“Point Iroquois Fly-Over”

Here we are at a familiar place to some of you. The historic Point Iroquois Light Station, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had just walked up to the lighthouse and started to get into a position that looked like a nice angle to me, when all of a sudden I heard the sound of a prop plane, and within an instant it was in my frame. I took a quick shot, the one you see here, then angled to get one of the place by itself. As the lens I was using wasn’t much of a telephoto, the plane didn’t come out as I would have liked it to.

Maybe some of you may know what aircraft it is by the shape. I was really more interested in this historic lighthouse though! The image here was taken in mid September. I went back again in early October and got a late autumn photo, which I will try to bring at a later date with all the fall foliage!!

The beauty of this lighthouse makes it one of my favorites along Lake Superior. The surrounding area with its beautiful lakes and forests are another plus!!

Enjoy! 🙂

-Point Iroquois Fly-Over-
A plane flies over the beautiful Point Iroquois Light Station on Lake Superior.

“Long Sunset”

Hi everyone, it’s been a busy past few weeks for me, so now that I have a breather, I thought I’d sit down a write a post. Today I was processing some images. I decided just for fun, to take one unedited image and process it 3 different ways just to change it up a slight bit.

The first photo is the unedited version. This was a quick grab for me. I was trying to find a spot a along Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, that had a view to the west. When I finally found it, the sun was just about to set completely. I jumped out of the car and ran towards the water. I only got in a few shots before the sun was gone!

The colors did continue to become more and more beautiful though, as they went through their changes moving into the night!

That of course is not what this post is about. It’s about one image and a little bit of play.

You’ll notice the colors here are nice, but not very bright. The foreground is pretty dark, and there were some small rocks in the shallow parts of the water.

Unedited version of “Long Sunset”

-Long Sunset- un-edited

In this next image I decided to go with a bit of a more purple cast. I used a combination of Lightroom , and Nik Color Efex Pro to make these changes in this and in the other two images. The changes were very simple, so I won’t go into detail. This post is more about the images themselves and not how they got that way.

-Long Sunset-

Here, you’ll notice more of a warm cast, I’d call peach. I also removed the small rocks in the foreground.

-Long Sunset- 2

Finally in this last image I went a bit wild, and brought out a lot of warmth and a bright yellow cast. I also removed some of the noise in this one, even though I had already taken some out by the original processing in Nik. In my opinion this one, instead of being a sunset, it seemed to take on the appearance of a sunrise by lightening up the foreground more, and the intense hues I gave it. See if it makes you feel that way too.

-Long Sunset- 3

Obviously this isn’t a “How to”, but I thought it might be fun to just take a simple sunset, and see where you could go with it, without going totally out of the realm of reality.

Of course for the person that doesn’t believe in any processing at all, this is already way over the top! 😉

I hope you enjoyed this post, and enjoyed the slight difference in each image. Have a great weekend everyone!! 🙂

“Walking Grand Marais”

Hi everyone. I think I’ll call this talk-less Tuesday! A short post! 😉

This beautiful walkway, or boardwalk out to the shores along Lake Superior was a lovely surprise to me. Heading up all around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I decided to take a more scenic and longer route from Sault Saint Marie to Munising. Part of that way included passing through Grand Marais MI.

I drove straight up through the tiny quaint and charming town to this spot. I took a few shots, and spent some time walking around the beach. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool, and the water crystal clear, and blue!!

All in all a lovely place and a beautiful scene!! 🙂

“Walking Grand Marais”

-Walking Grand Marais-

“Light of Sunlight”

This image of a wonderful stone lighthouse is from a recent visit to Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York at the place where The Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. Quite a lovely location!!

The lighthouse was originally built by the French and established in 1782. It sat atop a chateaux or “French Castle” as it was called, which is still located inside the actual fort. The lighthouse was later moved off of the chateaux in order to make more room for more officer’s quarters, and is now located just outside of the fort itself.

The chateaux is wonderful and I’ll be bringing you images of that in a later post. I spent a lot of time at the fort with my son who was mesmerized by the history, and gave me plenty of time to get as many images as possible! 🙂

The type of stone used here in the lighthouse is limestone, it also has a brick lining, which you can see when you go inside of the tower. The original lens was a fourth order Fresnel lens.

The lighthouse itself was deactivated in 1996 and was replaced by a light beacon which is located at the U.S. Coast Guard Station Niagara.

To me there is something really fascinating about lighthouses, the stories they could tell and the history they’ve witnessed.

As many of you know I have a great love of history and architecture in addition to my love of nature. I have many more images of lighthouses and historical places to come in later posts. I hope you’ll enjoy that.

