November Gale

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November Gale, Grand Haven

November Gale

Sustained winds near 30 mph, and gusts near 50, had whipped Lake Michigan into a frenzy of sea and spray. I was at home in Grand Rapids and debated if I should head out to Grand Haven. It was a mild but dreary day, and I didn’t have much hope that I’d be able to get any usable images.

So I had headed out to Grand Haven more out of curiosity than photographic intent. As I expected, the waves were crashing against the pierhead lighthouse with incredible force, but the light was dull and lifeless and frustrated my attempts to capture the drama of the day.

As evening approached, a break in the clouds appeared far out over the lake. A single beam of light streamed down and I hoped against hope that it would wander my way. I framed up the shot I wanted and waited.

They say luck smiles on the well prepared, and to my great good fortune the beam of light moved over the lighthouse, the perfect wave crashed and was suffused with the afternoon light. I tripped the shutter and I had my shot. The opportunity lasted seconds.

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