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Little Sable During Advanced Workshop in Morning (1032)
Little Sable During Advanced Workshop in Morning (1032)
Little Sable During Advanced Workshop in Morning
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Little Sable Silhouette
Little Sable Silhouette
An April night at Little Sable Light finds the 108-foot tower standing starkly against the twilight sky. I have made dozens of photo trips to the lighthouse near Silver Lake, often accompanied by my wife Debbie, sons Todd, Brad and Willie, and nephew Ryan. On this night we shot for a couple of hours as the light changed, and different pictures presented themselves. Whenever I go there, I think of the many good times we have shared looking, searching, waiting, talking, and shooting.
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Little Sable During Advanced Workshop in Morning (1041)
Little Sable During Advanced Workshop in Morning (1041)
Little Sable During Advanced Workshop in Morning
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Storm Light

In our 20-20 Vision course, my son Brad and I teach our photography students 20 concepts we use in building strong images. We like to think of these concepts as 20 distinctly different arrows in our photography quiver that we can draw from. This is the best image I have ever made of Little Sable Point Lighthouse, not only because I used a lot of image-building arrows, but because each of them was right on target maximizing the visual impact of the photograph. The dramatic clouds in the mid-October sky enabled me to use one of my favorite arrows: “Clouds are your friends.” Not only were there great clouds, but at the moment of exposure, the clouds were wonderfully positioned in relationship to the lighthouse.

This was the fifth consecutive morning I had made the 60-mile round trip to Little Sable Point. I determined the ideal spot to place my tripod on the first day. My goal was to create a three-layer “Grand Scenic” layer cake, marrying foreground, middle-ground and background elements together in a beautiful union. A triangular mound of dune grass provided the perfect foreground and base in which to place my camera. This foreground layer was the most essential layer to make viewers of my finished photograph feel as though they were actually standing there with me. Brad and I strive to make photographs that transcend from pictures to experiences. We want viewers to step right into the scene.

I designed and built a strong image that first morning. All the compositional elements were in place. All that was needed now was God’s “magic light” to finish the image. Four mornings in a row I watched and waited. On the fifth morning the light was sharp, the westerly wind was building up some great waves into repetitive patterns, and the clouds looked especially stunning and powerful. After 100 cold minutes, a bright beam of light appeared headed my way like a giant search light. As the light 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 in five days, one of the most glorious shoreline scenes I have ever witnessed lay before me. Then the magic light moved on, and the scene became so much less moving. I and other photographers have made subsequent photographs from almost exactly the same spot. I don’t think Mother Nature will ever duplicate this day. I thank God I realized the need to persevere and be there at this amazing moment.

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Christmas Light
Christmas Light
A great challenge for my dad and me is to find new and creative ways to photograph the same subject. Fortunately, the ever-changing skies of the Lake Michigan shoreline work in our favor. On this morning, I had just captured the Little Sable Christmas Eve image and I was determined to find another beautiful photograph of the lighthouse. With the snow no longer falling, I waited for a fleeting moment of sunshine to illuminate the lighthouse against a stormy sky.
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Little Sable Christmas Eve
Little Sable Christmas Eve
On the morning of Christmas Eve, 1999, I was eager to try out the new camera that my dad had bought me for Christmas. He and I drove to one of our favorite places in the world, Little Point Sable Lighthouse. On the way, it began to snow unbelievably large, soft flakes. As soon as we arrived, I stepped out of the truck, set my camera on the tripod and took this photograph before the snow stopped falling.
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Little Sable Fresnel
Little Sable Fresnel
The original third-order Fresnel lens shines like new in the lamp house of Little Sable Point Lighthouse. The Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association and its several hundred volunteers keep the lighthouse looking shipshape for the thousands of visitors who tour the 1874 structure each year.
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Out of the Shadows
Out of the Shadows
During an early morning workshop shoot, my dad and I took 15 students to Little Sable Point Lighthouse. We love being at the lighthouse as the sun rises above the huge wooded sand dunes to the east. The dunes keep the sun from hitting the lighthouse directly for almost thirty minutes after sunrise. Once the sunlight finally arrives, it can be very dramatic. As Galen Rowell would preach, shoot with your camera from the shadows into the light.
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Little Sable Lighthouse (4457)
Little Sable Lighthouse (4457)
Little Sable Lighthouse
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Little Sable Point (4869)
Little Sable Point (4869)
Little Sable Point
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Guiding Light
Guiding Light
Many of our photographs are long time exposures that are shot on a tripod. We use time exposures because we photograph long after the sun sets below the horizon. This was a thirty second exposure, at F-stop 3.3, and at 100 ISO.
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Sunset at Little Sable Point Lighthouse (6984)
Sunset at Little Sable Point Lighthouse (6984)
Sunset at Little Sable Point Lighthouse
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Vantage Point
Vantage Point
Vantage Point
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Crashing Little Sable
Crashing Little Sable
Today my dad helped me make this image with our underwater housing at Little Sable Point Lighthouse. These were the biggest waves I have ever taken our housing out in. I wore a survival suit and had a rope connecting me to my dad. He stood on shore and was my anchor. We had magic light on and off all day long. When I made this image, it was lightly raining, but the sun was shining brightly. It was worth being knocked over, face planting in the water, and eating a lot of sand to make this image!
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Little Sable (8867)
Little Sable (8867)
Little Sable
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Brad Reed\'s Day 33 of 366
Brad Reed's Day 33 of 366
Nikon D850. F22 at 1/10, ISO 100. 24-70mm lens at 24mm. On a Tripod without a flash. February 2, 2020 at 5:42pm.
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Little Sable Lit Up
Little Sable Lit Up
Little Sable Lit Up
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Underwater Housing at Little Sable (9160)
Underwater Housing at Little Sable (9160)
Underwater Housing at Little Sable
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Storm Light - Panoramic

