Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reflective Pose on Turtle Lake

Last night I went for a drive after the heavy rain showers subsided.  My hope was too see some wildlife.  I was going to hike in to a lake to see if there were was a loon family on it.  Unfortunately I never made into that lake because of a huge mud hole that I didn't feel like walking through.  Plus, the mosquitos were AWFUL!  So, I went back to the truck and decided to just drive around for a little bit and maybe I'd get lucky and see something else.  Sure enough, as I was driving past Turtle Lake in Grand Portage, I saw a nice whitetail buck standing on the opposite shore of the lake.  He was just standing there motionless, which was a good thing because I didn't have much light to work with.  It was almost 9 PM and what little daylight was left was fading fast.  

I had to shoot this photo at ISO 3200 and f/8, and even then I was still only able to manage a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second with my lens at 600mm.  Generally speaking, with a telephoto lens you want your shutter speed to be at least the same as your focal length in order to get a sharp image.  With built-in image stabilization of lenses becoming more and more effective, though, we can shoot at slower and slower shutter speeds and still get acceptable sharpness.  Such was the case with this image shot with my Tamron 150-600 lens.  I'm amazed at how well this turned out, considering it was shot at 1/200 and ISO 3200 (which can also contribute to image softness).  Camera technology sure has come a long way!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A peaceful night amongst the pines

I sure do love the summer night sky!  The winter night sky is cool too, but I think the summer is better because we can see the ribbon of the Milky Way.  In winter the ribbon is below our horizon here in northern Minnesota and we are unable to see it.  It sure makes stargazing a whole lot more fun when you can see the milky ribbon of our galaxy stretching across the sky!

First Light on The Rock

Hollow Rock is simply beautiful as the first light of a summer day washes over it.  I love the really calm water that is common this time of year.  It makes for wonderful reflections on these calm mornings.  I sure do feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many wonderful things to photograph!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

North Shore Morning

It was a pretty dull morning for shooting sunrise over Lake Superior today, lots of clouds and just a gray sky.  So, here is a sunrise shot from last week to provide a little sunshine and color for your day!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Merganser Family

'Tis the season for baby animals!  I have seen fox kits on a couple of occasions, but never for long enough to get any pictures of them.  Goslings seem to be everywhere, with several of them along the road we live as well as at the state park where I work.  There has also been a family of mergansers residing along the shoreline in front of our house and I did manage to get a shot of them the other day.  They are so cute when they are babies!  They have a tough life at first, though, with many hazards to overcome.  Usually when an animal has so many babies it is because so many of them don't survive to adulthood.  Having more increases the chances that some will survive. Personally, I hope of the best and wish that most if not all of these little mergansers survive to live a long adult life :-)

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Solar Wind

Here is one more image from the night of the big solar storm on June 23, 2015.  After photographing the amazing display of lights over Hollow Rock on Lake Superior, I decided to try composing some photos with trees in the foreground.  So, I walked back up the beach away from the lake and looked for a nice set of trees to photograph against the sky.  It didn't take long to find a composition that I liked!  This was a group of trees in between two of the cabins at Hollow Rock Resort.  It was also a windy night, as you can tell from the movement of the trees in this photo.  Since the northern lights are often caused by the solar wind I thought that might make a nice title for this image. 

The calm before the storm

This is what the night sky looked like the evening before the big geomagnetic storm hit earlier this week.  This was the night of the summer solstice and the aurora borealis was supposed to hit our atmosphere big time but it ended up being delayed until the following night.  Since the aurora forecast was so good, Jessica and I headed out and spent the entire night waiting for the lights.  We had a little showing of them between 2 and 3 AM, but nothing at all like what we ended up witnessing the following night.  Still, it was an unbelievably beautiful night.  The views of the Milky Way were some of the best I've seen.  The night was so dark and the stars were so crisp and clear.  It was a surreal experience to stand and gaze up at such an incredible sky!