“The Road Quite Traveled”

As the fall season approaches I anxiously await its arrival. In looking though a few images from a couple of years ago, it reminded me of some good times and beautiful color.

The afternoon that day two years ago started out with a mix of clouds and sun. I decided to go out with my youngest son and head for the nearest area that I thought might have some good color.

By the time we arrived on a really scenic road that is quite well traveled, the wind had picked up and dark clouds were starting to roll in. I jumped out of the car at the best place to park along the side of the road, and caught this beautiful scene. The yellow gold of the fall foliage stood out pronounced against the deeper blues of the sky.

"The Country Mile" Actually many miles of beautiful winding roads. A place quite popular with cyclists.
“The Country Mile”
Actually many miles of beautiful winding roads. A place quite popular with cyclists.

 

After grabbing a few images of the road scenery, the clouds really started to move! My son and I made our way over to a lake near there just as the weather made another turn, but one that made a dramatic change to the fall foliage. The colors were brighter than ever as the afternoon sunlight shown on the trees, and the quickly racing clouds gave a dark and foreboding look to the scene. I took every chance to get in as many shots from all the angles I could while my youngest stayed near me trying to skip stones across the water. I of course had to take a bit of time out for some skipping myself! 😉

"Fall Storm of Reflections" The fall color reflected beautifully on the water as the sun and clouds did their battling!!
“Fall Storm of Reflections”
The fall color reflected beautifully on the water as the sun and clouds did their battling!!

We spent a good long while there enjoying the cool breeze, warm sun, and myriad of colors. On the way home I decided to try to find at least one more vibrant location. It was getting much closer to sundown by then, but I found another pretty place along a river, that seemed convenient to get to. We popped out of the car and wandered around pathways. The water there was totally calm and smooth making the reflections really lovely even though the light was fading.

 

"Smooth Reflections" As the day got late and the sun nearly gone. The water on the river was smooth as glass, giving perfect conditions for beautiful autumn reflections!
“Smooth Reflections”
As the day got late and the sun nearly gone. The water on the river was smooth as glass, giving perfect conditions for beautiful autumn reflections!

I remember that day with a lot of fondness and happiness. It was fun quality time spent with my son. It was during my favorite season (fall), and I was blessed that day to have amazing fall foliage and gorgeous skies!!

Here’s to this coming autumn, wishing everyone beautiful days, amazing color, wonderful skies, a crisp breeze when you desire it, and calm when you need it!! 🙂

 

“Best of 2013”

As I have done for the past two years, this being the third year. I am posting my favorite, best, or most popular images of the year. Jim Goldstein has been gracious enough to host this for several years now.

This past year has been one of great change for me personally. My father passed away in the spring, which was a great loss for me.

At the same time in many ways it’s been a great year. I had more opportunity for travel, and was able to spend quite a bit of photography time during my favorite season…..autumn!!!

These images are from all through the year. Some are my personal favorites, others have been best sellers, while others represent special memories for me.

So in no particular order, I present this years. Best of 2013!

 "Maple Leaf Zen"
“Maple Leaf Zen”

 "Flow of Golden Ribbons"

"Ghostly Gales"
“Ghostly Gales”
 "Skies of Grand Marais"
“Skies of Grand Marais”
"Munising Falls"
“Munising Falls”
"Rolling with the Mack"
“Rolling with the Mack”
 "Spray at Whitefish Point"
“Spray at Whitefish Point”
"Fluttering Maple" 3
“Fluttering Maple” 3
 "Blue Ridge Bounty"
“Blue Ridge Bounty”
 "Autumn Spectacle"
“Autumn Spectacle”

These are 10 images. I could go on and on, especially in the autumn department LOL, but I will leave you with these to look at and enjoy.

As always if anyone is interested in purchasing a print, just click on the link in the menu bar, or the one on the right side of this post.

Wishing everyone the best in this coming new year!! 🙂

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

As you can see I am a little behind in my processing. In my last post you could see the last remnants of fall leaves on the ground with a little snow.

In contrast to that, this frame was taken in early October in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The areas closer to the coast still had abundant color, like in this image here, while the inland areas looked more like winter had already come.

