Wisconsin Photo Trip

Shooting in Wisconsin Again

Day 2

Below are a collection of iPhone 13 mini shots of my photo subjects for today, it was a fun day! My day was interesting, lots of cool photo subjects while driving about a hundred miles of back roads over 5 hours. The day ended photographing one of my absolute favorite subjects, more on that in a bit. So, after waking up a little after 4am, I headed down to the harbor to catch the sunrise over the north pier on Lake Michigan here in Manitowoc, it didn’t disappoint! Other than getting eaten by some gnats, I think it paid off and I got some great shots. After shooting the sunrise I made my way down Mariners Trail to shoot the Spirit of the Rivers statue by R.T. Wallen depicting three Native Americans carrying a birch bark canoe. Manitowoc has a long history with the Native Americans but that’s an entire blog post on its own. This beautiful statue sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and is simply amazing at sunrise. I shot another nearby statue called On Eagles Wings by sculptor by Carl Vanderheyden.  After shooting a few other sites in the city, I drove out to the county to shoot several lakes, a few farms, old cars sitting in yards, and a few other things. Then, I happened upon some horses…

Having lunch with my dad was THE highlight of my day but the horses were the best time with a camera in hand. I drove by this farm with nothing short of stunning horses and man… I LOVE taking horse photos; they are amazing creatures. I drove on the property and asked permission to shoot these beautiful horses and the owner was a super nice lady who let me go wherever I wanted. These horses were magnificent, I could have stayed here all day! When I have a camera in hand, horses seem to either spook or become interested in what I’m doing. It seems some are attracted to the shutter sound and when that happens it’s something beautiful. All in all, a great day shooting here in my hometown. I’m here till Monday when I’ll start making my way back to Texas with a few blog-able and interesting stops that should prove fun.

As always, thanks for following and reading!

All photos taken with the iPhone 13 mini

New Website Promo Video for 2021!

Having morning coffee…

Recently, I had some spare time and haven’t been out shooting much, plus some other family events kept me close to home. Well, namely we had to put our four legged family member of 13 years down and it was a tough family event… Our daughters had known our yellow lab, Casey, their entire lives. I’ll just say this, our beloved pal had dementia for about the last year of her life and it’s no less savage on pets, it really affects the entire family. To get my mind off her loss, I decided to create another video promo for my website, BillChizekPhotography.com, and it was a labor intensive process which was something needed to keep me going mentally. While I’ve created other videos at my website’s Video Projects page, last year’s video was the first created for promotional purposes and people actually liked like final 2020 Promo. However, last year during that process I was actually working on two separate videos and one, the 2020 Promo, was panning out better while the other kind of dead ended creatively and was set aside.

Unfortunately, my daughters really liked the video that was shelved last year, so I picked it up again and tried to do something with it. The problem is that the project was still at a creative dead end, I was basically stuck in the same mud as last year, nowhere to go. I needed to use the same retro-themed concept of that video but decided to start over from the ground up. While the concept is the same as last year’s video, kind of a walk though the journey my photos have taken while using new photos, the format is a complete change from the last year. While I liked it, one of my daughters loved it and the other didn’t… Since they practically never agree on anything, and the fact that my wife didn’t say it was terrible, here it is. Please click this link, 2021 PROMO VIDEO, to see it and I hope you like it. As always, thank you all for your support!

Stock Pics & Exhibitions!

In January of 2016 I took a dip in the stock photography pond at the suggestion of a friend who thought I could do well.  I honestly didn’t know much about stock before she mentioned it and now, almost three years later, business is booming.  So much so that I can hardly keep track of where my photos are used!  I usually track this by doing an annual reverse image search with Google, this shows me where many of my photos are being used.  Yes, it’s a lot of work, many times there are similar images and a lot to sort through, but it has yielded some interesting results at times.  This year the results were overwhelming, I’m shutting down the parts of my site where I used to post all the little back stories, camera info, locations, and who was using my photos.  This isn’t a bad thing, it will help to streamline my main website at BillChizekPhotography.com, I’ll still do the fun stuff about my photos, it’ll just be here at this blog.  My stock photography will have a different home located within the main website menu in Stock Photos.

