About Montana

Over the years, I have travelled the length and breadth of Montana, camera in hand, and wrote a blog entitled "Glory of the West: A Photographic Portrait of Montana's Fifty-Six Counties." It is my hope to turn this blog into a coffee table book. Click on the blue box to the left to see the blog. Or, for a quick overview and a link to each individual county, go to the Montana page which is linked at the top of this page. And if you want to know more about what's happening in Montana now, visit Distinctly Montana, Montana's Leading Lifestyle Magazine


First Photography Sales for 2013
First Photography Sales for 2013

My first five photography sales for 2013

Wednesday has become the day I crow a bit about my photography sales.  When last we met, I showed my sales for 2012.  In 2013, I sold twenty-five greeting cards between March 11th and November 29th.  Most of those sales were to someone in New Mexico who bought eighteen cards showing government buildings.  Of those eighteen, they purchased most on June 4th, then came back and bought a few more on September 10th.  Mind you, I assume it was the same purchaser.  All the sales went to New Mexico, and all had the same theme.  But Red Bubble doesn't give me a name, so I can only make the assumption.  What follows is a brief description of the first five photography sales of 2013.

The Mount Olive United Methodist Church 

When my father attended West Virginia Wesleyan College in the early 1940s, he served a circuit, or what we now call a yoked parish, of six rural churches in north central West Virginia.  I no longer remember all six, but I know that one of his churches was in Jarvisville.   It was not this church, however.  In the 1940s, this church belonged to the United Brethren denomination--the church my father grew up in.  There are plenty of Methodist churches in West Virginia, and since 1968, most, if not all, of the United Brethren churches became Methodist as well.  The church my father served was just down the road a piece.  

In 2007, while driving the back roads of Harrison County, I found this church and decided I needed to photograph it.  I have several photos from all sides of the church.  According to the sign on the face of the building, the church dates from 1855 and 1902.  Another assumption, but I believe that the two dates indicate an expansion of the church building.  Of course, it could indicate that the church was rebuilt after a fire or some other calamity.  I really don't know.  What I do know is that on March 11th, 2013, someone in Ohio bought three greeting cards with the image shown at the top of this page.

Sanderlings and Surf

If you're following my blog, you've seen this image before.  Someone from Oregon bought it in the form of a greeting card on August 29th, 2011.  As I noted in my earlier post, this is one of my favorite photographs, and a framed print of it hangs above my fireplace.  In case you didn't see that post, here's the story of the photograph.

On December 21st, 2006, I took my new Nikon D80 camera north to Douglas County, Oregon.  Between the Siuslaw River in Lane County and the Coos River in Coos County, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area stretch some forty miles along the Oregon coast.  Winchester Bay is roughly half-way along, southwest of the town of Reedsport.  High on a bluff sits the Umpqua River Lighthouse.  The photo above was taken below the lighthouse, south of the river's mouth.  As I've said before, this is one of my favorite photographs, and on March 21st, 2013, someone in Northumberland, UK, bought it as a greeting card.  This was my second sale to someone in the UK, and only my third sale outside the U.S.  

More Sales of Court House Photography 

On April 25th, 2013, someone in Maryland bought two greeting cards showing court houses.  The first was the Wetzel County Court House in New Martinsville, West Virginia.  The courthouse backs up to the Ohio River, which you can just see on the left side of the photograph.  There is a plaque by the front doors showing the high water marks from earlier Ohio River floods.  

The Virginia Legislature created Wetzel County in 1846, taking land from Tyler County.  Wetzel County's northern border is the Mason-Dixon line which separates Wetzel from Marshall County.  The county takes its name from Lewis Wetzel, a notorious Indian killer of pre-revolutionary times.  The statue at the south-east corner of the building is of Levi Morgan, another West Virginia frontiersman.  

The second greeting card shows the Arkansas County Courthouse in Dewitt, Arkansas.  I took the photograph on the way home from spending a month in West Virginia.  Kevin and I followed the song's directions and "took the long way home."  We drove from Columbus, Ohio to Starkville, Mississippi, then headed northwest into Arkansas.  Arkansas County sits on the Mississippi River, and the County Seat, Dewitt, is due east of Pine Bluff.  

