Sanderson Photo Art

Images and photography blog of Peter Sanderson

Sunrise on the Mead


The lowlands of the Mead Wildlife Refuge are often shrouded in an early morning ground fog such as in today’s image.  The fog was not thick enough to obscure close at hand landscape features but was just enough to scatter the early morning light into a beautiful reddish glow.  I could include the rising sun in the image as it’s intensity was reduced by both the fog and distant tree branches.  The conditions allowing this image do not often happen and do not last but a few moments.

Read more

Fall’s First Breath

Ever notice how a cold morning in the fall seems so much colder than the same temperature during the spring?  Part of the reason is that there is much more moisture in the air during early fall. If you are lucky enough to be outside during the beginning of a new fall day when the temperature has dropped below freezing for the first time during the season, you will notice frost covering the landscape. The first breaths of the morning seems to coat everything in front of  you.

Read more

Crepuscular Rays Over Wisconsin

WR_MG_1288_7_6_ 960

Wisconsin River at West River Drive, Stevens Point

The above image shows a good example of crepuscular rays. The name comes from their typical appearance during crepuscular hours (those around dawn and dusk), when the contrasts between light and dark are the most obvious. Crepuscular comes from the Latin word “crepuscular” meaning twilight.

Read more

Fire and Ice

Early in the winter after ice has formed but before snow accumulates is the time to capture a reflection of the early morning sun on our frozen lakes and streams.  “Fire and Ice” was captured on the Wisconsin River just downwind of a paper mill emitting water vapor.  When the air is still and there is a bit of temperature inversion, the water vapor clings close to the ground providing water droplets that can refract the early morning light into an amazing and changing array of colors.

As a photographer, be on the lookout for locations that consistently produce water vapor, mist, steam or ground fog.  These become your “money locations” as they are likely to produce wonderful morning color with the rising sun.  Wisconsin River Hoar Frost is another image captured in this general location showing beautiful early morning color.


Mill Creek

First snows of winter are often wet clinging to the countryside at least for a short time. Smaller shrubs, with a heavy burden of fallen snow, bow down under the weight of the winter season now upon them.  Trees show evidence of the previous storm’s direction.  While moss may grow heaviest on the North side of trees, snow cakes the West side of these trees.  Trees of by gone days lay in the creek, reminiscent of river log runs that were the back bone of Wisconsin’s economy so many years back.

Read more

Female Cardinal

This female cardinal and her partner are year round habitants of our neighborhood and a frequent visitor to our bird feeders.  One snowy day, she sat in a pine tree just outside my window.  I quickly set up my camera with a telephoto lens.  Positioning the camera to suggest a shaft of light was spotlighting her, she stayed just long enough for me to capture this image. Her male partner is featured in an earlier post.

Male Cardinal


This male cardinal is a year round habitant of our neighborhood and a frequent visitor to our bird feeders.  On one snowy day, he sat in a pine tree just outside my window.  I quickly set up my camera with a telephoto lens.  The window had a fine layer of hoar frost, my fist was just the perfect size to melt a small window through the frost.  The telephoto lens allowed the background to be blurred and the hoar frost caste a softness to rest of the image.

This image has become a popular note card especially around the Christmas season.