“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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“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!

 

 

“Aquatic Reflections”

Spring has finally arrived here and even though almost nothing has bloomed yet in terms of flowers, I always enjoy when plants of any type start bursting forth from the ground. In this case actually from the shallow waters of a pond, just a preview of things to come.

In this photograph of aquatic reflections you can see the reflection of trees as well as that of the sky and clouds in both the foreground and background. Green plants that are growing just below the water’s surface are beautiful, as well as the vertical shadows that the cattails cast on the surface of the water.

This is a very simple composition, and I like all of the elements it has. Originally I thought of this only as a color photograph because of the beautiful greens, as a sign of spring.

I decided to do a black and white conversion though and really liked the feeling of contrast in the image as well.

I’m really looking forward to the changes this spring will bring, and surely hoping that we won’t have any more freezing temperatures that damage blossoms this year!

I wish a very happy spring to all of you, with plenty of outdoor adventures and beauty!

“Pond Plants in Reflection”
Cattails in the shallow depths of a pond in spring with reflections and shadows!

“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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“Golden Rays of Light”

 

One very early morning just a few days ago I decided to take a drive in the countryside on some local dirt roads. It was foggy and nearly dark when I started, but as the sun rose I was rewarded with an amazing sunrise with golden rays of light streaming through the trees as I drove along.

The image above is a tighter version of the first tree I saw, with many streams of light coming through the fog. Simply dreamy to me!

 

"Your New Day Rising" Stunning Golden sunrise through the fog!
“Your New Day Rising”
Stunning Golden sunrise through the fog!

 

In this next image I got as close as I could to a cornfield with a lone tree and an amazing sunrise just atop the tree! What a glorious morning! As the nights are cooler with autumn having arrived, I hope for a few more mornings to enjoy the fog before it turns to frost!

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“Lake Michigan in Monochrome”

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.

"Esch Beach Path Mono" A beautiful black and white version of a scene at Esch Beach near empire Michigan!
“Esch Beach Path Mono”
A beautiful black and white version of a scene at Esch Beach near empire Michigan!

This second photograph leads you right out onto Esch Beach to Lake Michigan through the sandy path that’s lined with sand grass.

 

"On the Horizon" Gazing out at the horizon on Lake Michigan from Overlook #9 on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore!
“On the Horizon”
Gazing out at the horizon on Lake Michigan from Overlook #9 on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore!

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!

 

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“Garden Blooms”

Spring seems to start of pretty slowly here in SE. Michigan, but once the temperatures warm a bit, which they did to a very large degree this year, the garden blooms begin to appear quickly!

These are some of the first flowers to bloom in the garden this spring, after the initial daffodils and crocus.

The lovely light purple Iris basking in the warm light of the morning sun makes a lovely image!

 

"Dahlia Darling" Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!
“Dahlia Darling”
Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!

The Dahlia were especially beautiful with their large blossoms, and stunning colors!

"Iris abstract" I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!
“Iris abstract”
I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!

 

The small details in this purple Iris was one that was perfect for a macro shot!

"Peony in Peachy Pink" A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!
“Peony in Peachy Pink”
A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!

 

The peonies are still blooming, but this one was the absolute first to blossoms this spring. The hue was a bit different this year, with more of a peachy hue. I think it makes a beautiful macro!

As spring draws to an end, I’ll be photographing all the many blossoms that pop up, and sharing more garden photos here on my blog.

I hope that you too are enjoying whatever is blooming in your area, and your garden! You just gotta love those garden blooms!

 

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“Autumn in Abstract”

This past year was a big one for me as far as abstract images go. The combination of stunning colors and dazzling light gave me many opportunities for motion blur abstracts. I have done a favorite abstract images post in previous years, so I thought I’d put together some of my favorite autumn abstracts this time. You can take a look at them here. I have a short description below instead of writing a full post. I also put a couple of beautiful autumn quotes at the end of the post!  Enjoy “Autumn in Abstract” !

 

"Pure Joy" A beautiful and colorful flow of autumn color in abstract!
“Pure Joy”
A beautiful and colorful flow of autumn color in abstract!

 

 

"Holiday Dancing" These colors can give the feel of the holiday season or autumn.
“Holiday Dancing”
These colors can give the feel of the holiday season or autumn.

 

 

"Movin to the Groovin" A gold and green magical light filled abstract!
“Movin to the Groovin”
A gold and green magical light filled abstract!

 

 

"Sweet Potato Mash" One of my favorites in fall of 2015. You'll also so see this in my 2015 Year in Review.
“Sweet Potato Mash”
One of my favorites in fall of 2015. You’ll also so see this in my 2015 Year in Review.

 

 

Here’s a beautiful quote that gives you the feeling and excitement of how autumn feels to me!

“October’s Party”

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band….
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky….

~ George Cooper ~

I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn, as if the earth absorbed none, and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints.
by ~ Henry David Thoreau ~
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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 ~

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