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Splendor In The Grass - Panoramic
In photography and in life, getting close to someone or something brings out feelings you have never felt before. That’s the kind of strong feelings I seek when I am fortunate enough to be on the Lake Michigan shoreline with my camera on an evening like this.
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On Eagle's Wings - Panoramic
Having multiple camera lenses is a blessing and a curse. After a long snowy hike back from Big Point Sable Lighthouse, I spotted six bald eagles in a row of tall white pines about a quarter mile ahead. Of course, I had my wide-angle lens on my camera, and I scrambled for my telephoto as each bird took flight and soared overhead. Once I had the proper equipment ready, a seventh bird, an immature bald eagle, came into view.
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Rolling Gold - Panoramic
Stop the TRUCK! This is what I heard right before four of our workshop participants shot out the passenger side of my truck with their camera gear in tow. I quickly gave chase and we all ended up on a large dune ridge facing a brilliant rainbow to the southeast. The entire expanse of dune turned a vibrant gold.
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The Provider - Panoramic
Mink live all along the Sable River at the Ludington State Park. This adult mink was busy finding food for its young. I watched this family of five hunt crayfish and chase each other for over an hour before making this photograph.
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The Forgotten Forest - Panoramic
As I made my personal journey of photographing the Ludington State Park, I relished the opportunity to explore areas of the park that I had never seen before. It seemed that over every dune and behind every pine row there was a whole new world to discover and photograph. I knew when I found this section of dead trees that there was a great picture waiting to be made. I sat on the small sand mound for 10 minutes waiting for the light to hit the trees and give them life again.
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Night Flight - Panoramic
Hamlin Lake is one of Michigan’s largest man-made lakes and is certainly one of the most popular. The lake is named after Hannibal Hamlin, who was Vice President of United States under Abraham Lincoln. He lived before the advent of human flight, so sadly, he never got to see this view of his namesake.
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Forging Dusk - Panoramic
During most sunsets along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the sun appears to tranquilly disappear below the horizon. However, occasionally at dusk, the sun, clouds, water, and sand mold and blend to create a powerful mixture of molten beauty.
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Electric Landscape - Panoramic
My dad and I have found that the best way to photograph lightning is using the longest exposure possible for the given situation. This photograph is a 30-second exposure at F8 and an ISO of 100. It was shot on a sturdy tripod that could withstand the 30 miles-per-hour winds. This fierce thunderstorm headed north very quickly and it took out power in Manistee, Michigan.
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Gem Stones - Panoramic
Over thousands of years, wind driven sand has polished smooth millions of stones along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The flat-sided stones are called ventifacts. I made this photograph near the Big Point Sable Lighthouse while on a hike to the northern boundary of the Ludington State Park.
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Blue Moon - Panoramic
On the evening of the second full moon of July 2004, my wife, Betsy, and I walked the Island Trail at Ludington State Park. We patiently awaited the moonrise over Hamlin Lake. Once the moon appeared, it rose so quickly I was only able to get a few good shots. The moon at night is one of the most difficult subjects to photograph because of its relatively rapid motion and the low-light conditions.
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Radiant - Panoramic
Radiant - Panoramic
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South Wind - Panoramic
Marram grass bends against a south wind as the sun sets on an October evening along the Lake Michigan shoreline at an area of Ludington State Park long referred to as the “Second Curve.” The hearty dune grass thrives in an often-severe environment, standing up to the wind and sand that buries it as the grass and its roots slow and stop blowing sand grains.
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Skyline View of Badger - Panoramic
Those who climb their way to the top of the Skyline Trail are rewarded with a birds-eye view of the southern portion of the park. If they time their hike to the schedule of the carferry S.S. Badger, and look through a good pair of binoculars or a large telephoto camera lens, they might also enjoy one of the best views they have ever seen of the big ship heading out of Ludington harbor.
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Sailing North - Panoramic
Watching from atop the Ridge Trail as this lone vessel sailed north on a September Lake Michigan cruise, I couldn’t help but think of the hundreds of times I had cruised the same waters aboard Coast Guard rescue boats. When not too busy focusing on a mission, I was always awe-struck by the natural beauty and remoteness of the dunes and forests these recreational voyagers were undoubtedly appreciating this day. It made me long for those Coast Guard boat rides, both the calm ones and the really rough ones. Big Point Sable is on average the windiest spot on Lake Michigan.
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Ludington Oriole - Panoramic
O.K. It’s really a Baltimore Oriole. But since it was residing in Ludington State Park, and since my three sons and I were Ludington Orioles during high school, I have taken some editorial license. The colorful songbird had probably recently returned from the south when I came upon him in mid-May on the Island Trail.
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Lone Loon - Panoramic
I spotted this loon on Hamlin Lake during a June hike in the Ludington State Park. Photographing it was a personal highlight in a photographic journey that spanned more than a year. I dreamed of reencountering the loon “twice as close” or “twice as close again.” But in six more months of hiking and boating in the park, I never saw a loon again. I am grateful for the opportunity to see this one.
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Super Natural - Panoramic
Deep within the forest in the northern part of Ludington State Park lies a pond that my son Brad and I have discovered to be a delightful place. We watched this male wood duck and several others for more than an hour on a late September morning. We waited patiently for them to come closer and then looked for those magic moments when the splendid ducks fit in perfectly with their marshy home.
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Full Alert - Panoramic
Attention on deck! A family of Canada geese appears at full alert along the north bank of the Sable River on a summer afternoon. Perhaps they are watching for the fox that lives just around the bend, or perhaps they have already spotted the sly predator.
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Gold Fish - Panoramic
We had been trying unsuccessfully to make a strong photograph of an eagle all morning before turning our attention to photographing salmon making their annual return to the Sable River from Lake Michigan. It was the last week of October and the fall color reflecting off the wind-rippled surface of the water made this salmon appear to be under stained glass. It was not the image I had set out to make but it turned out to be one of my favorite images from a year of intensely photographing Ludington State Park.
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Rare Bird - Panoramic
A three-day-old piping plover is dwarfed by dune grass near a pond in the dunes north of Big Point Sable Lighthouse. The tiny bird has no idea it is a rare endangered species. Michigan Department of Natural Resources piping plover steward Katrina Hernandez and I have spent a couple hours this morning finding the plover and rest of its family after they fled from the cage and fencing designed to keep people and predators away, yet not to restrict the birds from leaving.
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