“Presque Isle Harbor”

Beautiful Presque Isle Harbor, or Marquette Bay on a late spring day! You might not be able to notice right off that it was a warm weather day, but the temperatures were actually in the lower 80’s F! The ice from the long winter had been so thick there was still plenty of it around.

Each of these three images are from different vantage points along the long rock jetty or breakwater located in the bay off of Presque Isle in Marquette MI. The Breakwater lighthouse is located at the end of the jetty and on this warm day you can see people enjoying the sun and the amazing ice from the huge rock wall!

Marquette Michigan is located in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior. In my personal opinion this Great Lake is stunning at any time of the year, and this location happened to be really beautiful that day with the glistening white ice on the blue waters of the bay!

"Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse"
“Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse”
"Presque Isle Harbor Light"
“Presque Isle Harbor Light”
"Spring on Ice"
“Spring on Ice”

“Best of 2014”

Well, another year is nearly over and a new adventure about to begin! As is customary as the year comes to a close, I usually bring out ten of my best images of 2014, or actually my favorite images from the year. These are not in any particular order, but as you look through them you might see a familiar theme within almost all of the images! That theme involves water.

This first image is one taken in early autumn at Miner’s Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had tried to time my fall foliage trips to coincide with peak color. Well that didn’t always go as planned. Fall was a bit difficult to chase this year LOL!

"Miner's Falls in October"
“Miner’s Falls in October”

In this next image you’ll notice a very turbulent looking Lake Michigan. What a beautiful day that was! Forty-Fifty mile an hour winds with wild and dramatic clouds swirling by!

"As the World Turns"
“As the World Turns”

During the spring I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite locations in Pennsylvania, The Laurel Highlands. These next two images are from there. First is an area called Meadow Run. A beautiful fast running stream, that at times looks more like a river, and also like rapids.

"Meadow Run" 2
“Meadow Run” 2

This next image is of Cucumber Falls also in the same area of PA. I really love these falls. I’ve seen them many times, during drought, moderate rain, and during periods of good rain. I think this was during a good time with a strong flow of water. Cucumber Falls is a popular place to go, but if you get there when no one else is there, it’s pure Magic!

"Dreamy Cucumber Falls"
“Dreamy Cucumber Falls”

In keeping with this theme of water, and of my search for fall color during this autumn, I made it up to Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. I was rewarded with some pretty good color at the time. It wasn’t at peak, but it was beautiful!

"Tahquamenon Falls Autumn"
“Tahquamenon Falls Autumn”

As you’ll see here, these are really not in chronological order at all. Below you’ll find beautiful Miner’s Castle, located in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. It might look like it was photographed at some point during the winter, but this was actually in late May. The Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior were still having quite a bit of ice coverage even in late spring!

"Miner's Castle on Ice"
“Miner’s Castle on Ice”

While in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in early summer I had the chance to not only photograph the mountains and valleys, but also the wildflowers. This one here made a big impression on me, and as it turns out is one of the endangered wildflowers around the Blue Ridge Parkway area of Virginia.

"Gray's Lily"
“Gray’s Lily”

A beautiful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which you might say is not unusual, but on this particular trip it happened to be. I didn’t find very cooperative weather for most of the two times I was there this year. I really enjoyed the beautiful weather when I had it though!

"Blue Ridge by Daylight"
“Blue Ridge by Daylight”

As many of you know, I usually go up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pretty often. If you haven’t been there, you must cross the Mackinac Bridge to get from the lower part of MI. to the UP. This beautiful bridge is a five mile long suspension bridge which crosses over the straits of Mackinac. I often photograph the bridge in the daylight, but not often at night. This image was one of many night images taken on this particular trip.

"Mackinac Reflections"
“Mackinac Reflections”

Here you’ll find a study in minimalism. A wonderful sunrise over Lake Huron. The hues were gorgeous, the color lasted for quite a long time, and gave me a time to not only spend time photographing it, but just enjoying the peaceful moment.

"Soothing"
“Soothing”

On that note I would like to thank you all for stopping by not only for this post, but for others all through these past years!

I wish everyone much peace, blessings, and many happy moments not only behind the camera, but in all aspects of your lives!

Here we come 2015! Get Ready……..

“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!

 

“Changes of Time”

As some of you may know, being in Michigan, surrounded by some of the Great Lakes, has its perks! Here in this state you are never far from a local lake, and not very far from three of the three Great Lakes either.

I had wanted to get out to Lake Michigan all winter, but with the roads as snowy and icy as they were most of the time, it was impossible.

Recently I had the chance to spend a few days out around Grand Haven, and Holland. I was really surprised at the amount of shoreline change, and drifting of sand that happened over the winter season.

As I mentioned in my last post, the weather most of the time was either raining or stormy.

These few frames here were taken in a brief time in between storms. The sun shone brightly against the sand drifts that nearly covered all of the snow fences.

Pools of water lay on the shore reflecting the wonderful blue sky and clouds in another location.

Lastly, you’ll see more cloud reflections in pools as well as patterns in the sand formed by the water!

Truly it was a beautiful period of time with all of that sky drama. The changes quickly led to another thunderstorm, but it was certainly worth the time there to enjoy these sights granted to me!

I hope you enjoy it also!

"Sand Banks and Sky"
“Sand Banks and Sky”
"Reflections in Directions"
“Reflections in Directions”
"Patterns of Reflection"
“Patterns of Reflection”

“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!! 🙂

“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-

“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!

“Where Lake Michigan Was”

Lake Michigan is a a wondrous place to see. There are so many variations in the types of shoreline, whether it be a sandy beach, rocky shore, or huge sand cliffs. Also the water colors can go from variations of blues, to greens and sometimes browns.
At this location I was surprised this year to see how much the drought had affected Lake Michigan. I know it affected smaller lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams terribly!
I took this shot from a very low vantage point because of strong winds, but it really gives you an idea of where the water used to be, which is the area where you see the rocks. You can still see the strong surf that day as it was quite windy, and the waves were high.
The sky was also quite beautiful and the cloud movement was swift with the wind current!
I’m hoping that there will be enough precipitation this year to make up for what was lost. I hope that when I see this shoreline next year the view will be that of much more water!
For now though we can enjoy that which is now exposed, and discover things that have been hidden for hundreds of years.
We have such a bounty here in the States and in Canada of having the Great Lakes, which are really unlike any other in the world. We should visit them, enjoy, and take care of them.
Make sure that wherever you go, you take only photographs, and leave only footprints. Preserve what God has given us so that all the generations that come after us are still able to enjoy the bounties!! 🙂

"Rocks, surf, and layers of clouds"
“Rocks, surf, and layers of clouds”