“Lake Michigan in Monochrome”

In these three images you’ll see Lake Michigan and parts of sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore in monochrome form. With the very blue skies and blue water that particular day, they made beautiful black and white conversions in my opinion. The first image gives a hint of mystery in its minimalism.

"Esch Beach Path Mono" A beautiful black and white version of a scene at Esch Beach near empire Michigan!
“Esch Beach Path Mono”
A beautiful black and white version of a scene at Esch Beach near empire Michigan!

This second photograph leads you right out onto Esch Beach to Lake Michigan through the sandy path that’s lined with sand grass.

 

"On the Horizon" Gazing out at the horizon on Lake Michigan from Overlook #9 on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore!
“On the Horizon”
Gazing out at the horizon on Lake Michigan from Overlook #9 on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore!

This third image from overlook #9 on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is full of beautiful lines, and angles as you gaze further out onto Lake Michigan, the horizon, and skies beyond!

 

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“Covered Bridge”

 

These two photographs are of the lovely covered bridge on Pierce Stocking Drive located in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore. They were both made in early autumn when most of the trees were still full with green foliage. You’ll notice just a few with a bit of color change.

Whenever I’m in the Traverse City area of Michigan, I always head out to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and to Pierce Stocking Drive. It’s always beautiful no matter the time of year!

These two images are at slightly different angle from each other, and one is processed to give it a bit more of a magical feel!

Do you like one better than the other? Is it the angle, the processing, or both? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 

"Through the Covered Bridge" The same beautiful covered bridge but with a bit of a magical air to it!
“Through the Covered Bridge”
The same beautiful covered bridge but with a bit of a magical air to it!

“In Fog and Mist”

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! 😉

"Lake of the Clouds in Mist" A foggy, misty, and rainy day at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains of MI.
“Lake of the Clouds in Mist”
A foggy, misty, and rainy day at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains of MI.

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!

"Lake Plumbago Dream" Beautiful Lake Plumbago on a misty and foggy day. The reflections were amazing though!
“Lake Plumbago Dream”
Beautiful Lake Plumbago on a misty and foggy day. The reflections were amazing though!

 

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!

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“The Reckoning in Gray”

This past autumn during a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I had the opportunity to witness one really beautiful afternoon and a stunning sunset in Marquette. The rest of my days in the UP. this time were filled with lots of rain, fog and clouds.
This was the one and only afternoon that I witnessed the sky change dramatically every few minutes! The clouds split the sky into darkness and light. The title of The Reckoning felt just right for this image!
For fun, I processed it in both color and black and white. The monochrome version has a much more dramatic feel to it, while the blue hues create a more peaceful scene.  I hope you enjoy both.

"The Reckoning in Blue" Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.
“The Reckoning in Blue”
Beautiful blues and silhouette on Lake Superior as sunset approaches.

As with almost all of my images they can be purchased as beautiful prints or canvas, and are available for licensing as well. For purchasing info click here

Thanks for stopping by!

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“2015 My Year in Review”

Here we are at the end of 2015, and what a year it’s been! As I’ve done for the past four years in a row, I am posting my favorite images of this past year. Not necessarily the best, but my personal faves. It was hard to narrow it down to only ten, but I finally did after a lot of going back and forth. These are not in any particular order and are of several different subjects. I hope you enjoy them! If you would like to look at my 2014 year in review you can check that out here. Best of 2014

Jim Goldstein in his Blog Project has hosted the year in review or top 10 images on his blog for a number of years, and I always look forward to it!  There are photographers from all around the world with amazing images! I hope you’ll check out his blog and take a look at the wonderful array of photographers and gather inspiration from their images! His post should be up in the early part of January 2016!

"Kayaking at Miners Falls" Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!
“Kayaking at Miners Falls”
Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!

 

"Great Lakes Autumn Waves" A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!
“Great Lakes Autumn Waves”
A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!

 

"One Very Fine Day" This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!
“One Very Fine Day”
This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!

 

"Life is But a Dream" This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!
“Life is But a Dream”
This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!

 

 

"My Sweet Lady" This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!
“My Sweet Lady”
This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!

 

"Grape Hyacinth"2 One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!
“Grape Hyacinth”2
One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!

 

"Beautiful Cedar Falls" I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!
“Beautiful Cedar Falls”
I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!

 

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray" This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”
This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!

 

"Sweet Potato Mash" I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!
“Sweet Potato Mash”
I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!

 

"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh- nature abstracts this year!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh-licious abstracts this year!

