“Best of 2018”

Here we are in December, almost the end of the year! Time for my “Best of 2018” photographs! 

As I’ve done for many years in a row now, I’ve looked through my images over the last year and found the ones that I like the best. These are my personal favorites. Some of the images you may have seen before, and others maybe not. I hope you’ll take the time to look through this assortment of photographs and I surely hope you will enjoy them! 

I wish all of you the very best during this Holiday Season, and into the New Year! My warmest wishes to everyone for a happy, adventurous, prosperous, and beautiful New Year in every aspect of your lives! 

“Floating on a Summer Breeze”
“Point Pelee Reflections”
“That Motor City View 2”
“Jackson Park in Spring”
“From a Golden Perspective”
“Forest Canopy”
“Sweet Autumn Memories”
“November Fifth Remembered”
“One Fine November Morning”
“As Winter Leaves Niagara Mono”

“Last Light on the Farm”

I customarily show ten images each year in my end of the year post, but I leave you with one extra photograph this year of a peaceful sunset on a farm. 

I wish for all of you peace, blessings and harmony always! 

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“Best of 2017”

This year has gone by really quickly. So much so that I didn’t think I would actually have time to get together my usual end of the year post. These ten images are my personal favorites for the year, or my “Best of 2017”.

This is the 6th year that I have done a “Best of” at the end of the year,  and I would like to thank Jim Goldstein for graciously hosting the Best Photos Project each year. You can check out mine and many many other photographers end of the year posts on his blog!

If you would like to see my “Best of” for 2016, you can find that here.

Also if you’d like to go back to 2015, you can check that out here.

“Silo Sunset’
One of my favorite sunsets of this year!

After a very stormy spring day in SE. Michigan I was happily surprised by an amazing array of clouds as they moved quickly by during a sunset on a local farm!

 

“Peace of Autumn’s Song”
Beautiful reflections on an early autumn day!

You’ll see this lake featured twice here in this post. This image was on a cloudy and extremely still, fall day. The trees, especially the birches gave beautiful reflections in the water!

 

“Leaves in Gold and Bronze”
Fallen leaves in shades of gold.

After all of the leaves had fallen and nothing was left except the crunch of brown and gold underfoot I decided to make just a few images of these beauties!

 

“Effervescent Glow”
Lovely sparkling dewdrops on the grass in the early morning!

I had a lot of fun during a couple of fresh and dewy mornings this year photographing the sunlight as it danced off of the dewdrops in the grass. As a lot of you know, I love nature abstracts!

 

“In Love with Life”
Lovely tulips at the 2017 Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan.

I was extremely happy to have had the opportunity to go to The Tulip Festival in Holland, MI. this past spring!

 

“The Stones”
Beautiful and very colorful stones from Lake Superior!

Every time I’m in Marquette, Michigan I always enjoy the beautiful assortment of rocks and stones in the area. These colorful stones on Presque Isle are some of my favorites!

 

“Presque Isle Sunset Glow 2”
A wonderful sunset from Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan.

While at Presque Isle Park I almost always make time to stay for the sunset. It almost never dissapoints!

 

“Munising Falls Gold”
A golden start to autumn at Munising Falls in Munising, Michigan!

Munising Falls is beautiful no matter what time of year, but fall is always my favorite!

 

“When in Love”
This was an especially beautiful day along Lake Plumbago in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

Lake Plumbago is one of those places I pass by quite often while in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would have to say that for me it has almost always been foggy and or raining when I pass by. That of course has its own beauty, and I have plenty of photos from that type of weather, but this time there was a striking difference, and actually quite welcomed!

 

“Windermere Hotel Mackinac Island”
One of my favorite places to stay on Mackinac Island!

I have always loved the look of yellow houses with white picket fences, so naturally the first time I set eyes upon the Windermere Hotel on Mackinac Island, it became a must for me to stay there! It is filled with Victorian charm and has such a lovely presence on the Island.

It just happened that this year while on the Island I was graced with bright blue skies which made a wonderful contrast to the beautiful yellow color of the Windermere!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed a tiny glimpse into the year of 2017 with me. I wish all of you a very Happy and prosperous New Year, both in your lives and in your photographic adventures! 🙂

 

I’d like to 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 ~ 🙂

 

 

 

“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!

 

 

“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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“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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“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 ~

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

 

 

“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”