In these three images you’ll see Lake Michigan and parts of sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore in monochrome form. With the very blue skies and blue water that particular day, they made beautiful black and white conversions in my opinion. The first image gives a hint of mystery in its minimalism.
This second photograph leads you right out onto Esch Beach to Lake Michigan through the sandy path that’s lined with sand grass.
This third image from overlook #9 on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is full of beautiful lines, and angles as you gaze further out onto Lake Michigan, the horizon, and skies beyond!
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!
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 ~
I always enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset, especially over a body of water. The clouds and colorful hues are reflected on the surface making it absolutely glorious! Scroll down to see two sunset and one sunrise image from this summer on two of the Great Lakes.
I’ve also included several quotes on the topic of sunrise and sunset. Enjoy!
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”
~ George R.R. Martin ~
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
~ Jo Walton ~
“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”
~ Vera Nazarian ~
“The blue of daylight
fades and chills as the sun sinks
beneath clouds of fire.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich ~
“The sunset was a splendid display. I wondered if it was showing off for my benefit or if it was often that spectacular. Rarely had I seen such a gorgeous scene; the riotous colors flamed out over the sky in shades that I had no words to describe. Birds sang their last songs of the day before tucking in for the night, and still the darkness hung back. Now, I thought, I understand the word “twilight.” It was created for just this time – in this land.”
~ Janette Oke ~
“But even the longest day wears to sunset.”
~ Marion Zimmer Bradley ~
Well, another year is nearly over and a new adventure about to begin! As is customary as the year comes to a close, I usually bring out ten of my best images of 2014, or actually my favorite images from the year. These are not in any particular order, but as you look through them you might see a familiar theme within almost all of the images! That theme involves water.
This first image is one taken in early autumn at Miner’s Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had tried to time my fall foliage trips to coincide with peak color. Well that didn’t always go as planned. Fall was a bit difficult to chase this year LOL!
In this next image you’ll notice a very turbulent looking Lake Michigan. What a beautiful day that was! Forty-Fifty mile an hour winds with wild and dramatic clouds swirling by!
During the spring I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite locations in Pennsylvania, The Laurel Highlands. These next two images are from there. First is an area called Meadow Run. A beautiful fast running stream, that at times looks more like a river, and also like rapids.
This next image is of Cucumber Falls also in the same area of PA. I really love these falls. I’ve seen them many times, during drought, moderate rain, and during periods of good rain. I think this was during a good time with a strong flow of water. Cucumber Falls is a popular place to go, but if you get there when no one else is there, it’s pure Magic!
In keeping with this theme of water, and of my search for fall color during this autumn, I made it up to Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. I was rewarded with some pretty good color at the time. It wasn’t at peak, but it was beautiful!
As you’ll see here, these are really not in chronological order at all. Below you’ll find beautiful Miner’s Castle, located in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. It might look like it was photographed at some point during the winter, but this was actually in late May. The Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior were still having quite a bit of ice coverage even in late spring!
While in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in early summer I had the chance to not only photograph the mountains and valleys, but also the wildflowers. This one here made a big impression on me, and as it turns out is one of the endangered wildflowers around the Blue Ridge Parkway area of Virginia.
A beautiful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which you might say is not unusual, but on this particular trip it happened to be. I didn’t find very cooperative weather for most of the two times I was there this year. I really enjoyed the beautiful weather when I had it though!
As many of you know, I usually go up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pretty often. If you haven’t been there, you must cross the Mackinac Bridge to get from the lower part of MI. to the UP. This beautiful bridge is a five mile long suspension bridge which crosses over the straits of Mackinac. I often photograph the bridge in the daylight, but not often at night. This image was one of many night images taken on this particular trip.
Here you’ll find a study in minimalism. A wonderful sunrise over Lake Huron. The hues were gorgeous, the color lasted for quite a long time, and gave me a time to not only spend time photographing it, but just enjoying the peaceful moment.
On that note I would like to thank you all for stopping by not only for this post, but for others all through these past years!
I wish everyone much peace, blessings, and many happy moments not only behind the camera, but in all aspects of your lives!
Last month on a fall color trip I got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and sunset on two of the Great Lakes.
What a soothing and peaceful sunrise I had this day on Lake Huron! The only sounds to be heard were of gulls, ducks, and geese as they appeared on the scene as daylight broke! This was the beginning.
After a day of hunting for scenic places with fall color I went out along Lake Michigan for a sunset. It was what I call a nearly endless sunset. It didn’t get going with much color at first, but when it did, it didn’t want to stop! I stayed photographing the color until I knew I really had to leave. Even after I left the scene I had a hard time keeping my eye off of the side and rear view mirror as the color kept changing!
You know what they say about Red Sky at Night? A sailors delight! I have to say that it was for sure, the night was clear and the waters smooth. The next day also brought beautiful clear weather. I guess the mariners of old knew their skies! 🙂
Have you ever been to Muskegon Michigan? Well, if not you really ought to visit this beautiful city if you are in the area!
I had the pleasure of touring the areas of both Muskegon and Grand Haven MI. recently.
In this first image you’ll find a view of the Muskegon Pier Light, or South Pier Light from the shores of Lake Michigan through some lovely windblown sand grass. When I say windblown I mean it. The winds were pretty wild that day!
The lighthouse itself was first built in 1851. It’s situated on a long pier, and is made out of cast iron. Even though it was built in the 1800’s, it wasn’t lit until 1903. It is also an impressive 48 feet tall. The original lens for the lighthouse was a fourth order Fresnal lens, but currently it uses a 300 mm acryllic lens.
I didn’t have the opportunity to walk the pier and get a closer look this time as I was headed for the USS Silversides Submarine Museum which was right down the road.
This World War II submarine is a fascinating piece of US history. The museum and vessels are wonderful for people of all ages and especially great for a young history buff who is 12 years old!
This sub, the USS Silversides was first commissioned just after the attack on Peal Harbor. The Silversides received the Presidential Unit Citations and 12 Battle Stars for her wartime service. She completed 14 combat patrols in the Pacific during World War II.
After being retired in 1946 she was sent to Chicago where she stayed being utilized by the reserves until 1987. At that time the USS Silversides was then moved to Muskegon Michigan where she is today for all to come and enjoy the experience of being in a WWII sub, and understand the history of her service and more.
I hope you enjoyed this small bit of information and these images that are just a tiny part of Muskegon’s history!
Recently I read about a challenge to photographers to write a 1,000 word blog post about only one image. To describe it without adding in camera or lens info.
Well I’m not actually joining the challenge, but I thought it was interesting. I have no idea how much I could actually say about any one image.
Many photographers are fantastic writers, and give in depth important information not only about their image but possibly the city, their trip, the country, the processing, the environment or ecology etc.
For me I’m more likely to slip into a creative mood and write poetry to go with my images. Lately I haven’t been in one of those more creative times though. I know, everyone goes through it, there’s always an ebb and flow.
Tonight I’m not in a poetic mood, but I can see where this photo could be a lead into some nice moody poetry.
To see this image larger just click on it. I hope you can get the feel of drama and motion I experienced on this very turbulent day on Lake Michigan.
As I drove down US 2, on the southern part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I noticed the skies start to become much more dramatic. I had left behind a dull, flat, cloudy sky in Munising MI. By the time I reached areas of accessible shoreline I knew I just had to pull over. I was afraid these gorgeous churning skies would soon disappear, and that would have been a shame.
The winds were blowing at a steady 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 45. I grabbed my gear and headed towards the beach. When I passed through all of the sand grass on the dunes I noticed that there wasn’t even enough beach there to actually set up my gear. The water was so high and waves coming in so quickly that I decided to stay up in the tall grassy area on the small dunes.
I got quite a few frames from many different angles. I knew at that time with the clouds as beautiful as they were I would want to process these not only in color, but as monochrome also.
To give you a feel of what it was like that day I first have to say that it was invigorating! The temperatures were on the chilly side, but not freezing. The winds were so strong that I had a hard time standing upright at times. The sound of the waves as they came crashing ashore was all I could hear, which was pretty nice. The dark clouds in the sky changed by the minute, and the few gulls that were in the area seemed to float on the wind, not being able to fly well or even make much headway in the strong gusts!
I stayed out on the dunes in the sand grass for only a short while, but I’m so glad that I did. Firstly it was extremely beautiful. Second it was life affirming, and third I would not have wanted to miss the images I was able to get.
I spent a couple of weekends in the UP this fall, having gone there for fall foliage and waterfalls. I saw and photographed lots of beautiful autumn color. I also came away with some beautiful Great Lakes images like this one, I’ll be sharing some of them here with you over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy it!
If you were able to get this far in the post please leave me a note or give me a like. I’d be interested to see how many people actually took the time to read this. I can see now at least for me 1,000 words is not a short post. I haven’t reached it LOL, but I’ll leave off here any way!
Have you ever gone out to a specific location just to capture a sunset? Hoping to get a spectacular one? It can give you a range of feelings. From those of beautiful anticipation, just knowing it’s going to be a good one, to that of frustration and disappointment as the conditions just aren’t what you need for that moment.
In this location here on the shores of Lake Michigan, I had hoped for beautiful clouds, or just a little something besides total clear uneventful skies on several different evenings.
For three days up until this one, I had gone to the beach on one of the southern areas of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula about 30 miles from St. Ignace. I waited in the very bright sunlight of late afternoon just hoping for something wonderful to happen. Something magical!
On my last day in the area as I drove along the shore I could see a bit of hazy wispy clouds starting to form along the horizon. This really got my attention and hopes up!
After arriving at a certain stretch of beach, I set up my tripod and camera, dialed in the settings, and set the focus. I positioned myself on the wonderful warm sand and used a remote cable release to take a few images as I drank in the pure beauty, amazing colors and hues in front of me.
This isn’t a sunset to end all sunset’s by any means, but it was beautiful without being fussy. It was relaxing for me and not hurried. It was a joy to experience, not just photograph.
I stayed long after the sun had actually gone down, not only to capture all of the vibrant hues on camera. I allowed myself to really take the time to enjoy the last bits of color, to hear the sound of gentle waves, to feel the days warmth turn into the cool of night.
This was my moment of peace for that day!
I hope that you might find some beauty and serenity in this image also!
Just a quick post tonight. I grabbed this sunset a couple of weeks ago out in Grand Haven MI. It was totally last minute. I had driven through a rain storm from another location on Lake Michigan. The clouds broke up quite suddenly, and I raced to get to this particular pier in Grand Haven as fast as I could.
As soon as I parked the car, I literally just grabbed my camera and headed to the pier. I didn’t have time for a tripod, I quickly got in as many images as I could before everything was totally gone. There were quite a few fishermen and others on the jetty in front of me in silhouette enjoying the view as well. It seems a lovely place to be for any sunset! The hues were gorgeous and deep. I was very happy that I was able to catch these last bits of color because the rain started up again just as I finished, and it didn’t stop until the next day!
As some of you may know, being in Michigan, surrounded by some of the Great Lakes, has its perks! Here in this state you are never far from a local lake, and not very far from three of the three Great Lakes either.
I had wanted to get out to Lake Michigan all winter, but with the roads as snowy and icy as they were most of the time, it was impossible.
Recently I had the chance to spend a few days out around Grand Haven, and Holland. I was really surprised at the amount of shoreline change, and drifting of sand that happened over the winter season.
As I mentioned in my last post, the weather most of the time was either raining or stormy.
These few frames here were taken in a brief time in between storms. The sun shone brightly against the sand drifts that nearly covered all of the snow fences.
Pools of water lay on the shore reflecting the wonderful blue sky and clouds in another location.
Lastly, you’ll see more cloud reflections in pools as well as patterns in the sand formed by the water!
Truly it was a beautiful period of time with all of that sky drama. The changes quickly led to another thunderstorm, but it was certainly worth the time there to enjoy these sights granted to me!