 

As we end this year and head into 2016, I’d like to wish everyone and their families all the best in the New Year. I wish you all good health, good times, plenty of adventures and family to enjoy it with!

I’ll end 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 ~

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“Delicious Autumn”

In what I consider to be the most glorious and delicious of all seasons, autumn!  I’ve chosen quite a few lovely quotes about fall and added some of my recent photographs.

The first image is from the shores of Lake Superior with the leaves in an early state of change, the winds blowing strongly and waves rolling in, crashing against the rock and shoreline!

The second image is from an early morning walk with the sunlight shining brightly through the myriad of colorful leaves on the ground!

Enjoy the images and quotes below!

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Elliot ~

“Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.” ~ Leo Tolstoy ~ as said to Nikolay Strakhov

"Great Lakes Autumn Waves"
“Great Lakes Autumn Waves”

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~ Jim Bishop ~

“..I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~

"Of Light and Leaves"
“Of Light and Leaves”

“Just after the death of the flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season,
When nature is all aglow—
Aglow with a mystical splendour
That rivals the brightness of spring,
Aglow with a beauty more tender
Than aught which fair summer could bring….”
~ Emeline B. Smith ~

“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day!
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree…”
~ Emily Brontë ~

 

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“Colors of Sunrise and Sunset”

I always enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset, especially over a body of water. The clouds and colorful hues are reflected on the surface making it absolutely glorious! Scroll down to see two sunset and one sunrise image from this summer on two of the Great Lakes.

I’ve also included several quotes on the topic of sunrise and sunset. Enjoy!

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”
~ George R.R. Martin ~

"Spectacular Sunset" An amazing sunset on glassy waters of Lake Michigan!
“Spectacular Sunset”
An amazing sunset on glassy waters of Lake Michigan!

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
~ Jo Walton ~
“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”
~ Vera Nazarian ~

"Dawn's First Light" A Soothing and peaceful sunrise on Lake Huron!
“Dawn’s First Light”
A Soothing and peaceful sunrise on Lake Huron!

“The blue of daylight
fades and chills as the sun sinks
beneath clouds of fire.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich ~

“The sunset was a splendid display. I wondered if it was showing off for my benefit or if it was often that spectacular. Rarely had I seen such a gorgeous scene; the riotous colors flamed out over the sky in shades that I had no words to describe. Birds sang their last songs of the day before tucking in for the night, and still the darkness hung back. Now, I thought, I understand the word “twilight.” It was created for just this time – in this land.”
~ Janette Oke ~

"Magnificent Sunset" Another gorgeous sunset from Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula!
“Magnificent Sunset”
Another gorgeous sunset from Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula!

“But even the longest day wears to sunset.”
~ Marion Zimmer Bradley ~

Barns and Wildflowers

Driving past huge fields of wildflowers on a dirt road in Superior Township, Michigan, I stopped abruptly and just gazed in amazement! After my initial gasp of happiness, I continued to drive for a few yards when I saw a sign that said “Conservancy Farm”. I turned right away into the gravel driveway and parked behind the beautiful old farmhouse that serves as the Conservancy office.

There were acres and acres of wildflowers and wild grasses growing all around the property.  All are either native to the local area, or if not, will soon be removed as to keep out invasive species of plants.

This first image is from inside of one of the fields. I stood chest high among these beauties with birds flying past me in the gorgeous summer sky! Wildflowers surrounded me in every direction! What a glorious feeling!

"Watch the Wildflowers Grow"  Millions of amazing wildflowers on acres of land and the Conservancy Farm in Superior Township, Michigan!
“Watch the Wildflowers Grow”
Millions of amazing wildflowers on acres of land and the Conservancy Farm in Superior Township, Michigan!

There are many out buildings and barns located on the Conservancy land. This one is a smaller wooden structure that is pretty much surrounded and being swallowed by lots of tall native grasses and plants! I think it’s beautiful against the wonderful wildflowers and billowy summer sky!

"Barn Among the Wildflowers" A small and gently declining old barn nestled among wild grasses with fields of various wildflowers blooming in the background!
“Barn Among the Wildflowers”
A small and gently declining old barn nestled among wild grasses with fields of various wildflowers blooming in the background!

If you take a walk way out behind the barns, you’ll find several fenced off areas that are gardening plots for some of the township citizens. The whole area is intermixed with more lovely wildflowers. You can see the back of the main red barn and silo as well as a Red-Winged Blackbird and loads more flowers.

