“Best of 2020”

To say the least, this year has been wildly different for all of us. As for myself photography wise I wasn’t able to do much traveling, as I’m sure many of you also encountered.

I did manage to make quite a few photographs this year that I really love though.

So these are my personal favorite images from this wild and crazy year, 2020!.

They aren’t in any particular order. I do hope that you like them and that they bring you some sense of peace and happiness in these very difficult times!

"Sparkling Through Autumn Trees"

A gorgeous fall day with amazing color, blue skies, and a sunburst!
“Sparkling Through Autumn Trees”
This was an extraordinarily beautiful fall day with the colorful fall foliage, bright blue skies, and magical sunshine!




“Rushing Waves and Cotton Candy Sky”
After a stormy day along Lake Superior the sky lit up just before sunset and made a beautiful ending to a day!
"Miners Castle Autumn Colors" 2

Beautiful colors of Lake superior, the stormy sky and fall color at Miners Castle!
“Miners Castle Autumn Colors”
This was a cloudy day to start out with but the fall color as well as the lovely hues of blues of both the water and sky made a very scenic view!
Life is Looking Up"

A wonderful look up during fall with its spectacular colors and a bright blue sky!
“Life is Looking Up”
Another spectacular autumn scene as I looked up at the myriad of trees and blue sky within a forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!
"Breakwater Skies 2"

Amazing clouds and colors of sunset along the rocky beach at Marquette Breakwater!
“Breakwater Skies 2”
Fabulous clouds and colors in Marquette, Michigan along the rocky beach next to the breakwater!
"Along Cut River Bridge"

Beautiful fall foliage down under Cut River Bridge in Michigan's Upper Peninsula!
“Along Cut River Bridge”
As fall foliage peaked I enjoyed a walk down below Cut River Bridge on a bright a sunny autumn afternoon!
"Autumn's Edge"
Amazing fall color and rushing waves along the shores of Lake Superior!
“Autumn’s Edge”
Waves rushing ashore and beautiful fall color were exhilarating on this late afternoon at Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan!
"Stones of Miners Beach"

Dramatic skies and beautiful calm water at Miners Beach!
“Stones of Miners Beach”
On a cloudy and off and on rainy morning at Miners Beach I captured this beautiful scene of dramatic clouds, calm water. and beautiful stones!
"Sunrise Contemplation 2"

A gorgeous sunrise along the black rocks at Presque Isle in Marquette, Michigan!
“Sunrise Contemplation 2”
This is one of a very few sunrise images from Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan on the black rocks. I witnessed spectacular color, beautiful reflections, and a sense of peace that morning! A single person was standing on the rocks also watching sunrise as a small boat passed by in the distance!
"Kitch-iti-kipi Autumn"

Beautiful reflections of trees and clouds at Kitch-iti-kipi during autumn!
“Kitch-iti-kipi Autumn”

This was a beautiful and peaceful autumn day at Kitch-iti-kipi with fabulous reflections of the clouds, evergreen trees, and larch trees along the water!

I hope that you enjoyed this look back on my Best of 2020 images!

My wish for this coming new year for everyone is that all of us in the world are able to experience a safer, healthier, happier, more peaceful, and more beautiful life in 2021!

My very best to all of you,

Cheers,

Rachel Cohen

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“Golden Ginkgo”

This fall has been a bit unusual in many ways in SE. Michigan. I know that the summer drought contributed to a very early shedding of leaves before their time, which lead to a disappointing start.

But after the initial non starter of color, we finally received quite a bit of rain and some colder nights! This brought out some really vibrant autumn color on many of the maples and also the ginkgo trees, which I always look forward to every year!

The morning I photographed these ginkgo leaves it was rainy, misty, and really foggy. I think it shows off the color and lusciousness of the rain on the leaves. I love the vibrant golden hue of the ginkgo leaves!

 

“Luscious Ginkgo Gold”
Beautiful golden Ginkgo leaves on a misty fall morning after a rain.

