“Golden Rays of Light”

 

One very early morning just a few days ago I decided to take a drive in the countryside on some local dirt roads. It was foggy and nearly dark when I started, but as the sun rose I was rewarded with an amazing sunrise with golden rays of light streaming through the trees as I drove along.

The image above is a tighter version of the first tree I saw, with many streams of light coming through the fog. Simply dreamy to me!

 

"Your New Day Rising" Stunning Golden sunrise through the fog!
“Your New Day Rising”
Stunning Golden sunrise through the fog!

 

In this next image I got as close as I could to a cornfield with a lone tree and an amazing sunrise just atop the tree! What a glorious morning! As the nights are cooler with autumn having arrived, I hope for a few more mornings to enjoy the fog before it turns to frost!

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“It Still Feels Like Summer”

I truly cannot believe that it’s almost September, and it still feels like summer! The weather hasn’t changed, our temps are as hot as they’ve been off and on for the last couple of months. In Michigan, usually August ushers in a slight change, you’ll have cooler nights, and mornings. You’ll feel autumn coming. Well not this year,  in fact it seems that all of 2016 so far has felt quite a bit different than normal. Who knows what we have in store for us this fall and winter!

I know I’ve been pretty neglectful of my blog for a while. Life has been extremely busy, and honestly doesn’t look like its going to slow down for a few months. I did have the opportunity earlier this summer though to visit Lake Superior Provincial Park, in Ontario, Canada. It was wonderful!

I thought I’d just go ahead and share a few images that I’ve made this summer, from that location. Two of the photographs are processed in black and white and one in color.

 

"Agawa Bay Rocky Shore" Beautiful and scenic Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada!
“Agawa Bay Rocky Shore”
Beautiful and scenic Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada!

 

"Chippewa Falls and River" A summertime view of Chippewa Falls in Ontario, Canada!
“Chippewa Falls and River”
A summertime view of Chippewa Falls in Ontario, Canada!

 

"Chippewa Falls" Mono A Beautiful long exposure of a section of Chippewa Falls, processed in black and white!
“Chippewa Falls” Mono
A Beautiful long exposure of a section of Chippewa Falls, processed in black and white!

 

These images were all made this summer during my trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Even though the weather there was pretty hot at the time, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the heatwave we were having in SE. Michigan at the time!

Not only was this location an extremely beautiful place to see , but also a quite welcome reprieve from the oppressive heat! I can only imagine how amazing this area would be during autumn with all it’s color! Hopefully I’ll get the chance to find out some day! 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed the images. As always, these photographs and many many more are all on my websites, and available for purchase as  prints, canvas prints, and more! Check them out here. http://rcnaturephotos.pixels.com/ and www.rachelcohenphotography.com

 

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“Garden Blooms”

Spring seems to start of pretty slowly here in SE. Michigan, but once the temperatures warm a bit, which they did to a very large degree this year, the garden blooms begin to appear quickly!

These are some of the first flowers to bloom in the garden this spring, after the initial daffodils and crocus.

The lovely light purple Iris basking in the warm light of the morning sun makes a lovely image!

 

"Dahlia Darling" Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!
“Dahlia Darling”
Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!

The Dahlia were especially beautiful with their large blossoms, and stunning colors!

"Iris abstract" I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!
“Iris abstract”
I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!

 

The small details in this purple Iris was one that was perfect for a macro shot!

"Peony in Peachy Pink" A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!
“Peony in Peachy Pink”
A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!

 

The peonies are still blooming, but this one was the absolute first to blossoms this spring. The hue was a bit different this year, with more of a peachy hue. I think it makes a beautiful macro!

As spring draws to an end, I’ll be photographing all the many blossoms that pop up, and sharing more garden photos here on my blog.

I hope that you too are enjoying whatever is blooming in your area, and your garden! You just gotta love those garden blooms!

 

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“The Blue Ridge in Summer”

I was going through some of my photographs recently of The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that I made during a Mid-June trip. I found these two images of a very beautiful, humid, and stormy summer day in the mountains!

The clouds were dark and heavy as was the air all around. The kind of  air with humidity that gives layers of haze in the distance, and feels thick to breathe.

The forests were full of trees and were a lush green from previous rains, giving beautiful contrasts of colors in both greens and blues!

I’m looking forward to heading back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Shenandoah National Park sometime this spring or summer. There’s always an ever changing landscape there just waiting for me around the bend!

"Storm on Blue" Gorgeous clouds in the Blue Ridge Mountains during a summer storm.
“Storm on Blue”
Gorgeous clouds in the Blue Ridge Mountains during a summer storm.

“Vivid Colors”

I really love the bright and vivid colors that spring and summer bring to the garden! These photographs are from warm weather times, which I can’t wait to see again soon!

I’m not one to shy away from photographing vibrant colored flowers, or autumn leaves either, as you all may know!

I know the names of the orange and purple flowers, but I wasn’t able to ID the deep fuchsia flowers above. If anyone knows the name, please feel free to let me know.

