“It Still Feels Like Summer”

I truly cannot believe that it’s almost September, and it still feels like summer! The weather hasn’t changed, our temps are as hot as they’ve been off and on for the last couple of months. In Michigan, usually August ushers in a slight change, you’ll have cooler nights, and mornings. You’ll feel autumn coming. Well not this year,  in fact it seems that all of 2016 so far has felt quite a bit different than normal. Who knows what we have in store for us this fall and winter!

I know I’ve been pretty neglectful of my blog for a while. Life has been extremely busy, and honestly doesn’t look like its going to slow down for a few months. I did have the opportunity earlier this summer though to visit Lake Superior Provincial Park, in Ontario, Canada. It was wonderful!

I thought I’d just go ahead and share a few images that I’ve made this summer, from that location. Two of the photographs are processed in black and white and one in color.

 

"Agawa Bay Rocky Shore" Beautiful and scenic Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada!
“Agawa Bay Rocky Shore”
Beautiful and scenic Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada!

 

"Chippewa Falls and River" A summertime view of Chippewa Falls in Ontario, Canada!
“Chippewa Falls and River”
A summertime view of Chippewa Falls in Ontario, Canada!

 

"Chippewa Falls" Mono A Beautiful long exposure of a section of Chippewa Falls, processed in black and white!
“Chippewa Falls” Mono
A Beautiful long exposure of a section of Chippewa Falls, processed in black and white!

 

These images were all made this summer during my trip to Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. Even though the weather there was pretty hot at the time, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the heatwave we were having in SE. Michigan at the time!

Not only was this location an extremely beautiful place to see , but also a quite welcome reprieve from the oppressive heat! I can only imagine how amazing this area would be during autumn with all it’s color! Hopefully I’ll get the chance to find out some day! 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed the images. As always, these photographs and many many more are all on my websites, and available for purchase as  prints, canvas prints, and more! Check them out here. http://rcnaturephotos.pixels.com/ and www.rachelcohenphotography.com

 

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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 ~

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

 

 

“Crystal Plumage”

The title of this post might seem a bit strange when you see this first photograph of some beautiful yet very simple leaves on a row of plants. In fact, I have no idea what these plants are.

I had originally gone out looking for some late summer flowers. Unfortunately it turned out to be a pretty windy day. The few flowers that I found weren’t very cooperative in the wind.

As I went around to the other side the garden I found rows of these leaves. They had a really nice flow to them. My first inclination, after making one simple photograph was to do a long exposure and have a nice motion blur effect. I made three photographs using different exposures.

My favorite out of the ones I made was the second image you’ll see here. It had just the right silky flow that I envisioned in my mind.

Please scroll down to see that image and also the image that gave me the idea for the title to this post.

These are beautiful leaves by themselves with a nice flow.

"Long Leaves"
“Long Leaves”

In this image I used a slightly longer exposure to blur the motion and give it a soft, silky, and flowing feel.

"Ride the Wind"
“Ride the Wind”

What I did in this next image is a different story altogether.

"Crystal Plumage"
“Crystal Plumage”

After I had processed the previous photograph in Lightroom, I decided to reprocess it again in Lightroom for a totally different effect.
I played around with solarization a bit, which I have done many times before with certain types of plants, especially succulents and cactus. However I almost always process these in monochrome.                                                              This time as I was trying out the different colors and effects, I found that I really liked the way the blur of leaves took on a look of bird plumage! Maybe some exotic bird from a far away location! The colors are of course totally unlike the original, but to me they looked like Crystal Plumage!

So if  you are a Lightroom user, but haven’t yet tried out the solarization panel,  I advise you to give it a try for something really fun and different!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos! 🙂

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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 ~

“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”

All I can say about this winter so far is, BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! Brrrrr, it’s truly amazing how many records of low-lows, low-highs, and snow we’ve had over a large portion of the United States this year!

I really haven’t been out and participated in as many winter activities this year, or last year for that matter as I normally would have. Maybe I’ll still have time to get in some skiing before the season ends. We’ll see! 🙂

I did decide to go out into the crazy cold weather for a sunset a couple of days ago along the Huron River. While waiting for the clouds to break up and for some color to begin, I found some nice rocks and ice just under and a bit out from the water flow of a small dam.

There were whole areas that were frozen, but in general this section still had water flowing over the dam. The area of the Huron river above the dam appears totally covered in ice, but obviously there is still some water flowing, albeit a lot less than in warmer weather.

I began photographing single rocks with ice, and ice formations only, which were in the opposite direction, then I just took my time enjoying making some long exposures of the water flow. The sunset had decidedly become a dud. Thick clouds had pretty much taken over everything.

A flock of ducks flew into the area at one point just bobbing around in the water, and occasionally hopping up on the rocks.

In this frame, the sun had already set, so it was pretty dark outside. The water was flowing nicely, and a couple of ducks at either end of the image were making their ghostly appearance. Some of the rocks and stones had “hats” of snow on them and ice hanging from around them. The whole scene just had a nice feel to it.

I stayed for a good 30 minutes just making long exposures, one composition after another. At the time I wasn’t feeling the cold and wind of the heavy winter temps outside. That changed though after I headed up the hill towards the car. I guess I had been partially protected from the winds where I was before. Boy did I feel it after I arrived at the car!

