So I am so excited! I have gotten a new lens! It’s a 50 mm f/1.8 and I love it! It’s mainly for portraits, but it can do some really cool stuff. It creates a super blurred background because the f-stop is so low, and keeps the subject in sharp focus. I haven’t really had that much of a chance to play around with it, but I did take some self-portraits just to test the quality.
I really like the focus that it has!
Like I said, I haven’t had the chance to utilize its full potential, but I can’t wait to! The lens is really well known for the “bokeh effect”.
THESE ARE NOT MY PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!
I just want to give you an example of how cool the effect can be!!
This look can amazingly be made with just a simple filter. I think I’ll make a youtube video and share just how cool this lens can really be!!
It feels so festive to me!!! I can’t wait to give it a try!! Any takers?? Let’s shoot!!!!
The town of Stillwater, MN radiates charm and beauty. It welcomes you with open arms into its overload of antique malls, delightful boutiques, and riverside restaurants.
Often referred to as the birthplace of Minnesota, Stillwater was incorporated as a city in the spring of 1854. The town was predominantly a lumbering town and was largely successful until the lumber industry came to a halt in the early 1900s.
Though the town had been cutting down and processing a massive amount of trees, they had forgotten to replant. You can’t do much in the way of lumber without trees.
The population in Stillwater went from more than 13,000 people in the 1880s to a low of about 7,000 in 1940. However, thirty years later Stillwater began to grow once more. As old mansions were revived and turned into Bed and Breakfasts, the town too was revived and once again became a lively, industrious town.
Today, Stillwater continues to grow and be successful. The town offers welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle of Minneapolis, and invites people from all over the country for a taste of the old American feel. It continues to celebrate its previous lumber success with Lumberjack Days, held annually every summer.
Whether you go back in time with Stillwater Trolley Co., or travel through the abandoned beer caves of Joseph Wolf, you are sure to get a taste of the history of Stillwater, and will soon realize that your appetite for the Small Town USA is quite a bit larger than you may have imagined.
As if beautiful brick buildings and antique malls weren’t enough to convince you of the small town’s appeal, just take a peek at its old-age advertisement. When was the last time you saw a Wrigley’s advertisement on a brick wall?
If vintage charm isn’t all that you’re after, the abundance of flowers throughout the town is enough to convince anyone of its beauty. Whether they be in front of shop windows, or hanging from the light posts, the lush foliage of Stillwater is enough to make anyone yearn for a green thumb.
If it’s adventure that you’re after, the Joseph Wolf beer caves are an exciting treat for individuals and families alike. The tours are reserved inside of the quaint and cozy Luna Rossi Italian restaurant and are given Thursday through Sunday, from 1 pm until 5 pm, every hour on the hour.
The caves were created by Joseph Wolf as a way of keeping his beer cold, where they were used until prohibition was put into effect in 1919. The caves would later be used as a tourist attraction by Tom Curtis.
Curtis led tourists to believe that the caves were larger than they actually were. At the time, the caves were flooded, so tours were given by boat, with only a lantern to guide them. Curtis would take the boats in circles through the caves, telling customers that they were actually under Minneapolis. Stories of sea creatures were also told, giving an edge of fear and excitement to the tour.
The tours are now given on foot, and are fully lit. You won’t be told you are under Minneapolis, but you will hear amusing stories and given interesting information about the caves. The tours are $7 per person and give great insight into the town’s history, as well as its inhabitants.
To learn the ins and outs of Stillwater, a ride on the Stillwater Trolley is a must. While traveling through the hilly roads of the antique town, you will learn of haunted mansions, the rise and fall of Stillwater, and may even see a bunny or two.
The tours are around $12 dollars per person and last about 45 minutes to an hour. But whether or not you are interested in history, the tour gives you a nice overview of the town and a chance to rest your feet.
If you happen to be in town over the weekend, be sure to drop by the local Farmer’s Market, located directly across from the court house. It’s open Saturdays from 7:30 am - 12 pm.
The market is filled with delicious home grown fruits and vegetables, refreshing rhubarb mint tea, as well as honey and maple products. Even if you don’t find an item to take home with you, you’re sure to find some entertaining conversation with the locals.
Right in the heart of Stillwater you will find the St. Croix River, where you can sail, swim, boat and canoe.
The river is approximately 164 miles long and runs through both Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is considered a National Scenic Riverway and is protected under the National Park Service.
About an hour outside of Stillwater you can visit the beautiful Interstate Park in Wisconsin. If interested in canoeing or kayaking, a rental from Eric’s Canoe Rental is a sure thing. The price per canoe and/or kayak is $40 dollars for a seven mile ride up the St. Croix River. With river banks serving as picnic spots, and a dip into the river here and there, canoeing down the river can be an all day event, one that you will surely remember.
So whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, an adventure here and there, or just a little piece of the American heartland, Stillwater is an escape fit for everyone. Drive, fly, or take a train, but make sure to add Stillwater, MN to your own list of “1,000 Things to Do Before You Die.” It’s a treasure you definitely don’t want to miss.
For more information on Stillwater, please visit the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and learn all of what Stillwater has to offer.
Took photos with Tracy Sgroi!! We did a little bit of vintage and a little bit of modern. We started running out of sunlight, but we managed to get some awesome shots. Maybe my best yet.
Gotta love having a great shoot with a great model! Be sure to keep an eye out for more!!!