"Orange Excitement" All the shades of orange burst through in this summertime photograph of Butterfly Weed!
“Orange Excitement”
All the shades of orange burst through in this summertime photograph of Butterfly Weed!

Last summer we had loads of Butterfly Weed. I used to love to sit in the garden near it watching both bees and butterflies take advantage of all that it has to offer.

 

"Purple Veronica" Lovely hues of purple and green in this patch of Purple Veronica!
“Purple Veronica”
Lovely hues of purple and green in this patch of Purple Veronica!

The Purple Veronica was also prolific! There were so many patches of it growing in the garden. I love the form and shape as well as the different hues of purple!

 

Finally, I’ll leave you today with a flower quote:

“Without darkness,

nothing comes to birth,

as without light,

nothing flowers.”

~ May Sarton ~

“In Fog and Mist”

Earlier this past fall, I made a week long trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I knew that fall color was a little later this year than last so I felt really good about my timing. What I couldn’t predict, and really, who can, was the weather! During the seven days there I had only one day of sunshine, but without a cloud in the sky. The rest of the days were either rainy or at least drizzling and or foggy. I had so hoped to see Lake of the Clouds in good weather. Oh well, it certainly was “In the Clouds” is all I can say! Both fog and mist!

It rained the entire time I was there, and of course I had forgotten to bring an umbrella, so I used shower caps, and other plastic bags to cover my camera and lenses. Anyway, I was thrilled to see this beautiful place no matter what the weather was, but I had hoped to come back with images of gorgeous fall color and amazing clouds! Oh well, at least I did get some amazing fog and mist, and I could see there was wonderful fall color underneath all that fog! 😉

"Lake of the Clouds in Mist" A foggy, misty, and rainy day at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains of MI.
“Lake of the Clouds in Mist”
A foggy, misty, and rainy day at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains of MI.

After leaving Lake of the Clouds and the Porcupine Mountains, the weather only got worse. I headed east towards Marquette, having rain coming down in buckets at times, and at other times a drizzle or mist. About halfway between where I was, and where I was going, I passed by Lake Plumbago. My eyes nearly popped out of my head! Wow amazing reflections! I made a U-Turn in the middle of the road and went back to a lovely roadside park next to the lake. It was mildly drizzling at the time so I got out my tripod and camera and spent the next 15 minutes or so there just making photographs of the fall color and reflections and really just enjoying the eye candy!

"Lake Plumbago Dream" Beautiful Lake Plumbago on a misty and foggy day. The reflections were amazing though!
“Lake Plumbago Dream”
Beautiful Lake Plumbago on a misty and foggy day. The reflections were amazing though!

 

We’ve had a pretty dreary winter this year, not as much snow, but plenty of clouds. I’m really ready to see some amazing color! I will have to wait half a year or so to see this kind of color again, but in the meantime I’m getting ready for the arrival of spring flowers! I hope your area has started to see some signs of spring, or if you live down under, I hope you are beginning to see some brilliant fall foliage!

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“Digital Painting or Not?”

Well, I’ve been having some fun recently with my processing. I don’t know if I’ve been just feeling winter blahs or is it that I just feel the need to do something new, but whatever it is, I found some new inspiration by trying something different in my processing.

My first go to, in my workflow is always Lightroom, and quite often after that, OnOne Software as well. In the past week or so, I’ve been having a whole lot of enjoyment experimenting with many of the Topaz Plugins, like Topaz Impression, and Topaz ReStyle. In this post I used Topaz Impression.

I have created special galleries for my “Photographic Art”  and “digital Painting”  here in these links. I have just a few images at the moment, but am adding to them pretty quickly.  You can check out these here too for more Photographic art . It’s not that I plan to be doing this form of processing all of the time, I don’t. It will never replace my normal processing of my photographs, but it did give me a change to have some fun, look at things from a new perspective and have a new creative outlet, especially during this winter.

In this first image you’ll see the lovely Charlevoix Michigan Marina,  it’s a very peaceful image in my opinion. I love it as a simple photograph, it has a nice soothing blue color and  quiet mood. If you’d like to see other images of Charlevoix as well as other Small Town images you can find them here in  The Small Town .

I decided to take that same photograph and do something different with it. I brought into Topaz Impression, and chose one of the oil painting presets in order to give me a starting point. After that, I used sliders to make a lot of adjustments, including those to paint saturation, type of brush used, brush stroke sizes, paper or canvas texture, vignette, and many more.

My final product was this beautiful digital oil painting! I kept the blue tones, the shimmer of light on the water, and the feeling of motion on the water as well. I added lots of texture, brush strokes and a slightly fanciful feeling.

 

"Blue Hour Oil Painting" The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Blue Hour Oil Painting”
The same image above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

 

I had also been doing a lot of processing of spring buds, blossoms and flowers recently. These were images from last year when we had an abundance of blossoms!

