Category Archives: Northfield

Northfield holds spectacular Winter Walk celebration

What a great night to be in Northfield! On the first Thursday of every December, thanks to the Chamber of Commerce and the downtown community, Northfield hosts Winter Walk. It is a festive celebration of the holidays, and it is even more fun when we have snow on the ground! Main street is blocked off, the trees are decked out with lights and the streets are lined with luminaries. There are also multiple bonfires to warm yourself, a tree lighting ceremony, choirs and musicians, free horse-drawn wagon rides, Santa Claus, hot chocolate, hot cider and much, much more! Many of the stores have special items planned on this night, such as krumkake baking at the Paper Petalum, S’mores at Premier Bank, band ensembles at Quality Bakery, trains at the Northfield Library, dancing (The NAG Cracker) at the Northfield Arts Guild and Santa Claus, who happens to appear at a few locations. (Not sure how he gets around so much.) 

This event is enjoyed by those who live in town and by many from out of town. When my family and I go downtown, which we have for nearly every year for the 20 years that the event has been held, we see many friends and enjoy treats in many of the stores. This year they even had a parade AND fireworks! It is a wonderful time to enjoy the holidays and even do some shopping. There are MANY great stores in downtown Northfield.

This year I was asked by the Chamber of Commerce to photograph the 20th anniversary of this excellent celebration. I was honored to be asked. I have taken many pictures at this event over the years, so I loved doing it this year for the Chamber. I have uploaded a bunch of pictures for you to enjoy. I hope you like taking this virtual visit to Northfield. Mark Winter Walk on your calendar next December, and be sure to dress warm and bring the family. If you like, please follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for looking! 


Also posted in Editorial Photography

Young artist paints my landscape images

I am going to put in a plug for anyone in the Northfield area to visit the Northfield Arts Guild (NAG) through June 9 to see the high school’s Honors Art display. The high school students, who are seniors and juniors, have done some amazing work that includes pottery, painting, photography and more. The students showing their art have a ton of talent. You won’t believe the work they do; It’s incredible and fun to see. 
art display on wall

Amy’s art display at the NAG.

My daughter, Amy, has art in the show. She combined digital art, acrylics and gesso to create some textured, 3D surreal images. I think she has some outstanding work on display (and I’m not biased at all). 

Another student, Jaclyn, has some paintings that I’m excited about. She paints some amazing landscapes with acrylic on canvas. They look very real, and I love her style and the images. I might be a bit biased about her images, since they are paintings of my photography! 
girl standing by artwork

Jaclyn standing by her artwork.

Jaclyn did an excellent job painting my landscape scenes so the colors and look of the images are very real. In the photo that I show here of Jaclyn with her artwork, you can see the amazing job she has done. In the photo, you can see landscapes from several locations; one I took in Boundary Waters Canoe Area, one in Colorado, one on the North Shore of Lake Superior and one nearby in Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. She has painted a few other pictures of mine as well. When Jaclyn asked if she could paint some of my images, I was happy to let a young artist use my work as a subject to paint. (I was also happy she knew about copyright and that photos cannot be copied – even painted – without permission of the copyright holder.) 

To see Jaclyn’s art up close in all their beautiful detail, stop by the NAG in downtown Northfield, Minnesota. Besides seeing her great work, you can see my daughter’s awesome work and lots of other great high school artists. This Honors Art show happens each spring. Be sure to check it out and see the wonderful artists we have in Northfield.
Also posted in Fine Art, Landscape, Scenic

Excellent winter weather day

I had a wonderful time this morning taking images around Northfield. I started the day by crosscountry skiing at the Arb. It was foggy and gray, without much great light. I knew images wouldn’t look too great at that time. But as I wrapped up my skiing, the sun started to break through the clouds. I could tell it was going to be awesome. I headed out on Highway 19 and took a few images of an interesting looking tree, just as the sun was peaking through the clouds. 

I then drove past the golf course and saw some gorgeous frosted trees along Spring Creek Road. I headed to downtown Northfield and spent a lot of time by the river and Bridge Square. it was stunning. The frost was being blown off the trees, and with the light behind, it was really awesome. I couldn’t believe it. What a gorgeous morning!

I headed up to St. Olaf College after spending time downtown. The scene at the college was unbelievable! I hope you can see that in some of these images. It was incredible. I haven’t seen a day like this in a long time. 

The frost stayed on the trees for a long time. In fact, I was heading home after a couple of hours of shooting and the trees still looked amazing. As I headed home, the clouds rolled in and the light went flat, but what a great time I had this morning. What you see here is a quick sampling of some of my favorites. I will work on some of the best of these and eventually upload them to my store at Fine Art America. I think they are many here that would make beautiful wall art. Thank you for looking! 

