“The Beginning and End”

Last month on a fall color trip I got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and sunset on two of the Great Lakes.

What a soothing and peaceful sunrise I had this day on Lake Huron! The only sounds to be heard were of gulls, ducks, and geese as they appeared on the scene as daylight broke! This was the beginning.

"Peace at Sunrise"
“Peace at Sunrise”

After a day of hunting for scenic places with fall color I went out along Lake Michigan for a sunset. It was what I call a nearly endless sunset. It didn’t get going with much color at first, but when it did, it didn’t want to stop! I stayed photographing the color until I knew I really had to leave. Even after I left the scene I had a hard time keeping my eye off of the side and rear view mirror as the color kept changing!

Red Sky at Night.
Red Sky at Night.

You know what they say about Red Sky at Night? A sailors delight! I have to say that it was for sure, the night was clear and the waters smooth. The next day also brought beautiful clear weather. I guess the mariners of old knew their skies! 🙂

“As the World Turns”

"As the World Turns" mono
“As the World Turns” mono

Recently I read about a challenge to photographers to write a 1,000 word blog post about only one image. To describe it without adding in camera or lens info.

Well I’m not actually joining the challenge, but I thought it was interesting. I have no idea how much I could actually say about any one image.

Many photographers are fantastic writers, and give in depth important information not only about their image but possibly the city, their trip, the country, the processing, the environment or ecology etc.

For me I’m more likely to slip into a creative mood and write poetry to go with my images. Lately I haven’t been in one of those more creative times though. I know, everyone goes through it, there’s always an ebb and flow.

Tonight I’m not in a poetic mood, but I can see where this photo could be a lead into some nice moody poetry.

To see this image larger just click on it. I hope you can get the feel of drama and motion I experienced on this very turbulent day on Lake Michigan.

As I drove down US 2, on the southern part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I noticed the skies start to become much more dramatic. I had left behind a dull, flat, cloudy sky in Munising MI. By the time I reached areas of accessible shoreline I knew I just had to pull over. I was afraid these gorgeous churning skies would soon disappear, and that would have been a shame.

The winds were blowing at a steady 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 45. I grabbed my gear and headed towards the beach. When I passed through all of the sand grass on the dunes I noticed that there wasn’t even enough beach there to actually set up my gear. The water was so high and waves coming in so quickly that I decided to stay up in the tall grassy area on the small dunes.

I got quite a few frames from many different angles. I knew at that time with the clouds as beautiful as they were I would want to process these not only in color, but as monochrome also.

To give you a feel of what it was like that day I first have to say that it was invigorating! The temperatures were on the chilly side, but not freezing. The winds were so strong that I had a hard time standing upright at times. The sound of the waves as they came crashing ashore was all I could hear, which was pretty nice. The dark clouds in the sky changed by the minute, and the few gulls that were in the area seemed to float on the wind, not being able to fly well or even make much headway in the strong gusts!

I stayed out on the dunes in the sand grass for only a short while, but I’m so glad that I did. Firstly it was extremely beautiful. Second it was life affirming, and third I would not have wanted to miss the images I was able to get.

I spent a couple of weekends in the UP this fall, having gone there for fall foliage and waterfalls. I saw and photographed lots of beautiful autumn color.  I also came away with some beautiful Great Lakes images like this one, I’ll be sharing some of them here with you over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy it!

If you were able to get this far in the post please leave me a note or give me a like. I’d be interested to see how many people actually took the time to read this. I can see now at least for me 1,000 words is not a short post. I haven’t reached it LOL, but I’ll leave off here any way!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

“Sunset on Ice Fields”

Recently on a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I was taken by surprise at all of the ice still remaining on Lake Superior.

The weather on my second day there turned unseasonably warm, which happened to be the case the day I took this sunset.

On certain areas of Lake Superior you can only see ice in the far distance, in other places you are actually able to still stand on thick chunks that are floating around closer to the shore.

The day before I took this image the whole bay was a mass of floating icebergs, ranging in size from many feet wide to a few inches in width. The depth could also be 1-3 feet for those that I could see. I’m sure much larger for those in the middle of each of the Great Lakes.

