Yesterday, (Saturday Oct 16, 2010) My wife and I got up early and traveled to Bellevue, Iowa about 25 miles South of Dubuque. We met Steve and Becki Kent (Becki also shares a passion for photography) for a cup of coffee at the Happy Java Bean and then we set out to photograph some of the sites of Bellevue.
There are so many opportunities in this small river community. Wow practically everywhere you turn there is a great picture just waiting to be taken.
We did the river walk first and I captured this image (above.) I was going to do a “golden pond” look but this is just about the way it came out of the camera and I really liked the silhouette look so I decided to stay with that.
We shot a bunch more photos (see my photography page on my website) and then drove over to Bellevue State Park. There were lots of people there mostly just enjoying the wonderful Fall day. We saw a wedding being preformed by the river view look out, so we went over by the Indian Burial Mounds and watched a large river barge lock through the damn.
Then we walked over to the “Butter Fly Garden”, so named I suppose because of the variety of flowers that must attract migrating butterflies. We only saw a couple of butterflies and couldn’t get a good shot of them but I did capture this really pretty flower. I had the wrong lens to take flower shots and there were lots of flowers to shoot. I was lucky to get this one. I had to crop it more than I wanted to fit the blog. There is a better one on my website.
There was a young “professional” photographer at the park shooting a young couple and their small daughter. I stopped and talked with her for a little while. That is one of the nice things about photography. You can walk up to anyone that has a camera and you have an instant conversation. She actually was a second year student in a photography school. She was shooting a Cannon EOS Mark 5 with a 70-200 mm F2.8 lens. I was very envious (not of the Cannon but the lens.) major $$$$. We ran into them several times as we made our way around the park and I took note of the different back drops she was using for the shoot. She shot all her images using a tripod. It is a pain to carry and set up a tripod but it is about the only way to get “tack sharp” images with a digital camera and a long lens.
We ate lunch at a brand new restaurant called Off Shore (Okay I think that is what it was called-damn shot term memory is a real problem.) It is just about a mile from downtown Bellevue (North) and has only been open about two weeks. The service was wonderful and the food was really great. I highly recommend their “Awesome” fries. There are three levels of outdoor decks you can enjoy or go inside, which is nicely appointed. Boats can dock from the river and enjoy the restaurant as well.
We went back to Bellevue and toured their series of art galleries on Main Street. Very nice and lots of great art including some really nice photo images (some of which is for sale.) They feature a lot of local artist and it is a wonderful venue for artist to display their creations.
This day was such a wonderful experience we decided to do this on a quarterly basis. Meeting at a different community each quarter and photograph the sights and flavor of the community showcasing the four seasons. Next stop is the town of Galena, Ill in December.
We said goodbye to Steve and Becki about 2:30 pm and headed back to Dubuque. On the way back I stopped and shot several images of three different barns. (My wife suggested that I concentrate on my driving and stop looking for photo opportunities :). ) I’m beginning to really enjoy shooting barns. They are very interesting and there are a lot of them.
This is one of the three barns I shot. Take a look at my photography page on my web site to see the other two. This one is not necessarily my favorite barn. In fact I shot an image of “twin barns” that is actually my favorite for right now. So my goal now is to find a barn image that is better than my current favorite. It was a great day to be sure.