And two State Capitol Buildings--Photography Sales in 2013


On June 4th, 2013, someone in New Mexico bought a whole slew of county court house photos, all in the form of greeting cards. We'll get into those next week. This week, let's just look at the two state capitol buildings that were part of that sale.

The first was the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. I photographed this building on my 6,000 Mile Sunday Drive. While I took a good many photographs on that trip, I collected approximately fifty of those and published them in a book through blurb.com. Should you be interested in such things, you can purchase the book directly from blurb at this link. I had a great time on the trip, connected up with several family members, and made memories that will last the rest of my life.

I certainly enjoyed my time in Iowa. Never before had I been in Iowa, and had no intention of doing anything other than driving across it, north to south. Instead, I stayed a week at a gay campground west of Des Moines and even attended the Tom Harkins Steak Fry where Democratic presidential candidates all showed up to shake hands and give speeches prior to the 2008 elections. What an experience.

The other state capitol photograph that my New Mexico customer bought was our Montana State Capitol in Helena. I love our state capitol and love photographing it. There is a flower bed in front of the building where each year, the year is shown in blooming flowers. (My 2007 photo of the capitol is one of the images in the 6,000 Mile Sunday Drive book mentioned above.)

And that's all for now.

Next week, we'll look at the rest of my photography sales in 2013. Most were county court houses, and all were greeting cards. Until then,


Photography From the First Week in January
Photography From the First Week in January

As I have the past few weeks, today I am posting five photographs from the first week in January.  These photos date from 2007 through 2019, covering most of the range to date of my photography.  I hope you enjoy the show.   Should you see any image that truly speaks to you, all five are available in a variety of formats on my Red Bubble sales gallery.  The images and their captions link to that gallery.  You can revisit my photography from the fourth week in December here.

A Faded Rose From Days Gone By:  A Rose From the First Week in January

One of the advantages of living on the northern California coast is the ability to photograph roses in January.  I have several beautiful images of roses in full bloom from my father's rose gardens, but this one speaks to me.  The rust on the petals puts me in mind of Delta Dawn and her wedding gown.  Somewhat dingy, and definitely past its prime, but none-the-less out there for everyone to see and admire.  If only for her courage.

Rattlesnake Creek in January

Formerly the principal water source for the city of Missoula, Montana. But after numerous cases of Giardia showed up among Missoulians, the city stopped using this creek. It flows out of the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area, and there are several hiking trails in the canyon and beyond. In the winter, the area becomes a favorite spot for cross-country skiing. It was at the end of a day of skiing, that I took this photo using a Nikon Coolpix L3 camera--my first Nikon digital camera. As you can see, it was a beautiful day to be outdoors during the first week of January.

The Milwaukee Caboose, Alberton, Montana

January 3rd, 2010, found me in Alberton, Montana. Alberton was built as a railroad town for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad--AKA The Milwaukee Road. The Milwaukee was unusual in American railroads in that for over 400 miles across central and western Montana and northern Idaho, the road was electrified. Unfortunately, the railroad ran into financial difficulties in the early 1970s, and by 1980, the western lines were abandonned. Idaho and Washington State are making rail-trails out of the old road bed, but Montana did not have the foresight to do that. Still, towns where the railroad played an important role have memorialized the line in city parks across Montana, including here in Alberton.

Now That's What I Call a Coffee Pot

What part of water tower don't you understand.  Just because someone in Spirit Lake decided to dress up their water tower, doesn't mean that coffee comes spewing out.  But it sure does look like a coffee pot, don't ya think?  One of the photographs taken during the first week of January, 2012, when my cousin Ron and I were heading back to Missoula from the coast.  When I saw this, I just had to stop and take the shot.  Wouldn't you?

The Old Charlo Grain Elevator--Taken During the First Week of January 2019.

