Crossing Uneven Ground

Exhibits Featuring My Photographs

Very light toned image of Bloodroot Flower Blossonsd

“Cries and Whispers, Bloodroot Blossoms” will be featured in my solo exhibit at the UW Arboretum.

Spring 2023 – It’s been a busy winter.

I’ve been selected for a solo show in Madison and my work is being featured in several Wisconsin galleries and a great new coffee shop!  Here are the details:

From Dark to Light: A Collection of Wisconsin Spring Botanical Photographs
  • A solo show of 26 Images by Thomas Lemke 
  • From March 2 through April 27, 2023.
  • The University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum   1207 Seminole Hwy., Madison, Wisconsin.  
  • Hours for the Visitor’s Center: Weekdays – 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Weekends 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

I’ve been photographing tiny spring plants for six years and now and I’m very excited to have 26 images shown.   With this micro and macro photography I’m exploring the moods and emotions I find in spring flowers and other botanicals.  All of the images were created in my studio in Langlade County.  Really its just the porch of our cabin but there is good light and I can work on my subjects without them being blown around by the wind.  I dig out the whole plant, put it in a pot, photograph and then replant.

The photo gear is very specialized.  I equip my Canon 5D with a special macro lens that can magnify up to five times actual size.  This sits on a computer-controlled stepper focusing rail that lets me focus stack the images of the subject.  One photo may be made up of over 100 individual frames.  The “stack” of frames is then combined with a computer program into one image. Normally close-up photos are a little bit in focus and a lot of the image way out of focus.  The benefit of my system is that I can get the subject all in focus…or partially in focus. As a control freak, this is very appealing.  The viewer gets an experience of seeing a massive amount of detail of something that is mostly overlooked.

The use of light and shadow is very important to this work.  My photographs of emergent plants, ferns and others, are often composed of low-key, dark tones.  I explore forms that seem to exist at the border of animate and inanimate.  Wisconsin wildflower blossoms though, vibrate with color and design so my compositions of them are expressed in lighter tones and color.  This exhibit explores a range of tones and the feeling I have for my subjects.

“Acoustica, Jack in the Pulpit” is an image that explores dark tones and low light at the UW Arboretum.

“Where Time Lies – Ah Shi Sle Pah Badlands, New Mexico” in the Here and There show.

Here and There – The 2023 Annual Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA) Juried Exhibition.
  • From March 3 through April 7, 2023.
  • Walker’s Point Center for the Arts 839 S Fifth St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 1 – 5 p.m.  Opening reception Friday, March 3rd, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Three of my images were juried into this show of Milwaukee’s fine art photography community, CoPA.  All three are of my interpretive work done in the badlands of New Mexico. I use the erosional forms of the badlands as the subject but my treatment is unique.  I capture the images in black & white but use “painting with light” and colorizing techniques to take the viewer into the realm of my imagination. 

“The First Day of Spring on the Wolf River” and other photos at Wolf River Roots Coffee in Langlade.

Images of Langlade County 

Much of my work is done right around our cabin in Langlade County, Wisconsin.  Landscapes of the Wolf River and other great spots are my focus.  I also do some night photography with the Milky Way glowing over fields and streams.  I hope you get a chance to stop by, grab a cup (they also have food) and take a look at my photos of Central Wisconsin.

“Beech Tree in Winter – Mequon, Wisconsin” is currently on display at the Mequon Public Market.

Photographs at the Mequon Public Market – Upstairs Gallery
  • Mequon Public Market 6300 W Mequon Road, Mequon WI 
  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. , Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

It’s quite an honor to have my images on display along with art by Grace Sheldon, Rob Hagen and Nancy Crawford.  The Mequon Public Market has great shops and restaurants and is located in a trendy, bustling area of town.  The gallery area has tables so you can find some tasty treats then enjoy them on the second floor with the art work.

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