Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas morning at Hollow Rock

I finally made it out to do some sunrise shooting on Christmas Day, and had a wonderful morning for it! Nice wave action and beautiful clouds made for some rewarding shooting.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winter on the Temperance and Cascade Rivers

Taken yesterday on my "weekend drive" throughout Cook County.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December Ice below High Falls

I took a walk up to High Falls on the Pigeon River today and found some really interesting patterns in the ice below the falls. I spent several minutes with my 100-400 lens taking close-up shots of the ice.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Island Steam

First light over the Susie Islands on a -13 degree morning. During early winter Lake Superior is still carrying a lot of warmth from the summer and fall seasons. As the cold arctic air flows over the waters of the lake in early winter, the cold air clashes with the warmer air radiating from the lake and creates large amounts of steam. When the sun breaks the horizon and illuminates the steam it makes for one of the most awe-inspiring scenes a person can witness on the big lake.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Snow

Minnesota Northwoods on Thanksgiving Day, 2010 - Grand Portage, MN. A different world from the shoreline of Lake Superior where only an inch or two of snow had fallen, a few miles inland was a different story. Here nearly a foot of freshly fallen snow blanketed the landscape on Thanksgiving Day!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Early Winter Wonderland along Old Highway 61

Several November storms meant a lot of early snow accumulation inland from Lake Superior near Grand Portage, MN. This photo was taken on November 25, 2010. I was a bit disappointed that these storms left little snow in my yard. I live right on the shores of Lake Superior and early winter storms often mean that rain falls along the shoreline instead of snow. Right now I barely have one inch of snow covering my yard, however one only needs to drive a few miles inland to see the ground covered with almost two feet of snow already!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Early Winter Wonderland on the Arrowhead Trail

More than a foot of snow already blankets the landscape along the Arrowhead Trail in Northeast Minnesota on November 23, 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010

First Snow!

Highway 61 on the East side of Mt. Josephine - Taken on my commute to work last Sunday morning. It sure was a beautiful drive with all the fresh snow sticking to the trees!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Early winter on the Pigeon

Grand Portage State Park, MN - Taken just after this year's first snowfall!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Waiting for the next trip

The passenger ferry "Voyageur II" waits patiently for its next voyage to Isle Royale National Park from its dock in Grand Portage, MN. This image was taken in late September of this year as the Isle Royale boating season was winding down. The Voyageur II is a 60' aluminum-hulled ferry that has been providing mail and passenger service to Isle Royale National Park since the early 1970's. It is the only ferry that circumnavigates the entire island, making several stops along the way so hikers and paddlers can have options for hiking or canoeing/kayaking different portions of the island.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bubble Reflection

My reflection in a bubble on Hollow Rock Creek. I was out photographing some small waterfalls on the creek and watching all these bubbles float by. After watching them for a moment I realized that the trees and sky were reflecting in the bubbles. When I stood up and looked straight down on the bubbles, I could see my reflection as well. I decided to have some fun with it :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Colors at Gunflint Narrows

Flashing back a little bit here to late September 2010 at Gunflint Lake on the Gunflint Trail in northern Minnesota. The vibrant leaf colors made for a stark contrast to the fire-scarred Canadian shoreline of Gunflint Lake. I wanted to share this one with you after shooting it, but it got lost in the shuffle and I forgot about it until now!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sneaky Moose on the Pigeon River

This morning I had the good fortune to spend about 45 minutes in the company of this very curious Moose on the Pigeon River at Grand Portage State Park. We watched each other for a while from a distance, then I decided to head back to the park visitor center. As I made my way back to the trail, she followed me cautiously from a distance. At one point I turned around to see her peeking around this corner of the river, which made for a terrific shot.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Maple Canopy

