“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”

“Lighthouse and a Sub”

Have you ever been to Muskegon Michigan? Well, if not you really ought to visit this beautiful city if you are in the area!

I had the pleasure of touring the areas of both Muskegon and Grand Haven MI.  recently.

In this first image you’ll find a view of the Muskegon Pier Light, or South Pier Light from the shores of Lake Michigan through some lovely windblown sand grass. When I say windblown I mean it. The winds were pretty wild that day!

"South Pierhead Light" This beautiful red conical lighthouse stands tall in the  Harbor of Muskegon on Lake Michigan!
“South Pierhead Light” This beautiful red conical lighthouse stands tall in the Harbor of Muskegon on Lake Michigan!

The lighthouse itself was first built in 1851. It’s situated on a long pier, and is made out of cast iron. Even though it was built in the 1800’s, it wasn’t lit until 1903. It is also an impressive 48 feet tall. The original lens for the lighthouse was a fourth order Fresnal lens, but currently it uses a 300 mm acryllic lens.

I didn’t have the opportunity to walk the pier and get a closer look this time as I was headed for the USS Silversides Submarine Museum which was right down the road.

"USS Silversides" The USS Silversides submarine!  A beautiful piece of WWII history located in Muskegon Michigan!!
“USS Silversides”
The USS Silversides submarine! A beautiful piece of WWII history located in Muskegon Michigan!!

This World War II submarine is a fascinating piece of US history. The museum and vessels are wonderful for people of all ages and especially great for a young history buff who is 12 years old!

This sub, the USS Silversides was first commissioned just after the attack on Peal Harbor. The Silversides received the Presidential Unit Citations and 12 Battle Stars for her wartime service. She completed 14 combat patrols in the Pacific during World War II.

After being retired in 1946 she was sent to Chicago where she stayed being utilized by the reserves until 1987. At that time the USS Silversides was then moved to Muskegon Michigan where she is today for all to come and enjoy the experience of being in a WWII sub, and understand the history of her service and more.

I hope you enjoyed this small bit of information and these  images that are just a tiny part of Muskegon’s history!

“Grand Haven Lighthouse”

On a recent and very quick trip out to Western Michigan I had the opportunity to visit a couple of lighthouses in the area, on Lake Michigan. By the way, I love lighthouses! 🙂

Most of my short time there it was either raining, having thunderstorms, or severe wind. I had hoped for some beautiful blue skies with amazing clouds when I set out, but I had seen the forecast and didn’t have much hope. Well the clouds happened, although not quite so amazing LOL, but blue skies were hard to come by!

I happened to see an old photograph on a wall from the days of film, taken in 1950. It was of this lighthouse in Grand Haven, with large rocks in the foreground. I decided since the weather was dreary, and slightly foggy, I’d go out and try to get the vantage point that I had seen in that photo from 1950.

Obviously things have changed a bit in the landscape over these past 64 years, but I came as close as I could to it, in both position and choice of processing it in black and white.

Although not quite what I had hoped for in terms of weather, I’m still really happy I made it out there to the western side of Michigan, and hope to go back again for the tulips in Holland MI., which should be coming up pretty soon. That is, if we can get rid of this cold rainy weather! 😉

Have a great weekend everyone!

"Grand Haven Lighthouse"  Monochrome
“Grand Haven Lighthouse”
Monochrome

“Wawatam Lighthouse St. Ignace”

Ok…..Yep…..I’m still going back through images from late last summer. In fact I’m still processing images from last spring, but that’s another story altogether! Backlogged….procrastination…. 😉

This image today is from St. Ignace Michigan in the beautiful Upper Peninsula.

This lighthouse which is called the Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace, sits on Moran Bay on Lake Huron in the Straits of Mackinac.

The original location for this lighthouse was near Monroe Michigan, but had to be moved because of construction. It now sits on old railroad and ferry docks.

To me it looks beautiful against the blue sky and water. A perfect new home for this lovely lighthouse!

Located near it is a quiet beach and park. You can hear the waves lapping against the shore, the gulls making noise overhead, and feel the breeze coming in off Lake Huron.

