Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

I’ve never given much thought to photographing the northern leopard frog or really any variety of frog. That was before a recent assignment with Minnesota Public Radio News. I recently spent a short time photographing the northern leopard frog near Mantador, N.D., and was absolutely taken with these creatures [and mighty thankful for my macro]. They were a hoot to photograph. Working in concert with a radio reporter requires I’m more quiet than usual. I was so delighted with the frogs and their unpredictable jumps that I was giggling. It was silly, but oh so entertaining. The audio version of the story and more photographs are online here.

Thanks for looking. – Ann

Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

Photograph of northern leopard frog in North Dakota

Town Hall, 2011

I’m a huge fan of the Plains Art Museum here in Fargo, N.D. Maybe it’s the beautiful space [hard wood floors meets high ceilings and lots of windows]. Maybe it’s the location [downtown Fargo where I spend most of my waking hours]. Maybe it’s the fabulous art and educational programs [you have read about vermin right!?].

In a few short weeks I will have not one, but two photographs on display at the museum as part of two different shows. “Town Hall, 2011” [pictured above] will be included in a silent art auction as part of the 2012 Spring Gala. The annual auction always features a host of local and regional artists. The gala is set for the evening of Saturday, May 5 and tickets are on sale now. Proceeds from the event benefit the museum’s educational programs.

“Hamburger Meats, 2010” [pictured below] is currently on display in the first floor gallery as part of the Art the Plains XI exhibition. I’m excited to be one of 48 artists from four states included in the show. AOP is in its 11th year and this is the third time my work has been featured in an AOP show [not bad considering I’ve only applied four times]. This year’s exhibition is up until the end of May.

If you happen to be at the Spring Gala, I’d love to say hello. The Internet is great and all, but I like people, real people better. Best, Ann

Hamburger Meats, 2010

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Much of Minnesota’s Big Stone County – like many parts of the state – has been deemed a “rural food desert” by the United States Department of Agriculture. In fact, huge swaths of middle America and the people who live there have low access to healthy foods and the variety of food found at large grocery stores. Honestly, I’ve never given much thought to food distribution or availability in this part of the world. We’re surrounded by farms and fields.

For a recent assignment with Minnesota Public Radio News I spent the better part of an afternoon in Big Stone County. One of my tasks was to photograph at Bonnie’s Hometown Grocery. The small store, owned by Bonnie Carlson, is located in Clinton, Minn. The grocery is something of an oasis and provides more than just the basics. Mrs. Carlson, who doesn’t like to be photographed, was a gracious host and more than tolerated my presence. I also had the opportunity to briefly visit a small family farm outside Clinton [see bottom two photographs].

You can see more photographs and read [or listen] to the article here. It’s an interesting issue and one we might all want to consider. Thanks for looking. – Ann

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Bonnie's Hometown Grocery

Rural Big Stone County

Getting A Drink

Washing Up

Yesterday was a super Super Tuesday here in Fargo, North Dakota. Before I get ahead of myself, I should note that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won the most votes in North Dakota’s statewide Republican caucuses. I’ve had the opportunity to photograph Mr. Santorum and Mitt Romney in recent weeks. I was thrilled when I learned that presidential hopeful Ron Paul planned a stop in Fargo during an area-caucus event. I photographed Mr. Paul at least once years ago for the local newspaper during a visit to North Dakota State University.

Politicians interest me. People interest me. How people respond and react to elected leaders, especially those on the national level, really interests me. I respect any process that brings people together to discuss similar and dissimilar views.

A couple of notes on my approach to photographing Super Tuesday. I brought one camera body, two lenses [24mm and 85mm] and one strobe. I wanted to be mobile and keep things simple. I also went into the event with an intention of being more relaxed about image making. My purpose was to convey an overall sense of the gathering. I wandered around far more than I normally would and spent time chatting with lots of people. The outing was satisfying and even entertaining.

Enjoy the photos and thanks for stopping by. – Ann

P.S. If Newt Gingrich visits Fargo, I would happily photograph his event as well.

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Super Tuesday in Fargo, North Dakota

Two short weeks ago GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum held a campaign rally here in Fargo. Not long after, Mr. Mitt Romney announced that he too would visit North Dakota. [In all fairness, I should mention Ron Paul has also visited our state recently.] Anyway, Mr. Romney and his crew planned a public event at Wrigley Mechanical this morning. I planned to go early [to get a decent place to park and a good vantage point]. However, I was on deadline to submit photographs for an editorial assignment and generally playing catch up after yesterday’s forecast blizzard, which was more of a minor snow storm.

With my images submitted, I hurried to make the Romney event, which was running behind schedule according to facebook posts by attendees. By the time I reached Wrigley Mechanical people were leaving. Not good. I found a parking spot easily and hurried in. The event was clearly over, but the candidate was still working the crowd. I moved quickly and photographed for about 20 minutes [that’s roughly the same amount of time as Romney’s speech]. I’m counting this outing as No. 2 of my goal to shoot at least six self-assignments in 2012. Ideally, I would have been able to photograph the event from start to finish. However, I’m giving myself credit for hustling, following through on this self-assignment while not compromising a deadline for another assignment. Best, Ann

Mitt Romney's campaign stop in Fargo, North Dakota

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop In Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos

Mitt Romney's Fargo Stop in Photos