“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!

“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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“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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“The Reckoning in Gray”

This past autumn during a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I had the opportunity to witness one really beautiful afternoon and a stunning sunset in Marquette. The rest of my days in the UP. this time were filled with lots of rain, fog and clouds.
This was the one and only afternoon that I witnessed the sky change dramatically every few minutes! The clouds split the sky into darkness and light. The title of The Reckoning felt just right for this image!
For fun, I processed it in both color and black and white. The monochrome version has a much more dramatic feel to it, while the blue hues create a more peaceful scene.  I hope you enjoy both.

"The Reckoning in Blue" Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.
“The Reckoning in Blue”
Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.

As with almost all of my images they can be purchased as beautiful prints or canvas, and are available for licensing as well. For purchasing info click here

Thanks for stopping by!

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“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”

It was a dark and dreary afternoon when suddenly a light appeared from behind a………………..

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray"   A  wonderfully moody  black and white version of  "On a Golden Afternoon"
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray” A wonderfully moody black and white version of “On a Golden Afternoon”

Well, actually it wasn’t quite like that, but it sounds good! 😉

This past weekend we got our first real snow of the season. It’s funny how this whole autumn has been. First it has been much warmer than usual, second the fall color came in and left much differently than in previous years. There were even a few trees with color still left on them, at least until the snow came along!

On this occasion I went out in the late afternoon to have a look at what I was hoping would be a winter wonderland. I didn’t quite find that, as some of the melting had already occurred and also wind had blown quite a bit of the snow off of the upper areas of the trees and branches. Still though, there was some snow left still clinging to the trees, and plenty still on the ground! I think we had gotten about eight inches total.

I made this photograph you see below (as well a a few others) in the few short minutes before sunset. The sun came out from behind the clouds just enough to illuminate areas of the trees and give a golden cast and brighten the snow!

After processing the image below, I decided to process it again into a black and white, or really a shades of gray version and see how I liked it. Well, I liked it a lot! See what you think.

"On a Golden Afternoon"  Beautiful golden light on a snow laden landscape, just before sunset.
“On a Golden Afternoon”
Beautiful golden light on a snow laden landscape, just before sunset.

 

Do you prefer this photograph in color or black and white?

 

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“Winter Forest”

On a very very cold winters walk not too long ago, I ventured out towards the woods. The trees and everything else I could see, was covered in gorgeous glistening Rime Ice. Well, I say Rime Ice because it didn’t seem to meet the conditions for Hoar Frost. If you think you can tell the difference, feel free to leave me a note!

The sun had only been up for a short while when I first went out, but by the time I reached this location it had been out for a while. Still low enough though to capture the beauty of the sunlight on the branches. There were some pretty nice long shadows on the snow also.

I came away with totally frozen fingers despite wearing gloves, but it sure was lovely! We’ve had so many dreary winter days so far this winter. Today happened to be one of them, but on this day here, the sun was shining brightly with pure blue skies.
At least for a couple of hours or so till the clouds moved it! 😉

"Frosty Forest"
“Frosty Forest”

Beautiful sunlight on frosty trees.

"Forest Shadows"
“Forest Shadows”

Sunlight through frosty trees and long shadows on the snow! I decided to go monochrome on both of these images. I think it works well here. How about you?

“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!

 

“Grand Haven Lighthouse”

On a recent and very quick trip out to Western Michigan I had the opportunity to visit a couple of lighthouses in the area, on Lake Michigan. By the way, I love lighthouses! 🙂

Most of my short time there it was either raining, having thunderstorms, or severe wind. I had hoped for some beautiful blue skies with amazing clouds when I set out, but I had seen the forecast and didn’t have much hope. Well the clouds happened, although not quite so amazing LOL, but blue skies were hard to come by!

I happened to see an old photograph on a wall from the days of film, taken in 1950. It was of this lighthouse in Grand Haven, with large rocks in the foreground. I decided since the weather was dreary, and slightly foggy, I’d go out and try to get the vantage point that I had seen in that photo from 1950.

Obviously things have changed a bit in the landscape over these past 64 years, but I came as close as I could to it, in both position and choice of processing it in black and white.

Although not quite what I had hoped for in terms of weather, I’m still really happy I made it out there to the western side of Michigan, and hope to go back again for the tulips in Holland MI., which should be coming up pretty soon. That is, if we can get rid of this cold rainy weather! 😉

Have a great weekend everyone!

"Grand Haven Lighthouse"  Monochrome
“Grand Haven Lighthouse”
Monochrome

“Storms in Mono, Lake Michigan”

“Charlevoix Lighthouse Storm” monochrome

 Charlevoix Lighthouse Storm in monochrome
Charlevoix Lighthouse Storm in monochrome

“Wave Action” monochrome

-Wave Action- 2 mono

There’s something about storms that lend themselves well to monochrome conversion. These two images felt that way to me. Both were taken on Lake Michigan in Charlevoix.

You can feel the darkness of the sky, the mood, atmosphere, and the turbulence in the waters!

I posted one of these images on 500px if you’d like to see it there.

If you’re interested in purchasing either of these as prints of canvas, feel free to check out the website links to the side.

Enjoy some deep, dark, moodiness! 😉

“Raindrops on Springtime”

As you can see, I’m still trying to get in some more spring images before fall arrives, and being that it is now September 1st, well it’s certainly on our doorstep!!

In May, I found large areas of beautiful bright pink Azaleas in Virginia. This day happened to be a rainy one, which played really nicely with the flowers.

For the most part I’ve been processing them in color, but I decided to do one in monochrome. This one was processed first in Lightroom, then in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

There isn’t a lot of contrast here, but I like the tone on tone look to it. When adding more contrast, it seemed to detract somehow from the flowers themselves.

Take a look, and see how you like it!! 🙂

-Raindrops on Springtime- mono