“Autumn in the Country”

I hope that everyone has been enjoying a beautiful fall season so far! For those of you on the other side of the world I hope spring is off to a lovely start!

For the most part in my area of the country Β the fall color has started to fade. I think that I captured as many memories and images as I could, hopefully enough to last me through till next autumn! πŸ˜‰

This year for some reason seems to have had more than it’s usual share of dark cloudy days with rain and lots of wind too. I try not to let the weather hinder me from going out and enjoying whatever is thrown my way, at least most of the time.

As for these images below. One of them was taken recently, of course on a dark cloudy day! This one happens to be at a local nature preserve. There were many gorgeous and huge maple trees, but the leaves on a smaller one really got my attention. The range of colors on just one tree, so close together on its branches is amazing to me. The wonders of the natural world!! A veritable kaleidoscope of colors!!

"Those Autumn Leaves"
“Those Autumn Leaves”

This next image was taken during a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Oh yes, it’s true, I seem to go there often and I love it!! The multitude of long country roads just waiting to be explored is amazing!!

I didn’t end up following this dirt road as far as it went, but long enough to enjoy the fall color all around me. The darkness of the grey sky with its drizzle every now and then didn’t put a damper on these colors for sure!

I had really wanted to make it out to the Porcupine Mountains in the far western part of the Upper Peninsula this autumn, but that just didn’t work out. I know there are so many amazing places to see there. I guess that will have to wait till another time.

Have you been able to get in all of your fall travel plans? Did things go as expected, or was the weather uncooperative? Tell me about what you’ve been up to during this glorious time of year!!

"Autumn in the Country"
“Autumn in the Country”

“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. Β 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”

“Best of 2013”

As I have done for the past two years, this being the third year. I am posting my favorite, best, or most popular images of the year. Jim Goldstein has been gracious enough to host this for several years now.

This past year has been one of great change for me personally. My father passed away in the spring, which was a great loss for me.

At the same time in many ways it’s been a great year. I had more opportunity for travel, and was able to spend quite a bit of photography time during my favorite season…..autumn!!!

These images are from all through the year. Some are my personal favorites, others have been best sellers, while others represent special memories for me.

So in no particular order, I present this years. Best of 2013!

 "Maple Leaf Zen"
“Maple Leaf Zen”

 "Flow of Golden Ribbons"

"Ghostly Gales"
“Ghostly Gales”
 "Skies of Grand Marais"
“Skies of Grand Marais”
"Munising Falls"
“Munising Falls”
"Rolling with the Mack"
“Rolling with the Mack”
 "Spray at Whitefish Point"
“Spray at Whitefish Point”
"Fluttering Maple" 3
“Fluttering Maple” 3
 "Blue Ridge Bounty"
“Blue Ridge Bounty”
 "Autumn Spectacle"
“Autumn Spectacle”

These are 10 images. I could go on and on, especially in the autumn department LOL, but I will leave you with these to look at and enjoy.

As always if anyone is interested in purchasing a print, just click on the link in the menu bar, or the one on the right side of this post.

Wishing everyone the best in this coming new year!! 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

“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! πŸ™‚

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!

“Lead by the Light”

Wonderful feel of Autumn

You can certainly tell that fall was in the air when I took this shot! I had just been to the area looking out onto the two lakes described in the previous post.
I wondered off for a short ways down this dirt road, and grabbed a few shots. The strong late afternoon light was as if it was leading me in that direction. This area as I described before was like a small mountain. Completely forest filled and totally uninhabited by humans, except for those that wandered up to look out at the beautiful view or to come to a beautiful, but very secluded grave yard nestled among old and beautiful trees.
I didn’t take any shots of the graveyard itself. It had a private feel to it. I felt as though I would be intruding if I did.
I simply enjoyed the sheer beauty of the dirt road, the autumn color with lovely sunlight, and the wonderful views down below!

“Across Two Lakes”

While up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan earlier this fall. I spent a lot of time driving around wherever the roads took me. I don’t even know the name of the first lake in this image because I decided to turn onto a dirt road that obviously only went in one direction (not made for two-way traffic), that took me winding and weaving to the top of a huge hill(small mountain).
The overlook was amazing. The time of day for the direction I was facing wasn’t the best, but you could see for miles and miles!! The woods that surrounded the first lake were just beginning to show some gorgeous fall color. As you look past that you can see a section of Lake Superior, then further on you can see part of Canada. What a view!!
The sky didn’t have much drama in it at the time, but I can just imagine this scene with a storm approaching from the northwest! Ooooh, that’s an idea!! Next time I’m up that way, I’ll make it a point to head over there in bad weather! πŸ˜‰

I can see for miles and miles!!