I started thinking on the way home……..maybe I’ll go somewhere and do some floral photography until winter finishes! 😉

"Winter's Ghostly Flow"
“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”

“Flowing Water”

 

Earlier this fall I made more than one trip up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I was trying to capture the fall color at the right times in several different locations. Well that didn’t exactly go as planned. Probably Murphy’s Law! 😉
I did manage to get to some locations though at the best time for color! 🙂

During my trips I did have quite a few “bad weather days”. Some are the kind you feel you just have to go out in to experience the raw power of nature. Other times it seemed a good time to kick back and relax, to just wait for things to clear.

One of my favorite subjects to photograph on those cloudy dreary days, which I encountered quite a bit, are waterfalls. I made it to several falls this time in the Munising area near Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore.

Munising Falls is one of them. It was rainy, getting close to sunset, and quite breezy, but oh so beautiful!  This is one of many images I made at the falls. I love to watch the flowing water!

"Munising Falls in the beginning of autumn.
“Munising Falls in the beginning of autumn.

The area if your not familiar with it, is an easy trail from the car to the falls. A Ranger station is located on the site. There are three platformed viewing areas but the main location which is the first one you’ll see is by far the best one for good access to the view. I enjoyed talking with the rangers that are on staff there, they are quite friendly and knowledgeable, and very happy to answer any questions you may have.

I made many photographs of the falls and surrounding rock formations, many I have up on my site already. This image instead of giving you a full view of Munising Falls, as I have in other photos, is a tighter crop that shows off the flow of water and rock behind it.

I can imagine many other places where I’d like to stand in order to get closer or to get more interesting compositions, but there are pretty strict park rules about where you can and cannot go. These rules to some might seem restrictive, but in order to preserve the rock formations, plants and other forms of nature in the area they must be followed.

Often times when in locations such as these you’ll find people going over or under fences, heading off of the specified trails and disobeying park rules. What we all need to understand is that the rules are there to protect the beauty we are seeing. To protect the fragile plants, the amazing rock formations, and the habitat for so many forms of wildlife.

If everyone were to ignore the rules and guidelines, then what we see today would not be there in the same form for very long. That would be a sad situation indeed.

I encourage all of you to visit our natural areas, the parks, wilderness, preserves, and shores, local, state, and national. While your there enjoy all of the beauty the place has to offer, while still obeying the rules!

“Cucumber Falls”

We’re going back again to Ohiopyle State Park in this image, to Cucumber Falls. Located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, this spot is a popular place to visit. So popular that it is sometimes hard not to find people in the water below the falls in the hot summer months.

It took quite a bit of time to not only have the waterfall seemingly to myself, but to also have a relatively even lighting situation.

I have photographed these falls on several occasions. The dappled and sometimes harsh lighting conditions can be difficult during most of the day.

I was able to take advantage of the morning light this particular visit, and was really happy that I did.

It really is a feast for the senses. You can hear the roar of the water as it comes over the rocky ledge to the pool below.  Next you feel the coolness of the air from the spray of the falls and the darkness of the deep woods. Lastly you can smell the heavy scent of earthiness from the damp dirt to the abundant moss and lichen that cover the rocks below.

There’s just nothing like being able to get out into nature. Whether it is a short walk in a small garden to smell the flowers, a strenuous hike in a mountainous area, or something in-between like the enjoyment of a beautiful waterfall.

For me I feel the need to get out every day, to see and feel the beauty that is all around. We can all do that, no matter where we are. It is a must for my soul, and you may feel the same way too.

Tell me about the way you enjoy the simple things in nature, what feeds your soul!

"Dreamy Cucumber Falls"
“Dreamy Cucumber Falls”

“Meadow Run”

I’ve been talking a lot about Michigan lately, so I thought I’d take you to a different area of the country. Not too far away though.

This post brings us to one of my favorite places to go and just get away for some peace and quiet. As long as it’s not summertime mind you! 😉 Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle PA.

I love the Laurel Highlands area for its beautiful forests, hiking trails, waterfalls, fast moving rivers and streams and more!

This image is from a wonderful area that is covered with trees, amazing rock formations, and rapidly flowing water called Meadow Run.

In early to late spring and also in autumn, you can quite often find this place all to yourself, or just maybe another photographer or two. In the warm weather especially after school lets out, and during the weekends it becomes another world. These rock formations below the water turn Meadow Run into a long water slide for the very daring.

I myself choose the quiet times like what you see here. In the late afternoon when the dappled light has faded and and a slight darkness comes upon the area, I can sit and breath in the beauty of nature. I can take my time setting up my tripod, and calmly go from one location to another looking for each new composition.

Just picture yourself  here. Have a seat on one of the many rocky ledges. Watch the rapidly moving water flow, and feel the spray when it crashes against the rock formations along the way. Enjoy the feel of cool air as it rustles through the early spring leaves. When it gets a bit darker you might even catch a glimpse of a few deer moving through the forest.

I invite you into this peaceful frame. Take a minute to relax while gazing at the scene, and while your at it, try imagining the sounds of nature that surround you!

Enjoy!

"Meadow Run" Ohiopyle State Park, PA.
“Meadow Run”
Ohiopyle State Park, PA.