In this first image a simple photograph of crab-apple blossoms of varying hues, and stages of blooming, with a lovely bokeh in the background, I first processed this ever so slightly, in Lightroom. It didn’t really need much work in my opinion, it was a beautiful floral in pink.

 

On the spur of the moment one evening, I decided to turn it into a digital oil painting. Again, I used Topaz Impression and one of the Oil Painting presets as a starting point. I did a lot of experimenting with the sliders until I came up with what I feel is a lovely image that has a lot of color, depth, and a  feeling of movement.

 

I know many of you have tried this type of processing before, and there are also some of you would never try it, as it feels to be untrue to the original photograph.

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your processing forays and journeys.

In the end it is up to each of us to find new ways to keep inspired, to get our groove back, or maybe just try something purely for fun.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and might even be inspired to try something new yourself! 🙂

 

"Pink Bling" Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.
“Pink Bling”
Lovely colorful pink crab-apple blossoms from last spring.

 

"Pink Floral Oil Painting" The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.
“Pink Floral Oil Painting”
The same image as above, but processed as a digital oil painting.

“The Reckoning in Gray”

This past autumn during a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I had the opportunity to witness one really beautiful afternoon and a stunning sunset in Marquette. The rest of my days in the UP. this time were filled with lots of rain, fog and clouds.
This was the one and only afternoon that I witnessed the sky change dramatically every few minutes! The clouds split the sky into darkness and light. The title of The Reckoning felt just right for this image!
For fun, I processed it in both color and black and white. The monochrome version has a much more dramatic feel to it, while the blue hues create a more peaceful scene.  I hope you enjoy both.

"The Reckoning in Blue" Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.
“The Reckoning in Blue”
Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.

As with almost all of my images they can be purchased as beautiful prints or canvas, and are available for licensing as well. For purchasing info click here

Thanks for stopping by!

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“2015 My Year in Review”

Here we are at the end of 2015, and what a year it’s been! As I’ve done for the past four years in a row, I am posting my favorite images of this past year. Not necessarily the best, but my personal faves. It was hard to narrow it down to only ten, but I finally did after a lot of going back and forth. These are not in any particular order and are of several different subjects. I hope you enjoy them! If you would like to look at my 2014 year in review you can check that out here. Best of 2014

Jim Goldstein in his Blog Project has hosted the year in review or top 10 images on his blog for a number of years, and I always look forward to it!  There are photographers from all around the world with amazing images! I hope you’ll check out his blog and take a look at the wonderful array of photographers and gather inspiration from their images! His post should be up in the early part of January 2016!

"Kayaking at Miners Falls" Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!
“Kayaking at Miners Falls”
Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!

 

"Great Lakes Autumn Waves" A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!
“Great Lakes Autumn Waves”
A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!

 

"One Very Fine Day" This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!
“One Very Fine Day”
This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!

 

"Life is But a Dream" This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!
“Life is But a Dream”
This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!

 

 

"My Sweet Lady" This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!
“My Sweet Lady”
This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!

 

"Grape Hyacinth"2 One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!
“Grape Hyacinth”2
One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!

 

"Beautiful Cedar Falls" I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!
“Beautiful Cedar Falls”
I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!

 

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray" This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”
This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!

 

"Sweet Potato Mash" I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!
“Sweet Potato Mash”
I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!

 

"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh- nature abstracts this year!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh-licious abstracts this year!

 

As we end this year and head into 2016, I’d like to wish everyone and their families all the best in the New Year. I wish you all good health, good times, plenty of adventures and family to enjoy it with!

I’ll end 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 ~

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

 

 

“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”

It was a dark and dreary afternoon when suddenly a light appeared from behind a………………..

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray"   A  wonderfully moody  black and white version of  "On a Golden Afternoon"
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray” A wonderfully moody black and white version of “On a Golden Afternoon”

Well, actually it wasn’t quite like that, but it sounds good! 😉

This past weekend we got our first real snow of the season. It’s funny how this whole autumn has been. First it has been much warmer than usual, second the fall color came in and left much differently than in previous years. There were even a few trees with color still left on them, at least until the snow came along!

On this occasion I went out in the late afternoon to have a look at what I was hoping would be a winter wonderland. I didn’t quite find that, as some of the melting had already occurred and also wind had blown quite a bit of the snow off of the upper areas of the trees and branches. Still though, there was some snow left still clinging to the trees, and plenty still on the ground! I think we had gotten about eight inches total.

I made this photograph you see below (as well a a few others) in the few short minutes before sunset. The sun came out from behind the clouds just enough to illuminate areas of the trees and give a golden cast and brighten the snow!

After processing the image below, I decided to process it again into a black and white, or really a shades of gray version and see how I liked it. Well, I liked it a lot! See what you think.

"On a Golden Afternoon"  Beautiful golden light on a snow laden landscape, just before sunset.
“On a Golden Afternoon”
Beautiful golden light on a snow laden landscape, just before sunset.

 

Do you prefer this photograph in color or black and white?

 

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