Also posted in Landscape, Scenic

Newly remodeled Northfield Library

The Northfield Public LIbrary is one of 65 public libraries in Minnesota built with money from Andrew Carnegie. It was orginally completed in 1910, remodeled in 1985 and remodeled in 2016.

The Northfield Public LIbrary is one of 65 public libraries in Minnesota built with money from Andrew Carnegie. It was orginally completed in 1910, remodeled in 1985 and remodeled in 2016.

The city of Northfield recently remodeled the Carnegie library, built in 1910. The Northfield library is a beautiful place to relax and read. It has a nice historic feel, which is perfect for a historic small town. A number of years ago, they city began talking about the need for expanding the library. Some said it could not be expanded where it currently resides, and the city would need to build a new one at another location. Many people, myself included, did not want to see that happen. Fortunately they found a way to expand the library at the current location, so we now have a library that merges the historical and the modern.

You can see this connection in the photograph I have taken of the library at night. See the large glass front on the building along with the historic brick structure. Once I saw the remodeled structure, I knew I had to get a night shot of it. There are many good angles on the building, but I settled on this one where you can see the main sidewalk leading down to the entrance. For this night shot, I wanted to get as much western sky in the image as I could to provide the deep blue color to contrast against the warm interior lights.

I like doing fine art photography around Northfield, and I find night pictures captivating. See my previous entry about the movie that was filmed in Northfield, called “Love Always, Santa.” I photographed the “Bun Also Rises” (aka. Hideaway) coffee shop that was featured in the movie. Just like this image, I photographed it after dark. I hope to do some more night photography around Northfield in the future.

You can see more of my Northfield images, some taken after dark, under the Fine Art store at the top of the page. Select “Northfield” under the “Galleries” menu on the far right of the page.

Also posted in Fine Art

Love Always, Santa

A movie made here in Northfield: Love Always, Santa!

It’s been the talk of the town for the past year or more. A movie was filmed in Northfield that will be shown on the Hallmark channel on Sunday, November 6. It is called “Love Always, Santa.” You can learn more about it here. In fact, as I write this, the city of Northfield is actually previewing the movie, and they have packed out the Northfield Middle School to watch it.

Our little town of Northfield, Minnesota, is a quaint, charming small town. It has a historic, picturesque downtown with architecture that is great for making images. I have been photographing scenes around Northfield for many years. (My wife and I moved here in 1998, but I’m not sure if we are considered “townies” yet.) I have produced some fine art images from around town that make great wall prints for office or home decor, so when I learned that much of the filming was taking place in our wonderful town, I wanted to capture some more images.

One location that is featured in the movie is the Hideaway Coffee Shop owned by the Spauldings. I wanted to make images of the coffee shop that would illustrate the establishment’s charm and warmth. (My wife and I love to go to the Hideaway on coffee dates.) I decided an evening photograph would be best, so I went downtown at dusk and started scoping it out. I tried some shots from directly across Division Street. Fortunately, there were no vehicles in front when I got there, so I had a clear view for photography. After taking some photographs from straight on, I decided I wanted something with more depth, so I moved onto the sidewalk right in front of the Hideaway. I used a wide angle lens, so I could get really close and show the entire exterior. In the images with this post, I show a vertical photograph from the south side and a horizontal image from the north side. I prefer the horizontal view. I purposefully made sure you could see down the sidewalk and the dark blue sky. I also wanted to leave the streetlight in the picture because I think it adds to the overall picture. With my wide angle lens, I could get close to the planters, which give the picture depth. I also had to avoid the bright lights of the business next door that would overpower the Hideaway’s lights.

Why the four images?

Look close at all four images. As you can see, there are really only two different angles. As I looked at these images, I decided to try a painting filter in Photoshop. The images with the bright colors and textures just seemed like they should be painted rather than photographed. Since I’m not a painter, I had to manipulate the images after capture to give them that painted look. So, with each angle of the coffee shop, I have one photograph with no filter and one photograph with a painted filter. Which do you like better?

Overall, I think the final images capture the charm and warmth of this beautiful coffee shop that you will see if you watch the movie “Love Always, Santa” when it airs.

If you are on Instagram, I’d love for you to follow. Click the Instagram logo at the bottom of the page or find me @JoeMillerPhoto. Thanks for reading!

Some links to pages on Fine Art America that have my work and others featuring Northfield:

northfield mn art prints for sale
northfield mn canvas prints for sale

Also posted in Fine Art