Fishtown at Night

Fishtown at Night

For several weeks I’ve had half-formed plans to make some photographs in Fishtown, and I finally made the trip Saturday evening. The sunset wasn’t much to speak of, which didn’t upset me greatly, because the light is still hitting south of the Leland River, so my view of the show wouldn’t have been great anyway. We watched twilight settle from Van’s Beach, and then ventured over to the Fishtown boardwalks under the light of the moon.

Two images hand-blended: 11mm f/4.5 15-sec. iso 1250 (for sky) iso 320 (for structures)
Photo: Fishtown/Leland, Michigan under a moonlit, starry night
Fishtown sparkles under a moonlit, starry night
I’d like a print!

The moonlight would’ve been enough to illuminate the historic buildings along the river, but several business also have exterior lights turned on. This meant that I had to combine a couple of images for the final photo, and I also had to correct for the various colors of the town’s lights. Still, it’s obvious that Fishtown is charming under any light!

I look forward to exploring the area as spring brings more foliage. In the meantime, look for twilight on Van’s Beach to show up soon in the complete landscape gallery. This photo is already available there and in the night photography gallery 🙂

Traverse City Sunset Serendipity

Traverse City Sunset Serendipity

After keeping an eye on the weather for a few days, I had decided that last night’s sunset would be worth making a photo-trip for. I had planned on visiting Leland. As the day progressed, the skies clouded over in an unremarkable way – which is to say: in a way that doesn’t catch sunset light very well. And then one of my go-to sunset prediction sites indicated that the sunset would be mediocre at best. I decided to stay home.

But I had spent all afternoon pining for the fjords keeping an eye on the light, so whether they’d be good or not, I was primed to make some images. A little after 7PM I told my husband I’d be heading up the Old Mission Peninsula for a sunset after all. As I began the journey north, the sky was just not very inviting. The best light in the west had passed, but the eastern sky held some promise. After some aimless meandering, I charted a course for the Greilickville Harbor Park.

It ended up being the perfect place. The nearby marina shielded the bay from the afternoon’s breezes, largely preserving the cloud reflections. Using a 10-stop ND filter, I was able to shoot fairly long exposures, further smoothing the water’s surface. The tough part was finding interesting compositions, but I ended up with a few photos that I’ll keep, including this one that straddles the Elmwood Marina (left) and the mouth of a small creek (right).

11mm iso 100 f/5 20-sec
Photo: Rocky breakwalls jut into the smooth waters of West Traverse Bay at sunset
Rocky breakwalls jut into the smooth waters of West Traverse Bay at sunset
I’d like a print!

I’m happy I took the camera on a little adventure. Though my original expectations of the day were tempered, I captured some great reflections of a sky that had more texture than I had anticipated. I’ll be adding more images from the outing to Facebook and Instagram, so I encourage you to check there so you don’t miss them! And of course, there are lots more colorful landscapes in the sunrises and sunsets gallery.

Do I Have to Crop?

Do I Have to Crop?

This is a question we receive with most photo orders, and the answer is: maybe.

Almost all the landscape images offered in our galleries are in the 2×3 aspect ratio, which means that one side is 1-1/2 times bigger than the other side. (Three is 1-1/2 times bigger than two.) So if you have a frame or a mat with an opening in any multiples of 2×3 – or if you buy a metal or canvas with that ratio – you won’t need to crop. Examples include:

4×6, 8×12, 12×18, 16×24, 20×30, 24×36, and 30×45.

If your frame or mat opening is any other ratio, you’ll need to crop. So 8x10s, 11x14s, 16x20s will all lose a little around the edges. Exactly how much? This much:


How will this look in the final print? It depends on the photo. We examine each one and choose the best crop before sending it off to print. If it just won’t look good at a certain crop, we’ll let you know first. Here’s a real-world example to give you an idea of what to expect:

Original photo, 2×3 aspect ratio (includes 4×6, 8×12, 12×18, 16×24, 20×30, 24×36, 30×45

2x3originalI’d like a print!

Cropped to a 4×5 aspect ratio (includes 8×10, 16×20, 24×30)


Cropped to an 11×14 aspect ratio


Cropped to a 3×4 aspect ratio (includes 12×16, 18×24, 30×40)


If you’re ever unsure if a photo will look okay cropped, just ask! We’re happy to provide an opinion and/or a preview.

Sunday Funday: The Dog Edition

Sunday Funday: The Dog Edition

On November 9, 2013, Petey wiggled his way into our home. We had gone to the animal shelter looking for a smallish (~35-lbs) dog – preferably female – to take adventuring. At almost 50 pounds and male, Petey was not what we thought we were looking for. However, it was abundantly clear that he was our dog.

Petey’s first night home.

Petey now weighs in just under 65 pounds, split evenly between muscles and his big head. He’s a sensitive soul who loves meeting people only slightly less than playing with other dogs. We have logged countless miles together; he really is our constant adventurer. It’s a rare photographic outing that Petey isn’t by my side – or being admonished not to mar the smooth snow or sand 😉

Besides northern Michigan landscapes, he’s one of my favorite subjects. He will happily pose for treats, and he will even more happily frolic about, absolutely carefree. Barreling with closed eyes through the woods not withstanding, I could learn a lesson or two from this dog: Always say “yes” to a good adventure, run while you can, smile often and play more.

Running through the woods today.

Near the Traverse City area and want photos with your pet? Or maybe just of your pet? Contact me! I love all dogs, and always have a pocket full of treats 🙂

Sleepless for the Sunrise

Sleepless for the Sunrise

With no blanket of clouds to keep it tucked in, heat flees the Earth on clear winter nights, and the temperature tumbles. Winds calm, and a skim of ice collects on the still bay. My alarm sounds, and I trek to the beach to witness the day’s cold start. Dawn breaks with a vibrant sunrise, reflected off the perfect mirror of Lake Michigan’s frozen surface. I marvel at the rising beauty, grateful for the clothes that keep me warm and dry as I wade through shallow waters, framing images with my camera. Is it worth the sleep deficit to be alone with this clear water at sunup? You bet it is.

11mm iso 100 f/5.6 1/80-sec
photo: A vibrant sunrise plays on the horizon over the still waters of an icy Lake Michigan bay in Traverse City
A vibrant sunrise plays on the horizon over the still waters of an icy Lake Michigan bay in Traverse CityI’d like a print!

Want to see more? Click through for other sunrises and sunsets, or other winter scenes. Tired of winter? Go ahead and look forward to the springtime landscape. I won’t tell 😉