers in open shade, however, that might not always be an option.

There will be times when you want to take some shots of a flower with bright sun blazing down. The sun won't even cooperate and at least hide behind some clouds for you; the sun can be stubborn that way. You are left with several options: come back when there are clouds, but by then the flower might be dead or past its prime; you could block out the sun and create a shade; or you could diffuse the sunlight.

Although blocking out the sun directly is nice, it does seem to blend all of the light level to a very similar unified level, which in turn loses some of the depth of the flower. It is subtly different than a large open shade area, it just is. I'm not going to try to get all scientific about why this happens, mostly because I can't...but it is also seems too boring for me to write and I imagine even more boring to read.

So my preferred option is to use a diffuser. I happen to have a Promaster 22" 5-in-1 reflectadisc that lives in my bag. It is nice and compact and you have five options of various uses.

Here are two shots of some yellow crocus taken seconds apart. One is without a diffuser, one is with the diffuser. Both processed exactly the same, and the only different setting was the shutter speed, which had to be different for hopefully obvious reasons.




Now I know I prefer the diffused photo. Some of you might prefer the harsh light, and that's fine. The softer look of the diffused light is my preference. Now this would not be my finished photo. I would continue to process the shot to make it something I can be proud of. This is posted merely for demonstration purposes.

So the next time you shoot some flowers, try a diffuser. It gives you an easier starting point with which to work.


Thanks for reading!




john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) MN PaintedSpur crocus diffuse diffuser flora flower harsh light photography shade shadow yellow http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2015/4/diffuse-that-harsh-light Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:17:35 GMT
Minnesota Exposure Photography Contest http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2015/2/minnesota-exposure-photography-contest I was happy to receive 2nd in the Minnesota Exposure Northshore Photography contest! Lots of great photographs submitted!
 Congrats to all the winners!

Happy Trails ~ Gina


Minnesota Exposure Winners
Courtesy of: Minnesota Exposure

john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2015/2/minnesota-exposure-photography-contest Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:25:34 GMT
Photography Contest ~ Minnesota Exposure http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2015/2/photography-contests I was happy to receive and Honorable Mention award in the National Camera Exchange open photography contest. Congrats to all the winners!

 Happy Trails ~ Gina

Minnesota Exposure Winners
Courtesy of: Minnesota Exposure

john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2015/2/photography-contests Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:21:55 GMT
In Pursuit of the Light Photography Exhibit http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/8/in-pursuit-of-the-light-photography-exhibit We are pleased to announce we have some our work on display in our solo Exhibit, "In Pursuit of the Light", at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

We would like to thank the great people at Central Lutheran Church for providing us this opportunity to showcase our work.

Dates are August 29th - October 14th, 2014.

Public hours viewing hours:
Sundays: 7:45am - 1:00pm
Mondays: 12:00pm - 4:30pm
Tuesdays - Fridays: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Saturdays: 4:30pm - 7:30pm

We would love it if you have the opportunity to stop by and check it out. Park in the lot on the south end of the Church. Enter at the south end. Walk straight ahead to the artwork. You can't miss it. The guard inside will validate your parking.

We also put together a Gallery on our website of the prints on display: http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/p803507160




john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) Central Church In Light Lutheran Minneapolis Minnesota PaintedSpur Pursuit art display exhibit of photography prints show the www.paintedspurphotography.com http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/8/in-pursuit-of-the-light-photography-exhibit Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:55:53 GMT
State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/7/state-fair-fine-arts-exhibit I received great news today! My "Rainy Day In Grand Marais" print has been accepted into the Minnesota State Fair's Fine Arts Exhibition!

Happy Trails ~ Gina


john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/7/state-fair-fine-arts-exhibit Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:10:58 GMT
Hamel Rodeo & Bull Ridin' Bonanza http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/7/hamel-rodeo-bull-ridin-bonanza Had a great time last weekend at the Hamel Rodeo! It has been a while since I have been to a rodeo and had forgotten how much I like photographing them.