I love this particular area. It is located not too far from Lake Superior, but in a slightly higher elevation. This back country dirt road goes on for about twenty miles. It’s very narrow, and can barely allow two cars to pass. The good thing is almost no one is around, so I had complete freedom to hike, walk, explore, and of course take photos!!

I spent quite a bit of time hiking around in the woods. Enjoying each step, as I walked on moist fallen leaves, drinking up all the golden color with my eyes, and listening to the sound of silence whenever I paused for a minute or so. To me it’s like being in a magical place. A place full of wonder and vibrant color everywhere I turned.

I hope you too can feel the exhilaration and excitement of this fall magic, just as I do!!

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

-Magical Autumn Mystery-

“Autumn Melange”

Sometimes just a section of an area is enough to give you the full feeling of what you’re after. This is a tiny slice of a small mountain filled with a melange of fall colors mixed in with evergreen trees.

After driving down a dirt road off of this mountain, I looked back and saw this lovely assortment of trees and colors of every kind. Of course I had to stop and get in a few shots!! 🙂

I’d guess you’d call this a salad of color!!

Enjoy

 Autumn color and textures in a hillside.
Color upon color.

“Center of Attention”

What says autumn other than fall color change on the trees? Well, of course, the vast array of autumnal beauty at your very feet. A gorgeous carpet of joy!

As I walked through the woods on a very rainy day, I got to enjoy the sheer loveliness of what was beneath my feet! This area was filled with many varieties of Maple trees which created a very colorful bit of eye candy as I walked along.

Since this is such a simple shot, I decided to put the focus on the orange leaf in the center, and on the area directly around it. I used a bit of blur in the rest of the image. Take in the image a bit more by reading the description below.

Imagine standing here. Close your eyes for a minute. Breath in the fresh rain filled air, notice the earthy scent of the wet soil and leaves. Feel the chilly breeze on your skin, and the drizzle of rain as it lays a mist on your hair. Now open your eyes and take in colors. Vibrant yellow, orange, gold and red. Muted browns that have fallen earlier. Enjoy the contrast of colors and the depths of the leaves. Inhale every bit of beauty into your soul and remember this well for beauty like this comes but once a year!

Thank you all for stopping by for a bit of autumn joy! I wish you all a wonderful fall this year and every year!!

“Center of Attention”

-Center of Attention-
Carpet of gorgeous maple leaves in every color!!

“Bridging the Huron”

During the day today, I spent many hours, as a lot of you have, watching the news about the tragedy that happened at the Boston Marathon. Following the news events on twitter which come out even faster, and watching in horror as more and more images, and information of this sad day evolved!

I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to all those people, their families, and their friends that have been affected by this days horrific events! I want to send you my best wishes, hope for better days to come, and healing to begin!

I thought I’d also take the time to express some other thoughts that I have in my mind. The way I see it, all of us on this big beautiful planet are brothers and sisters of each other. We are here to take care of each other, and to take care of this amazing planet earth and everything on it, that has been given to us as a trust.

Today’s tragic event in Boston is another one in a long line of so many injustices that have happened or are happening in cities and towns around this nation, and also around the entire world.

There have been so many recent horrific events in our own country that have happened to totally innocent people, like what happened today in Boston. This is a very sad fact!

What many people don’t realize or even think much about though, is that there are so many people around the world in other countries that are suffering beyond anything we can possibly imagine. They are being tortured and killed by their own governments. People in countries that are completely oppressed by outside forces. Whole nations of human beings that are held hostage by the raving madness of one man in charge, or by their own countries government officials.

My wish for all of us here in this country and for everyone in the entire world is to bridge the gaps we have between each other. Join together for the sake of humanity. Be brothers and sisters to each other. No matter the continent, the nation, the language, the religion, nor the color of our skin.

Extend our hands out to each other, cross the bridges and come together as human beings to help overcome the injustices that abound both here in this country, and around the world.

I see this image below of a bridge across a river as the bridge we can use to cross and join forces with each other, for the good of all mankind!

I see the reflections in the water as the reflections of life. Reflections of different people’s lives from all around the world.

The colors of the foliage in the many trees represents the colors of skin, the different religions, the beauty of the worlds languages, and all other differences you can think of.

