Last Glance

Sunrise at the Trolley

Al Whitaker received an honorable mention for this photo, “Sunrise at Tommy’s Tonka Trolley,” in the City Landmarks category of our 2015 Lens on Lake Minnetonka photo contest. “People might not actually consider it a landmark, but go up to anyone around town and talk about the trolley, and they’ll know what you’re talking about. That makes it a landmark,” Whitaker explains. “Plus he’s got great ice cream.”

The Big Show on Ice

Braemar figure skating instructors Eleanor Fischer and Jean Pastor created Edina’s first ice show in 1966.

Braemar Arena had been open only a few months when it hosted its first ice show in the spring of 1966. Even with inexperienced skaters, the Ice Follies managed to entertain with costuming, music and staging similar to popular professional ice shows of the day.

Photographer Chris Spah Finds Inspiration in Nature

For Chris Spah, daily work turned into a hobby. As a graphic designer, he is always using photos for the websites he creates. “I always need more photos than what is given to me, so I started [photography] in my free time and it turned into another type of art,” Spah says. He likes snapping pictures of what is around him every day, though he prefers nature settings to other photographic subjects, because he also has a passion for watercolor art, and he finds inspiration in the outdoors.

You’ve Got Mail

Sending greetings of one form or another over the holiday season may seem commonplace today, but before printing was affordable and postal services were developed, it took much more effort to send those well-wishes. It is widely believed Sir Henry Cole sent the earliest Christmas cards in the United Kingdom in the 1840s.

Cards began to appear in the United States about a decade later, but really didn’t gain in popularity until the 1870s. Those earliest cards were typically designed with religious or nature scenes depicting an iconic Christmas or winter setting.

Samantha Eyre Photographs Wind Turbine at Dusk

“I always look for things,” Samantha Eyre explains of her photographic eye. “I don’t always have my camera, but I like to look for things everywhere I go.”

Born and raised in Maple Grove, Eyre has always been interested in photography, capturing varied subject matter including senior photos, 3-year-olds and nature photos. She studied graphic design and has carried her passion far beyond the classroom.

Eyre knew she wanted to strive for the City Landmarks category in this year’s photo contest, so she kept an extra eye out for opportunities.

Mark Schaffer Captures Colorful Fountain Lights at Maple Grove Central Park

While Mark A. Schaffer has used both film and digital photography techniques, he prefers the latter. For this photo, Schaffer was able to use his Nikon D90—an “old model by today’s standards,” he says—along with a 50 millimeter lens with exposure for highlights. This causes the lights in a photograph to be vibrant and, in turn, causes shadows to look nearly black.

Community Came Together to Raise Funds for Railroad Park Flagpole

The flagpole along Highway 61 at the south end of Railroad Park was the result of a community expression of patriotism. During the summer of 1939, the effort to bring a municipal flagpole to our city was launched. By October, most of the funds had been raised, and the 75-foot flagpole was ordered. It was installed in time to be dedicated to veterans of all wars in a brief ceremony on Armistice Day that year.

Nate Loftsgard’s Award-winning Photo Stretch

A sleeping fox atop a snowy woodpile would be picturesque enough—but after Plymouth resident Nate Loftsgard snapped more than 50 pictures of the scene in his backyard, this particular fox stood, did a few stretches and took the photo to the next level. “I was in the right place at the right time,” Loftsgard says. “It was one of those rare things you don’t see very often, but it was fun to have it right there in our backyard.”

A Pop of Color

Matt Chapman, who captured this image of the aptly named “Christmas Barn,” says, “One of the things I love about my house is that I’m walking distance from downtown Excelsior, yet I have this country, rural feel looking out across my backyard. The old barn and horse stable look great in the morning light, especially during the winter months. I was drinking my coffee one morning and decided to grab my camera for a few shots from my deck.”

Using editing software, Chapman was able to highlight the red of the barn, leaving the rest of the photo in black and white.

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