“Best of 2019”

Here we are again as 2019 draws to a close. As has been customary for many years now I would like to share with you some of my favorite photographs of the year.

I don’t usually have them in any particular order, but this year I arranged them by season. Beginning with a stunning but very cold sunrise from Lake Ontario during winter, and ending with some wonderful fall color in Michigan this autumn!

For many years now I’ve participated in Jim Goldstein’s annual “Best of” Project. I appreciate Jim hosting this on his blog each year, giving photographers the chance to share their “best of” or favorite images of the year.

These are just a few of my favorite images of this year, I hope you enjoy this short trip through the seasons of 2019 with me!

“Lake Ontario Morning Reflections”
A gorgeous winter sunrise along the shores of Lake Ontario!
“Foggy Spring Forest”
During a spring visit to Shenandoah National Park I enjoyed some amazing mountain views, but I especially enjoyed some lovely and mysterious fog on a walk into the forest!
“Magnificent Sunrise Silhouette 2”
Absolutely stunning sunrise and this beautiful tree in silhouette on the shores of Lake Ontario in late spring! A tree that I returned to many times as winter’s bare branches turned into full spring foliage.
“Tew Falls View Two”
This view of Tew Falls in Ontario, Canada was especially beautiful to me because of all the lush green foliage at the time.
“Fifty Point Marina Reflections”
I spent many days at Fifty Point Conservation Area near Hamilton, Ontario during late spring and early summer. The reflections on this day at Fifty Point Marina were lovely!
“Rock Garden Spring”
Another place that I spent countless hours at during spring and summer this year was The Rock Garden at The Royal Botanical Gardens. So lovely and peaceful. I explored every nook and cranny, and could do it again and again and never be tired of the beauty! Here you’ll see wonderful reflections of spring foliage and color.
“Marquette Harbor Lighthouse 2”
I love to walk on the beaches of Marquette, Michigan. The light was really beautiful on this particular morning and shed a warm glow on the sand, trees, and lighthouse!
“Canyon Falls Summer”
Photographing waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a favorite activity of mine, and this year I thoroughly enjoyed photographing Canyon Falls on a drizzly warm summer’s day!
“A Presque Isle Morning”
The rock formations combined with the changing colors of Lake Superior at Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan are always amazing to me. This was an early summer morning, and the warm glow of sun hitting the rocks, the bright green evergreen trees in the distance set against the beautiful blue skies made this a keeper for me!
“Maybury Sanatorium”
I had the opportunity to enjoy peak fall foliage in Maybury State Park in an area that used to be part of the grounds of Maybury Sanatorium.

I thank you all for stopping by and checking out my favorite images of 2019! I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy, prosperous, and adventurous 2020!

“All is Gold”

Fall in the Allegheny National Forest in PA. this year was a spectacle of gold when I visited! Here are a three of my favorite images from the visit.

“The Midas Touch”
The magic of sunlight through fall foliage gave an All is Gold feeling throughout the forest!
The fog had been heavy this particular morning but was just beginning to dissipate and the sun started streaming through just as I turned the corner. I quickly popped out of the car and made a few shots before it all disappeared. Just more magical gold!
“Absorbed in Autumn”
A wonderful walk in the forest with the cool crisp air, bright sunshine, and colorful leaves!

Thanks for taking a look! In my next post which should be coming up soon, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite images of 2019. So stay tuned for that!

“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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“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! 🙂