Photograph of a Sioux Falls neighborhood oak tree by landscape photographer Paul Heckel.

The Tree By My House

The first home my wife and I owned was a tiny three bedroom in an older Sioux Falls neighborhood. Built in 1931, the story and a half was modest but well constructed. The house was positioned on a small hill that accentuated the steep pitch of the roof. More than one passerby mentioned that it reminded them of a gingerbread house.

Additionally, it wasn’t constructed with traditional siding. Granite stone accents began at ground level and worked their way halfway up the front, where off-white stucco continued to the gutters. The front steps were cobbled together from granite blocks left over from the house’s construction and led you to a solid wood front door

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Photography hanging on the walls of Dunn Brothers Coffee on East 10th in Sioux Falls, SD

A Public Hanging

With my advertising career in the rear view mirror, I traveled to try my hand at landscape photography for the first time in March of 2018. I became an instant addict.

My next photo adventure took the form of a 7,000 mile, 30-day road trip with my 20-something daughter riding shotgun. Camping mostly in a rooftop tent (and a few hotels because we stunk and needed a hot shower), we visited 11 states, 12 National Parks and photographed 25 sunrises.

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Photo of Paul Heckel's expresson while on a photo assignment

Photography Espressofied

I became a certified coffeeholic‌ when I began living on my own just out of high school. Basically, because I was broke and coffee was less expensive than Coke. It was 1990 and it was still considered perfectly acceptable for teenagers to drink four cans of soda daily. The “drink lots of water” craze hadn’t taken hold yet and my generation was still guzzling sugar and caffeine fortified Coke, Mello Yello and Jolt by the case.

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