Taken along Rengo Road on the Grand Portage Reservation in Northeast Minnesota. The Maples were already past their peak but the trees along the road were still plenty beautiful. One nice thing about when the leaves begin to fall is that they usually fall from the tops of the trees first. This reveals glimpses of the blue sky above while the lower halves of the trees still have plenty of color. While most people are concerned only about when the peak will occur each year, I find every stage of autumn to be equally enjoyable.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn Rainbow

Near Greenwood Lake - Cook County, MN. The other day I was driving the back roads from the Gunflint Trail back to Grand Portage. Along the way there were a few rain showers and at one point the sun came out and I saw this beautiful, full rainbow. Luckily I was in a place where the trees weren't as tall so I was able to get a good view of it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hiker's Heaven

Enjoyed a beautiful hike this morning along the Superior Hiking Trail near Lutsen, MN. The colors along the ridge between Lake Agnes and the Poplar River Overlook were AMAZING! This is my favorite time of year to be out walking in the woods :-)

Above image: Poplar River Overlook

Last week I hiked the Superior Hiking Trail past Lake Agnes and was intending to hike as far as the overlook of the Poplar River. Unfortunately, there was an error in the communication about how far it was to the overlook, and I didn't make it (I thought I had missed it, so ended up backtracking then ran out of time). This week I went back and hiked to the overlook. As it turns out last week I was very, very close to the overlook (that's the way it goes!). It definitely is an overlook that you can't miss! The view of the Poplar River is incredible. I was hoping there would be a bit more fall color in the view, but even without many colors the view is one you have to see to believe.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Misty Morning, Autumn Forest

This morning was amazing. I brought a couple of friends up into the woods to shoot the fall colors and we were treated to some pretty incredible conditions! Thanks to the cold overnight temperatures and lack of wind, the forest was filled with fog and frost. To top it off, the leaf colors were magnificent. It all made for a little slice of photographic heaven.

Above image: Morning Fog, North Lake

Morning light, fog, trees, reflections... what more could I have possibly wanted? The only thing that would have made this scene better would be a moose standing out in the water :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Afternoon, Lake Agnes

Along the Superior Hiking Trail near Lutsen, MN. This is from yesterday morning's hike, which was literally a PERFECT day! Sunny, calm and beautiful fall colors. A stark contrast to today's rainy, windy weather.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Maple Heaven

WOW.... the Maples are looking nice this year! They have really changed a lot in the past week. A week ago there was barely any color on these ridges, this morning they were blazing with color as the rising sun washed over the forest.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autumn Eagle riding the thermals over Mt. Sophie

My friend Paul and I were fortunate enough to watch this eagle from eye-level on a fire tower earlier today. We were photographing the fall colors when I looked off to the West and saw this eagle coming towards us. I had my wide-angle lens on at the time, so I was quickly digging in my bag to get my telephoto and managed to change lenses and grab a few shots before the Eagle flew away. Usually when I see Eagles flying around I find myself looking up and squinting because of the sunlight. It was awesome looking straight out from the fire tower and watching this eagle bank left and right as the morning sun hit him while he rode the thermals that were rising off the surrounding hills. A great start to a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fire in the Sky

While driving down an old logging road off the Arrowhead Trail one evening, I came across this opening that had a grouping of trees that stood out nicely against the sky. I was passing by right after the sun had gone down and the sky behind the trees was filled with this beautiful orange glow.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Dusk, Magnet Island

I love water and I love rocks. The combination of the two along with some late evening or early morning light and I'm in photographic heaven. I never tire of making images like this one, and I hope that you never tire of viewing them. This particular rock formation is on the Western tip of Magnet Island in Lake Superior and was photographed almost an hour after sunset.

