“Charlevoix Lighthouse Sunset”

In keeping with my eclectic presentation of images these days, I present to you this photo of a beautiful Lighthouse in Charlevoix Michigan during sunset.

I recently finished processing one batch in a long line of autumn images, and instead of moving on to do more, I decided to get at this wonderful lighthouse and process these images instead.

On this particular evening, I had headed out, not knowing exactly where I was going. I started roaming up and down streets in Charlevoix till I reached a charming piece of beach. I was quite happy when I noticed there was also a pier and lighthouse on one side of the beach.

The winds had picked up pretty high during the day, and had only increased as the afternoon wore on. I knew that I needed a good strong tripod for this location.

I set up about 20 feet away from the water at first. The position seemed great, but what I couldn’t foresee was the intensity of the waves and how much water would be sprayed on my camera lens. With a lot of effort in the crazy high winds, I changed positions, cleaned off the lens and filters, and tried again.

I started a bit before sunset, and continued to way after. This was one of the earlier frames. The water was crashing against the pier and jetty, the waves were rolling in hard and fast. Clouds of every color moved quickly across the sky.

I have quite a few images from this location that evening. Some with more emphasis on the sunset, some close-ups of the lighthouse, and others showing more of the Lake Michigan water intensity.

The town of Charlevoix itself, if you haven’t been there is really quite delightful. There is a lovely marina from where you can take a sunset dinner cruise which goes out of the marina, under a lovely drawbridge, and out into the open waters.

There are a myriad of quaint shops and boutiques, and of course many streets full of lovely homes. It’s a beautiful place to visit, and a quiet one also, especially off season.

If you’re ever in Michigan, driving on highway 31 which in places hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline. Make sure and check out this gem of a town. You won’t be disappointed.

While your there make sure and head down to this or one of the other beaches in town and take in a beautiful Michigan sunset!!

-Charlevoix Lighthouse Sunset- 1

“Walking the Dunes”

To start of you have to understand that most of Michigan is really quite flat. Not many rolling hills, and no real mountains to speak of. Knowing that, I was quite surprised and happily so at the immense size, and height of the sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.
I happened to be there when the weather had changed and the summer crowds had gone. There was quite a rain, and wind storm that day, but it didn’t keep me from climbing as much as possible all around the dunes. That’s what they’re there for!
You can see all the many footprints left behind from other people going up and down the huge dunes. The going up was really steep and pretty good exercise. 😉
Coming down on the other hand was really fast, and could easily end up with a person slip sliding down.
It’s a great place to bring kids though, especially ones that are tired of riding in a car. They can climb off all their energy!! 🙂
If you haven’t been to Michigan, make sure you put it on your list, and put Sleeping Bear Dunes high on your list of places to see, have fun, and catch a great sunrise or sunset too!

"Walking the dunes of Sleeping Bear"
“Walking the dunes of Sleeping Bear”

“Flash”

After the sun had set over Lake Michigan on a cool September Evening, I kept taking shots of what was left of the color in the sky. There wasn’t much there that night to begin with. There were however many types of pretty flowers all around the area.
I shot some of the images without flash, but did a few with. I liked the results of both, but I thought I’d bring you one of the flash shots right now.
The flowers have a lovely color cast to them, much more warm, and you can still see some of the movement from the wind.
The sunset or lack thereof, is more of a blur in the background with some of the color still there. Giving the whole image a shallow depth of field, and a totally different feel than the one of a usual sunset.
Enjoy! 🙂

Using Flash at Sunset
Using Flash at Sunset

“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”

“Fade to Sunset”

One evening in September after having a pretty cloudy day all day, I decided to go out for a sunset anyway, hoping their might be a good one. There were some really pretty clouds around, but the light wasn’t very good, and not too much in the way of color variation.
This particular area offered an nice vantage point for the clouds though, plus the plants in the foreground were blowing in the wind adding some additional interest.
This view is onto Lake Michigan from the Upper Peninsula. I went out for sunsets on the lake several times this September. Nearly every time just before sunset, all the clouds would swiftly blow by with the wind, and disappear. This time they stayed, albeit a little too much!

Cloudy Lake Michigan Sunset!
Cloudy Lake Michigan Sunset!

“Out in the Country”

The beauty of living in the northern part of Michigan. Farms are everywhere. Plenty of open land, orchards and wonderful woodlands are around every bend.
Lake Michigan isn’t far away, and in this case can even be seen in the left, above the trees.
Early autumn changes had begun at the time this was taken, but the wonderful Michigan weather of late September was still in the air!
This was the time when pumpkins and apples were being harvested. Farmers were preparing their farms for the winter season ahead.
For me though, I was able to look out in wonder of the beauty around me, and of the people who live in this community, of close knit, hard working people of the land!