 

“Rainy Day Ginkgo”
More rainy day ginkgo beauty!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these fall images. I’ll be sharing a few more images from the season in the next couple of posts. All of our autumn color is gone now so I guess it’s time to get into all my photographs and see what I actually have.

Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead all!

 

 

“Upper Peninsula of Michigan”

In this first image you’ll see beautiful Lake of the Clouds, which is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

This year as usual when the end of summer approached, I started planning for my fall photography trip or trips. I couldn’t wait to see the world around me turn to gold, orange, and red! As it turned out in Michigan, as well as many parts of the country and world, timing was a bit off. I had to keep changing the dates of my trips to adjust to the lack of fall color where I was going.

Finally in early October things started to look more positive, and I headed for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which I do every year, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

One of the most beautiful places to me, in the Western UP, is Lake of the Clouds. I drove from the city of Marquette out to The Porcupine Mountains to get there. It was raining heavily the whole way out, but I had been watching the weather forecasts and radar earlier in the day, in hopes that there might be some kind of clearing by the time I arrived.

As you can see from the photograph above the clouds were still thick but oh so beautiful as the rain storm had broken and rays of sun were changing the landscape. I felt such a wave of relief come over me with each passing minute with the continuously changing weather!

Last year, although beautiful in it’s own right, my entire trip to Lake of the Clouds, and indeed most of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was filled with very heavy rain and thick fog. This time though was wonderfully different and I was so thankful!

"sunshine on Lake of the Clouds" Almost totally clear at "Lake of the Clouds" on a bright fall afternoon!
“sunshine on Lake of the Clouds”
Almost totally clear at “Lake of the Clouds” on a bright fall afternoon!

After nearly all of the clouds had passed, and as I moved from one vantage point to another, the sun began shining on nearly everthing in late afternoon, illuminating all the trees in their glorious fall color! This was the final payoff before I left the area and made my way back to Marquette.

 

"Presque Isle Reflections" Beautiful clouds reflected in the pools of water on the rocks at Presque Isle Park.
“Presque Isle Reflections”
Beautiful clouds reflected in the pools of water on the rocks at Presque Isle Park.

In Marquette, Michigan at Presque Isle Park I had also been trying to escape the rain. Upon arriving everything was wet with a light drizzle and quite overcast. I decided to enjoy myself regardless of the weather, and honestly in this location there is so much to see, and quite enjoyable no matter the time of year or type of weather!

The clouds began breaking just a bit in different ways which created beautiful reflections in some of the pools of water on these volcanic rocks.

"Rocky Stormin" Sunlight and storm clouds on the rocky shores of Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan.
“Rocky Stormin”
Sunlight and storm clouds on the rocky shores of Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan.

In this last image the sun was shining brightly on the rock with dark clouds in the distance. It created a beautiful contrast to the scene! Darkness and light, warmth versus cool, and plenty of texture!

I hope to share more of my images from my trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with you in future blog posts. I surely hope you enjoyed these! 🙂

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“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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“Autumn in Abstract”

This past year was a big one for me as far as abstract images go. The combination of stunning colors and dazzling light gave me many opportunities for motion blur abstracts. I have done a favorite abstract images post in previous years, so I thought I’d put together some of my favorite autumn abstracts this time. You can take a look at them here. I have a short description below instead of writing a full post. I also put a couple of beautiful autumn quotes at the end of the post!  Enjoy “Autumn in Abstract” !

 

"Pure Joy" A beautiful and colorful flow of autumn color in abstract!
“Pure Joy”
A beautiful and colorful flow of autumn color in abstract!

 

 

"Holiday Dancing" These colors can give the feel of the holiday season or autumn.
“Holiday Dancing”
These colors can give the feel of the holiday season or autumn.

 

 

"Movin to the Groovin" A gold and green magical light filled abstract!
“Movin to the Groovin”
A gold and green magical light filled abstract!

 

 

"Sweet Potato Mash" One of my favorites in fall of 2015. You'll also so see this in my 2015 Year in Review.
“Sweet Potato Mash”
One of my favorites in fall of 2015. You’ll also so see this in my 2015 Year in Review.