Please check out more in my "Events" Gallery!

Happy Trails ~ Gina

john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) Hamel Minnesota Rodeo arena bronc bull horse riding steer wrestling http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/7/hamel-rodeo-bull-ridin-bonanza Tue, 15 Jul 2014 23:48:56 GMT
Trip To Door County, WI http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/6/trip-to-door-county-wi John and I had a few days to take  short road trip so we decided on Door County, WI. I have never been there and John hasn't been there since he was a kid, so off we went. It was as advertised. :-) We had a nice time and I got a chance to use my new 10 stop ND filter. It really took some practice but once I got the hang of it, I was satisfied with some of the results. This shot was one of my favorites from the weekend. It was taken from the boat launch on Lily Bay. I just can't decide which one I like better so I posted both color and B&W version.

Passage of Time


Passage Of Time

Hope you had a great Tuesday!

~Happy Trails


john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2014/6/trip-to-door-county-wi Wed, 18 Jun 2014 00:48:07 GMT
NEW! 2014 PaintedSpur Photography Calendar! http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/12/new-2014-paintedspur-photography-calendar I finally got a calendar put together for all of those asking for one! Just click on the link below and it will take you to the site for ordering.


Happy Trails ~ Gina





john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/12/new-2014-paintedspur-photography-calendar Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:07:52 GMT
Shooting Fireworks http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/7/shooting-fireworks This year for the 4th of July, Gina and I decided to actually go out and shoot some fireworks. This may not sound like a big deal to anyone, but it is quite the feat for the two of us. Most years we don't even bother to go see any fireworks and when we do we haven't felt the need to photograph them. I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps it is mostly due to the fact we tend to wake up super early in the morning and by 10:00pm we are usually sleeping. However, this year we planned on making the effort by making sure we took a nice long nap during the middle of the day. I'm glad we did since I was pretty satisfied with some of the results.



















Now there are plenty of articles out there talking about technical aspects of shooting fireworks, so I don't need to bore people by posting anything too specific. I used basically the same principles I would have if I was just taking night pictures of the city...except timing it specifically to the fireworks themselves.



Was there things I would do differently? Sure. Would I try a different spot next time? Possibly. One thing I did learn was to avoid having little children run into your tripod while you are shooting. Otherwise you might end up with a shot like this:


And I am certain that would have been the award-winning shot of the night!

Oh well.


Thanks for reading!




john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) 4th of July Independence Day fireworks holiday night photography http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/7/shooting-fireworks Tue, 09 Jul 2013 20:07:21 GMT
Different Look at a Barn http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/6/different-look-at-a-barn John here. I don't blog nearly as often as I should. Since I used to do a lot of writing, it would seem natural to dive into the world of blogging, but it has not been a natural progression. That being said, here is the latest.

It's no secret one of our favorite subjects to photograph is barns. We spend many a weekend driving around back roads we have never been on looking for some of these treasures. Of course, back roads aren't the only place to find them...sometimes they are right along the Interstate.


One thing I am discovering as I continue my growth as a photographer is my interest in the "sections", or "portions" of a barn (or any building for that matter). You can really capture the feeling of the building without necessarily showing the entire structure.


If you have the opportunity, check out the inside (with permission, of course).


There are a lot of interesting opportunities to photograph inside the barn, you just have to look for them.



Are the close-up portion shots photographs that everyone enjoys? Probably not. However, that is what makes photography such a fantastic art form...everyone has their own tastes.

I have seen a lot of beautiful photography of barns, some even shot by photographers I consider my friends. They inspire me to continue to improve my shots. In an effort to do so, I try to find shots that I have not seen before when photographing my own. I'm not sure what that does for my personal portfolio, but I enjoy it.