We are the world. We are beautiful! We can work together to help solve the problems of humanity, even if it be as little as one leaf at a time. One word of comfort, one hug, one beautiful photo, one kindness.

We are not lost, it is not too late! With each adversity we have the ability to become stronger and closer, but we have to also try to bridge the gap of ignorance that exists, and embrace the beauty of the people and countries in this wonderful world around us!

I extend my hand, my heart, my prayers and my thoughts to all those who are suffering both here, and around the world tonight, and in the future!

This image is called “Bridging the Huron”, but for tonight I think it shall be called “Bridging the Gap”

Bridge across the Huron River during autumn!
Bridge across the Huron River during autumn!

“Abstracts using Motion Blur”

I have always been a fan of abstract images. Especially bright and colorful ones. By using in camera settings, like changing your shutter speed. You can achieve many beautiful abstract results.
These days it seems more common for people to use Photoshop or other forms of software to do the work for them. I know you can achieve dramatic results, and really change things around by using software to do motion blur, but for me, I like to do it the old fashioned way!
I have found the best results so far are with subjects like autumn leaves, spring flowers, trees, and other nature oriented items. Maybe that’s because I love nature! 😉
My preferred method is to experiment with different slow shutter speeds while moving my camera in the direction of my subject moving, like for trees panning from the bottom of the tree to the top, or sometimes in other directions to create different types of effects according to the subject.
During autumn, many times the winds are so strong here that any type of typical fall foliage image is impossible, for example when the winds are gusting from 30-40 mph. Instead I use the flow and movement that already presents itself to me, to my advantage, which can create some beautiful results.
Besides using slow shutter speed with motion. I also on a rare occasion like to zoom out while slowing the shutter speed just a tad. This seems to work really well with trees and flowers!
The image here is a simple and colorful one from last fall. I love the flowing feel to this one, but I also like to make images that have more of a feathery, brush stroke, or wavy twisting look to them.
Anyway you do it, it’s fun, and you really can’t go wrong. If you like it, then that’s what matters!
I’m sure a lot of you have done these, but if you haven’t, and are looking for something different to do, then I’d say let go, and have some fun. You never know what you’re missing! Try some motion blur abstracts!! 🙂

Abstract Photography using motion blur!
Abstract Photography using motion blur!

“When Leaves Fly”

One late autumn day while driving by the campus of EMU, I spotted a nice curve in this parking lot, and sidewalk on the right, which happens to lead to the Student Center.
I pulled in and popped out of the car to see if I could get some nice angles even though there were cars everywhere as well as students going to and fro.
What I didn’t think about until I got out of the car, was the wind. It was pretty wild that day! This image isn’t the one with the nicest curves, I have other ones that are much better than this, but it is the one with plenty of leaves moving around, and some leaves in the air.
You can get a good feel for the type of weather that day. Sunny, and really windy! Enjoy! 🙂

A windy day on the campus of EMU.
A windy day on the campus of EMU.

“Autumn on Campus”

There’s something so inviting and beautiful when you think about school, or college campuses during autumn’s colorful foliage season!
This image is no exception. It was taken a couple of months ago at the very end of peak color. The combination of the trees and their foliage, the pathways, lamp posts, and buildings seemed to all just flow together into one lovely autumn image! Enjoy! 🙂

Amazing autumn color on a university campus!
Amazing autumn color on a university campus!

“Lead by the Light”

Wonderful feel of Autumn

You can certainly tell that fall was in the air when I took this shot! I had just been to the area looking out onto the two lakes described in the previous post.
I wondered off for a short ways down this dirt road, and grabbed a few shots. The strong late afternoon light was as if it was leading me in that direction. This area as I described before was like a small mountain. Completely forest filled and totally uninhabited by humans, except for those that wandered up to look out at the beautiful view or to come to a beautiful, but very secluded grave yard nestled among old and beautiful trees.
I didn’t take any shots of the graveyard itself. It had a private feel to it. I felt as though I would be intruding if I did.
I simply enjoyed the sheer beauty of the dirt road, the autumn color with lovely sunlight, and the wonderful views down below!