 

 

Here’s a beautiful quote that gives you the feeling and excitement of how autumn feels to me!

“October’s Party”

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band….
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky….

~ George Cooper ~

I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn, as if the earth absorbed none, and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints.
by ~ Henry David Thoreau ~
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“Delicious Autumn”

In what I consider to be the most glorious and delicious of all seasons, autumn!  I’ve chosen quite a few lovely quotes about fall and added some of my recent photographs.

The first image is from the shores of Lake Superior with the leaves in an early state of change, the winds blowing strongly and waves rolling in, crashing against the rock and shoreline!

The second image is from an early morning walk with the sunlight shining brightly through the myriad of colorful leaves on the ground!

Enjoy the images and quotes below!

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Elliot ~

“Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.” ~ Leo Tolstoy ~ as said to Nikolay Strakhov

"Great Lakes Autumn Waves"
“Great Lakes Autumn Waves”

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~ Jim Bishop ~

“..I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~

"Of Light and Leaves"
“Of Light and Leaves”

“Just after the death of the flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season,
When nature is all aglow—
Aglow with a mystical splendour
That rivals the brightness of spring,
Aglow with a beauty more tender
Than aught which fair summer could bring….”
~ Emeline B. Smith ~

“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day!
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree…”
~ Emily Brontë ~

 

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“If This then That”

Maybe you’re wondering what I mean with the title “If This then That”. Well many times when I see an object, which in this case is the (This), my mind immediately goes to the idea of (then That). Which translates into making that object an abstract. As some of you might know, I really love free flowing form!

During the fall there were many times I’d see really colorful trees, but not the kind that would make a beautiful macro, or even a full tree photograph. These trees or leaves were not without a lot of flaws, they might have been diseased, or maybe it was really low light as it was almost dark.

Here below are two examples of  simple trees with fall color, and also two examples of the abstract motion blur images that I made out of those trees.

If you enjoy abstract photographs, then I think you’ll enjoy these!

 

Here are the fall leaves, I honestly have no clue what kind of tree this is.

"Fall Leaves"
“Fall Leaves”

 

Then this is “Pirouette”, a free form, flowing abstract.

"Pirouette"
“Pirouette”

 

These are yellow leaves of some sort, and red berries.

"Yellow Leaves and Berries"
“Yellow Leaves and Berries”

 

Then this is the golden yellow abstract I made called “Swirling Autumn”

"Swirling Autumn"
“Swirling Autumn”

If for some reason you’ve never tried any abstract photography, motion blur, tree panning, or anything with a longer shutter speed. I urge you to give it a try.
The subject certainly doesn’t have to be leaves or trees. You can literally take just about anything and make into something very free-form, light spirited, and fun!

Get out there and have a great time! 🙂

 

 

“Autumn in the Country”

I hope that everyone has been enjoying a beautiful fall season so far! For those of you on the other side of the world I hope spring is off to a lovely start!

For the most part in my area of the country  the fall color has started to fade. I think that I captured as many memories and images as I could, hopefully enough to last me through till next autumn! 😉

This year for some reason seems to have had more than it’s usual share of dark cloudy days with rain and lots of wind too. I try not to let the weather hinder me from going out and enjoying whatever is thrown my way, at least most of the time.

As for these images below. One of them was taken recently, of course on a dark cloudy day! This one happens to be at a local nature preserve. There were many gorgeous and huge maple trees, but the leaves on a smaller one really got my attention. The range of colors on just one tree, so close together on its branches is amazing to me. The wonders of the natural world!! A veritable kaleidoscope of colors!!

"Those Autumn Leaves"
“Those Autumn Leaves”

This next image was taken during a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Oh yes, it’s true, I seem to go there often and I love it!! The multitude of long country roads just waiting to be explored is amazing!!

I didn’t end up following this dirt road as far as it went, but long enough to enjoy the fall color all around me. The darkness of the grey sky with its drizzle every now and then didn’t put a damper on these colors for sure!