Thanks for reading!




john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) Minnesota barn barns close-up farm farming photography rural http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/6/different-look-at-a-barn Tue, 25 Jun 2013 12:52:00 GMT
Being Published in Capture Minnesota II http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/5/being-published-in-capture-minnesota-ii It's been almost a month since the Capture Minnesota II book release party where selected photographers found out which of their photos were selected for publication in the book. I meant to write something about it much sooner, since the entire experience has been both fun and challenging for Gina and I. We have met some incredible people through this project so far and look forward to making even more connections in the future. I really like the concept of the CM site as how it has become quite the community that a lot of people utilize to continue in their creative outlets. Hopefully the site will continue on to Capture Minnesota III. It was mentioned at the release party, but until I'll believe it when I see something concrete.

Of course, what's a blog entry on a photography site without a few photographs? Here are the photos that we had the honor of being presented in the Capture Minnesota II book.


Gina's photos:



Fairy Greeter

(page 48)























Window to the Soul

(page 72)
















Quiet Reflection

(page 119)

















And here are my photos:



Sugardale Sunrise

(page 115)












Choir Boys

(page 120)














With over 200,000 photo submissions and only enough space in the book for around 300 photos, surprised is not an adequate word to describe the feeling of both of us have with multiple images selected. There were SO MANY outstanding choices to sift through for the book, that I did not envy the people who ended up making the selections one bit. I'm sure they could have made multiple books with the submissions and each and every edition would have been a good collection.

Well, hopefully there will be a third book. If there is for sure, you can bet Gina and I will continue to participate in an ultimate effort to be selected again. With the outstanding photographers already on the site, and more joining every day, the "competition" gets even more challenging. That's quite alright. It makes us all push ourselves to capture higher and higher quality images.


That's all for now. Thanks for reading!





john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) Capture Minnesota TPT book photography published http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/5/being-published-in-capture-minnesota-ii Fri, 17 May 2013 16:41:08 GMT
John is shooting flowers?!? http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/2/john-is-shooting-flowers Yes, it is true. This winter has forced me to look for items I normally would not consider photographing. Now, I like walking out in nature when it isn't so frigid and finding things to photograph...and it might even be a flower or two. But I don't usually look at cut flowers in a vase and think "I'm going to photograph those!"

I found myself actually inspired when I noticed the mid-afternoon light shining in through the Dining Room window and bathing the bouquet in a nice golden glow. I dug out the camera and tripod and quickly went to work before I talked myself out of it. I mean, I can always consider it good practice.

Here was my first attempt:

Not too bad. I didn't need to use any lights, flash, reflectors, etc. I just positioned the vase to soak in the light where I wanted it. I also attached an extension tube to the 100mm macro lens to get in a little closer.



I played with the red flowers for a bit, then focused on one of the yellow flowers.

I ended up liking this one even more. For some reason I was getting nice texture in the yellow. Perhaps it was more noticeable without the red color competing for attention; I don't really know for sure. I thought about cleaning up the "mess" on the bottom petal, but decided to leave it.



Then I wanted to tackle one of the yellow roses. But I didn't want a typical shot from above into the center of the flower. I wanted to find something a little different. Here is my favorite from that flower.

I really like the light and shadows playing well together. I tried to keep the softness of the flower yet still have detail and sharpness where needed.


For those that have never tried close-up photography or even macro, I would recommend it. It really forces a person to look at the surroundings a little differently. I could go into a discussion about focusing with a macro lens, establishing good Depth of Field, etc, etc. But even my own eyes start to glass over at my own conversation. I'll save that for another time. If someone really wants go in-depth in a discussion, feel free to drop me a line. For now, I'm just going to enjoy my flowers.




john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) 100mm close-up flora flower flowers macro photography http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2013/2/john-is-shooting-flowers Fri, 22 Feb 2013 00:48:25 GMT
Shooting through the snow http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/12/shooting-through-the-snow Yesterday we planned on heading up to Monticello to photograph some swans. After we watched the weather forecast, we figured we would wake up early and check the weather once again. Well, this morning came and we had already had several inches of snow, it was still snowing, and the predictions called for more snow all day. Cancel swan road trip. We decided instead to stay close and check out a few of our local farms.

