Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pancake Ice

So far, this winter has been rather mild with very little snow and days/nights that have been too warm for any serious development of ice on the lake. Last night, however, the temp did drop a bit which meant that this morning there were some nice "pancakes" of ice floating in a couple of areas along Grand Portage Bay. One of these areas (shown above) was very close to my house. How could I resist stopping and making an image of such beautiful ice formations so close to my home?

After photographing the ice I took a drive up to the Mt. Josephine wayside along Highway 61. This wayside was improved by the MN Department of Transportation this year. They replaced the bathroom building, built a new parking area and picnic sites, and last but not least constructed a very nice viewing platform that takes in the view of Mt. Josephine, Wauswaugoning Bay and the Susie Islands. The photo below was taken from this new viewing platform. I have taken many a photo from this location over the years, but I have never seen the trees stand out the way they do in this photo. The lighting was such that it really accented the trees. Even though there isn't really too much snow or ice in the photo, I still think it conveys a strong feeling of winter.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ice Details

My focus for the past week has been to try and find interesting ice patterns. I believe I have found several that easily fit that criteria, the ones shown here are my favorites from the week. The first one (shown above) is a macro shot of frost on the sheet metal of my truck. This is a very close-up shot that only shows an area about 3x3 inches.

Above: One of my favorite types of ice is shown above, when ice completely coats vegetation along the Lake Superior shoreline. It never ceases to amaze me how things can freeze in such a way, as to have one blade of grass completely encased in ice, like that shown here.

Another fascinating type of ice is when puddles freeze in such a particular way as to have all these patterns within the ice. While walking along the Lake Superior shoreline I found several such puddles. Each one had such unique patterns it was mesmerizing and I had to stop and stare for a while at each one that I came across.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December Dawn over the Grand Marais Lighthouse

I went out this morning with the hopes of capturing the Lunar eclipse, but heavy cloud cover put a stop to that plan. There was, however, a small break in the clouds to the East where the sun was soon to rise. This photo was made about half an hour before sunrise when there was a nice, soft glow of color coming from behind the clouds.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Something New

This evening I tried out a "new" (to me) location along the Lake Superior shoreline North of Grand Marais, MN. It turned out to be a wonderful spot and I had great fun spending the evening shooting here. I still can't believe I've never been down to this spot before! It is just a short walk from Highway 61, and is actually part of the Superior Hiking Trail. Many thanks to my friend Bryan Hansel ( for letting me know about this amazing little slice of Lake Superior's shore.

Most of the beach in this area consists of small pebbles, but there is also a small rocky outcrop that juts out into the lake. On the tip of this rocky outcrop is a small island that is only a few feet from shore. It just so happens that the moon was rising over this small island during my visit. Also along the rocky outcrop were several types of plants that were coated in ice from recent waves and spray coming off the lake. As many of you know, winter is a favorite time of mine for photography mostly because I loooooove photographing ice!

After shooting for about an hour and a half along the Lake Superior shore, I headed home for a bite to eat. As soon as my stomach was full I headed back out to do some more shooting. It was a beautiful moonlit night and I wasn't about to let that go to waste! So, I headed up along the Pigeon River and made some photos of Partridge Falls bathed in moonlight. What a great day for some early winter photography!