In our 20-20 Vision course, my son Brad and I teach our photography students 20 concepts we use in building strong images. We like to think of these concepts as 20 distinctly different arrows in our photography quiver that we can draw from. This is the best image I have ever made of Little Sable Point Lighthouse, not only because I used a lot of image-building arrows, but because each of them was right on target maximizing the visual impact of the photograph. The dramatic clouds in the mid-October sky enabled me to use one of my favorite arrows: “Clouds are your friends.” Not only were there great clouds, but at the moment of exposure, the clouds were wonderfully positioned in relationship to the lighthouse.

This was the fifth consecutive morning I had made the 60-mile round trip to Little Sable Point. I determined the ideal spot to place my tripod on the first day. My goal was to create a three-layer “Grand Scenic” layer cake, marrying foreground, middle-ground and background elements together in a beautiful union. A triangular mound of dune grass provided the perfect foreground and base in which to place my camera. This foreground layer was the most essential layer to make viewers of my finished photograph feel as though they were actually standing there with me. Brad and I strive to make photographs that transcend from pictures to experiences. We want viewers to step right into the scene. 

I designed and built a strong image that first morning. All the compositional elements were in place. All that was needed now was God’s “magic light” to finish the image. Four mornings in a row I watched and waited. On the fifth morning the light was sharp, the westerly wind was building up some great waves into repetitive patterns, and the clouds looked especially stunning and powerful. After 100 cold minutes, a bright beam of light appeared headed my way like a giant search light. As the light 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 in five days, one of the most glorious shoreline scenes I have ever witnessed lay before me. Then the magic light moved on, and the scene became so much less moving. I and other photographers have made subsequent photographs from almost exactly the same spot. I don’t think Mother Nature will ever duplicate this day. I thank God I realized the need to persevere and be there at this amazing moment.

$0.00
Storm Chaser
Storm Chaser
I had been in the indoor swimming pool with my kids all afternoon at my dad and stepmom's new condo and not paying attention to the sky. Our employee, Aubry Healy, texted me a cell phone shot she had made up near Onekama of some pretty awesome clouds. I told the kids it was time to go upstairs and get changed. When we got upstairs and looked out over Lake Michigan, my jaw hit the ground and I went into full "storm chaser" mode. I knew I had missed my chances of getting a good shot in Ludington, but I calculated that if I drove down to Little Sable Point Lighthouse near Silver Lake, I might be able to get the shelf cloud over the lighthouse. After a long 30-minute drive, I was in position waiting for the storm and shelf cloud to arrive. Within 15 more minutes, the rolling clouds were upon me. I was on the bright side of the storm so the lighthouse was lit in magic light. I waited until the cloud was in just the right location in relation to the top of the lighthouse and clicked the shutter. My grin was from ear to ear as my heart was racing with excitement. My dad and I live to chase Lake Michigan storms!
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