“Best of 2019”

Here we are again as 2019 draws to a close. As has been customary for many years now I would like to share with you some of my favorite photographs of the year.

I don’t usually have them in any particular order, but this year I arranged them by season. Beginning with a stunning but very cold sunrise from Lake Ontario during winter, and ending with some wonderful fall color in Michigan this autumn!

For many years now I’ve participated in Jim Goldstein’s annual “Best of” Project. I appreciate Jim hosting this on his blog each year, giving photographers the chance to share their “best of” or favorite images of the year.

These are just a few of my favorite images of this year, I hope you enjoy this short trip through the seasons of 2019 with me!

“Lake Ontario Morning Reflections”
A gorgeous winter sunrise along the shores of Lake Ontario!
“Foggy Spring Forest”
During a spring visit to Shenandoah National Park I enjoyed some amazing mountain views, but I especially enjoyed some lovely and mysterious fog on a walk into the forest!
“Magnificent Sunrise Silhouette 2”
Absolutely stunning sunrise and this beautiful tree in silhouette on the shores of Lake Ontario in late spring! A tree that I returned to many times as winter’s bare branches turned into full spring foliage.
“Tew Falls View Two”
This view of Tew Falls in Ontario, Canada was especially beautiful to me because of all the lush green foliage at the time.
“Fifty Point Marina Reflections”
I spent many days at Fifty Point Conservation Area near Hamilton, Ontario during late spring and early summer. The reflections on this day at Fifty Point Marina were lovely!
“Rock Garden Spring”
Another place that I spent countless hours at during spring and summer this year was The Rock Garden at The Royal Botanical Gardens. So lovely and peaceful. I explored every nook and cranny, and could do it again and again and never be tired of the beauty! Here you’ll see wonderful reflections of spring foliage and color.
“Marquette Harbor Lighthouse 2”
I love to walk on the beaches of Marquette, Michigan. The light was really beautiful on this particular morning and shed a warm glow on the sand, trees, and lighthouse!
“Canyon Falls Summer”
Photographing waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a favorite activity of mine, and this year I thoroughly enjoyed photographing Canyon Falls on a drizzly warm summer’s day!
“A Presque Isle Morning”
The rock formations combined with the changing colors of Lake Superior at Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan are always amazing to me. This was an early summer morning, and the warm glow of sun hitting the rocks, the bright green evergreen trees in the distance set against the beautiful blue skies made this a keeper for me!
“Maybury Sanatorium”
I had the opportunity to enjoy peak fall foliage in Maybury State Park in an area that used to be part of the grounds of Maybury Sanatorium.

I thank you all for stopping by and checking out my favorite images of 2019! I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy, prosperous, and adventurous 2020!

“The World in Monochrome”

Well I can’t believe it’s already June! Spring is almost gone, and summer just around the corner! I’ve had the opportunity to do a bit of traveling recently so I’m sorry if my posts have been a bit infrequent. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back into a better schedule pretty soon!

I’m usually a person who tends more towards colorful images as most of you may have noticed. In this post though I decided to convert a few of my more recent images to monochrome. They definitely take on a bit more moody feel.

It’s not that I don’t like working in black and white, I do, I love it, and sometimes it’s really the only way to go.  These images below work well in both black and white, and color in my opinion.

Here in this post you’ll find the monochrome conversions. If you’d like to see the color versions, check out  —>“Old Man’s Cave Upper Falls”  here.

"Old Man's Cave Upper Falls" B&W
“Old Man’s Cave Upper Falls” monochrome

For the color version of “Dappled Forest Magic” check it out here. —> “Dappled Forest Magic”

"Dappled Forest Magic" monochrome
“Dappled Forest Magic” monochrome

I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather, and making some fun travel plans for the summer!

“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……..

“Cucumber Falls”

We’re going back again to Ohiopyle State Park in this image, to Cucumber Falls. Located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, this spot is a popular place to visit. So popular that it is sometimes hard not to find people in the water below the falls in the hot summer months.

It took quite a bit of time to not only have the waterfall seemingly to myself, but to also have a relatively even lighting situation.

I have photographed these falls on several occasions. The dappled and sometimes harsh lighting conditions can be difficult during most of the day.

I was able to take advantage of the morning light this particular visit, and was really happy that I did.

It really is a feast for the senses. You can hear the roar of the water as it comes over the rocky ledge to the pool below.  Next you feel the coolness of the air from the spray of the falls and the darkness of the deep woods. Lastly you can smell the heavy scent of earthiness from the damp dirt to the abundant moss and lichen that cover the rocks below.

There’s just nothing like being able to get out into nature. Whether it is a short walk in a small garden to smell the flowers, a strenuous hike in a mountainous area, or something in-between like the enjoyment of a beautiful waterfall.

