The Frozen River of Time

The Frozen River of Time

It had been 3 long months since I had seen the galactic heart of our Milky Way Galaxy. It disappears from view between the months of November to January, and reappears in February. Three months of planning, studying new techniques, researching locations.

I studied the weather maps every day, waiting for a clearing in the sky to capture the Northern Lights. Aurora storms came and went and still no break in the cloud cover. Finally I noticed a chance for a clear sky and that the Milky Way would be visible for a few moments before dawn. This was it, everything was coming together.

Searching the map I came to the County G bridge over the Eau Claire River in Eau Claire County, just north of Augusta, Wisconsin. Angling ever so slightly to the south east I studied the movement of the heart of our galaxy. There was a chance that the core would rise just above the center of the river. I had no idea if the angles matched up but I had to give it a go.

I awoke at 4 am and prepped my gear. Heading out the temperature was -4, and with a slight wind my phone said it felt like -16 degrees. A half hour out of town I made it to my location. Stepping out of the car you could feel just how cold it really was. The sky was crystal clear and the stars shined brightly. I set up my gear and made my way to the bridge.

As I stood there you could hear the ice cracking, the tree’s popping, and the old rail bridge behind me sending off a loud twang in the night. It was cold, very cold. Looking east I watched as the core came into view. This is what I had been waiting for for 3 months. Pouring over maps, studying the movement of the galaxy and the weather conditions, waiting for that perfect clear night to reveal the secrets of the night.

At about quarter to 5 am the Milky Way rose to the position I had visioned. Pressing the shutter the sensor of my camera captured the light that took over 25,000 years to reach it. With a bit of a pre dawn glow the sky took on a purplish glow just over the horizon. Giving a magical feel to the scene.

A few moments later the scene vanished and the blue hour took over the sky. As I got back to my car I discovered it wouldn’t start. With temps hovering around -4 I called for a tow truck. Luckily a passer by stopped to help me jump my car. Waking up at 4 am and getting stuck for an extra half hour in the cold was all worthwhile when I look at this shot. It’s my high. Being able to put myself in the right place at the right time. It’s what I live for.

If you love this shot be sure to check out more of my work at http://ift.tt/1QvUjnY and http://ift.tt/1KG12f1.
Thank you, share with your friends, and I hope you enjoy!

Camera: NIKON D800E
Lens: 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 24mm
Shutter Speed: 25sec
Aperture: f/2.8
ISO/Film: 2000

Image credit: http://ift.tt/1PlUfGf
Visit http://ift.tt/1qPHad3 and read how to see the #MilkyWay

#Galaxy #Stars #Nightscape #Astrophotography http://ift.tt/1KG146B


You are always here to me. And I always listen. And I can always see you.


Phew! I just finished a major update to my website! This is one of the new projects I’m announcing… Over the River and Through the Wood written by Linda Ashman and published by Sterling Children’s Books! It’s due out on October the 6th so be sure to snap up a copy!

I had such a fun time working on this book. It was great to illustrate the different scenes in the characters traveled from being stuck in an empty rental car lot to flying high up above in a hot air balloon. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did illustrating it! 

I will post my second big announcement sometime next week. Go to my website if you want a spoiler.

You are at an arm’s length
I’m not sure if the appendage belongs to you or I
no matter
still I can’t always see your face
you see there’s a good amount of space
between you and I
enough for cold mists to float in
and out
and back and forth
and swirl like dust
or dancers
obscuring the finer details
the furrow in your brow
the crease around your mouth
I can’t tell if it’s my duty to wipe away the fog
to draw you close where it can’t fit
or if that’s your job
somehow we should try to cross this divide
though it is a little more difficult
when the people I love want to burn down this bridge
with you on it
while the humans you’ve chosen have no idea
I exist
two different worlds
and here I am
scrabbling at your banks
when you are most likely already comfortable
on your side of the river
you don’t need me
but do you want me
maybe I’ll never know
—  A.O.A.M. || Divide

Yesterday a friend of mine captured the photo of the winter sky that really inspired me.  I was drawn to the color pallet and I also kept thinking I wonder what would be happening on the land underneath those trees and the sky.  I came up with the stylized drawing I called Over the River using those colors and added in a river/waterfall and some woodland animals.

When I uploaded it to my shop on Society6 I received a comment from someone who said that they especially like the “layered cake” look of the waterfall. 

That inspired me to use that shape as the basis of a series of images. 

The second in the series is Coming Round the Mountain and features a yeti, ram and snoozing polar bear. The waterfall became a mountain.

