Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yes, it was still a good year for fall color!

(Above and below: Morning reflections on Turtle Lake)

Despite the frequent claims by many people that this was a "bad" year for fall colors, I was still able to find plenty of good color. True, I had to look a little harder than I normally do, but as long as you spent a lot of time out in the woods there was still plenty of autumn beauty to be found. This is a collection of fall color images taken at various times over the month of October. Enjoy!

(Below: Fallen maple leaves on Old Highway 61)

(Below: Vibrant Maples)

(Below: Sunlit Maples)

(Below: Maple Forest)

(Below: Maple Forest Abstract... Sometimes its fun to play around with shutter speeds and create some abstract images with an otherwise "ordinary" scene. This image is a 1/2 second exposure of a stand of Maple trees. I shot the image hand-held, without the use of a tripod and panned the camera vertically during the 1/2 second exposure).

(Below: Mountain Ash trees on Grand Portage Bay)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Great day in the woods

After shooting this morning's sunrise on Lake Superior I spent most of the remainder of the day exploring a remote section of Hollow Rock Creek. Hollow Rock Creek has a couple of really cool waterfall areas that are difficult to get to... no trails lead to these areas, so you have to bush-whack your way in and believe me, the going is pretty rough!

Once you get to the waterfall areas, however, the effort is well worth it. The beauty of Hollow Rock Creek is not an "in your face" kind of beauty... its beauty on a smaller scale. You have to look closely to see it, but once you start to look you soon find yourself seeing things you would have otherwise missed. The weather was perfect for this day of exploration along Hollow Rock Creek: overcast skies with very thick cloud cover. The cloud cover makes for a very even, muted sort of light that is conducive to shooting under the forest canopy. Bright sunny days are less desirable when shooting in the deep woods as the rays of sunlight create areas of extreme contrast that are almost impossible to expose correctly in a photographic image.

(Above: "Trapped" - A leaf that was stuck on the bottom of the creek)

Also, once most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, that doesn't mean that you should put your camera away and stop venturing out into the woods. It simply means that you should try looking other places to find your images... namely, along the ground! Its one of life's great pleasures to wander along a little creek like Hollow Rock and look for all these neat little things that catch your eye.

(Above and below: Swirling leaves and foam)

(Below left: Pothole along Hollow Rock Creek)

Stormy Morning

With brisk overnight winds coming from the southwest I thought it would be a good morning to go out and catch some waves hitting the Lake Superior shoreline. I went to the shoreline in front of my parents house, which has a rock ledge that extends out into the lake and is aligned such that when the waves are from the southwest they crash right over this ledge. It sure is fun sitting on the rocks and watching the waves pound the shore!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A new day

After somewhat of a hiatus from shooting the Spirit Tree I figured it was time to do another sunrise at what is undoubtedly one of my favorite shooting locations. I ended up choosing a fantastic morning to head down to the tree! Wonderful clouds and great light awaited. I never tire of making images of this wonderful and amazing tree.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Grand Marais Gale

It seems like lately we've had an awful lot of wind, which in turn has resulted in some pretty impressive waves on Lake Superior. For a change of pace my friend Roger and I did some shooting in Grand Marais, on Artist Point. The waves were awesome... rocks which are normally 50 feet from the water's edge and dry were now under a foot or more of water. As the gigantic waves surged onto the shore Roger and I made several images trying to show the power of the waves and the lake. And, at times, we couldn't help but just sit there and watch as these waves crashed into the shore, every now and then sending large amounts of spray hurtling into the air. Lake Superior never fails to impress!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Autumn at Grand Portage State Park

(Above: High Falls, Grand Portage State Park)

Today's adventure brought me to one of my favorite hikes, the Middle Falls Trail at Grand Portage State Park. With several hundred feet of elevation change each way along the trail and a very rugged trail surface with lots of rocks and tree roots, the Middle Falls Trail is not for everyone. For those that do make the trek, however, its a very rewarding hike.

(Above: Awesome Aspens on the Middle Falls Trail)

Autumn is my favorite time of year to hike this trail. There is a nice variety of color as you progress through the various elevations along the course of the trail. Also, due to its rugged nature and its remote location at the northeast end of Minnesota's north shore, the trail sees relatively little traffic.

(Above: Middle Falls)

(Below: Golden fall colors glow behind the Pigeon River at Middle Falls)

(Below: Looking upstream at Middle Falls)

(Below: "Patterns in wood" - This tree had fallen and blocked the trail, and had been cut by a chainsaw crew. This cool pattern in the wood was revealed after being cut by the chainsaw.)

(Below: Trapped at Middle Falls)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Autumn on Mt. Sophie

Mt. Sophie is probably my favorite place to view fall colors, and each year during the peak of fall color season I make many trips to this area to photograph the changing leaves. This year wasn't as "good" as most years, but was still quite beautiful. There is an old fire tower at the summit of Mt. Sophie which provides for some amazing view of Trout Lake, Swamp Lake and the surrounding Maple ridges.

During one of my morning ventures to Mt. Sophie I was accompanied by my friend Roger and his cousin from California. The morning that the three of us hiked up to the summit we walked through a beautiful light blanket of snow that had fallen during the night. The freshly fallen Maple leaves resting on the snow made for an interesting contrast in color.

(Above: Morning fog over North Lake)

(Below: A blustery, snowy morning over the forest)

(Below: Morning steam over North Lake as I drove up the road to Mt. Sophie)

(Below: "Sky-blue waters" - Clouds reflected in the waters of Trout Lake)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn on Hollow Rock Creek

Lately the weather has been really cloudy and rainy, which generally doesn't make for very good landscape images... unless, of course, you head into the woods in which case overcast skies are a good thing! These images were captured along Hollow Rock Creek, along some areas with some interesting small waterfalls and fascinating rocks (notice the red lines in the rocks on the image below).

(Below: Autumn forest on the banks of Hollow Rock Creek)