Vickie Young, a transplant to Madison from Cincinnati, shares her unique view of the world via a point-and-shoot camera with a growing number of fans of her Facebook page called Madison Uploaded. Young tries to stay as anonymous as possible while exploring the city. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Vickie Young, a transplant to Madison from Cincinnati, shares her unique view of the world via a point-and-shoot camera with a growing number of fans of her Facebook page called Madison Uploaded. Young tries to stay as anonymous as possible while exploring the city. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
A hobby that started out as a rehabilitation effort allows one Madison resident to catch glimpses of often overlooked details through the lens of her camera.

Vickie Young began taking photos in 2009 as a way to regain coordination after suffering from labyrinthitis - an ear disorder that causes dizziness, a loss of balance and vertigo. After undergoing rehab at a medical facility, she came up with a way to continue improving her health on her own.

"I saw that (photography) as a real opportunity to put the hand-eye coordination together," she said. "This started bringing me out of the house."

In early 2010, she decided to share the photos of her walks on a Facebook page called Madison Uploaded. The page also served as a way to show people why she chose to move to Madison from her home in Cincinnati, Ohio, after her three children were grown.

The move to Madison slowed down the fast-paced lifestyle of living in a bigger city, and Young began to see more of the smaller details and beauty in the objects and places around her.

"I'm really not trained in photography," she said, "And I really don't know what I'm doing."

Still, she wanted to share what she saw.

Through her photography, Young sees connections - what she calls synchronicities - throughout her day. She also uses her time working with her camera to communicate with God.

One day during her journey, she had asked for understanding about a terminal illness her brother was battling. During her walk she saw a man with a peace sign button on his jacket. Then she saw her shadow - standing alone - in the viewfinder while taking photos. Later during her walk, she found a heart-shaped rock and part of the sole of a shoe.

She and her brother only knew one song to play together on the piano. It was titled "Heart and Soul."

"If that doesn't give you an inkling there's something bigger than yourself, then I don't know what does," she said.

She's also begun to find other little things that often go unnoticed because of the familiarity of places and things to people.

Even though Young has been past the Broadway Fountain multiple times over the years, something new is always waiting to catch her eye. Sometimes, it's a smaller detail on the fountain. Other times, it's the way the sun hits the water.

Yet other people just walk on by without a second look because the fountain is just a part of their everyday view.

Young might choose a new place to explore during her photography outings or just return to a place she's been before when going on her adventures.

"There's just some days I just pick a street," she said.

She ventures out with her point-and-shoot camera most days to photograph landscapes. She'll photograph people once in a while, but that's not usually her goal.

Young also likes to remain anonymous in her work. Although nearly 300 people follow her page, very few know she is the artist behind Madison Uploaded - and she likes it that way.

She just hopes to be able to open the eyes of people to the beauty around them, even with what they might consider ugly, like a burned-out building or pieces of trash along the riverfront.

"I probably see things differently," Young said. "Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder."