“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 ~

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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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“Colors of Sunrise and Sunset”

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 ~

"Spectacular Sunset" An amazing sunset on glassy waters of Lake Michigan!
“Spectacular Sunset”
An amazing sunset on glassy waters of Lake Michigan!

“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 ~

"Dawn's First Light" A Soothing and peaceful sunrise on Lake Huron!
“Dawn’s First Light”
A Soothing and peaceful sunrise on Lake Huron!

“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 ~

"Magnificent Sunset" Another gorgeous sunset from Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula!
“Magnificent Sunset”
Another gorgeous sunset from Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula!

“But even the longest day wears to sunset.”
~ Marion Zimmer Bradley ~

“With a Heart that is Free”

On a misty morning as the sun begins to rise. I watch gulls fly wildly and happily through the air. The color of darkness has left and the hues of a bright day begin. This is a brand new start, I begin it with a heart that is free!

"With a Heart that is Free"
“With a Heart that is Free”

Here are just a few of my favorite quotes about life and freedom:

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
~ Nelson Mandela ~

“What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.”

~ Robert Green Ingersoll ~

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.”

~ Sai Baba ~

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

~ E. M. Forster ~

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”

~ Havelock Ellis ~

“Presque Isle Harbor”

Beautiful Presque Isle Harbor, or Marquette Bay on a late spring day! You might not be able to notice right off that it was a warm weather day, but the temperatures were actually in the lower 80’s F! The ice from the long winter had been so thick there was still plenty of it around.

Each of these three images are from different vantage points along the long rock jetty or breakwater located in the bay off of Presque Isle in Marquette MI. The Breakwater lighthouse is located at the end of the jetty and on this warm day you can see people enjoying the sun and the amazing ice from the huge rock wall!

Marquette Michigan is located in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior. In my personal opinion this Great Lake is stunning at any time of the year, and this location happened to be really beautiful that day with the glistening white ice on the blue waters of the bay!

"Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse"
“Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse”
"Presque Isle Harbor Light"
“Presque Isle Harbor Light”
"Spring on Ice"
“Spring on Ice”

“Best of 2014”

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!

"Miner's Falls in October"
“Miner’s Falls in October”

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!

"As the World Turns"
“As the World Turns”

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.

"Meadow Run" 2
“Meadow Run” 2

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!

"Dreamy Cucumber Falls"
“Dreamy Cucumber Falls”

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!

"Tahquamenon Falls Autumn"
“Tahquamenon Falls Autumn”

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!

"Miner's Castle on Ice"
“Miner’s Castle on Ice”

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.

"Gray's Lily"
“Gray’s Lily”

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!

"Blue Ridge by Daylight"
“Blue Ridge by Daylight”

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.

"Mackinac Reflections"
“Mackinac Reflections”

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.

"Soothing"
“Soothing”

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!

Here we come 2015! Get Ready……..

“The Beginning and End”

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.

"Peace at Sunrise"
“Peace at Sunrise”

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!

Red Sky at Night.
Red Sky at Night.

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! 🙂

“Lighthouse and a Sub”

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!

"South Pierhead Light" This beautiful red conical lighthouse stands tall in the  Harbor of Muskegon on Lake Michigan!
“South Pierhead Light” This beautiful red conical lighthouse stands tall in the Harbor of Muskegon on Lake Michigan!

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.

"USS Silversides" The USS Silversides submarine!  A beautiful piece of WWII history located in Muskegon Michigan!!
“USS Silversides”
The USS Silversides submarine! A beautiful piece of WWII history located in Muskegon Michigan!!

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!

“As the World Turns”

"As the World Turns" mono
“As the World Turns” mono

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 a great weekend everyone!

 

“Sunset Rolls In”

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!

"Sunset Rolls In"
“Sunset Rolls In”