Joel Schnell - Photographer


Hardware. Soft Ware. Inspiration.
Commercial photography in Minnesota by Joel Schnell

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Ruffed Grouse Hunting
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: Canon G9
Editing: Lightroom 5, Photoshop 6

Upland hunters in Minnesota long for these days, the brilliant colors of fall and ruffed grouse season. The most popular bird in the state draws 100,000 to the woods to chase them. It’s not an easy quest. Most hunters bag only seven birds a season on average, and the bird population varies wildly year to year. It takes a lot of boot leather to bring down a bird, miles of walking. On this day I brought down three, a mixed bag of gray and red colored birds. 

Bug bites, thorn scratches, and plenty of sweat are often the only rewards of the day. But there are few things more satisfying than kicking the boots off at end of day, bird dog curled up next to you. They are our constant companion in the thickest of woods, their nose revealing the trace of birds that we’d walk right by. A few burrs will have to be combed out, some ticks pulled before they get a hold. All they ask in return, is a scratch behind the ears, a bowl of food, and the chance to chase the birds again tomorrow.


For me, its an honor to place the grouse feather of the first bird of the year in the visor of my truck. I look forward to the tinkle of the dog’s bell, the smell of wet leaves, and the pursuit of the birds all year. 

Ruffed Grouse Minnesota
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: Canon 5D MKII
Audio: Zoom H2N
Editing: Lightroom 5, Premier 6

Ruffed grouse is the most popular game bird in Minnesota, and hunter Dave Kufahl describes the hunt and what it means to him. Featuring footage from the hunt, fall leaves in full color, bird dogs in action, and scenes of beauty of the Northwoods. Kufahl describes the season, attending a grouse camp, dog work, and cooking a bird. Maggie the brittany and Barkley the Gordon setter are the canine stars.

Ron’s Leather Repair
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: Canon 5D MKII
Audio: Zoom H2N
Editing: Lightroom 5, Premier 6

Ron Stober is a biker with an unusual hobby. Ron is a leather repairman and describes his service to customize jackets with patches. He tells about putting on memorial patches of friends lost to the road or to life. He tells how he got started in the sewing business, and what it means to his customers.

The Jeep Mechanic
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, 7D, 60D, GoPro
Editing: Lightroom 5, Premier 6

Louis Larson knows his Jeeps. If you need a part or a carburetor rebuilt from a vintage Jeep, he is your guy. Owner of Minneapolis Willys for decades, he now runs his shop from his garage and workshop. He also fields requests from all over the world for rare parts and service. He helps make our history alive by keeping these historic machines running. 
Louis drives his 1941 Willys Jeep in Parades around the country for the Red Bull Historic Military Vehicle Association. A non-profit organization, they participate in events throughout the summer.

Crew:
Joel Schnell, Director of Photography

Samuel Henderson,Sound Recordist

Caleb Henderson, B Camera Operator

Todd Donery, Production Assistant

www.schnellphoto.com

The Red Bull Historic Military Vehicle Association
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, 7D, 60D, GoPro
Editing: Lightroom 5, Premier 6

The Red Bull Historic Military Vehicle Association honors our veterans with Jeep displays and convoys. A non-profit organization, they rely on volunteers and members that provide their own vehicles on weekends throughout the summer.  They drive mostly WWII vintage military vehicles in parades and shows around Minnesota.

Louis Larson knows his Jeeps. Louis drives his 1941 Willys Jeep in Parades around the country for the Red Bull HMVA. If you need a part or a carburetor rebuilt from a vintage Jeep, he is your guy. Owner of Minneapolis Willys for decades, he now runs his shop from his garage and workshop. He helps make our history alive by keeping these historic machines running. He also fields requests from all over the world for rare parts and service. It’s an honor to visit with guys like Louis from the generation that kept America running in the twentieth century.

www.schnellphoto.com

Snowscapes by Snowmobile
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: iphone 4s
Editing: Lightroom 5

It’s been a long winter with snow, deep glorious snow in Minnesota. For snowmobilers it has been an epic year with great riding throughout the state. 