For those of you who don’t live on or have never visited any of the Great Lakes in the U.S., you’ll find that the majority of, if not all the lighthouses were the type connected to a living quarters, more like a light station. Different from the style you’d find on the coasts near the ocean.

Each style has its own beauty. I especially love the strength and charm of the limestone one here at Old fort Niagara!!

On the day I visited the fort itself, it was pouring down rain the entire time. I had to wait another day for the weather to clear to get this and many other beautiful images of the lighthouse!!

Enjoy!!

-Light of Sunlight-

“Sailing with You”

Watching over waters blue,
My thoughts and memories return to you.

The days go by like a billowing sail,
The nights stay long as time does trail.

I remember well with fondness true,
Of my time spent sailing with you!
By ~Rachel Cohen~

“Sailing with You”
-Sailing with You-

“Sand Flower”

In stark contrast to the two images in my last post, I thought I’d show you one of the flowers of pure beauty that lives and thrives in the sand at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.

I have no idea what this plant or flower is called, so feel free to let me know. I found this botanical among thousands of others on a climb on the eastern facing side of the dunes.

This day was also extremely windy, especially in this location, so I decided to climb further up, then down, to try and get away from the strong gusts. I ended up going along some very narrow trails, over and under trees of varying sizes, and in the end I found that there was no way to escape the wind. I basically just had to cling onto a tree with all my strength to steady myself in order to get this image. I imagine these flowers only bloom for a short while every year. So I’m happy that I was there to see it at the right time!!

I hope you like it! I sure do, especially after what I went through to get it!! 😉

A Dose of Beauty

“Twisted Beauty”

I don’t know if you’ll see the interest in this twisted piece of wood that I do, but I thought I’d present it anyway. While at Sleeping Bear Dunes there happened to be quite a bit of wind for most of the time I was there. Many images I wanted to get, weren’t even possible because of the windy conditions. The sand was blowing like crazy! Getting into my eyes, stinging my skin, and of course causing me plenty of worry about my camera!

In the case of this image, I was trying to escape some of the wind by getting down on the ground behind a sand dune. either crouching down or on my stomach. While there I noticed this single twisted piece of wood protruding from the sand. I thought it had a nice curve, and a barren look to it, so I got a couple of shots.

I decided to use this one, which I processed in color first, then decided it would look nice in a monochrome conversion too.

Check it out. See if you see the beauty where I do, and which image you like better. The color version or the monochrome?

Twisted Beauty in color

-Twisted Beauty-

Twisted Beauty the monochrome version

-Twisted Beauty- mono

“Above the Forest”

I love to go to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at least once a year. Actually I would love to live up there. It’s truly a wonderful place to be.

I’ve traveled all over the UP, but this image is from just on the outskirts of Saint Ignace, which is the first town you come to after you cross the Mackinac Bridge.

It doesn’t matter what time of year I go. I always have to make a visit to Castle Rock. An historic place with a great view of extensive forests and Lake Huron depending on the direction you’re looking in.

For all photographers and historians make sure you take the time to talk with the family that owns and has operated it for so many years. The walls in the gift shop are filled with wonderful historical images from the humble beginnings of Castle Rock and the family that kept it going from the start till the present day.

A definite treat for everyone, not to mention children who need to run off their energy by climbing the many stairs to reach the top!

Enjoy the view!

The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!
The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!

“Flash”

After the sun had set over Lake Michigan on a cool September Evening, I kept taking shots of what was left of the color in the sky. There wasn’t much there that night to begin with. There were however many types of pretty flowers all around the area.
I shot some of the images without flash, but did a few with. I liked the results of both, but I thought I’d bring you one of the flash shots right now.
The flowers have a lovely color cast to them, much more warm, and you can still see some of the movement from the wind.
The sunset or lack thereof, is more of a blur in the background with some of the color still there. Giving the whole image a shallow depth of field, and a totally different feel than the one of a usual sunset.
Enjoy! 🙂

Using Flash at Sunset
Using Flash at Sunset

“Not Afraid to Stand Alone”

On the shores of Lake Michigan you’ll see Gulls of every kind, just flying around, diving into the water for food, and walking around on the shoreline casually among themselves.
This beautiful Gull made a lovely subject on the beach. Standing alone, and still, at least for a short while. Beautiful color markings on the bird itself combined with the colors of the sand of the beach and the waters of Lake Michigan made for a nice combination.
If anyone knows what type of Gull this one is please feel free to ID it for me! 🙂

A lovely Gull standing alone on the shores of Lake Michigan!
A lovely Gull standing alone on the shores of Lake Michigan!