Archive: Nov 2013

  1. Beaver Island Horizon

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    Beaver Island Horizon

    I recently made a 30×45 canvas print of this image–a truly immersive experience!

    Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan. Most people visit the Island in the summer months after taking a 2 hour ferry ride from Charlevoix.

    The ferry docks in a protected harbor fronted by the village of Saint James, the only settlement of any size on the Island. A little over 600 hardy souls call the Island home year round, but vacation homes ring the island. I visited in mid-August—peak season for Beaver Island—and found the village pleasantly busy and no problem leaving civilization behind as I explored the rest of the Island.

    A well-developed network of roads provides easy access to most of the Island, though only a couple of miles are paved. The interior of the island is flat and covered with second growth forests and marshes—with a few sizeable lakes scattered about. No dramatic dunes are to be found here, though the north and eastern shores boast many miles of pleasant beach. Only a small portion of these are open to the public, but when I visited I often had them to myself.

    Beaver Island’s isolation and relatively modest development appeal to those who crave a simpler life. I soon found myself relaxing into the pace of island life. I spent many hours at the lovely beaches admiring the crystal clear water and clear views to the horizon. I became fascinated by the play of sunlight on the bottom of the lake through the rippled water.

    This image transports me to those relaxing days.

  2. Standing Wave

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    Standing Wave


    The far western Upper Peninsula is home to two of the wildest and most scenic rivers in Michigan: the Presque Isle and Black Rivers. The Presque Isle is protected within the southwest reaches of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The Black is at the heart of the Black River National Scenic Byway. Both rivers flow over a series of dramatic waterfalls as they rush toward Lake Superior.

    As I explored the east bank of the Presque Isle River, I encountered a section of rapids flowing in front of a row of trees that were brightly lit by the late afternoon sun. The autumn colors and blue sky were reflected in the water rushing by. I focused in on a standing wave in the rapids.

    A standing wave is created when water rushing over an obstacle in the river flows into a depression and then crests just behind. I chose a moderately long shutter speed so that the water rushing by would be blurred while the wave would remain more sharply defined. A polarizing filter helped enrich the colors of the scene.

    Although I took quite a few photos of this scene, this first shot was most successful—not an uncommon experience for me.