One of my favorite subjects, grain elevators are ubiquitous around the Midwest and West.  Many of them are no longer in use, but still stand sentinel over the farming communities they served for many years.  The trains no longer run through Charlo, Montana, and there's no new grain in this elevator.  But still it stands, shining against the backdrop of the Mission Mountains during the first week of January, 2019.

In Closing

I hope you have enjoyed these five photographs, at least as much as I enjoyed taking and sharing them.  Again, if any speak to you, visit my Red Bubble sales gallery and see all the great products you can find with these images.   And if there's anything in particular you'd like to see or have me address, please leave me a comment.  I promise to get back to you.  Till the next time,


Marketing Photos as Wall Art
Marketing Photos as Wall Art
An image showing my photograph of Wild Goose Island as a tryptich above a couch.  This image is available as Wall Art at my Etsy shop.
Wild Goose Island as a triptych above a couch


I started posting to this blog a few years ago with the intent of marketing photos as wall art.  At the time, I had one goal in mind.  I wanted to put my photography in front of potential buyers.  That's right, my sole goal was to sell my photography.  Things haven't quite worked out.  It seems I haven't attracted many readers, or followers, for that matter.  And my posts generate a lot of spam.  As Monty Python would say, "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam!"  Perhaps I haven't been as conscientious as I should have been.  I'll take all the blame.

My first post on this site became active on October 1st, 2017.  It talked about Pend Oreille County, Washington, and contained five photographs.  Beginning in 1980, I had a dream of publishing a coffee table book showcasing Montana's fifty-six county courthouses.  I was able to realize that dream in 2010, at which point I looked west.  Washington state was nearby, and Pend Oreille County was the closet to me.  I designed my first post to be a chapter in my coffee table book about Washington.  From that beginning, I've added 25 more posts looking at other Washington Counties.  Those are grouped under the heading of Evergreen at the top of each blog page.  All have been geared toward selling my photography.


A photograph of Kalaloch Creek in Olympic National Park, where it flows into the Pacific Ocean.  I am marketing this photo as wall art at my Etsy shop.
Kalaloch Creek Meeting the Pacific

Over the past four and a half years, I have kept trying to find ways for marketing photos as wall art.  This winter, I came across Craig Alexander who teaches that the best way to start out marketing photos as wall art is to put them on Etsy.  I've been selling on Etsy for over a year now, but had used that platform to sell my photography of classic cars on ceramic coffee mugs.  Selling photos by themselves was quite a switch for my mind.  But I've done it.  I've now added 35 photos to my Etsy shop and each one of them is available in ten different formats.

You can buy these photographs as glossy paper prints or as stretched canvas prints.  I offer the paper prints in three sizes:  8x10, 11x14, and 16x20.  Should you wish, I can arrange to have them framed for you, but it's generally cheaper to find a frame tht fits at stores like Michaels, or even Walmart.  The canvas prints I find more interesting.  They come in single image and triptych formats in these sizes:  16x20, 12x36, 24x36, 30x40, and 3 panels at 24x72, 36x72, and 40x90.  Believe me, a 3 panel image covering 40 inches high by 90 inches wide really makes a statement.




The photo at the top of the page shows a 36x72 triptych of a photo I took in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.  Introducing the previous section is a photo showing the base image used to create all the different formats mentioned in the paragraph above.  The photo below shows a man holding a 12x36 version of a sunset I shot near my parents' home in Smith River, California.  All three are available at my Etsy shop.

Should any of these photos interest you, please go to my Etsy shop, LightIntoArt.com, and look over all the options.  As I say in my shop's introduction,

"Nothing gives me more pleasure than capturing the beauty that surrounds us, whether it's in the form of a classic car, or the wonderful landscapes that greet us as we drive down the highway. And my greatest joy is bringing that beauty into your home, as the mug from which you drink your morning coffee, or the wall art behind your couch, over your bed, or hanging in your office. Let my camera brighten your life." 

I would be most appreciative if you decide that my work can bring joy into your life.  And if you would like to learn from Craig as well, you can join us here:  https://www.craigalexanderacademy.com. This is an affiliate link, and I will make some money should you use my link to become one of Craig's students.

Sunset over the Pacific (Northern California)