“It Still Feels Like Summer”

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, Β 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.

 

"Agawa Bay Rocky Shore" Beautiful and scenic Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada!
“Agawa Bay Rocky Shore”
Beautiful and scenic Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada!

 

"Chippewa Falls and River" A summertime view of Chippewa Falls in Ontario, Canada!
“Chippewa Falls and River”
A summertime view of Chippewa Falls in Ontario, Canada!

 

"Chippewa Falls" Mono A Beautiful long exposure of a section of Chippewa Falls, processed in black and white!
“Chippewa Falls” Mono
A Beautiful long exposure of a section of Chippewa Falls, processed in black and white!

 

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! πŸ™‚

I hope you’ve enjoyed the images. As always, these photographs and many many more are all on my websites, and available for purchase as Β prints, canvas prints, and more! Check them out here.Β http://rcnaturephotos.pixels.com/Β andΒ www.rachelcohenphotography.com

 

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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.Β 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! πŸ™‚

 

"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!

“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…. πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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

“What’s Left of What Was”

"Walls of Lake Ontario" Beautiful stone walls from what is left of the Olcott Hotel. An historic hotel that was a popular place to stay in the early 1900's, in this area of Lake Ontario. The Great Depression and other factors caused it to be torn down in 1937. In its grander times It had 100 rooms, a ball room, and a great dining hall.  These beautiful stone walls give you a glimpse of what the hotel patrons must have seen! I would say Lovely! :)
“Wall of Lake Ontario” 

 

Beautiful stone walls from what is left of the Olcott Hotel. An historic hotel that was a popular place to stay in the early 1900’s in this area of Lake Ontario. The Great Depression and other factors caused it to be torn down in 1937. In its grander times It had 100 rooms, a ball room, and a great dining hall.
These beautiful stone walls give you a glimpse of what the hotel patrons must have seen! I’d say Lovely! πŸ™‚

"Olcott Park Vista"  Another view of Olcott Park and its historic stone walls as you gaze out onto Lake Ontario.

“Olcott Park Vista”
Another view of Olcott Park and its historic stone walls as you gaze out onto Lake Ontario.

"Old Oak Tree" One of the huge and grand trees still left on what was the hotel property, as well as the continuation of the beautiful walls and vista!  I can just imagine what it must have been like to have been staying in this spectacular hotel with amazing amenities, access to the beach below, and views that go on forever!  A lovely thought to hold onto! :)
“Old Oak Tree”
One of the huge and grand trees still left on what was the hotel property, as well as the continuation of the beautiful walls and vista!
I can just imagine what it must have been like to have been staying in this spectacular hotel with amazing amenities, access to the beach below, and views that go on forever!
A lovely thought to hold onto! πŸ™‚

“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!! πŸ™‚

“Munising Falls” 2

Munising Falls

“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

“Bridge to Canada”

Believe it or not. For some reason, until this year. I had never taken the time to visit Niagara Falls. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. For sure you can see that the Canadian side is much more built up, and has a myriad of opportunities for activity, nightlife, dining, hotels etc.

What surprised me though was the raw natural beauty and the hidden gem of what used to be, but has somehow become forgotten on the american side. Although I did see some renovations going on, and some areas that looked newly renovated!

There were people there from all over the country, and the world in general. There were also a lot of Canadians coming across to get a look at the U.S. side, and to see their side from our point of view.

The image here is of the Rainbow Bridge to Canada. It was viewed from a tall platform above the Niagara River. You can get a sense of the beauty of the river, the bridge, and the activities on the Canadian side.

What you don’t see here is the immense beauty of the actual falls, and the other nature surrounding them on the U.S. side.

I’ll be giving you a taste of that sometime in the future.

Have a wonderful weekend to all!! πŸ™‚

“Bridge to Canada”

-Bridge to Canada-
Bridge over the Niagara River.

“Long Sunset”

Hi everyone, it’s been a busy past few weeks for me, so now that I have a breather, I thought I’d sit down a write a post. Today I was processing some images. I decided just for fun, to take one unedited image and process it 3 different ways just to change it up a slight bit.

The first photo is the unedited version. This was a quick grab for me. I was trying to find a spot a along Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, that had a view to the west. When I finally found it, the sun was just about to set completely. I jumped out of the car and ran towards the water. I only got in a few shots before the sun was gone!

The colors did continue to become more and more beautiful though, as they went through their changes moving into the night!

That of course is not what this post is about. It’s about one image and a little bit of play.

You’ll notice the colors here are nice, but not very bright. The foreground is pretty dark, and there were some small rocks in the shallow parts of the water.

Unedited version of “Long Sunset”

-Long Sunset- un-edited

In this next image I decided to go with a bit of a more purple cast. I used a combination of Lightroom , and Nik Color Efex Pro to make these changes in this and in the other two images. The changes were very simple, so I won’t go into detail. This post is more about the images themselves and not how they got that way.

-Long Sunset-

Here, you’ll notice more of a warm cast, I’d call peach. I also removed the small rocks in the foreground.

-Long Sunset- 2

Finally in this last image I went a bit wild, and brought out a lot of warmth and a bright yellow cast. I also removed some of the noise in this one, even though I had already taken some out by the original processing in Nik. In my opinion this one, instead of being a sunset, it seemed to take on the appearance of a sunrise by lightening up the foreground more, and the intense hues I gave it. See if it makes you feel that way too.

-Long Sunset- 3

Obviously this isn’t a “How to”, but I thought it might be fun to just take a simple sunset, and see where you could go with it, without going totally out of the realm of reality.

Of course for the person that doesn’t believe in any processing at all, this is already way over the top! πŸ˜‰

I hope you enjoyed this post, and enjoyed the slight difference in each image. Have a great weekend everyone!! πŸ™‚

“Walking Grand Marais”

Hi everyone. I think I’ll call this talk-less Tuesday! A short post! πŸ˜‰

This beautiful walkway, or boardwalk out to the shores along Lake Superior was a lovely surprise to me. Heading up all around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I decided to take a more scenic and longer route from Sault Saint Marie to Munising. Part of that way included passing through Grand Marais MI.

I drove straight up through the tiny quaint and charming town to this spot. I took a few shots, and spent some time walking around the beach. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool, and the water crystal clear, and blue!!

All in all a lovely place and a beautiful scene!! πŸ™‚

“Walking Grand Marais”

-Walking Grand Marais-

“The Cool of the Evening”

This image speaks for itself, so my words will be few. This is one of the images from my series “Sunsets over Water”. When looking for a title, the first thing that popped into my mind was the first words in a song “In the cool of the evening” by Dusty Springfield.

Now the rest of the lyrics in that song seem in no way related to this serene image, as you may know. The evening though, when this was taken was COOL and peaceful.

So I just started singing this song, and the next thing you know. There’s the title!

Relax, gaze into this soothing sunset from Northern Michigan, and enjoy!!

Pure Michigan Sunset
Pure Michigan Sunset