“My Best of 2016”

I seriously can’t believe it’s that time again, but here we are at the end of 2016 and (drum roll)  it is time for the Best of 2016! The time when we all must sort through hundreds, or thousands of photographs to narrow it down to our five or ten best, or favorite images of the year. In my case these are my favorite images of 2016. In the past I have usually posted 10 images, this year I found only nine to be my favorites.

This is the 5th year that I have participated in Jim Goldstein’s annual Best Photos Project that he hosts for all photographers who would like to participate.

Thank very much for all of your hard work Jim! I really appreciate it!

Before getting to my Best of 2016  images , you might like to take a look at my favorite images from last year.  You can view that post here in my 2015 Year in Review.

 

“Golden Burst of Morning”
An absolutely spectacular early fall morning with golden fog and trees in silhouette!

I had several occasions this summer and in early autumn to witness some amazing fog! I made a huge print of this for myself!

 

“Edge of Red Dawn”
This was a particularly beautiful sunrise on Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan during late spring.

I was able to spend some time during spring in Traverse City and vicinity. I had come in hopes of experiencing the cherry blossoms but I was just a tad too late. The sunrises on the bay, like you see here, and time spent at Sleeping Bear Dunes was beautiful though!

 

“Lake Superior Colors”
Wow, this day was simply wonderful! The winds were whipping, the waves on Lake Superior were coming in strongly, and the colors were popping in the whole scene!

While driving up H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais I just had to stop at this location and feel the strong winds pushing the waves ashore. The colors of the water, and sky were both amazing and there was a pop of orange color in small scruffy maples in the sand grass that just made the scene for me! I can seriously just allow myself to get lost in this photograph!

 

“Golden Sunlight Blessings”
Another one of those days that start out heavy with fog and then all of a sudden the sun comes out and brings with it, magical rays of golden color and warmth!

This was yet another day that started with heavy low lying fog that rose higher just as the sun began to shine! It created a delightful atmosphere with it’s warm hues! I really loved the sunbeams streaming through the tree and fog! It looks amazing in a print or canvas!

 

“Autumn Winds and Color”
Brisk winds on an autumn day in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan bring waves crashing against the rocky shore!

One of my favorite places to stop at along highway 28 just outside of Munising, MI. It’s always beautiful in autumn with the fall color set against the evergreen trees and rocks!

 

“Stairway to Lake Superior”
Follow the stairs leading down to Lake Superior on a windy and stormy fall day with gorgeous colors in the waters of the lake, clouds in the sky, and fall foliage!!

Along H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais there are many beautiful places to stop, all within Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore area. This wonderful location had superb conditions when I arrived there! I just recently made a large print of this photograph.

 

“Fall within Lake of the Clouds”
Peak fall color at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

This autumn I spent several hours at Lake of the Clouds with the weather changing from full rain to completely sunny and everything in between. It is spectacular no matter what the weather!

 

“Laughing Whitefish Falls”
Beautiful water flowing at Laughing Whitefish Falls near Munising, Michigan this autumn.

Having been to Laughing Whitefish Falls before, I have often found it to have quite a low water flow. I know my timing has been off because after a rain this place can present with torrents of water. I happened to catch it at a good time this year with a nice, full, but not overwhelming, flow of water.

This concludes my Best of 2016 favorite images. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed the opportunity to experience these places and make these photographs!

 

Finally as we enter into the new year, I would like to wish all of my family and friends, all of you who read my blog, and everyone from near and far a most wonderful and adventurous 2017!!

I’ll end this post with one of my favorite quotes:

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”  ~ Edward Abbey ~

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“Through Shadow Woods”

As we slowly approach spring. I have begun to process some images from last spring that I hadn’t had the chance to get around to.

This image is from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. In this particular area the trees are tall and straight. The sunlight streams through, leaving areas of shadow and either filtered light in summer when the trees are full, or bright light in spring when leaves are just starting their re-growth.

There is one area on Skyline Drive in this section of trees that has a small place to be able to pull over, get out and walk the trails, to feel the immense height and stunning beauty of the forest.

I never tire of this place, gazing at its grandeur, inhaling the scent of the earth, relishing the warmth of the sun as it rains down, and enjoying the shade when summer heat comes.

I took many images of the trees themselves, some while gazing straight up, some using a wide angle lens to get in as much of the scene as possible.

For this image I got down in the middle of the road, hearing nothing but silence all around me. No cars coming in any direction. I felt the beauty of the road within the woods. I embraced the shadows and light. I could feel how it must feel to be an automobile passing through this greatness. What a beautiful feeling that is!

I passed through this special place at least 10 times last spring, and each time I marveled at its wonders, and never tired of seeing it again and again!

