“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”

“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.

“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

“Munising Falls”

What do you do when you’re at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore and it rains the whole time your there?

I had originally planned on taking in the beautiful deep turquoise and aqua hued waters of Lake Superior. Enjoying the intense colors and vast vistas against the wonderful rock formations of Pictured Rocks.

But that wasn’t the way it went. So when things don’t go as planned, do you just through in the towel? Do you lounge around your hotel room watching longingly out the window for the weather to change, or sit in your tent, wishing you were back home?

Well, if you do, you shouldn’t! You just need to be prepared for all types of weather, not only with your gear, but in your mind!

Just go out and photograph what you can when the weather is dark, skies are overcast, and rain is coming down whether it is a drizzle or heavy rainfall!

In this case here, I ended up spending several days taking in many of the beautiful waterfalls in the Munising area. Cloudy days are perfect for waterfalls. You don’t have to try and deal with the deep contrast of light and shadow that you would have to on bright sunny days.

Just make sure to bring a sturdy tripod, some type of waterproof camera cover, many micro-fiber lens cleaning cloths, and maybe a good pair of boots!

In wet weather a good rain sleeve for your camera is the best idea, but in a pinch you can always use shower caps from the hotel, or a couple of plastic bags secured with duct tape.

Don’t let the weather keep you from getting out and doing what you love! Don’t let it keep you from taking advantage of your photography trip, or your long awaited vacation.

Get out there and have fun no matter what the skies may bring!! 🙂

“Munising Falls” 2

Munising Falls

“Flowers and Stone”

Flowers and stone
Spring dreams

Tumbled boulders
Timeless past

Season’s renewal
Wildflowers sprout

Perhaps unnoticed
Perchance to be seen

I have noticed
I have climbed

Life ever changing
Reaching new heights

Flowers and stone
Of God’s Gifts
We do delight

by Rachel Cohen

“Sunset’s Path”

I grabbed this shot a few weeks ago when we had quite a bit of snow. It’s a seemingly strange angle for a sunset, but I wanted to get the rocks and all the snow on the lake in the frame with the warm glow that was cast all around from the sun. I used my Canon 10-22mm lens for this image.

The timing for the beauty of this sunset was so fleeting! I grabbed as many shots as I could from every angle. I really like this one as something a bit different. You can see deep footprints in the snow that went all along the edge of the lake, and the sun at a very low angle, just ready to dip down below the trees.

For those of you who didn’t get much snow this year, or for those that just can’t get enough winter. Well here’s some winter for you, with an added touch of golden warmth!!

Enjoy! 🙂

Warmth of winter sunset!
Warmth of winter 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”

“My Ten Favorite Images from 2012”

This year has be an interesting one for me. I had the chance to do more travelling than usual, which gave me many more photographic opportunities. Sometimes though it’s the images you take that are close to home that you end up liking the best. Here are ten images mostly from the late summer through autumn that I like the best. I have many more that I could say the same for, but for the sake of brevity I will limit it to Ten. The images are in no particular order. Enjoy!

A stormy day on Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear  Dunes National Lake Shore.
A stormy day on Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.
Upper Tahquamenon Falls in early autumn.
In Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Upper Tahquamenon Falls in early autumn.
In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
A stormy windy day on Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.
A stormy windy day on Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.
Loving the beauty of early autumn on a scenic rural road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Loving the beauty of early autumn on a scenic rural road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Beautiful reflections along an inland lake.
Beautiful reflections along an inland lake.
Beautiful Arch Rock on Mackinac Island. 
Girls down below are writing messages with rocks.
Beautiful Arch Rock on Mackinac Island.
Girls down below are writing messages with rocks.
Shimmering sunrise on Lake Huron with Mackinac Island in silhouette.
Shimmering sunrise on Lake Huron with Mackinac Island in silhouette.
Gorgeous fall foliage on a beautiful winding rural road.
Gorgeous fall foliage on a beautiful winding rural road.
Loving the rails on a stormy autumn day.
Loving the rails on a stormy autumn day.
Gazing across one lake, through fall foliage, over Lake Superior, and onto Canada.
Gazing across one lake, through fall foliage, over Lake Superior, and onto Canada.

After going through so many images, it was really difficult to decide, and had to leave out many that I would have liked to include. You can find links on this blog to my sites and where to view more images.
Best wishes to everyone, both now and in the coming year!!!