I’ve seen the pines heavy in white camo, black spruce swamps frozen like a snowy highway, rooster pheasants flushed from a cattail swamp. Deer shacks and stands in silent waiting for next season. Cabins frozen tight, waiting for family visitors to stomp their boots on the threshold. A whitetail deer struggles off the trail to wait for us to pass by. Frost makes a fairy-tale landscape from the bare-limbed trees. Bubbling brooks betray their rushing water in little windows of activity below. No other method of travel can duplicate what we see from the seat of a snowmobile.

An old railroad bridge over the Kettle River makes a fine vista for snow travelers. I can image the days when steam engines plied the tracks, heavy with loads of white pine for lumber or taconite for the steel mills.  For a brief moment, we get a birds-eye view of the landscape below. 
Soon the wet, muddy season of spring will arrive. It says so on the calendar. But for now, winters cloak hushes Minnesota’s Northwoods.

www.schnellphoto.com

Ruffed Grouse on Trail Camera 
by Joel Schnell

My latest editorial work features a writing credit instead of photography this time. I wrote this article for the Ruffed Grouse Society magazine, journal of the conservation organization.

" If you’ve got a ruffed grouse drumming log scouted out, the stage is set to capture your favorite bird during his magnificent display. It’s pretty unique in the avian world, and it happens right in our backyard.

A male ruffed grouse drums on a log to attract a mate and declare his territory to other males. The drummer beats his wings to create miniature sonic booms, for the benefit of attracting a grouse hen or staking his territory from competing males. Peak drumming is in April, but is heavy again with the October dispersal of young males from their families. A male may spend most of his life within 6 to 10 acres of his drumming log. A trail cam is a silent witness to this display, taking a picture at every movement when pointed at a drumming log.” 

www.schnellphoto.com

Saint Paul Winter Carnival Torchlight Parade
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Editing: Lightroom 5

The culmination of two week’s Winter Carnival festivities is the Torchlight Parade. At this time King Boreas’s winter rein is near an end, and Vulcanus Rex overthrows winter to bring on spring.
The Vulcans leave their mark, a “V” in soot, on the cheeks of those that shout “Hail the Vulc” to declare their allegiance to the Vulcans.

Minnesotan’s are hearty folk embracing winter and all four seasons. Since 1886 this pageant has brightened the winter spirits of Saint Paul’s revelers. 

www.schnellphoto.com

Abandoned in the snowPhotographer: Joel SchnellCamera: iphone 4sEditing: Lightroom 5, Perfect Effects 4, Photoshop CS6
I saw this motorcycle at a truck stop in Minnesota a few weeks ago. I wonder who left it and why? They even left their backpack. Judging by the snow I don’t think they will be back. It’s a mystery to me.
www.schnellphoto.com

Abandoned in the snow
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: iphone 4s
Editing: Lightroom 5, Perfect Effects 4, Photoshop CS6

I saw this motorcycle at a truck stop in Minnesota a few weeks ago. I wonder who left it and why? They even left their backpack. Judging by the snow I don’t think they will be back. It’s a mystery to me.

www.schnellphoto.com

A lively approach to fashionPhotographer: Joel SchnellCamera: Phase OneEditing: Capture One, Photoshop CS5
A recent product shot for a national retailer assignment. Creating fashion layouts in the studio is a collaboration with art director, stylist and myself. We achieve a sense of movement in the clothing, a dynamic approach to hint at what the garment looks like on figure but without any distracting elements. I light the product to look good in print and online, to make a positive impression even without seeing the garment in person.
www.schnellphoto.com

A lively approach to fashion
Photographer: Joel Schnell
Camera: Phase One
Editing: Capture One, Photoshop CS5

A recent product shot for a national retailer assignment. Creating fashion layouts in the studio is a collaboration with art director, stylist and myself. We achieve a sense of movement in the clothing, a dynamic approach to hint at what the garment looks like on figure but without any distracting elements. I light the product to look good in print and online, to make a positive impression even without seeing the garment in person.

www.schnellphoto.com