The third in the series is In the City and features the same animals (the yeti is now more like King Kong) and the common shape became Skyscrapers.

The fourth one I just completed and it is called Go Tell on the Fountain.  Here the shape is the buildings in the background and the center of the fountain.  The bird on the fountain is singing out cheerfully for all to hear.

Its funny how one photo can lead to all of the above! 

over the river and through the woods | tristan + elizabeth

[ Tristan paced the cabin, running his hands through his thick, dark curls and then over his face. What was he doing, inviting her over? Whatever he was feeling… jealousy, disappointment, anger, being a werewolf only made his fuse shorter. Was he hoping to start an argument with her? At this rate, he could snap and turn into a completely monster with her. He hadn’t had enough time to get over… whatever it was.

But at the same time, he couldn’t look like anything was bothering him. Why should it? Him and Elizabeth barely knew each other, and who she wanted to have sex with was her business, and certainly none of his. But there was something about finding out she had done it in his dorm room, with Hayden. It felt almost like… she was rubbing it in his face, even if that wasn’t her intention at all.

Tristan gave himself a shake and slapped his cheeks. He let out a breath in a big, fast puff. It was fine. He just had to concentrate. Elizabeth’s sex life was none of his concern. End of story. Satisfied for now, Tristan went to the window, leaning out of it, listening to the crickets and waiting to hear her approach. ]

U.S. Clears Art Project by Christo in Colorado

The project, “Over the River”, will include eight suspended panel segments totaling 5.9 miles along a 42-mile stretch of the river, about three hours southwest of Denver. Construction could begin next year, pending final local approvals, with the goal being a two-week display of the work as early as August 2014. (Source NY Times)

Image: Christo with a drawing for their “Over the River” project, by Wolfgang Volz, 2011.

Over the River and Through the Bronx

It had been a slow night for activity on the Hellmouth–not like San Francisco where the action was constant. The Slayer had sent the wolf to NYC in order to investigate the uprising of attacks on the homeless. The subway was the most effective means to navigate the boroughs. Just coming off of a shift in Queens, the werewolf was exhausted and ready to return to her studio apartment in Brooklyn. All she wanted was to shower and fall into the cool sheets where she could sleep for hours…until she got up and did the same thing over again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 

While the Lycan had been patrolling the city streets, the vampires in NYC were more self aware that the easiest way to nab prey was down in the underground. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen the red-head at the station. Almost every weekend she’d show up at the same time, like clock work. The platform was empty now, as it always way this late. With his human face in tact, the vampire jumped the turnstile at the bottom of the platform, landing heavy on the tiles. The sound echoed, his eyes wandering over to the lone girl standing at the end of the platform deck who was trying hard to avoid his gaze. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he slowly made his way down towards her, leaning with his back against the wall, his hands folded behind him. The train would provide the perfect distraction. Judging from the sounds if it, the car was rattling it’s way quickly in their direction. As the screeching of the rails grew, the man stepped closer to her, inhaling the intoxicating scent of fear as his face morphed into it’s true form. Grabbing her by the shoulder, he used his other hand to cross over her chest, holding her to his chest tightly as his fangs plunged down towards her pulse point on her neck.

Arcadia’s boots reverberated down the dim lit stairwell as she made her way to the platform. It seemed relatively empty aside from the man and a red-headed woman who were standing at the very far end. The stench that filled her nostrils hit her like a ton of bricks, knowing she wasn’t the only creature in the station. Her head whipped in the direction of the two just in time to see the vampire putting her into a restraining hold. The incoming train car muffled the red-head’s scream. Rushing the two, the wolf grabbed the man by the scruff of his neck from behind, reaching around with her other hand to grip his wrist. Crushing as hard as she could, she felt the bones shatter as she ripped his hand from across her shoulder, a ferocious growl filling the station that mirrored the rail car as it blew by them. Yanking him back by the neck, the wolf lifting him a few inches so that he was at her eye line just long enough to bare her fangs. She wanted to make her presence known–to show him that this was her territory. Her prey. Slamming him face first down into the tile, the wolf pressed her elbow into the back of his neck, using her weight to keep him pinned until she could grab the stake from her boot. Plunging it deep into his back, she fell onto her elbow as he burst into dust, shaking her head as she fought back the urge to sneeze. Turning to look back up at the girl over her shoulder, Arcadia stood to her feet, dusting herself off and replacing the stake in her boot. Her golden eyes met the other’s, stepping closer as she extended a hand to her as she seemed to be scrunched up against the wall. “You alright? It’s not safe to be out here alone,” She warned, her fangs peeking out from under her upper lip as she spoke.