Thursday, October 22, 2020

Crisp Autumn Morning

I woke groggily at my campsite at Governor Dodge State Park on a crisp 35° F autumn day.  It was still dark out and as I stepped outside my tent was the chill was apparent quickly.  I made coffee in my mid-century "camping" percolator to help me wake up and warm my chilled self.  I brought the coffee and a snack to my first location that I scouted the day before hoping the weather and light would cooperate.  The morning was still from a wind perspective and the very beginning of dawn was starting to break as I set up for my first shot.  Since Governor Dodge State Park is quite hilly,  I went to a higher spot first to capture the breaking of dawn rolling over the hills. 

Dawn Breaking on the Hills of Governor Dodge

After working quickly, I made my way to Twin Valley Hollow Lake.  I was pleasantly surprised by the light fog and mist as well as the geese that were out on the lake.  The water on the lake was quite still even with the activity of the geese.  It made the water move just a little to make the ripples interesting but not distract from the very striking reflection of the fall peak I came to photograph.       

Twin Valley Lake Sunrise and Fog

Twin Valley Lake at Sunrise

As you can imagine these photographs would be quite blah without the morning light and fog interest. I scouted the locations the day before and came prepared that morning and Mother Nature delivered.    

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Sunny Outlook

The nature of a sunrise or sunset has the ability to stop most in their tracks and to produce a feeling of awe. The star that is responsible for maintaining life on earth can also produce such beauty as it begins and ends our days.  No sunrise or sunset is the same even if the surrounding characteristics are the same as each day is different and never to be repeated.  Including water can dramatize the final product as you have the added benefit of a reflection.  Equally as dramatic is capturing a silhouette for a strong graphic composition.  Finally, clouds and Mother Nature's timing create incredible results.  Here are some of my favorites:  

Fox River.  Brookfield, WI. 

Lake Michigan.  Milwaukee, WI

Siesta Key Beach. Sarasota, FL

 Fox River.  Brookfield, WI

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The Bugs and the Bears

If you have been anywhere remote while photographing or doing anything for that matter, in the Northwoods of Wisconsin or the Upper Penisula (UP) of Michigan you are guaranteed to run into the bugs and highly likely to see or encounter some bears.

Golden Shores at Miner's Beach, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, USA

As for the bugs, June is probably the worst time to be in the UP as it is black fly season up there and they sting badly when they bite you.  Just to give you an idea of how bad they can be imagine a yellow canoe turned almost completely black by them flocking to the canoe.  As for the mosquitos, well they don't have a river named after them for nothing.  With the combination of the flies and mosquitos, you can see why I usually photograph during April and early May or mid-autumn.

As for the bears, I have never seen one in the wild with my eyes, but have had a very close encounter.  Let me explain.  This encounter happened while backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains.  My friend and I just finished a 22-mile hike and we were setting up camp for the night.  We had dinner, and then called it an early night and went to sleep.  About a half-hour

Single Leaf on Rock, Dave's Falls, Crivitz, Wisconsin, USA

after going to bed, I just some strange noises outside.  It sounded like something approaching and it was definitely an animal.  As it got closer, I could hear a low rumbling breath.  At this point, due to the fact that my hiking poles were in my tent vestibule and outside the screen, I had nothing at the ready to fight off the bear in case it came into my tent.  Luckily, it just breathed and sniffed outside my tent for about a minute and then left.  If we didn't hang our food and scented personal items it might have been a different story.  The next day confirmed that many bears are in the area where we camped.   On our way out we passed a marshy area that was literally covered with bears tracks everywhere.  The bugs were so bad that we nearly had to run through the area to avoid them.  Needless to say, I didn't snap a picture of the tracks.