Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Frozen sunrise

The duality of a cold frozen lake surrounded by frosty tree with a beautiful sunrise above it all is too hard for me to resist.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunshine and Frost

While recently on vacation in Northern Wisconsin, I was able to get out early and explore with camera in hand. I decided to head west from homebase and since I left before the sun came up, I didn't realize what was head of me once it did.  Once the sun was above the horizon, I was able to see what the new day had brought.  A wonderful layer of hoar frost covering a good chunk of Northern Wisconsin. I also found that I had traveled almost 2 hours west of home which is a little farther than I had planned, but it was all good, since in all my years living up there I had really never been to the area I ended up which is a town called Tomahawk.  Found a lot of protected land that was mainly used for logging, snowmobiling, and hunting.  Tonights shot is an good idea of the landscape of the area. It also shows the beauty of the frost mixed in with the morning sun.  But, any picture will not do justice to being completely surrounded by everything in an almost pure white state.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Misty Morning

Not too much to post lately due to busy life and a bum knee which is getting fixed on Tuesday thanks to an orthopedic surgeon.  But here's a shot from this fall during my favorite time to shoot- mornings in the fog.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Scary Day

Last weekend our home was the scene of the "Umteenth annual Zelazoski Children's Halloween Party".  It was once again a success.  I don't know why, but each year we worry that the kids have outgrown it, and that the turnout will be low, and that the weather won't cooperate, and every year we are wrong.   If anything, we get the same number of kids or more, AND their parents stick around more to enjoy the festivities.  We had the normal number of witches, and superheroes, zombies, and ninjas.  We even had a hot dog and Chicago Bear(Unfortunately, the Chicago Bear is blood related).  Here is a group pic of the scary bunch:

Monday, October 7, 2013


These fall Saturday mornings have been filled with volleyball games and soccer games. Unfortunately, its much harder to get good shots indoors and with more space constraints, but volleyball pics will follow in the coming weeks.  Tonight, though, will be some game action shots of Derek "Pele" Zelazoski.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

I get a "Kick" out of you

Now, with summer over, we need to find ways to keep my son from immersing himself in his schoolwork( Heavy, heavy sarcasm in that last statement. You could say, it is the definition of sarcasm). Actually, it is all too easy for a 9 year old to immerse himself in TV and/or video games.  In the past, we've done a park district karate class or soccer clinic.  This year, instead of just instructional time, he's playing in a soccer league.  And a well run league it is.  3 practices a week with a game every Saturday. It has been a new experience for mom and dad trying to juggle extracurricular activities like cub scouts, soccer practice/games, and volleyball games and dance classes for my daughter.  Needless to say, while we have always been a pretty structured household as far as dinner times and sitting down together at the dinner table each night, that structure has kind of flown out the window for now.  You have dad with one kid going in one direction and mom with another in a different direction.  New experience.  But, its all good.  The kids like being involved and its good for them.  And, when I feel a little worn out from the running around, I remember the same mantra I would quote at various times since we had kids, like while changing diapers, when the kids would crawl in bed with us and steal pillows/covers, or the 3 am ear infections, "Someday, you're gonna miss this." A few shots of the soccer star.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Another year...

I'm very late in getting these posted, but, in following tradition, the kids once again stood in front of the neighbors tree to get their "first day of school" pictures taken.  I'll let you guess which one wasn't happy at the moment.  But, it is what it is.  Unfortunately, this might be the last year of pics in front of the neighbors tree since the tree shows little signs of life.  Zero signs of life to be exact.  I'm hoping to convince him to just cut it down from 8 feet up, at least until the kids are in college.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Monday, September 2, 2013

And now, the end is near.......

The end of summer that is.  While not a blazing hot summer, it was still a good one.  The kids, I believe, had a great summer.  4 trips to waterparks.  Several trips camping up north.  And many sleepovers and days of just hanging out with friends.  A few disappointments but nothing major.  No boating this year due to icky spring/early summer weather and then all of a sudden its July and you haven't even gotten the boat prepped yet.  So, we decided to keep it parked.  Not as much grabbing the camera and going for a drive as in the past.  And, of course, the natural evolution of children, where they don't seem as hip to do the things we did in the past, especially with their parents.  But, I guess I need to get used to that.  Maybe its time to have another one...........................Sorry, I was laughing too hard to type there for a minute. So, tonight's shots are of the final summer sunset and my boy getting the last swim of the year in at the beach.  Hopefully, winter will hold off a bit and I'll get some wonderful autumn shooting in.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Here's to many sunshiny days ahead.....