Quite a lovely and peaceful place to just sit and relax! 🙂

Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace, Michigan.
Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace, Michigan.

“Grand Traverse Lighthouse”

I would like to say that here at the start of 2014 I am all caught up with my image processing from 2013. Well…sorry to say. I am not.

I have been busy working on other things, consequently I have just now gotten around to some images from late last spring. These were taken in the Traverse City area of Michigan. Specifically Grand Traverse Lighthouse.

The drive from Traverse City proper up to the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula is a lovely one, passing through quaint areas, and streets filled with many artsy shops.

On any other day I would have wanted to stop and enjoy what these areas have to offer, but on this morning I was trying to escape a constant light rain and heavy skies in hopes of getting to the lighthouse quickly.

I had so hoped for beautiful skies, and lovely weather, but my complete trip had been one of heavy fog, large downpours, and black flies!

If you aren’t familiar with black flies, all I can say is that for a few days each year around Lake Michigan, and I’m sure other places, they infest everything, and can easily ruin many images, as they swarm in the thousands.

So to make a long story short. I arrived at this beautiful piece of Michigan Lighthouse history (originally built in 1858) in the rain.
Not to be deterred, I headed straight for the office to get a self-guided tour of the interior of the building. Well, the sign read “closed”, my heart sank!
It wasn’t due to open for another couple of hours. I then proceeded to walk around every angle of the building and out to the shore also to get as many photos as I could.

The view of Grand Traverse Lighthouse as I walked towards it.
The view of Grand Traverse Lighthouse as I walked towards it.

I knew the light mist, and flat white sky would not play well with these images, but I wasn’t going to have another chance at it, at least not this trip.

A side view of Grand Traverse Lighthouse as seen from the shore while dodging swarms of black flies and standing on large rocks.
A side view of Grand Traverse Lighthouse as seen from the shore while dodging swarms of black flies and standing on large rocks.
 A great view of the back left hand side of the lighthouse. You can get a better sense of its size here.
A great view of the back left hand side of the lighthouse. You can get a better sense of its size here.

As I headed back out to the car, a friendly young woman came out of nowhere and offered to open the lighthouse early just for me! I was thrilled!

I was able to tour the beautiful inside, and talk at length about its history! I didn’t end up getting almost any images from the interior. I just enjoyed chatting instead.

I did get one image of the shoreline that day, as I looked through some sand grass into the foggy abyss.

A misty and moody feel, through grasses on the shore!
A misty and moody feel, through grasses on the shore!

I’m very glad that I was able to see Grand Traverse Lighthouse, no matter the rain and dreary weather. Maybe some day I’ll be able to make it there in beautiful weather, but if not, I’m alright with that!

I hope you enjoyed this little visit to a piece of Michigan history. Thanks so much for stopping by!

“Storms in Mono, Lake Michigan”

“Charlevoix Lighthouse Storm” monochrome

 Charlevoix Lighthouse Storm in monochrome
Charlevoix Lighthouse Storm in monochrome

“Wave Action” monochrome

-Wave Action- 2 mono

There’s something about storms that lend themselves well to monochrome conversion. These two images felt that way to me. Both were taken on Lake Michigan in Charlevoix.

You can feel the darkness of the sky, the mood, atmosphere, and the turbulence in the waters!

I posted one of these images on 500px if you’d like to see it there.

If you’re interested in purchasing either of these as prints of canvas, feel free to check out the website links to the side.

Enjoy some deep, dark, moodiness! 😉

“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

“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-

“Forgotten Spiral”

I love spiral staircases, and don’t often see them. The huge lavish type are a whole different story. I hope to see some of those and photograph them some day!!
These spirals are from an historic lighthouse, a lovely old one, and are really showing their age. The metal spiral stairs that were at one time painted a bright white have become rusty, well worn and dirty over time.
I decided to process this image in keeping with the total feeling of the lighthouse. It brings out even more of that beautiful old historic and worn feel!

The beauty of old spiral stairs!
The beauty of old spiral stairs!