Photo EssayTanner Mclean<br />My goal for this assignment was to capture the culture and cultural influences of the Midwest with a focus on Minnesota. To me, the biggest yet most basic cultural influence in Minnesota is the distinct changing of the seasons. I tried to capture these and the distinct cultural influences in the following photographs. Each photo is fairly current. Most have been taken within the past few months, and others within the past few weeks. Enjoy<br />
A picture perfect sunset with a lone boat in the distance, captured from the shores of Leech lake near Walker, Minnesota. Leech lake is the third largest lake in Minnesota covering over 112,000 acres. Although a popular tourist and vacation destination in the summer , Leech Lake brings in around 10,00 people every February for the International Eelpout Festival. I attended my first Eelpout festival last February and the festivals events and activities truly mirror the unpredictability and craziness of a Minnesota winter. <br />
This picture was taken from the warning track of the Minnesota Twins new home, Target Field. I had purchased my tickets from the Minnesota MS society for the June, 7th game vs. Kansas City. The game was sponsored by the MS society and all tickets purchased through them gave the holder the unique opportunity to be the first group to walk the warning track before the game began. I snapped this photo from center field. The new ballpark seats 40,000 fans and with the game sold out it was an experience I will never forget. The Twins won 7-3.<br />
Larry Vogel from Chaska MN takes a cat nap on a four wheeler after a long ride in Walker MN. Larry farms 250 acres of land just west of Chaska, and is the father of 3 girls one of which attends Minnesota State University Mankato. This picture was taken in July while I was on vacation with the Vogelsat their small cabin right off of Leech Lake. The cabin was originally an old pole barn that was converted to a lake cabin, and is quietly placed off the beaten path, not a cabin in sight, with National Park Lands right in their back yard. The cabin has been a family gathering spot for Vogelsfor the past 23 years. <br />
An abandoned farmhouse sits alone and rotting just outside Cormorant Village township in central Minnesota. An all to common sight in rural Minnesota, known to the locals as the “Half-house,” it was once a home to a local farming family. Half the house was moved about 35 years ago but due to financial difficulties the move was not completed. It has become somewhat of a family tradition of ours to visit the house every year and explore the forgotten treasures inside. The house has sat empty for the past 35 years yet we seem to find something new every visit. I snapped this photo on a trip to the house that my family took mid July. This years treasure was an unopened letter from 1973 found inside a rusted drawer in the house.<br />
An older gentlemen stands quietly in front of a gravestone.<br />I saw this man while visiting my girlfriend’s grandfather’s burial place. The man stood unwavering for over 20 minutes staring at the same headstone with his family waiting quietly behind him. The image was so powerful I couldn’t help but snap a photo. After inquiring I learned that the gravesite was that of his brother whose funeral he was unable to attend. This was his first visit to his brother’s final resting place. <br />
Here we have a picture of the Minneapolis/St. Paul skyline. I snapped this picture on my way back from Fargo to Mankato a few weeks ago. I chose this picture for this photo essay to act more as a symbol than anything. Although much of my culture is influenced by the ruralness that shapes the Midwest, the cities area and other large cities in the Midwest have a big influence too. This picture represents the creativity, entertainment, and overall options that can sometimes feel nonexistent in rural communities<br />
This is all that remains of an abandoned playground in Moorhead, Minnesota. This picture was taken on a recent trip I took to my hometown of Fargo, North Dakota. Moorhead is just on the other side of the Red River which makes the border between North Dakota and Minnesota. I used to play on this playground as a kid, but improper funding and lack of maintenance caused the park to be abandoned. <br />
Kelly Vogel shooting a .22 caliber pistol in a plowed field just south of Mankato, Minnesota. Hunting is a big part of Midwestern culture and is something I personally grew up doing. Growing up in a hunting family it became a time for all of us to get together and bond. Like clockwork every deer season we would go out to the farm and sight our guns for the upcoming hunt. Hunting influences Midwest culture in many ways, especially in rural areas. Hunters coming from out of the area flood the Midwest every year bringing much needed customers to local businesses. <br />
This picture was taken of me last winter by one of my friends using my camera. It was taken just down Val Imm Drive on a walkway that leads down the hill from campus. I was struggling to get up the hill and apparently it was a sight to behold. Winter is by far the most prominent season in Minnesota, and last what seems like all year. I chose this picture to show that even though Minnesota can seem like a baron wasteland with a never ending white blanket of snow, we still find ways to have fun outdoors.<br />
Snow blankets a trail surrounded by empty trees behind the Julia Sears dorms in Mankato, Minnesota. I chose this picture to close out my essay because to me the trail represents the” keep moving forward” attitude that I feel is instilled in the Midwest. The snow and naked trees represent not just the prominent seasons in Minnesota, but the struggles and hardships that everyone goes through on their path that we call life.<br />
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.