My kids and I spent several days camping up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin last week and while there we attended the wedding of my cousin.  The event was wonderful as it was a very comfy, downhome type of outdoor wedding.  It was outdoors, as I mentioned, with gorgeous sunshine and low humidities and a slight breeze.  The setting was a small pond with all the plants and nature in full color.  After the ceremony, the guests all headed over to a building on the property for a spectacular pig roast and night of Americana/bluegrass music performed by The Evergreen Grass band out of Eau Claire, Wis.   
I've always said, "The last thing I would ever want to do is photograph a wedding."  Mainly because it's a really tough job.  And, you only get one chance to get it right.  I still believe that, but this was one that peaked my interest.  It was outdoors which is easier to get right than in a church or building.  The nature of the bride and groom made them easy to work with.  And, the local and scene of the event was different than many others I've attended.  That being said, I still will not be a photographer for hire for weddings any time soon. But, I had fun shooting at this one.

And here's a short video showing the bride's special talent.  I had seen her perform once before while not realizing it.  Several years ago I was at Summerfest with my daughter.  We, by chance, happened to see my cousin playing with his band there.  Cecelia was out in the audience performing while he was on stage. Her dancing added a special dynamic to the band's performance.  Now, my daughter informs me that I am a little slow to put 2 and 2 together, but it was only when I saw her doing her dance at the wedding that I realized she was the same girl at the concert we saw at Summerfest. The groom did some "hooping" earlier in the evening, but this, of course, was nicer.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

You lookin'at me?

Saw this gal sitting all by herself just enjoying the summer day.  I stopped the car and slowly got out hoping not to spook her.  She saw me almost right away, yet never flinched.  For a second I thought she might be one of those Department of Natural Resource fake deer they put out to nab out of season hunters, but I soon realized she was real.  I got to within 20 yards of her and then stopped so as to not push my luck.  I grabbed about 20 shots without her moving except to turn her head and then headed back to my car.  I just figured why get her all shook up by moving in even closer.  I had some nice shots and the sooner I got out of there the less chance of getting nailed for trespassing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cornucopia of Color

One of the definitions of Cornucopia is "abundance".  I think this qualifies as a "Cornucopia of Color".

Monday, August 5, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Christmas in July....whoops!.....August

Been trying and searching for years to get a shot of one of these guys(and yes, I know some of you see them in your backyards everyday, but I don't), a Great Horned Owl.  Beautiful creature.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The hair was a whippin'

As stated in a previous post, I attended a concert a couple of weeks ago.  Queensryche.  One of me and my wife's favorite bands of the 90's.  We've seen them many times before, but this time was different.  They have a new lead singer in the band and I wanted to check them out to see if they can still rock.  And the answer is....yes, they still can.  The other thing that drew me there, from past experiences at this venue(an outdoor summertime festival) is that you can get real close to the performers without too much problem and I can bring my full size camera in.  Alot of venues restrict you to a cell phone.  It was worth it.  Besides great music and meeting alot of people with the same musical interests, I got, what I consider, to be really great shots.....and lots of them.  So, instead of posting many times, I put them together in a little video and added one of their songs from the 90's.  Unfortunately, the wonderful web really does a number on compressing the bytes so when viewed full size it doesn't show how good the shots turned out, but you can still get an idea of the vantage point I had.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What's better than....

The old adage goes,"A bad day fishing is still better than a good day of work.  What's better yet is when you're fishing with your grandpa.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Anatomy of a daredevil

As mentioned in previous posts this is vacation week in the Evilbear household.  All of us on vacation.  No work, no camps, no whatever.  We try to plan out most of the week with "family" type activities.  One of the days is usually spent at a local park district water park.  This year was no exception.  And we have been blessed to plan this day each year with what turns out to be one of the hottest days of the summer.  Thursday was our day this year to do the water park thing.  Each of the kids gets to bring a friend.(That gets mommy and daddy off the hook of going on these crazy slides and things.)  The friend Derek brought this year had been here before and he wasn't shy about telling us the things he's done there in the past.  Of course, I egg this on by right away asking if he was ever brave enough to go on the Double Dare Drop.  This is a crazy slide that my 13 year old daughter went on once last year, only once, and would not do it again this year.

Nick said he had been on it before and would do it again.  Well, guess what the first stop was on this fun day?  If you said "Double Dare Drop" you win.  The images that follow should give you a good idea of what he was feeling.  He, also, did not want to do it again the rest of the day.  Too funny!!