I was really hoping to get some sunset images through the icebergs with loads of golden color. Well, that didn’t happen because on the next evening I arrived to find much of the ice that had been close to the shore previously, no longer there. The warm southern winds had blown it further out in the water. Only a few chunks remained close to where I was standing.

The temperatures that day had reached the upper 80’s with plenty of haze and humidity, as well as a ton of black flies and mosquitoes. Consequently the sunset was not quite what I had hoped for yet it was really colorful and quite long lasting.

This frame is one of the later ones from that night, towards the end of sunset. The colors were still strong at the time, and the ice fields visible in the distance. You can also notice a few smaller pieces of ice closer to the shore.

The funny thing to me was knowing that here in late May, there were still many remnants of this winters extremely cold weather all around me.

I’m sure that there will be ice somewhere on Lake Superior for another month or two!

Enjoy this extremely simple image, and view of color and ice in a time that you wouldn’t normally expect it!

"Sunset on Ice Fields"
“Sunset on Ice Fields”

“The Answer is Blowin in the Wind”

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind…..

The answer is carried on a strong wind as it blows through tall grasses along the shores of Lake Michigan. Streams of white and blue swirl through the sky as if to say we are going in our own direction.

Streaming, swirling, waves a pounding.

Grasses wild, clouds surrounding.

Winds do blow, sky’s a glow.

The answer only Lake Michigan does know….

"The Answer is Blowin in the Wind"
“The Answer is Blowin in the Wind”

“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

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

As you can see I am a little behind in my processing. In my last post you could see the last remnants of fall leaves on the ground with a little snow.

In contrast to that, this frame was taken in early October in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The areas closer to the coast still had abundant color, like in this image here, while the inland areas looked more like winter had already come.

I love this particular area. It is located not too far from Lake Superior, but in a slightly higher elevation. This back country dirt road goes on for about twenty miles. It’s very narrow, and can barely allow two cars to pass. The good thing is almost no one is around, so I had complete freedom to hike, walk, explore, and of course take photos!!

I spent quite a bit of time hiking around in the woods. Enjoying each step, as I walked on moist fallen leaves, drinking up all the golden color with my eyes, and listening to the sound of silence whenever I paused for a minute or so. To me it’s like being in a magical place. A place full of wonder and vibrant color everywhere I turned.

I hope you too can feel the exhilaration and excitement of this fall magic, just as I do!!

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

-Magical Autumn Mystery-

“Autumn Melange”

Sometimes just a section of an area is enough to give you the full feeling of what you’re after. This is a tiny slice of a small mountain filled with a melange of fall colors mixed in with evergreen trees.

After driving down a dirt road off of this mountain, I looked back and saw this lovely assortment of trees and colors of every kind. Of course I had to stop and get in a few shots!! 🙂

I’d guess you’d call this a salad of color!!

Enjoy

 Autumn color and textures in a hillside.
Color upon color.

“Above the Forest”

I love to go to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at least once a year. Actually I would love to live up there. It’s truly a wonderful place to be.

I’ve traveled all over the UP, but this image is from just on the outskirts of Saint Ignace, which is the first town you come to after you cross the Mackinac Bridge.

It doesn’t matter what time of year I go. I always have to make a visit to Castle Rock. An historic place with a great view of extensive forests and Lake Huron depending on the direction you’re looking in.

For all photographers and historians make sure you take the time to talk with the family that owns and has operated it for so many years. The walls in the gift shop are filled with wonderful historical images from the humble beginnings of Castle Rock and the family that kept it going from the start till the present day.

A definite treat for everyone, not to mention children who need to run off their energy by climbing the many stairs to reach the top!

Enjoy the view!

The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!
The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!

“Flash”

After the sun had set over Lake Michigan on a cool September Evening, I kept taking shots of what was left of the color in the sky. There wasn’t much there that night to begin with. There were however many types of pretty flowers all around the area.
I shot some of the images without flash, but did a few with. I liked the results of both, but I thought I’d bring you one of the flash shots right now.
The flowers have a lovely color cast to them, much more warm, and you can still see some of the movement from the wind.
The sunset or lack thereof, is more of a blur in the background with some of the color still there. Giving the whole image a shallow depth of field, and a totally different feel than the one of a usual sunset.
Enjoy! 🙂

Using Flash at Sunset
Using Flash at Sunset

“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!