Monday, December 25, 2017

Best of 2017


There is quite a collection this year. It was too difficult to choose and limit myself to 12 
- so here they are in chronological order.
Enjoy and a happy New Year.

Winter sunset at the Chippewa Flowage, northern Wisconsin.
The large root added an interesting element to the composition.
End of February much of the snow melted in northern Wisconsin. Little Falls at the Flambeau River is a favorite place to visit.
Early March at the north shore of Lake Superior. Warm sunset colors at Black Beach near Silver Bay, Minnesota
April sunrise in the Blue Hills, northern Wisconsin. 
Blue Hour (Dawn) at Split Rock lighthouse, north shore of Lake Superior. Some of the warm colors are reflected off the rocks.
Lady Aurora was dancing on May 27th and I was lucky to be home, Blue Hills, Wisconsin
We had a lot of rain in June and enjoyed a good flow of water at Echo Dells near Washburn, Wisconsin.
A magical place to visit!!
4th of July at Split Rock Lighthouse. It was lit and to our surprise we were the only people at the beach to watch the light beams go across Lake Superior.
Audie Lake in the Blue Hills is probably the place I go to the most to take photos.  The morning fog on this late July morning added a mysterious mood. Now I have a 4 season collection (plus some) of this little spruce island.
Lost Creek Falls near Cornucopia, WI was a little known waterfall but since the new trail was built a lot of people are taking advantage of it. I had to wait for people to leave to get this image (on Labor Day, September). 
We had never camped at Split Rock Lighthouse campground and were able to spend a night in mid September.  Sunrise beams behind Ellingsen Island, Lake Superior with the lighthouse on the left.
We had some amazing sunrises in September and this is one of them.  Maybe it was due to wildfires out west.

Bond Falls in the UP Michigan is a popular destination especially in the fall. We finally made it there !  A close up of the upper cascades with some of the fall colors reflecting in the water.

Bond Falls, upper falls or cascades - simply stunning!!

After Bond Falls we visited the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park, Michigan.  It started to rain and almost everyone left so we had the place to ourselves. The rainy, misty weather was perfect for waterfall photos. I was fascinated with the swirling water.

A long exposure of the water swirl or spiral.  It was fun to experiment.

Old Growth forest at Porcupine Mountain State Park. It was getting dark and I didn't want to leave.  It seemed the trees had many secrets to tell.

Early October at Audie Lake, Blue Hills. The fog was lifting and the colorful trees appeared.

Perfect fall color reflections at Audie Lake, Blue Hills. It can't get much better than this!

Lost Creek Falls (near Cornucopia, WI) in mid October. The scattered leaves on the rock added a special touch to this composition.

Winter came early in November and many lakes froze solid. Another foggy morning at Audie Lake, Blue Hills.

End of November warmer temps arrived and the surface of the ice melted and created some interesting patterns and reflections. At Audie Lake, Blue Hills
Winter is here to stay (December). A moody scene at the Couderay River, Wisconsin

Sunrise splish splash, Lake Superior north shore. At Split Rock lighthouse, Minnesota

A group of Cedar trees flooded with the last light of the day. At Cascade River state park, Minnesota

