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Spirit of the Shore
Spirit of the Shore
 I joined Todd and Brad Reed for the shooting portion of one of their Weekend Photography Workshops at the Ludington State Park. Standing at the Beach House, I could see the sun hitting the water on the shore, and at times the dune grass. I remembered a close up shot I had taken in Pentwater of the dune grass and a beautiful serene sky behind it, and wanted to try it out with the storm like sky we were seeing this night. I booked it over to the dunes and got in place. The shot I was thinking of wasn’t coming together, however, the beach, water and sky looked glorious. I studied the scene, set up my tripod and went to work. The Spirit of the Shore came through to me in this image.
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Country Lane
Country Lane
Maple trees planted when horse and buggy traveled a country lane now tower over anything or anyone passing their way. The stretch of Decker Road, between Ludington and Scottville, is one of the few country roadways in the area that remain more of a lane a road. Because of its natural look and the magnificent maples, it has long been one of my favorite spots to drive through and to photograph.
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Workshop at Stearns Park (0808)
Workshop at Stearns Park (0808)
Workshop at Stearns Park
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Grand Traverse Lighthouse (1193)
Grand Traverse Lighthouse (1193)
Grand Traverse Lighthouse
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Arcadia Glory
Arcadia Glory
I thank God for this glorious view from the Lake Michigan bluff high above Arcadia. After years of looking, I finally found a vantage point that is giving me an unobstructed view of this church steeple amidst a sea of hardwood tree canopies in full fall color. D800, F5.6 at 1/100, ISO 400, 500mm lens at 700mm
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Grand Traverse Lighthouse (1197)
Grand Traverse Lighthouse (1197)
Grand Traverse Lighthouse
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Ordway Reflections
Ordway Reflections
Ordway Reflections
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Legends Ranch Island Blind (0926)
Legends Ranch Island Blind (0926)
Legends Ranch Island Blind
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Ludingtons Lady (4963)
Ludingtons Lady (4963)
Ludingtons Lady
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Big Sable Aglow
Big Sable Aglow
As darkness fell and the lights of Big Sable Lighthouse and the keeper's dwelling emerged, I was certain I was in the best spot to make the strongest picture possible of the famous landmark. I shot several dozen shots over a period of 45 minutes, when the cloud patterns added to the composition of the picture. But it was in the last few minutes of shooting that the electric lights and remaining light in the sky balanced the best. I packed up my gear, shouldered my tripod and strode excitedly down a big dune to meet up with my son Brad, whom I had lost sight of an hour ago. I showed him my "trophy" shot on my digital camera; then he showed me his. It was obvious that his was a Boone and Crocket "trophy" shot compared to mine. I was glad for his greater success but still exhilerated by my own visual experience and capture.
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Grand Sentinel
Grand Sentinel
One of the best parts of my job is that I am always meeting new people. My wife, Betsy, my dad and I trekked to the Big Point Sable Lighthouse on a long summer evening. Upon arrival, we were greeted by volunteer lighthouse keepers outside working on the grounds. They generously offered to turn on all of the interior and exterior lights. My dad climbed a dune to shoot from the south, while Betsy and I walked down the beach a few hundred yards to shoot from the north. To our surprise, we found a perfect reflection of the lighthouse in a storm pool. This shot would not have been possible without the help of the lighthouse keepers and for that I am very grateful.
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Wise One
Wise One
The porcupines of Ludington State Park had eluded our cameras for months. On this particular day, after scouting for a spot to set up a portable blind and shoot some wood ducks (with my camera), I made up my mind to spend the rest of the day on the trails looking up in the trees as much as possible. Several hours and one sore neck later, I spotted this porcupine. The porcupine wisely stood perfectly still and blended its body into the tree trunk and branch as well as it could. The telephoto lens revealed to me that the beautiful creature was aware of my presence. Its only body movement during the time it took to make a portrait was the occasional opening or closing of its eyes.
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Storm Light
Storm Light
Renowned National Geographic Photographer Sam Abell talks about learning to wait longer when he knows there is a picture to be made but all of the ingredients are not yet present. This October morning was the fifth consecutive morning I had driven 30 miles to Litltle Point Sable Lighthouse to shoot a scene I had composed on the first day. The light was sharp, the westerly wind was building up some great waves into repetitive patterns and the clouds looked powerful and stunning. I knew the final ingredient would be for one of the beams of light traveling between breaks in the moving clouds to fall upon the lighthouse. After 100 cold minutes, a bright beam appeared headed my way. As it hit the lighthouse I began shooting. A few seconds later the light also lit the dune grass in front of my camera and tripod. For about five seconds, one of the most glorious shoreline scenes I had ever witnessed lay before me. Then the magic light moved on and the scene became so much less moving.
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Legends Ranch (1110)
Legends Ranch (1110)
Legends Ranch
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Windswept
Windswept
The first two weeks of October are a glorious time of year along the Lake Michigan shoreline. I tell my photography students more often than they want to hear, "Clouds are your friends." Early October is a great time to experience sunshine, fresh breeze and crisp, clear air painted with billowy clouds. When these conditions coexist, the dune grasses and beaches appear most alive.
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Bat Man
Bat Man
Bat Man
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November Storm in Grand Haven (8744)
November Storm in Grand Haven (8744)
November Storm in Grand Haven
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Legends Ranch (1131)
Legends Ranch (1131)
Legends Ranch
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Onekema (8954)
Onekema (8954)
Onekema
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Michigan Blues
Michigan Blues
Michigan Blues
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