I had really wanted to make it out to the Porcupine Mountains in the far western part of the Upper Peninsula this autumn, but that just didn’t work out. I know there are so many amazing places to see there. I guess that will have to wait till another time.

Have you been able to get in all of your fall travel plans? Did things go as expected, or was the weather uncooperative? Tell me about what you’ve been up to during this glorious time of year!!

"Autumn in the Country"
“Autumn in the Country”

“Japanese Maple in Red”

"Japanese Maple in Red" Some glorious fall color!
“Japanese Maple in Red”
Some glorious fall color!

Hi all, If it looks like I’ve been away from blogging for a couple of weeks or so, it’s because I was. I’ve been in a transition process and also trying change blog themes, which has been one theme after another!  Currently I’m trying to figure this one out LOL, so bear with me! 🙂

I’ve also been out and around on my usual hunt for early autumn color. I haven’t had to wait long this year at all. The colors are coming out quickly and quite boldly too! Yep, I’m happy!! 🙂

A few days ago I spent a bit of time under a beautiful Japanese Maple tree all bathed in morning sunlight! What a treat! The colors were really warmed up by the back lighting and the bokeh was delicious!!

In general the Japanese Maple is stunning nearly all year long in my opinion, with such beautifully shaped leaves, and color. Unlike most other maples though, autumn doesn’t bring about much of a change in color in these, but lighting surely can!

You’ll probably be seeing my journey through the fall of 2014 for quite a few posts, but as with every season, it does eventually come to an end, and ….. well you know…..things have to change and so will my subjects.

So for now, enjoy this wonderful early introduction to autumn in Michigan! 🙂

 

“The Road Quite Traveled”

As the fall season approaches I anxiously await its arrival. In looking though a few images from a couple of years ago, it reminded me of some good times and beautiful color.

The afternoon that day two years ago started out with a mix of clouds and sun. I decided to go out with my youngest son and head for the nearest area that I thought might have some good color.

By the time we arrived on a really scenic road that is quite well traveled, the wind had picked up and dark clouds were starting to roll in. I jumped out of the car at the best place to park along the side of the road, and caught this beautiful scene. The yellow gold of the fall foliage stood out pronounced against the deeper blues of the sky.

"The Country Mile" Actually many miles of beautiful winding roads. A place quite popular with cyclists.
“The Country Mile”
Actually many miles of beautiful winding roads. A place quite popular with cyclists.

 

After grabbing a few images of the road scenery, the clouds really started to move! My son and I made our way over to a lake near there just as the weather made another turn, but one that made a dramatic change to the fall foliage. The colors were brighter than ever as the afternoon sunlight shown on the trees, and the quickly racing clouds gave a dark and foreboding look to the scene. I took every chance to get in as many shots from all the angles I could while my youngest stayed near me trying to skip stones across the water. I of course had to take a bit of time out for some skipping myself! 😉

"Fall Storm of Reflections" The fall color reflected beautifully on the water as the sun and clouds did their battling!!
“Fall Storm of Reflections”
The fall color reflected beautifully on the water as the sun and clouds did their battling!!

We spent a good long while there enjoying the cool breeze, warm sun, and myriad of colors. On the way home I decided to try to find at least one more vibrant location. It was getting much closer to sundown by then, but I found another pretty place along a river, that seemed convenient to get to. We popped out of the car and wandered around pathways. The water there was totally calm and smooth making the reflections really lovely even though the light was fading.

 

"Smooth Reflections" As the day got late and the sun nearly gone. The water on the river was smooth as glass, giving perfect conditions for beautiful autumn reflections!
“Smooth Reflections”
As the day got late and the sun nearly gone. The water on the river was smooth as glass, giving perfect conditions for beautiful autumn reflections!

I remember that day with a lot of fondness and happiness. It was fun quality time spent with my son. It was during my favorite season (fall), and I was blessed that day to have amazing fall foliage and gorgeous skies!!

Here’s to this coming autumn, wishing everyone beautiful days, amazing color, wonderful skies, a crisp breeze when you desire it, and calm when you need it!! 🙂