August Dawn, Big Susie Island

As a photographer I find myself wishing for some nice clouds whenever sunrise or sunset rolls around... but sometimes its nice when there aren't any clouds. There is a certain beauty to a sky without clouds, an uncluttered beauty. In such situations my favorite images are almost always made either well before the sun comes up or well after it goes down. With the lack of clouds the sky most often takes on a beautiful blue glow during the moments of dawn and dusk. In this image the rocks in the foreground, wet from the splashing of waves from Lake Superior, reflect that beautiful blue glow of the sky. This image was made almost 45 minutes before the sun broke the horizon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Long Island Sunset

As its name implies, Long Island is a very LONG but narrow island in the Susie Islands. Only about 100 feet wide at its widest point, it is roughly one half-mile in length. This photo was taken at sunset over the East end of Long Island.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Susie Island Star Trails

Another moonlight adventure logged in the memory banks! Started off with sunset on Magnet Island followed by several hours of moonlight and star shooting. Moved over to Big Susie Island, more moonlight shooting then slept under the moon on a bed of moss. Shot an OK sunrise over Porcupine Island. This 35 minute exposure of the night sky was taken from Magnet Island on August 27th, 2010 from 9:30 p.m. to 10:05 p.m. The moon was rising behind me, which provided for some illumination on the water and the rocks/islands in the distance. This is my first successful star trail image from the Susie Islands. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Night rider on the big lake

Just got in from a TERRIFIC moonlight shooting session on Magnet Island in Lake Superior. My friend Jacob and I experienced some awesome moonlight, including an ore boat that was all lit up as it passed through the reflection of the moonlight on the lake!

Below: At one point during the evening, some really patchy clouds went over and the moonlight was shining through the clouds in the form of all these "moon rays". It was a heavenly scene!

Monday, August 23, 2010


During last night's boating venture out into Pigeon Bay, we saw a Bald Eagle flying around as we neared the mouth of the river. As we approached he landed in a tree on the right side of the river. At first we couldn't see him but as we got closer he soon came into view. I got quite excited when he came into view and I saw him perched on this cool bent-over Birch branch! Lots of times when Eagles are perched in trees they either blend into the background or have lots of other branches blocking the view. This one was right in the open, with some darker shadows behind. I thought it made for a great shot.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August Fog, Susie Islands

This was the view of the Susie Islands on my way to work today. The fog was spectacular! I couldn't resist this scene, I just had to pull over and take a few pictures!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Low water on the Pigeon

This evening we went for a kayak outing on the upper Pigeon River. Boy, the river sure has changed since the last time I was on it a couple of weeks ago. The water is very low now. In fact, the hulls of our kayaks scraped rocks more times than we could count. In some areas, such as this spot just below English Rapids, almost the entire width of the river bed is dry exposed rock. Two months ago I was able to easily float right over these rocks... that's not going to happen now!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sky Watchers (Auroras and Perseids and Milky Way, Oh My!)

Just got in from watching and shooting the Milky Way, Northern Lights and Perseid meteor shower from the top of Mt. Maude. What an amazing night! The northern lights were very low along the horizon, but they were dancing and putting on a decent show. Yet again, I am amazed by the wonders of the night sky! This photo shows my friends Jake and April enjoying the amazing sky.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Minnesota Milky Way

I went out with a few local youth last night to look for the northern lights. While the aurora was visible, it was very, very faint. The Milky Way, however, lit up the sky! This image was made at about 12:30 a.m. Exposure time was 30 seconds, aperture f4.0, ISO 6400. It was also the coolest night (temperature-wise) that we've had in a while. It actually dipped slightly into the 40's last night. This was good for high ISO photography, as the temperature cools the camera's sensor doesn't build up as much heat and therefore generates less noise in the final image. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fantasy Land

These images of the Aurora Borealis were made last night at 10:45 p.m. over the Pigeon River in Northeast Minnesota. Many rumors were circulating that the aurora was going to show up again last night, so I figured it was worth it to head out again to watch the sky. I met up with my friend Nate and we headed over to the river at 10:00 p.m. Only moments after we arrived at the river we started seeing vertical shafts of light appearing in the sky. Like the previous night, the lights lasted for a little over an hour before diminishing entirely for the rest of the night. For those that might not know, the Pigeon River IS the border between the U.S. and Canada in Northeast Minnesota, and the man-made lights that you see near the center of this image are the lights on the Highway 61 bridge over the river. Last night was the first time I've made night images from this location. It was a terrific spot, so rest assured that you'll be seeing more night-time images from this location in the future!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Northern Lights Moonrise over Wauswaugoning Bay

