Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Returning to photography, starting in my Minnesota backyard September 1, 2017

Brilliant red canna lilies splash color into my backyard patio.


IN THE THREE MONTHS I couldn’t use my Canon DSLR EOS 20-D this summer because of a broken right shoulder, I feared I would lose my photography skills. But I didn’t. This week, with my muscle strength returning and weight restrictions eased, I did my first photo shoot using my 2.5 pound (with a short lens) Canon.







I experienced joy, pure joy, picking up my DSLR and focusing on subjects in glorious light. I started in my backyard, easing myself into the comfortable familiarity of pursuing my passion. I felt giddy with excitement as I photographed a monarch caterpillar clinging to a leaf near milkweeds that free-range seeded.




A segment of a canna leaf.



I moved to potted plants and blooming flowers and garden perennials.



And then I noticed, as I roamed about seeking photo ops, a mini chrysalis dangling from the side of the garage and camouflaged against the green siding. I moved in close, delighting in my discovery.




Canna lily seed pods


Polka dot plant leaves up close.


As I shot more frames, trying different angles, new perspectives, I remembered just how much I love this art. I seek interesting ways to present what I photograph. I seek light that will enhance an image. I consider textures and color and backdrops and distance. I challenge myself to think and photograph outside and beyond the norm.


Coleus leaf close-up


All of my skills, retained in my rote memory, returned. And so did the passion, full-blown and beautiful and aching to be released.


Hibiscus acetosella soar in pots on my patio.


It’s good to be back, camera in hand.


© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


38 Responses to “Returning to photography, starting in my Minnesota backyard”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Welcome back to doing what you love!

  2. Thank goodness you can work again – being without your camera must have been torture.. c

  3. Lynne King Says:

    Beautiful photos! Well done!

  4. Dan Traun Says:

    Welcome back photog.

  5. sidetrackken Says:

    You might have lost some experience with your heavy camera, but you have not lost your ability to handle depth of field or beautiful composition. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beautiful and brilliant
    God bless you

  7. Valerie Says:

    Glad you are back! I enjoy your photos.

  8. Norma Says:

    I love flowers and plants, and your photography brings out all that beauty. I can’t have flowers like that because the heat kills everything. It’s predicted 111 for today,and we have had 112, ,and 110 this week. So keep sending your beautiful pictures. So happy that your shoulder is healed. Take care.

  9. Beautiful photos! Glad your getting back to doing what you love

  10. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    Lovely photos, Audrey! I totally get it about needing to take pictures. Glad you’re back at it.

  11. Kathleen Ahern Says:

    Wonderful to know you’re “back” — gorgeous photos, Audrey!

  12. Beautiful Audrey! You’re a talented lady!

  13. Jackie Says:

    A good place to start…. your own back yard. You don’t have to travel far to capture the beauty of God’s creation 🙂

  14. Susan Ready Says:

    Hallelujah AND you did not lose your touch

  15. melirey96 Says:

    Beautiful! My favorite was the polka dot green leaves, absolutely beautiful as well as the cute caterpillar!

  16. Beautiful photos! You’ll have to keep an eye on that crysallis!

  17. Janet Hanf Says:

    Love the pictures n glad your getting use of shoulder n arm back.

  18. Littlesundog Says:

    A woman on fire with her camera!! YAY!!! 😀

  19. Joan Ignaszewski Says:

    Beautiful! I look forward to viewing your pictures.

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