It wasn't snowing too hard when we began, and I thought we MIGHT be able get some decent shots. Here was my first attempt. I liked the amber colors contrasting with the snow.


Not too bad. The wind wasn't too bad yet and you could see the field without too many snow flakes in the way.

It starting snowing harder. My next attempt was of a swampy area with a small wooded area in the background. It was snowing harder and from the angle I was positioned the snow was coming at me.


I couldn't decide if I wanted to crop or not...or if I really even liked the final shot. There was enough snow blowing in my face ( and the camera) that the Auto-Focus was having difficulty locking on anything. Once I was able to lock on the foreground, I recomposed the shot and fired it off.

We then attempted to take a picture of a horse in a pasture. The snow wasn't in my face anymore, but it was coming down hard enough that my 100-400mm lens was not auto-focusing worth a darn. So I flipped to Manual Focus. Here was that attempt.


It might have been workable, but we just couldn't get a decent angle of the horse and we couldn't get the horse to stop grazing long enough to get a semi-interesting pose. Also, it was snowing hard enough I didn't feel like trudging into the ditch for a better opportunity. I mean, the truck was nice and warm.


By the time we continued down the road, the snow intensity increased and we couldn't see anything at all. So we returned home. Perhaps tomorrow will be better once the white stuff stops falling.


Thanks for reading!




john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) auto-focus field horse snow storm http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/12/shooting-through-the-snow Sun, 09 Dec 2012 22:09:19 GMT
PaintedSpur Photography on other social media sites http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/9/paintedspur-photography-on-other-social-media-sites If you are reading this post, we thank you for visiting our site! Usually people are drawn here by following a link from either our Facebook profile pages or Capture Minnesota profiles. We have recently "expanded" our social media outreach to include Twitter and Google+. Here are the links to the various locations you can find us so we can be "liked", "followed", or "circled"!









Hopefully we'll see some of you there!  Thanks again for your support!




john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/9/paintedspur-photography-on-other-social-media-sites Mon, 17 Sep 2012 13:01:20 GMT
Hummers http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/9/hummers John and I went out to the MN Landscape Arboretum Friday morning and shot off a few photos. I wasn't happy with the lighting as we got out there later in the morning so I nixed a lot of the flower shots. I did end up at the dahlia garden and instead of dahlia photos I was enjoying the sights and sounds of several busy little hummers. They would squabble with each other then flint around from flower to flower then go off and rest for a period of time. I sat there and watched for well over an hour and snapped off several dozen shots. I had 2 keepers. Such is the day in the life of a photographer. ;-)


I took advantage of this one while he rested and got a portrait of the cutie.


I discovered that after using my 5D lll and new 70-200mm lens exclusively for so long, when I switched to my 7D and 100-400mm lens, I found the combo bulky and slow in comparison. It took me a while to get the hang of it and I was disappointed at how hard it was to zero in and focus on the hummers as they flew from flower to flower. So, that means I imagine I'll be all for updating the 100-400mm lens when they come out with the new improved model.


Happy Trails ~ Gina


john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/9/hummers Sun, 02 Sep 2012 15:30:06 GMT
"Capture Dakota" http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/9/-capture-dakota Since John and I spend a lot of time in the Dakotas, I also joined the "Capture Dakota" site. I have uploaded a few photos there from our trips. One of them from our trip last summer won Photo of the Day today. What a nice surprise!

There are so many great photos and photographers at "Capture Minnesota" and "Capture Dakota" I encourage people to sign up and contribute! Such and inspiration!

john@paintedspurphotography.com (2018 PaintedSpur Photography) http://www.paintedspurphotography.com/blog/2012/9/-capture-dakota Sat, 01 Sep 2012 16:38:21 GMT