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Best of 2016

2016 was quite the year. As I looked back at the best photos I decided to choose 14 as they are all a bit different and tell a story that I like to remember. So here they are in chronological order. 
Enjoy, and a Happy New Year.
Early January at the north shore of Lake Superior near Grand Marais. There was not much ice to be found but the soft hue of these morning clouds made up for it.
Sunrise on a very cold February morning not too far from home. North of Bruce, Wisconsin on Cty Rd. H
The ice started to break up in mid March. This scene greeted me at Audie Lake on a foggy, calm morning; Blue Hills, Wisconsin. I think this is my number one favorite of 2016. 
Spring is a busy time for me with greenhouse work but I was able to get out to photograph a few times. I watched this goose family for a while at Audie Lake and counted 19 goslings!! The parents did a great job keeping them in line.
Foggy mornings are a photographers dream but they don't happen too often in my area. This was unusual for being it in June and I was able to capture the sun rays right down my drive way.
Summer night at the Chippewa Flowage in northern Wisconsin. The first stars and half moon appeared with the last of the sunset colors. I was hoping to hear some loons but instead people were out there in boats and listening to loud music - go figure!! Eventually they disappeared and I was able to enjoy the sounds of nature.
Bill and I travelled to New Mexico end of August and stopped at the Badlands of South Dakota. Out of the many Buffalo photos I took this turned out to be my favorite with the warm glow of the setting sun.
On our way back home in early September we stopped again at the Badlands. I was determined to get a Milky Way image on this trip. This was the last chance. Clouds started to move in and the moon was rising. This is certainly not a master piece but it was a beautiful night under the stars.
Fall is my favorite season but this year we had a late and very short fall. I managed to get out only once to capture some spider webs with morning dew and golden light.
Early October we spent 2-3 days at Lake Superior. This long exposure of the rocks and water was my favorite from that trip. 
My favorite creek in the Blue Hills. I have many, many photos from that location but this one is very different. I liked the way how the leaves arranged themselves and are pointing down the stream.
We had many cloudy and dreary days in late fall. This image of a railroad trestle across the Chippewa River captured that mood very well.
Mid November morning at Audie Lake. I watched how the light of the rising sun moved across the water and started to light up the trees. Shortly after clouds moved in and turned off the magical light. 
Our first good snow fall came end of November but the snow melted quickly. Hemlock trees at my favorite creek in the Blue Hills.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Red Canyon in the Blue Hills, Wisconsin

The first day of spring greeted us with sunshine here in northern Wisconsin. A good day to explore Red Canyon in Rusk County - another special but hard to find place in the Blue Hills.
The ground was still frozen and made walking easy on the ATV trail. Not so much on the way out as everything turned to mud and some parts looked more like a creek than path.
This is what it looked from the top and I was happy to see a good amount of water falling over the rocks. Later in the season there is only a trickle or nothing at all.

The red rock that forms the canyon walls is quartzite.

I spent most of the time shooting images close to the waterfall and ice. I really liked the different textures and contrasts of the red rocks, moss, ice and water. By the time I left my hands were frozen in spite of the sunny day. 

Looking out into the canyon.

Looking into the canyon as I was leaving. 

For anyone who wants to venture out there - the visitor center in Ladysmith has brochures with information and directions. It is off Meadow Dam Rd (which is off Cty H, north of Bruce, WI)

Monday, March 14, 2016

(Un) seeing

I spent the past weekend at the Spring Break Photography workshop in the Twin Cities. It's a great event to meet other photographers and get inspired by the Pros. One of the speakers was Ian Plant, an amazing photographer/artist from Minnesota. (
He talked about the art of "(un)seeing" - to see visual elements "for what else they are" and not how our eyes are trained to see them.
He had many good pointers, like looking for shapes when composing an image. In his landscape photos he often includes a foreground element that complements another shape in the image, like a cloud or mountain. 
Another one he talked about was to create a sense of mystery, to capture moods and emotions. 
You can download a free ebook on his website that mentions some of these ideas.

It was a foggy morning here in the Blue Hills of northern Wisconsin and I thought, what a good opportunity to put some of these ideas into practice.  
I went to one of my favorite places, Audie Lake. I have taken many photos of that one curve in the road leading to the lake so I stopped today as well. Right away I noticed this little tree loaded with dew drops - quite enchanting. I tried several compositions and liked this one the best, using my 70-200mm lens at f/2.8 to get a soft background.

When I arrived at the lake I was greeted by several canada geese who seemed very excited. I thought it was because of me but they had their own dispute going on and did a lot of honking.

I liked the soft mood that the fog created and the lack of color. I did very little post processing with these images. I found some moss covered logs and grasses along the shore and tried to include them in my wide angle images. But in the end I was drawn to the simplicity of these photos I chose for this blog. They captured the mood of the morning far better. I also liked the lines of the birch trees and their reflections in the stretch of open water. 
So I am not sure if I succeed in applying the techniques that I heard about but I had a great time in the solitude of the north woods - listening to the geese talk and other birds that were around.

"Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you are looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures." (Don McCullin)