For me I feel the need to get out every day, to see and feel the beauty that is all around. We can all do that, no matter where we are. It is a must for my soul, and you may feel the same way too.

Tell me about the way you enjoy the simple things in nature, what feeds your soul!

"Dreamy Cucumber Falls"
“Dreamy Cucumber Falls”

“Meadow Run”

I’ve been talking a lot about Michigan lately, so I thought I’d take you to a different area of the country. Not too far away though.

This post brings us to one of my favorite places to go and just get away for some peace and quiet. As long as it’s not summertime mind you! 😉 Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle PA.

I love the Laurel Highlands area for its beautiful forests, hiking trails, waterfalls, fast moving rivers and streams and more!

This image is from a wonderful area that is covered with trees, amazing rock formations, and rapidly flowing water called Meadow Run.

In early to late spring and also in autumn, you can quite often find this place all to yourself, or just maybe another photographer or two. In the warm weather especially after school lets out, and during the weekends it becomes another world. These rock formations below the water turn Meadow Run into a long water slide for the very daring.

I myself choose the quiet times like what you see here. In the late afternoon when the dappled light has faded and and a slight darkness comes upon the area, I can sit and breath in the beauty of nature. I can take my time setting up my tripod, and calmly go from one location to another looking for each new composition.

Just picture yourself  here. Have a seat on one of the many rocky ledges. Watch the rapidly moving water flow, and feel the spray when it crashes against the rock formations along the way. Enjoy the feel of cool air as it rustles through the early spring leaves. When it gets a bit darker you might even catch a glimpse of a few deer moving through the forest.

I invite you into this peaceful frame. Take a minute to relax while gazing at the scene, and while your at it, try imagining the sounds of nature that surround you!

Enjoy!

"Meadow Run" Ohiopyle State Park, PA.
“Meadow Run”
Ohiopyle State Park, PA.

“Time Well Spent”

When I think of time spent out in nature, to me it’s time well spent. On one of my visits into Shenandoah National Park. I stopped at the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center.

It was really quiet. There had been storms and fog, in and out of the area that day, so there weren’t many people there. The ones that were there had a lovely scenic vista and relative peace and quiet!

This view caught my eye, I really wanted to get the bench into the scene. I waited to see if I would be able to capture it without anyone there, but that didn’t happen during my short time at Dickey Ridge. I needed to move on down the road to some trails that were calling my name! 🙂 I decided to capture this scene with one person sitting enjoying a bite to eat, taking in the fresh mountain air, and scenic view. Another person off to the side readied herself to take some photos without feeling hurried by other people, just taking it all in.

I rarely include people in my images, but in this instance I’m really glad that I did. They add a dimension to the photo that makes it more complete.

As we head into the last stretches of summer, into the fall season. I find myself still processing images from springtime.

So enjoy spring in my images now, and summer outdoors while it’s still here. For soon I shall be posting lots of autumn wonder, and fall foliage!! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend ahead to all!!

-Time Well Spent-

“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!

“Across Two Lakes”

While up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan earlier this fall. I spent a lot of time driving around wherever the roads took me. I don’t even know the name of the first lake in this image because I decided to turn onto a dirt road that obviously only went in one direction (not made for two-way traffic), that took me winding and weaving to the top of a huge hill(small mountain).
The overlook was amazing. The time of day for the direction I was facing wasn’t the best, but you could see for miles and miles!! The woods that surrounded the first lake were just beginning to show some gorgeous fall color. As you look past that you can see a section of Lake Superior, then further on you can see part of Canada. What a view!!
The sky didn’t have much drama in it at the time, but I can just imagine this scene with a storm approaching from the northwest! Ooooh, that’s an idea!! Next time I’m up that way, I’ll make it a point to head over there in bad weather! 😉

I can see for miles and miles!!

“Winds on Waters Deep”

In my autumn travels in the often hurried and mad search for color I came upon this area of a large lake. I had to stop the car quite a ways off and walk down a country road to be able to get in a few shots.
The whole area is miles and miles of lake, some quite wide and deep, other areas becoming more narrow like a river mouth.
I loved this section here because of the beautiful tall grasses that line the shoreline, and the starting of autumnal color. It happened to be quite a windy day which isn’t my favorite photography weather, but it did lend itself nicely to the movement of the grasses!
I hope to be able to locate this place again in the wintertime. I imagine the lake will be beautiful frozen over with ice, and the trees laden with snow!

Lovely autumn lakeside scene!

“When Fall Was Young”

The beauty of early autumn along the shores of lake Michigan.
The beauty of autumn when it first begins! This tree stands short, and strong in the heavy winds along Lake Michigan. Fall color has just begun in that area at the time, but if you love trees you’ll find the beauty in them no matter what time of year! Call me a Tree Lover! 😉