Katie Gingrass Gallery

Neil Rongstad

I am an urban landscape photographer and my recent focus has been to capture the hidden beauty of Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s eclectic mix of architecture and the volatile weather is an urban photographer’s dream. Clouds play a key role in the impact of my work. Different types of clouds give a black and white photograph a completely different feel. It’s the “sunny” days that are most uneventful.

I have always been drawn to high-contrast, black and white photographs, even before I ever picked up a camera. I am colorblind so I like to think that gives me some sort of advantage in shooting black and white. It’s easier for me to see the end result even before I snap the picture. I am almost exclusively dedicated to techniques that create that high contrast black and white look. These techniques include night photography and infrared photography.

Night photography is a favorite of mine. There is nothing better than a warm summer night, my camera and a tripod. A newer focus for me is infrared photography, which opens up a world invisible to the naked eye. Blue skies look black. Clouds absolutely “pop” off the photograph because they reflect infrared light so strongly. Man-made materials reflect infrared in unpredictable ways and most plant life shows up as a bright white. The combination of these things gives infrared photographs a very surreal look. Shooting in infrared is extremely challenging but I find the results to be far worth the effort.

Even as I actively expand my portfolio to include other urban environments such as Chicago and New York, Milwaukee will always remain a primary emphasis for me.