Three photos: 11mm iso 100 f/22 .8-s, 3.0-s, 1/4-s
I met up with some lovely ladies yesterday afternoon for a pre-class trek around the Grass River Natural Area. I’m sure if you snowshoe, this would be a great place to use them, but I find them to be mostly a hindrance to my mobility. Generally I do what I did yesterday, which is just hike in my winter boots and snow pants.
Warmer temperatures recently have melted much of the snow off the trees, but the Grass River wetlands seem to be holding onto the fluff. The sun shone earlier in the day, and I was initially hopeful for some beautiful winter bluebird skies, but I should’ve known better. By the time we arrived near the area in Bellaire, lake effect snow was flying again. So the skies were a little drab for grand landscapes, but that didn’t stop me from finding a few vignettes I really liked, including this one. I shot this scene in a way that’s out of character for me, mainly because I wanted some fodder for the Lightroom workshop I was teaching later that day. I don’t normally do traditional HDRs, but I think Lightroom has improved its engine, allowing you get decent results in one program.
I am so excited about this image. After gallivanting around the northern reaches of Michigan’s lower peninsula, we set our sights on the Mackinac Bridge – specifically McGulpin Rock – to watch the sunset. Sun bathed the landscape for most of the day, but clouds had since shrouded the sky – dashing my hopes for great light. What I hadn’t counted on, though, was the the Straits of Mackinac were nearly without a ripple. As night deepened, the bridge’s reflection became clearer, and my continued shoreline exploration led me to this icy maw adjacent to the McGulpin Rock. Despite the moonlight filtering through the clouds, there wasn’t enough contrast to see the ice in a photo the way I could with my eyes. So I broke out my trusty speedlight, which I diffused and used on a low setting. I’m sure I arrived back at the car with a goofy grin. How could I not? I had just witnessed a Pure Michigan Magic Moment. I’m still giddy. 🙂
Four frames (20mm, iso 100, f/9, 1/100) stitched together in Photoshop.
“April showers bring May flowers” …but only if there are April showers. Though this winter has been relatively mild, the past two Michigan winters were brutal. We watched in fascination in 2014 as the Grand Traverse Bay froze completely solid. We were less fascinated as it collected snow, looking like a flat field instead of the brilliant blue lake it is. With the longer days and persistent sun, the thick ice began to break up in mid-April. This day remains one of my favorites, because it was such a surprise, and the weather was perfect for between-the-ice reflections. The air was warm, but the ice was cold, reminding me of ice cream in the summertime. It was a sweet evening – the kind that makes me glad I live Up North.