See How My Beautiful Dells Museum Photograph Came to Be

This was my second attempt at photographing the Dells Mill and Museum in Augusta, Wisconsin. My first attempt was about 2 years ago and I never quite felt it turned out right. And when you drive nearly 3 hours just to get a photo, you want to make sure you get it right. Especially when the building is now listed as one of the Midwests historical places. So in the Autumn of 2016, I made the drive from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota to Augusta, Wisconsin. I used a new technique that I had spent the summer learning, and that trial and error gave me the ability to get this photo of this extremely picturesque scene.

It was a beautiful autumn day when I made the drive over to Augusta. The last 45-minutes or so of the drive is on the back roads, winding along creeks, rivers, and farms. It's a very very beautiful drive. When you make it out to the Mill, there is one tricky aspect to getting just a basic shot of this scene. You have to stand on a very narrow 2-lane bridge. Thankfully I think most people that live in the area now expect to see photographers blocking part of the bridge. There are all kind of photographers on the bridge. You have your cell phones. You have your point and shoot cameras (yes, I was shocked to see people still used them too). There are people taking hand-held photos with their DSLR cameras, and also people with tripods to hold their DSLR cameras. When it is a scene this beautiful, you can expect to see a wide range of photographers out there.

As for myself, I was a photographer with a tripod and a DSLR camera. I found a make shift parking spot near the mill building. Walked out onto the bridge, set up the tripod, set up the ND filters, and took one 3-minute exposure. That's right, this was a one shot photo shoot. I drove nearly 3 hours, took a photo for 3-minutes, and jumped back in the car to make that 3-hour drive in the opposite direction. Well, I did make a quick stop on the other side of the mill to take this photo as well. But that was it for my photo journey for the day.

I hope you enjoy it! I know for me it is my favorite of all of my fall pictures. And, to be honest, it is also my favorite of all of my pictures of waterfalls too.