As winter is nearing its end I am looking forward to spring wholeheartedly! I thought I’d bring you just a little taste of late spring from last year. These images were all made in and around The Royal Botanical Gardens near Hamilton, Ontario. Honestly I could spend hours a day in each of the many garden areas they have! These images are just a few to give you a jump start on your spring. I hope they give you a feeling of happiness!
I wish you all a very happy end of winter as we head into warmer and more colorful times!
Here we are in December, almost the end of the year! Time for my “Best of 2018” photographs!
As I’ve done for many years in a row now, I’ve looked through my images over the last year and found the ones that I like the best. These are my personal favorites. Some of the images you may have seen before, and others maybe not. I hope you’ll take the time to look through this assortment of photographs and I surely hope you will enjoy them!
I wish all of you the very best during this Holiday Season, and into the New Year! My warmest wishes to everyone for a happy, adventurous, prosperous, and beautiful New Year in every aspect of your lives!
I customarily show ten images each year in my end of the year post, but I leave you with one extra photograph this year of a peaceful sunset on a farm.
I wish for all of you peace, blessings and harmony always!
This year has gone by really quickly. So much so that I didn’t think I would actually have time to get together my usual end of the year post. These ten images are my personal favorites for the year, or my “Best of 2017”.
This is the 6th year that I have done a “Best of” at the end of the year, and I would like to thank Jim Goldstein for graciously hosting the Best Photos Project each year. You can check out mine and many many other photographers end of the year posts on his blog!
If you would like to see my “Best of” for 2016, you can find that here.
Also if you’d like to go back to 2015, you can check that out here.
After a very stormy spring day in SE. Michigan I was happily surprised by an amazing array of clouds as they moved quickly by during a sunset on a local farm!
You’ll see this lake featured twice here in this post. This image was on a cloudy and extremely still, fall day. The trees, especially the birches gave beautiful reflections in the water!
After all of the leaves had fallen and nothing was left except the crunch of brown and gold underfoot I decided to make just a few images of these beauties!
I had a lot of fun during a couple of fresh and dewy mornings this year photographing the sunlight as it danced off of the dewdrops in the grass. As a lot of you know, I love nature abstracts!
I was extremely happy to have had the opportunity to go to The Tulip Festival in Holland, MI. this past spring!
Every time I’m in Marquette, Michigan I always enjoy the beautiful assortment of rocks and stones in the area. These colorful stones on Presque Isle are some of my favorites!
While at Presque Isle Park I almost always make time to stay for the sunset. It almost never dissapoints!
Munising Falls is beautiful no matter what time of year, but fall is always my favorite!
Lake Plumbago is one of those places I pass by quite often while in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would have to say that for me it has almost always been foggy and or raining when I pass by. That of course has its own beauty, and I have plenty of photos from that type of weather, but this time there was a striking difference, and actually quite welcomed!
I have always loved the look of yellow houses with white picket fences, so naturally the first time I set eyes upon the Windermere Hotel on Mackinac Island, it became a must for me to stay there! It is filled with Victorian charm and has such a lovely presence on the Island.
It just happened that this year while on the Island I was graced with bright blue skies which made a wonderful contrast to the beautiful yellow color of the Windermere!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a tiny glimpse into the year of 2017 with me. I wish all of you a very Happy and prosperous New Year, both in your lives and in your photographic adventures! 🙂
I’d like to end this post 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 ~ 🙂
I seriously can’t believe it’s that time again, but here we are at the end of 2016 and (drum roll) it is time for the Best of 2016! The time when we all must sort through hundreds, or thousands of photographs to narrow it down to our five or ten best, or favorite images of the year. In my case these are my favorite images of 2016. In the past I have usually posted 10 images, this year I found only nine to be my favorites.
This is the 5th year that I have participated in Jim Goldstein’s annual Best Photos Project that he hosts for all photographers who would like to participate.
Thank very much for all of your hard work Jim! I really appreciate it!
Before getting to my Best of 2016 images , you might like to take a look at my favorite images from last year. You can view that post here in my 2015 Year in Review.
I had several occasions this summer and in early autumn to witness some amazing fog! I made a huge print of this for myself!
I was able to spend some time during spring in Traverse City and vicinity. I had come in hopes of experiencing the cherry blossoms but I was just a tad too late. The sunrises on the bay, like you see here, and time spent at Sleeping Bear Dunes was beautiful though!
While driving up H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais I just had to stop at this location and feel the strong winds pushing the waves ashore. The colors of the water, and sky were both amazing and there was a pop of orange color in small scruffy maples in the sand grass that just made the scene for me! I can seriously just allow myself to get lost in this photograph!
This was yet another day that started with heavy low lying fog that rose higher just as the sun began to shine! It created a delightful atmosphere with it’s warm hues! I really loved the sunbeams streaming through the tree and fog! It looks amazing in a print or canvas!
One of my favorite places to stop at along highway 28 just outside of Munising, MI. It’s always beautiful in autumn with the fall color set against the evergreen trees and rocks!
Along H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais there are many beautiful places to stop, all within Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore area. This wonderful location had superb conditions when I arrived there! I just recently made a large print of this photograph.
This autumn I spent several hours at Lake of the Clouds with the weather changing from full rain to completely sunny and everything in between. It is spectacular no matter what the weather!
Having been to Laughing Whitefish Falls before, I have often found it to have quite a low water flow. I know my timing has been off because after a rain this place can present with torrents of water. I happened to catch it at a good time this year with a nice, full, but not overwhelming, flow of water.
This concludes my Best of 2016 favorite images. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed the opportunity to experience these places and make these photographs!
