Wilhelm Photography Blog

For those of you who know me well, you know I dabble a bit in creative writing. This mostly takes back burner to everything else in my life right now, but occasionally I make a little time to pursue this interest, only when I’m not exercising with my Vessi waterproof shoes. I am part of the West Branch Christian Writers Group, and I am constantly inspired by creative friends I have there. Each Christmas our group hosts a special insert in the Williamsport Sun Gazette Christmas day edition of the newspaper. For two years my fine art photography has been published there including the kind of camera and equipment I use or where to get it and I find a lot of my equipment at the ProductExpert site online,  this year I also managed to contribute to the many great Christmas themed writings found there! Several of my photos were published along with a photo of the detective himself.

I hope you love minute mysteries as much as I do! I will post the answer on New Years Day for those of you who missed the paper! You can comment with your guesses!


A Detective Tinsel Minute Mystery

The bells on the toes of Detective Tinsel’s pointed shoes jingled as he crunched through the first winter snow that had just fallen in the last hour. Steam rose from the cup of hot cocoa he drank in place of breakfast. He met two other elves in the alley behind the gift wrapping warehouse. Inspector Garland stood beside a fellow elf with tears sparkling down his rosy cheeks.

The Inspector introduced the teary-eyed elf beside him, “This is Sprinkle. He found the deceased.” All three stared at the crumpled body of an elf in the middle of the alley. “The body was discovered beside the dumpster,” He pointed to an indent in the snow covered ground matching the dead elf’s size and shape.

“I came out just a few minutes ago to empty the garbage,” said Sprinkle. When I saw him lying in the snow, I pulled him into the middle of the alley to get help. As soon as he was under the street lights, I knew I was too late and called the Inspector.”

The Inspector interrupted, “Time of death was between Midnight and 1 am. Looks like poison. We are calling it suicide.”

“What makes you think it was suicide?” asked Detective Tinsel.

Sprinkle answered, “Everyone knew he wasn’t a very jolly worker. He hated gift wrap and really wanted a promotion to toy making. Last night, his boss transferred him to gift tags. We knew he was mad, but I never thought he’d take his own life!”

“He didn’t,” said Detective Tinsel. “He was murdered.”

How did Detective Tinsel know it was murder?

Tune in tomorrow to read the answer.

Interested in learning more about The WBCW Group? You can contact us here: http://www.westbranchchristianwriters.com

or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/westbranchchristianwriters/?fref=ts

Merry Christmas!

I didn’t intend to ride the StarWars trend this year, but it happened anyway. If you follow the blog, you know that we did very elaborate costumes from Episode 1 this year for Halloween. You can see them here: StarWars Halloween 2015

I was one week into December and still had zero plans for the Christmas card. That is when my friend’s son Noah showed me that he has last year’s card on the fridge. I looked at the photo of my three kids on the back and panicked. Not only did I not have a plan for the card, but I had been so busy this year that I didn’t take a photo of the kids for the back of the card. The most recent images I had were from Halloween. Between that and my friend’s son talking about how Darth Vader should be on my card, the idea was born.

full border

The next two weeks, I tried to figure out how to make the tree look like it fell over after being sliced with a lightsaber. I came home one day to find my tree on the ground with balls smashed to smithereens. I was a bit heartbroken, but obviously this meant less photoshop. We bought lightsabers and cleared the evening for our annual photo shoot. I spent the rest of the week repairing ornaments. I was able to fix all the ones with sentimental value, and we all agreed that our star was lame and needed replaced.  I added snow to the back images for that Star Wars classic Christmas effect- hehe


So, the Death Star made it into my Christmas card… Not going to win any awards for beauty this year!

I hope that makes your Christmas Merry!

Need to see the previous years? Check out our

Christmas Card Traditions Blog

One of my favorite stories is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. For years, I have wanted to create images based on the beautiful descriptions penned by Irving. This year, I finally was able to capture my two favorite characters in the peek of autumn. Let me quickly introduce you to my two models for this project.  I feel that I need to post a regular portrait of each because both guys were kind enough to let me exaggerate their features or decapitate them all together, and they really are both too dashing to deserve such treatment. I am glad, however, that they were willing to help me bring Ichabod and the Headless Horseman to life. Thanks to both of them! They spent a considerable amount of time working with me on this. I love the characters in this book, and maybe someday I will come back to it and explore more of them.
DSC_8427 copy-2DSC_8803 copy-2


For the rest of my blog I will let Washington Irving quotes show you what inspired me with these images…


“The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock, perched upon his spindle neck, to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.”

“thus going the rounds of the neighborhood, with all his worldly effects tied up in a cotton handkerchief.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“The school-house stood in a rather lonely but pleasant situation just at the foot of a woody hill, with a brook running close by, and a formidable birch tree growing at one end of it.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow-lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards burthened with ruddy fruit,”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“On all sides he beheld vast store of apples; some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“He was a kind and thankful creature, whose heart dilated in proportion as his skin was filled with good cheer; and whose spirits rose with eating as some men’s do with drink. He could not help, too, rolling his large eyes round him as he ate, and chuckling with the possibility that he might one day be lord of all this scene of almost unimaginable luxury and splendor.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“He was, moreover, esteemed by the women as a man of great erudition, for he had read several books quite through…

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos


Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“…and was a perfect master of Cotton Mather’s history of New England Witchcraft, in which, by the way, he most firmly and potently believed.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“His appetite for the marvelous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; and both had been increased by his residence in this spellbound region. No tale was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow.”