Well, the aurora made a pretty good showing last night! It sounds like most everyone had cloudy skies but lucky for me the clouds didn't move in up here until after the aurora faded. The lights put on a pretty good show from about 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Here are my favorite images from last night!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Earth's Silent Spin

Check out my latest night-time photographic creation at the Spirit Tree. There were lights coming from four different sources in this image... the stars, the moon (which was rising off to the right), the city lights of Thunder Bay, Ontario and that obnoxious bright white light in the center of the photo, which is coming from a couple of spotlights at the U.S. Customs border inspection station. I have been noticing that bright light in several of my recent night images. I kind of like the effect it has on this image, but most of the time I wish it wasn’t there.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Land of the Lily

Taken along the Pigeon River in Northeast Minnesota. I love lilies, but taking a nice photograph of them is a challenge. This was shot from my kayak without looking through the camera's viewfinder. I held the camera as close to the surface of the water as possible and pressed the shutter button… “shooting blind”, so to speak. It took several tries to get a level horizon!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy 100th Anniversary Split Rock!

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Split Rock Lighthouse, the light was lit and fireworks were launched over the lighthouse on the evening of July 31st, 2010. Several hundred people were in attendance, including a LOT of photographers! It was a special evening, and a rare treat indeed to see fireworks launched over the light.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Paddling the Pigeon

My favorite place to paddle! I love the Pigeon River... especially when it is calm like it was the evening that I made this image. The upper Pigeon River is a wildlife paradise. Every time I venture out on the river I see at least a few different critters. Beavers are almost guaranteed, as are a few different species of waterfowl. Kingfishers are sometimes seen patrolling the banks of the river, and now and then a Moose or two will show up. I’ve even been lucky enough on more than one occasion to see a Black Bear swimming across the river! Oh, I almost forgot to mention the Otters and Muskrats! Muskrats are seldom seen, but I almost always see at least one Otter when I visit the river. I’m heading up now to spend the late afternoon and evening on the river… I wonder what I will see today?

Monday, July 26, 2010

July Moon over Pete's Island

The moon over Grand Portage Bay last night was incredible. The image you see here was captured not long after sunset, after the last of the sunset color has faded from the sky and all that is left is the blue glow of dusk. I love shooting the moon when its low in the sky, as you can usually capture an incredible reflection of the moonlight on the water. I hope you all had a chance to see the moon last night. If not, well… it will be out again tonight!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Morning Harebells at the Spirit Tree

Sometimes it pays to force yourself to try something different. On a recent sunrise shoot at the Spirit Tree, I used only my Canon G11 point-and-shoot camera and not my usual "big" camera - the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Using the G11 forces me to look for different compositions, something more “unique” than the typical landscape shots that I tend to look for when using the Canon 5D Mark II camera. This image is the result of that morning’s search for something different. I always notice the Harebell flowers when visiting the tree in the summer, yet I’ve never before tried making an image that shows both the flowers and the tree. The G11 with its rotating viewfinder screen allowed me to make this image. Since the flowers were on the side of a rock and very close to the surface of the water, I don’t think I would have been able to compose this shot using my bigger camera.

Summer's Eve at Hollow Rock

This is the first image I've made at Hollow Rock in quite some time. Hollow Rock is one of my favorite places to photograph in winter, but for some reason I don't go there much in the summer. I don't know why, since it is a great place to shoot no matter what the season. At any rate, this image was made at 9:37 p.m. It is a 30 second exposure shot with the aid of a 3-stop reverse-graduated neutral-density filter. The hardest part about making this image was tolerating the mosquitoes. They were AWFUL!