August 2016

August 2016 (4)

Saturday, 27 August 2016 09:24

The Point of Whitefish

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Beautiful Whitefish Point, on the extreme eastern end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is a place of many faces. Both lovely and sometimes deadly, it is the place where the vastness of Kitchi Gammi, the Big Lake, begins to narrow itself in preparation to pass through the rapids of the Saint Marys River, Sault (Rapids) Ste. Marie, and on to Lake Huron. High winds and treacherous currents here are not uncommon, and whatever flotsam may find itself in the waters of the lake, even the massive remains of great forests, will be eventually pushed ashore onto the cobbles and sand of Whitefish Point. In the light of early morning or late afternoon, the stories of these great botanical bones lie exposed to be read and appreciated. On this afternoon the wind had risen strongly and the waves of Kitchi Gammi were blowing ashore in whitecaps of spray and froth. I found a cluster of large trunks and positioned my camera at an extreme angle down the shoreline to emphasize the line of the trees and to catch some of the drama coming onto the beach. An ominous dark cloudmass over Canada helped convey the story, as well. A focal length of 27mm provided the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/20 created depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/25th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall medium exposure. The story of Kitchi Gammi is an ever-changing one, and telling bits and pieces of it always evokes gratitude.

Saturday, 20 August 2016 08:48

Reflecting on Beauty

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There is this marvelous aspect of Pike Lake: Seen from the north end, the lake makes a sharp dogleg left, or eastward, around the edge of a point creating an amazing open space for the light of the rising sun. And when the hardwoods that line the lake are in the glory of their fall foliage, there is to be found one of the most impressive autumn color scenes anywhere on the planet. If the morning air allows the surface of the water to lie completely still, the reflections that can be created are nothing short of awesome. The only depth I wanted in this image was that created by the contrast between the still-shaded point and the far side of the lake where the sunlight was streaming in. A focal length of 187mm allowed me to isolate the area I wanted. with the shaded point accounting for about 1/3 of the left side of the frame and enough gray-blue sky to reveal the tops of the trees in that area and create a nice blue-orange/gold/red color combination. Even with an aperture of f/22 to maximize depth-of-field, I still had a shutter speed of 1/5th second to freeze the reflection and to gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure. When I reflect on the beauty of the Upper Peninsula, it lights up my heart.  

Friday, 12 August 2016 09:18

As I Watched in Galilee

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If you have never spent much time on the coast, you might not easily recognize the silhouettes of the rigging of ocean-going fishing boats tied to a wharf, but sunsets are universal; and the Rhode Island coast is a land of beauty when it comes to both. The lovely fishing village of Galilee, just down the coast from Narragansett, easily comes to mind when I think of either fishing boats or sunsets in connection with the joys of spending time in the Ocean State. Having spent several wonderful minutes with the setting sun as it sat in, and then dropped below, some amazing clouds just above the horizon, I was delighted when I began to realize that before it sank below the edge of the world it was going to pass directly through the rigging of the boat directly in front of where I stood. I placed my camera so that I could use a bit of the boat as a break against the direct sun to help insure that I avoided flare. I did not wish to incorporate too much dark foreground  below or dark sky above, but I did wish to include sufficient rigging and the pilings on the right to tell the story of day's end. A focal length of 180mm gave me the angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/16 provided depth of field; and a shutter speed of 1/15th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall exposure that was significantly darker than medium. Sittin'on the dock of the bay, having a wonderful time.

Friday, 05 August 2016 06:58

The Light at Narragansett

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Although Hazard Rocks is actually named for a family who once lived nearby, the warning it implies is well worth heeding, especially when the tide at the entrance to Narragansett Bay is running high. However the sunrise from this beautiful location, if approached with thoughtfulness, can be one of the most dramatic that the New England coast can offer and well worth the effort of getting there. Like so many wonderful places, there are many creative possibilities here, and depending on the nature of the light at the onset of day, one can spend some very inspiring moments here that can turn into hours. On this particular morning the light arose in a soft gray cloudbank that turned the dawn into a pastel yellow and orange. I decided to use the opening in the rock outcrops as a line to lead the eye out into the waters of the bay, into the colors beyond, and since the tide was incoming, I was careful about the placement of my gear. I also decided to use a bit of the flat shelf where I was standing as an anchoring foreground element, and I carefully waited for a rising wave to create some drama in the water. A focal length of 45mm gave me the angle of view. An aperture of f/16 combined with an ISO of 200 gave me a shutter speed of 0.3 seconds and a resulting medium overall exposure. The Law of Torts might consider this to be an attractive nuisance, but the Law of Art thinks of it as simply beautiful.


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