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.

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