Finally as we enter into the new year, I would like to wish all of my family and friends, all of you who read my blog, and everyone from near and far a most wonderful and adventurous 2017!!
I’ll end this post 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 ~
One very early morning just a few days ago I decided to take a drive in the countryside on some local dirt roads. It was foggy and nearly dark when I started, but as the sun rose I was rewarded with an amazing sunrise with golden rays of light streaming through the trees as I drove along.
The image above is a tighter version of the first tree I saw, with many streams of light coming through the fog. Simply dreamy to me!
In this next image I got as close as I could to a cornfield with a lone tree and an amazing sunrise just atop the tree! What a glorious morning! As the nights are cooler with autumn having arrived, I hope for a few more mornings to enjoy the fog before it turns to frost!
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.
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 was going through some of my photographs recently of The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that I made during a Mid-June trip. I found these two images of a very beautiful, humid, and stormy summer day in the mountains!
The clouds were dark and heavy as was the air all around. The kind of air with humidity that gives layers of haze in the distance, and feels thick to breathe.
The forests were full of trees and were a lush green from previous rains, giving beautiful contrasts of colors in both greens and blues!
I’m looking forward to heading back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Shenandoah National Park sometime this spring or summer. There’s always an ever changing landscape there just waiting for me around the bend!
Earlier this past fall, I made a week long trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I knew that fall color was a little later this year than last so I felt really good about my timing. What I couldn’t predict, and really, who can, was the weather! During the seven days there I had only one day of sunshine, but without a cloud in the sky. The rest of the days were either rainy or at least drizzling and or foggy. I had so hoped to see Lake of the Clouds in good weather. Oh well, it certainly was “In the Clouds” is all I can say! Both fog and mist!
It rained the entire time I was there, and of course I had forgotten to bring an umbrella, so I used shower caps, and other plastic bags to cover my camera and lenses. Anyway, I was thrilled to see this beautiful place no matter what the weather was, but I had hoped to come back with images of gorgeous fall color and amazing clouds! Oh well, at least I did get some amazing fog and mist, and I could see there was wonderful fall color underneath all that fog! 😉
After leaving Lake of the Clouds and the Porcupine Mountains, the weather only got worse. I headed east towards Marquette, having rain coming down in buckets at times, and at other times a drizzle or mist. About halfway between where I was, and where I was going, I passed by Lake Plumbago. My eyes nearly popped out of my head! Wow amazing reflections! I made a U-Turn in the middle of the road and went back to a lovely roadside park next to the lake. It was mildly drizzling at the time so I got out my tripod and camera and spent the next 15 minutes or so there just making photographs of the fall color and reflections and really just enjoying the eye candy!
We’ve had a pretty dreary winter this year, not as much snow, but plenty of clouds. I’m really ready to see some amazing color! I will have to wait half a year or so to see this kind of color again, but in the meantime I’m getting ready for the arrival of spring flowers! I hope your area has started to see some signs of spring, or if you live down under, I hope you are beginning to see some brilliant fall foliage!
Well, I’ve been having some fun recently with my processing. I don’t know if I’ve been just feeling winter blahs or is it that I just feel the need to do something new, but whatever it is, I found some new inspiration by trying something different in my processing.
My first go to, in my workflow is always Lightroom, and quite often after that, OnOne Software as well. In the past week or so, I’ve been having a whole lot of enjoyment experimenting with many of the Topaz Plugins, like Topaz Impression, and Topaz ReStyle. In this post I used Topaz Impression.
I have created special galleries for my “Photographic Art” and “digital Painting” here in these links. I have just a few images at the moment, but am adding to them pretty quickly. You can check out these here too for more Photographic art . It’s not that I plan to be doing this form of processing all of the time, I don’t. It will never replace my normal processing of my photographs, but it did give me a change to have some fun, look at things from a new perspective and have a new creative outlet, especially during this winter.
In this first image you’ll see the lovely Charlevoix Michigan Marina, it’s a very peaceful image in my opinion. I love it as a simple photograph, it has a nice soothing blue color and quiet mood. If you’d like to see other images of Charlevoix as well as other Small Town images you can find them here in The Small Town .
I decided to take that same photograph and do something different with it. I brought into Topaz Impression, and chose one of the oil painting presets in order to give me a starting point. After that, I used sliders to make a lot of adjustments, including those to paint saturation, type of brush used, brush stroke sizes, paper or canvas texture, vignette, and many more.
My final product was this beautiful digital oil painting! I kept the blue tones, the shimmer of light on the water, and the feeling of motion on the water as well. I added lots of texture, brush strokes and a slightly fanciful feeling.
I had also been doing a lot of processing of spring buds, blossoms and flowers recently. These were images from last year when we had an abundance of blossoms!
In this first image a simple photograph of crab-apple blossoms of varying hues, and stages of blooming, with a lovely bokeh in the background, I first processed this ever so slightly, in Lightroom. It didn’t really need much work in my opinion, it was a beautiful floral in pink.
On the spur of the moment one evening, I decided to turn it into a digital oil painting. Again, I used Topaz Impression and one of the Oil Painting presets as a starting point. I did a lot of experimenting with the sliders until I came up with what I feel is a lovely image that has a lot of color, depth, and a feeling of movement.
I know many of you have tried this type of processing before, and there are also some of you would never try it, as it feels to be untrue to the original photograph.
I would enjoy hearing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your processing forays and journeys.
In the end it is up to each of us to find new ways to keep inspired, to get our groove back, or maybe just try something purely for fun.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and might even be inspired to try something new yourself! 🙂