I knew that my sales had increased this year as they had every year since I began shooting stock, but it was amazing to see, literally, hundreds of uses of my pics all overScreen Shot 2019-10-23 at 07.15.15 the web.  Everything from restaurant menus, retail stores, daily news stories, to corporate websites; I couldn’t be more proud.  Forbes used my pics at least 5 times this year alone!  One photo, US Capitol 16, turned up in a trailer on Twitter for MSNBC’s American Swamp.  The photo at lefttp.wheretraveler is in the opening three seconds, small part I know but still kind of cool (click HERE to see the full trailer).  Also discovered a couple of magazine covers using my pics, one of them, Autumn in DC, is the cover of the October 2019 Where Traveler Magazine which is distributed in hotels throughout the United States.  The photo is of the Washington Monument in the fall issue.com LEGACY MAG COVERof 2017 when we lived in northern Virginia.  It is literally a toss up for me which I like more in DC, the cherry blossoms or fall as they’re both incredible.  Of all the places I’ve lived, I wish we could have stayed here longer, as an unapologetic history geek, this was heaven.  The other magazine cover, using a photo called Thanksgiving 1, was for the November 2018 Legacy Senior Living Magazine (left)  This photo was also used during that same time for of the cover of Postcards Magazine.  This photo was taken at one of my all time favorite stock photography locations, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  Whether I wanted to shoot doors, historic themes, food, or just American flags, it could all be found here.  I miss that place every single day.

Lastly, two of my photos were selected for exhibitions.  The first was taken in San Diego The Shadowback in June of 2016 and is of a flamingo’s shadow, oddly enough entitled, The Shadow.  It’s kind of cool photo and I was just trying out new things, for every one new thing that works I have 20 that didn’t and you’ll never see them…  It will show in the ‘My Favorite Shot’ exhibit in the Ravnikar Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia from January 9-11, 2020.  The second photo, Skipping, Skippingwas taken on the beach at Imperial Beach, CA in May of 2016.  I actually took a bunch of shots like this one afternoon while trying out a new Tamron 150-600mm lens. I came home with the lens in a box, our daughters wanted to run on the beach, that worked for me!  The photo perfectly describes our daughters; on the left is the older and more cautious one and on the right is the younger with the ‘go for it’ mentality who operates at full on 24/7.  Needless to say, I liked the lens, so much in fact that I bought the newer G2 version later!  The photo will show digitally in the ‘At the Beach’ exhibit at the Blank Wall Gallery in Athens, Greece from December 13-15, 2019.  Thanks again Gurushots!

That’s about it, below is just a small collection of some of the recently discovered stock photos.  Lastly, I’d like to thank my wife, without her support I’d be just sitting at home watching tv instead of doing this in retirement.  She never complains when up upgrading, changing gear, getting a new bag, you name it, I’ve done it…  It’s great doing something you love!


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About this… Colonial Beach, VA

Photo: Headless

Location:  Colonial Beach, VA

Date:  October 8, 2018

Camera & Lens:  Canon 6D mkii and 24-70mm lens


About This Photo:  I post my photos at many sites, you can find where from this blog or my main website, I’m not difficult to find.  While I was living on Fort Belvoir, some folks about two hours down the road in Colonial Beach, Virginia reached out to me on Instagram asking if I’d come to Colonial Beach and take some shots of their town.  My wife and I decided to drop in on our way back from visiting friends in Norfolk.  This was October, not much happening, it reminded me of Italy the way everything shuts down for winter by the end of September.  In the same way, you could sense that this little town on the Potomac River gets busy in the summer and I’d love to check it out during the summer if I’m ever back in the area.  

Before leaving, I consulted my good friend Google Images to see what was already online and the plan was to shoot nothing I found there.  I usually do this so my photos, fingers crossed, don’t blend in but stand out.  Once we arrived, our girls just ran to the beach which was cool as I was free to shoot.  I immediately noticed swans, and there was one in particular that was swimming the water’s edge.  When he came out, I carefully approached as to not scare him/her (not sure what this bird identifies as…), and the swan started grooming and I just happened to get a shot with its head tucked on the other side of the body.  The result was the photo at the top, Headless; it came out kind of cool as the shutter clicked just at the right time.  It was a fun little stop on our way home, I took a couple of other photos that came out decent (below).  Thanks to the people at Colonial Beach for asking me to come down!    

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