I can only imagine what it would be like to experience this in autumn, with colors of every hue! For now I shall save that for another day, and another time. Instead I will enjoy the pure green beauty of spring. One that has yet to come to most of us. Elusive this year, but in the end I’m sure it will arrive.

I hope you can get a sense of the feelings that I described here! Enjoy your piece of spring!! 🙂

"Through Shadow Woods"
“Through Shadow Woods”

“Autumnal Warmth in Abstract”

“Rustling Color”

-Rustling Color-

“Lively Rustling”

-Lively Rustling-

Every autumn when colors glow anew I always try to take as many images of the gorgeous foliage as possible. In addition to regular landscape or nature photography, I enjoy making motion blur abstracts.

Both of these images are from the same vibrant tree. Leaves ranging in color from gold to orange, green to brown,and red to yellow!!

I love the feeling of dancing, rustling, and swirling that these images evoke.

It may be just a few days away from official winter, and we may already feel as if we’re in the deep freeze in many places, So I offer to you some autumnal warmth for your eyes and soul!!

Enjoy! 🙂

“Munising Falls”

What do you do when you’re at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore and it rains the whole time your there?

I had originally planned on taking in the beautiful deep turquoise and aqua hued waters of Lake Superior. Enjoying the intense colors and vast vistas against the wonderful rock formations of Pictured Rocks.

But that wasn’t the way it went. So when things don’t go as planned, do you just through in the towel? Do you lounge around your hotel room watching longingly out the window for the weather to change, or sit in your tent, wishing you were back home?

Well, if you do, you shouldn’t! You just need to be prepared for all types of weather, not only with your gear, but in your mind!

Just go out and photograph what you can when the weather is dark, skies are overcast, and rain is coming down whether it is a drizzle or heavy rainfall!

In this case here, I ended up spending several days taking in many of the beautiful waterfalls in the Munising area. Cloudy days are perfect for waterfalls. You don’t have to try and deal with the deep contrast of light and shadow that you would have to on bright sunny days.

Just make sure to bring a sturdy tripod, some type of waterproof camera cover, many micro-fiber lens cleaning cloths, and maybe a good pair of boots!

In wet weather a good rain sleeve for your camera is the best idea, but in a pinch you can always use shower caps from the hotel, or a couple of plastic bags secured with duct tape.

Don’t let the weather keep you from getting out and doing what you love! Don’t let it keep you from taking advantage of your photography trip, or your long awaited vacation.

Get out there and have fun no matter what the skies may bring!! 🙂

“Munising Falls” 2

Munising Falls

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

As you can see I am a little behind in my processing. In my last post you could see the last remnants of fall leaves on the ground with a little snow.

In contrast to that, this frame was taken in early October in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The areas closer to the coast still had abundant color, like in this image here, while the inland areas looked more like winter had already come.

I love this particular area. It is located not too far from Lake Superior, but in a slightly higher elevation. This back country dirt road goes on for about twenty miles. It’s very narrow, and can barely allow two cars to pass. The good thing is almost no one is around, so I had complete freedom to hike, walk, explore, and of course take photos!!

I spent quite a bit of time hiking around in the woods. Enjoying each step, as I walked on moist fallen leaves, drinking up all the golden color with my eyes, and listening to the sound of silence whenever I paused for a minute or so. To me it’s like being in a magical place. A place full of wonder and vibrant color everywhere I turned.

I hope you too can feel the exhilaration and excitement of this fall magic, just as I do!!

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

-Magical Autumn Mystery-

“Center of Attention”

What says autumn other than fall color change on the trees? Well, of course, the vast array of autumnal beauty at your very feet. A gorgeous carpet of joy!

As I walked through the woods on a very rainy day, I got to enjoy the sheer loveliness of what was beneath my feet! This area was filled with many varieties of Maple trees which created a very colorful bit of eye candy as I walked along.

Since this is such a simple shot, I decided to put the focus on the orange leaf in the center, and on the area directly around it. I used a bit of blur in the rest of the image. Take in the image a bit more by reading the description below.

Imagine standing here. Close your eyes for a minute. Breath in the fresh rain filled air, notice the earthy scent of the wet soil and leaves. Feel the chilly breeze on your skin, and the drizzle of rain as it lays a mist on your hair. Now open your eyes and take in colors. Vibrant yellow, orange, gold and red. Muted browns that have fallen earlier. Enjoy the contrast of colors and the depths of the leaves. Inhale every bit of beauty into your soul and remember this well for beauty like this comes but once a year!

Thank you all for stopping by for a bit of autumn joy! I wish you all a wonderful fall this year and every year!!

“Center of Attention”

-Center of Attention-
Carpet of gorgeous maple leaves in every color!!

“Rockin the Gingko”

 

Beautiful golden ginkgo leaves create a carpet on the ground!
Beautiful golden ginkgo leaves create a carpet on the ground!