Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Photographic perspective June 8, 2020

I delight in dried grasses dancing in the wind at sunset at River Bend Nature Center.


A MONTH AGO, as spring broke in Minnesota, Randy and I headed to one of our favorite local outdoor places—River Bend Nature Center in Faribault.


Beauty in a single grass stem.


As usual, I carried my camera. My camera invites me to see the world in a different and more detailed way. I look through the viewfinder with an artist’s eye and with an intent, creative focus.


Randy surveys the prairie below.


Directions to the prairie route.


An overview of the land.


I use photography to create and to document. And in the process, I find joy. If you’re a photographer, you understand that moment when everything—the light, the subject, the composition—comes together. It’s, to be somewhat trite, magical.


Greenery dangles from a tree, looking lovely in the evening light.


People often comment that I must have a “really good camera.” I don’t. It’s second-hand, an EOS 20D Canon, old by today’s standards. It doesn’t perform especially well in low light. But I love this camera; it’s my second 20D.


I love the muted, dreamy tone of this image, the softness in the light of a setting sun as I shot through the field of dried grasses.


Today’s smartphone cameras can technically surpass the quality of my aging DSLR. But there’s one thing technology can’t replace. And that’s the photographer’s skill-set, talent, experience and creativity.


The moon rises while the sun sets.


I understand the basics of photography—of lighting, composition, focus… But even more, I recognize the importance of perspective and storytelling. Of thinking outside the box. Of creating art with my photography.


A red-winged blackbird catches my eye.


When you see my photos, I want you to feel immersed in a sense of place. In that moment when I stand or squat or kneel to frame an image, I want you there. Or when I set my camera on the ground and aim the lens upward without looking through the viewfinder.


A prairie path…


I strive to tell stories, to introduce you to people and take you to places and events you may not otherwise see. To show you my little corner of the world and beyond, through my life lens.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “Photographic perspective”

  1. Kiandra Judge Says:

    Thank you for these peaceful and beautiful pictures. Just what I needed to see this morning!

  2. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    Audrey, every single photo here is an absolute delight. The grasses, the moon, the red-winged blackbird are all so exquisite. Thanks.

  3. Ruth Says:

    Thanks for sharing your prairie home. We’re in a sea of asphalt, wire,cement, a few splotches of grass.

    • Randy and I were discussing that topic yesterday as we took a Sunday drive, following winding gravel roads through rural areas. We talked about how much space we have here and how so many people live crammed together in cities. I recognize that some prefer city over country…and that we are all different.

  4. Walter Says:

    There’s something technology can’t replace, the photographer. I agree.

  5. Beautiful photo’s Audrey. We share that love of capturing nature!

  6. RWare Says:

    Audrey, your photos are wonderful. I occasionally check the exif to see if you’ve upgraded. You get the most out of that 20D. I am thinking myself about getting more active with photography once again. Nice to see you are still at it.

  7. valeriebollinger Says:

    Wonderful photos! I especially like the “dreamy” image.

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