"Red Barn and Wildflowers" The largest barn and silo as viewed from the back with wildflowers everywhere.
“Red Barn and Wildflowers”
The largest barn and silo as viewed from the back with wildflowers everywhere.

Finally this last image is actually one of the first things you’ll see right after you park behind the farmhouse. Maybe I should have put this image first, but anyway here you’ll notice the original log cabin that housed the people who used to farm this land a long time ago. The wonderful and large red barn with the silo sits off to the side and makes quite a presence. A picnic table on the neatly mowed green grass is a great place to take a break from gardening to have a snack or tall glass of lemonade, or to just sit at and admire the beauty that surrounds this wonderful location!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images of a lovely summer day at a wonderful pure Michigan location!

"Log Cabin and Barn" The original cabin that housed the owners of this land in the beginning. Now it is sandwiched between a large red barn and a smaller out building.
“Log Cabin and Barn” The original cabin that housed the owners of this land in the beginning. Now it is sandwiched between a large red barn and a smaller out building.

“Peonies at Nichols Arboretum”

I’d like to share with you one of my favorite times of year at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The time when The Peony Gardens come to life!

In early June, depending on the weather, these beautiful show stoppers begin to make their appearance. For the next couple of weeks you’ll have the opportunity to stroll through and enjoy these gorgeous peonies!

Below you’ll find a few of my images of the Peonies at Nichols Arboretum with a brief description underneath.

I have many more photos of peonies of every variety in my online galleries if you’d like to take a look!

Flowers and Wildflowers

and even more images at: Flowers

"Dusted in Yellow" Beautiful red peonies with a large golden center, fully opened to the morning sunlight!
“Dusted in Yellow”
Beautiful red peonies with a large golden center, fully opened to the morning sunlight!
"Nestled Peonies" A lovely group of pink peonies nestled within their green foliage!
“Nestled Peonies”
A lovely group of pink peonies nestled within their green foliage!
"Pink Sorbet" That's what this gorgeous puffy and full blossom reminds me of. I also love the mottled pink color, not found in other peonies that I've seen before!
“Pink Sorbet”
That’s what this gorgeous puffy and full blossom reminds me of. I also love the mottled pink color, not found in other peonies that I’ve seen before!
"Ahead of the Crowd" Lovely light pink and peonies with ruffled petals against a background of white peonies!
“Ahead of the Crowd”
Lovely light pink peonies with ruffled petals against a background of white peonies!
"Peony Garden Stroll" Some peony admirers strolling through the Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor Michigan!
“Peony Garden Stroll”
Some peony admirers strolling through the Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor Michigan!

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through a very special place, and time of year! A morning of Peonies at Nichols Arboretum!

“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”

All I can say about this winter so far is, BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! Brrrrr, it’s truly amazing how many records of low-lows, low-highs, and snow we’ve had over a large portion of the United States this year!

I really haven’t been out and participated in as many winter activities this year, or last year for that matter as I normally would have. Maybe I’ll still have time to get in some skiing before the season ends. We’ll see! 🙂

I did decide to go out into the crazy cold weather for a sunset a couple of days ago along the Huron River. While waiting for the clouds to break up and for some color to begin, I found some nice rocks and ice just under and a bit out from the water flow of a small dam.

There were whole areas that were frozen, but in general this section still had water flowing over the dam. The area of the Huron river above the dam appears totally covered in ice, but obviously there is still some water flowing, albeit a lot less than in warmer weather.

I began photographing single rocks with ice, and ice formations only, which were in the opposite direction, then I just took my time enjoying making some long exposures of the water flow. The sunset had decidedly become a dud. Thick clouds had pretty much taken over everything.

A flock of ducks flew into the area at one point just bobbing around in the water, and occasionally hopping up on the rocks.

In this frame, the sun had already set, so it was pretty dark outside. The water was flowing nicely, and a couple of ducks at either end of the image were making their ghostly appearance. Some of the rocks and stones had “hats” of snow on them and ice hanging from around them. The whole scene just had a nice feel to it.

I stayed for a good 30 minutes just making long exposures, one composition after another. At the time I wasn’t feeling the cold and wind of the heavy winter temps outside. That changed though after I headed up the hill towards the car. I guess I had been partially protected from the winds where I was before. Boy did I feel it after I arrived at the car!

I started thinking on the way home……..maybe I’ll go somewhere and do some floral photography until winter finishes! 😉

"Winter's Ghostly Flow"
“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”