“Another of his sources of fearful pleasure was, to pass long winter evenings with the old Dutch wives, as they sat spinning by the fire, with a row of apples roasting and spluttering along the hearth, and listen to their marvellous tales of ghosts and goblins, and haunted fields, and haunted brooks, and haunted bridges, and haunted houses, and particularly of the headless horseman, or galloping Hessian of the Hollow, as they sometimes called him. ”

“But if there was a pleasure in all this, … it was dearly purchased by the terrors of his subsequent walk homewards. What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy night!”

“How often did he shrink with curdling awe at the sound of his own steps on the frosty crust beneath his feet; and dread to look over his shoulder, lest he should behold some uncouth being tramping close behind him!”


“Local tales and superstitions thrive best in these sheltered long-settled retreats…”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“It was the very witching time of night that Ichabod, heavy-hearted and crest-fallen, pursued his travel homewards, along the sides of the lofty hills which rise above Tarry Town, and which he had traversed so cheerily in the afternoon. The hour was dismal as himself.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“Over a deep black part of the stream, not far from the church, was formerly thrown a wooden bridge; the road that led to it, and the bridge itself, were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which cast a gloom about it, even in the daytime; but occasioned a fearful darkness at night. This was one of the favorite haunts of the headless horseman; and the place where he was most frequently encountered.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war; and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

I am probably not finished perfecting any of these, but projects like this never feel perfect enough when I am working on them. This was definitely a tricky  project. I especially wrestled with the edit where I decided to play with a bit of an optical illusion with the trees- I wanted to see my horseman without spacial boundaries. I am not sure that I am comfortable with that, but I didn’t want to wimp out on posting it. Even as I post this, I already see things I want to retry, but its time had come. If you have never read the original work, I encourage it. I read it every fall.

If you love this story too, leave a comment! I hope this added some magic to the end of your autumn.

B is for Blackbird is a brand new post and is part of my #atozblogchallenge.

This is the first “visual story” I have created as a fine art project. I really tried to push my editing boundaries and go beyond my normal comfort zones of photography in this. I don’t like to interpret art for people, so I will just leave you with some titles and
the images. The rest is up to you. If you enjoy this, please let me know by way of comments or shares. Enjoy my series: Blackbird.

blackbird 1

The Dream

blackbird 2


blackbird 3



blackbird 4




flight 2


Pin your favorites.

Don’t want to miss a blog post. Get the WP Newsletter. Sign up HERE



Last year I started a series called Enchanted Forest. Most of my macro photography is “true nature photography” where I photograph a creature in its element and hope that with a lot of patience the subject will finally decide to go where I was hoping it would. This series is a bit different in the fact that I create the stage for the critter.  All of the elements in my arranged backgrounds are real with the actual vibrant colors they appear to be. The background is usually out of focus leaves or flowers depending on the season.  The only photoshop involved in these images is stacking (which layers my depth of field for added areas of focus) and some of the rainbows- some of them are naturally occurring lens flare. This week, I added an image to my series.  Our praying mantises are just over a month old, and I knew I had to include one in the series since they have so much personality.

Enchanted Forest: Caterpillar

Enchanted Forest: Ladybugs

Enchanted Forest: Snail

Enchanted Forest: Young Praying Mantis

I’d love to know your thoughts…Do you like traditional nature images or the fantastic feel these have?  Which is your favorite from the series? Any suggestions for what kind of creature should be in my next shot in this series? Let me know in the comments.

Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and PIN your favorites.

I have been working on some fun projects with my kids this year. When I am working with my kids, I know my ideas won’t always go as planned, but it gives us both some wild memories!  This is inspired from the silent film era of mustache twirling villains with dasterdly  plans, and let’s not forget the damsel in distress. I put together my own “silent film” with the images, and posted the pictures below for closer viewing and for my fans that like to pin.

Starring my son as the villain

And my oldest daughter as the damsel in distress

My son (3 years old) would not let me take a single image until he did the tying up on his own. Glad I kept the camera “rolling” because these are some of the more comical images that really helped to flesh out the story line.

This is the kids’ favorite. My son was using his “mad” face and likes the way this turned out. I don’t think I need to say this because I made it pretty obvious, but there was no train when we photographed. Which actually was pretty disappointing to my son. The sign was just added to the images for the video so we could sneak in the happy ending.

I posted this one in color and in sepia on my Facebook page and ask fans to vote for their favorites. Color won out (and is probably my favorite just because I love the bit of rosy cheek behind the mustache) but it was close. I used the sepia in the video and will post the color version here. You can add your vote by visiting my fb page.

I was feeling inspired by a nursery rhyme that my grandmother always recited and I in turn recited to my daughters. My middle daughter has the perfect combination of fairness like a porcelain doll and trouble- seen in her wide mischievous eyes for this portrait project.  I love blurring the look of photography and painting. I am adding them with and without the text since you can see them larger without it, but it will be more fun for fans who Pin my artwork on Pintrest to have them with the text.

Thanks for sharing and pinning!