He's a good kid.  I hope he comes again next year, but I don't know.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stormy Night

After the heat bath we've been in for the last week, it was nice to get a little relief with some stormy weather.  They passed through quickly, but left behind some rainfall and some pretty wild looking skies.  Of course, once I saw storms coming through, I grabbed the dog and my camera and we went sightseeing.  Here's a shot of a house that I'm sure looks perfectly inviting during sunny weather.  Tonight, not so much.  The second shot of the cornfield looked a bit more a Stephen King sort of way.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Where Eagles Dare

Just got back from a fantabulous trip to the Northwoods of Wisconsin for some rest and relaxation with the whole family..  No hard work of camping this time.  Just plain ole "bring the bags into mom and dad's house tell them what you want for dinner". Yeah, right, it doesn't work that way.  But, we had a really nice time just relaxing, fishing, swimming, and enjoying the heat wave that is engulfing the midwest.  I got the usual shots of kids and family, but the real stunners were some of the wildlife shots I got.  To make it even better, the shots of the eagle to follow were when all of us were coming back from a nice dinner in a northern "resort" restaurant.  My son and daughter got to see this magnificent creature closer than I ever did in my youth, and I grew up among the giant carnivorous birds.  It was really quite a sight.  The others are of an early morning drive I took one day.  Of course, there were the ones that got away.  While my son and I were heading out for a day of fishing, there was a bear along side of the road.  We doubled back to get some shots, but he was gone.  The other shot that I really regret not getting were of two fawn deer, spots and all, feeding in a fog covered meadow.  I saw them as I was barreling down a county highway and I slammed on the brakes.  Did the reverse thing for about a quarter mile and they were still there when I stopped.  But, as soon as they heard my car door opening, all I saw was tails bounding in the other direction.  Those shots will be for next trip, I'm sure.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back to the 80's

Music is a big part of me as far as entertainment goes.  Pretty much all genres.  Some people say thats because I'm moody.  Makes sense.  Different genres for different moods. Many of my best memories are my years of going to outdoor concerts in the summertime.  And most of those were in the 80's and 90's.  And you know what that means................HAIR BANDS!   Yeah, I saw plenty of hair bands.  The dicitionary defines a hair band as "The word to describe a band that plays a genere of music commonly known as 'hair metal'. the music was well known in the 80's, and characterized by: all of the band members having extremely long hair, usually high pitched male vocals, and heavy, piercing, distorted guitars."  So, tonight I went back to the 80's and saw a couple of bands that were in the area- Great White and Queensryche.  And you know what? It was a great time.  Went by myself (wife copped out a couple days before the show), met some others that were there for the same reasons as me, and I threw my hair around with the best of them(those who know me and my hairline will be laughing at that statement).  I can't hear anymore, but that was going to happen eventually anyway.  Now, life is just more peaceful......sooner than later.  I took alot of shots tonight, some with my phone, but most with my camera.  I wanted to post several of them, but, unfortunately, at this late hour, I can't seem to where I downloaded the camera pics to on my computer.  I do know where my phone shots are on my computer so that will do for tonight.  I gotta say, my phone took some good shots as you can see by this one of some of the Queensryche members.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


One of the highlights of growing up in the farming land of Wisconsin was the sound of the local crop duster flying over the house at 7 am. dusting the fields with its magic potions to help the farmers grow a healthy crop of whatever.  I swear, sometimes, you thought that plane was coming right through your bedroom.  As a kid, you immediately jumped up and ran outside hoping to witness the pilot's aerial gymnastics.  Some of those guys were true daredevils.  The really good ones would go under the telephone wires and between the telephone poles before pulling up to circle around again.  If I'm not mistaken, that's illegal to do these days.  While up north a couple of weeks ago, I was awoken to the sound of a cropdusters loud engine flying overhead.  I, maybe out of latent habit, jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera gear, rousted my son, jumped into the car and started driving around to find out which field he was headed to next.  Sure enough, a little farther away than I anticipated, but still only a few miles away, we found where he was performing his next show.  I started snapping away and I truly believe when these pilots see an audience they start putting on a show.  He made sure he was safe, but he added a few thrills like coming straight at us, at a low altitude, which made me drop my camera down from my eye once or twice.  Once I was comfortable that he had it under control, I was able to catch some decent shots.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Double Fun

In almost 50 years and uncountable days at the beach, I can't say that I've ever swam under a double rainbow.  My kids can, though.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Soak up the sun

Spent 4 wonderful days up in my home country of Wisconsin  a few weeks back.  One of the favorite places for my kids to explore is the Eau Claire Dells. After several days of camping we headed back to my folks house for hot showers and an actual sitdown dinner.  But, before all that we took a jaunt to the dells.  Perfect place for climbing rocks, river swimming, and catching some rays.
One shot is my daughter soaking up the sun, and the other is my two plus a friend allowing me to grab one nice panoramic portrait.