Friday, August 22, 2014

August Moonlight

Last night was another dreary weather evening with no good photo opportunities, so here's another image from the last full moon.  This was taken at 10 PM on the evening of August 9, 2014.  The moon was directly behind the lower part of the trunk of the tree which made for some dramatic light.  I also really loved the patterns of the clouds in the sky.  30 second exposure at ISO 400 with a Canon EF 17-40mm lens.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pink Sunset and Orange Lichen

The weather the past couple of days has been pretty rainy and extremely gray.  As such, I really haven't been out doing any shooting and thanks to the weather we've been more focused on rainy day projects around the house.  So, here's a recent sunset picture from a few days ago.  The sky looked very promising for a knockout sunset early in the evening but by the time the sun went down the cloud cover had thickened enough that there wasn't much color.  The color that was there was pretty nice though!  I really liked this rock covered with orange lichen and how it stuck out from all the other rocks so I decided to include that in my composition.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Superior Shines in the August Moonlight

An image from this past weekend during the half-moon over Lake Superior. The moonlight, stars and clouds were all incredible on this night.  Everything came together for some amazing imagery!  This is a 30 second exposure taken at 12:20 AM on August 17th.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Heron in reflected moonlight on Lake Superior

Remember my post from earlier today of the heron in the moonlight on Grand Portage Bay?  Well, here is another shot of the same heron, this time taken with my Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm.  I couldn't believe it the other night when I visited the shoreline at Grand Portage National Monument and saw this beautiful bird standing on the rock surrounded by some of the most sublime moonlight reflections I've ever seen.  

As I mentioned before, I photographed the heron for about an hour and in that time he barely moved.  He did turn around on the rock once (as you can tell from my earlier picture, as he was facing the other direction in that shot) but other than that he didn't seem to be moving at all.  Of the series of images that I made, the exposure times ranged from 10 seconds on the picture you see here to 30 seconds on other pictures.  In almost every one of them the heron is nice and sharp.  There is only a hint of movement in a couple of the shots.  Maybe he was sleeping, I don't know.  All I know is that after watching him for about an hour he did finally fly away.  Seeing this beautiful bird in an equally beautiful setting made for one of the coolest night-time experiences I've ever had.  

Heron and moonlight on Grand Portage Bay

The light of a half-moon illuminates a Great Blue Heron that was standing on a rock in Grand Portage Bay this past Saturday night.  This photo was made at 2:00 in the morning after I had already watched and photographed the heron for about an hour.  Shortly after making this image the heron took flight and flew off to the west.  It sure was a cool experience to see this beautiful bird lit up by the moonlight!  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August Moonrise and the Spirit Tree

Last night before going to bed I checked my moon phase app to see what time the moonrise was supposed to occur.  After seeing that it was going to be in about 10 minutes I made a spur of the moment decision to head down to the Spirit Tree to photograph the event.  It's a waning half-moon right now so I figured there was a good chance I could capture the moonrise along with a sky filled with stars.  When the moon is full it is so bright that it washes out the view of the majority of stars in the sky.  My impromptu plan worked out perfectly.  Not only was the moonlight nice and soft but there was also a thin cloud bank on the horizon which helped to diffuse the light.  The sky above was flooded with stars.  I got the shot I was hoping for!  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Queen of the Prairie

A beautiful patch of a rare flower (especially for northern Minnesota!) that grows on the Grand Portage Reservation.  I've heard that this is an extremely uncommon flower, which is something that I tend to believe since I've never seen it anywhere else in Cook County.  An internet search turned up the result of "Filipendula Rubra", or "Queen of the Prairie".  If you know otherwise, feel free to correct me as I am certainly not an expert when it comes to rare plants.  In any case, it certainly is a beautifully eye-catching flower.  When you go past this field you can't help but notice it.  The bumblebees love it as well
.  As I was photographing them I was surrounded by the bees and estimate there were at least 50 of them scattered throughout the patch of flowers.  It's amazing the amount of activity that is occurring within a patch of flowers such as this.  A quick drive-by certainly doesn't reveal much.  You need to immerse yourself in it and you'll be shocked at how much activity is going just within a small patch of flowers such as this!