My wife and I recently took a trip to the far northern reaches of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is an area of the state that I had not visited since I was very young. On the way up to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, we found this really nice waterfall called Canyon Falls. The falls are located a short walk down from a roadside park on Highway 41 south of L’Anse, Michigan.
The shot above shows a portion of the north east coast of Oahu, Hawaii. My family and I recently visited Hawaii and one day while the rest of the family was off on a kayaking trip, I rented a car and took a drive around the island. It’s hard to get good landscape images when you are on vacation with others simply because schedules don’t always allow you to be in the right place at the right time to capture the best light. Instead, you just have to shoot what you are given. On my drive around the island I stopped at this small beach park. It was very windy that day and it made for some really nice surf. I took several pictures at this beach and when I was leaving I walked over to this area which was located underneath some trees. I liked the way the foreground plants and the tree framed the surf and the distant hills. Unfortunately the light was rather strong and created some haze in the distance, but I still liked the view so I took the picture.
This picture was taken in Hawaii on the island of Oahu at a place called the Pali Lookout. The site overlooks the 985 foot cliffs of the Koolau Mountain Range and has a special place in Hawaiian history. It was here in 1795 that King Kamehameha and his warriors defeated the Oahu armies by sending them over cliffs to claim victor and ultimately unite the Hawaiian Islands. The site does provide an incredible view off to the north on Oahu’s windward side. The lookout sits in a gap in the volcanic mountains and channels the trade winds which blow across the islands, turning the area into something akin to a wind tunnel. The wind was so strong the day I was there that I was afraid that the wind would rip the glasses off of my face and send them into the valley below.
My family and I are taking a vacation in Hawaii and we arranged to make a day trip to the island of Hawaii (we’re staying on Oahu) so we could visit Volcano National Park and see some other sites. One of the places we visited was the black sand beach at Punalu`u`. We arrived late in the afternoon so the lighting was nice, but still very bright. The combination of black sand, volcanic rock and bright sky made for difficult exposures. Fortunately things weren’t too bad when I was able to shoot away from the sun. Punalu`u is a fantastic location and trying to shoot it made me appreciate the challenges of creating a great landscape image. Trying to come up with the right combination of exposure, proper f-stop, etc. is something I’ve never really been good at. With this shot I tried to capture the look of the area with it’s dark rock, interesting vegetation and wonderful surf.
Port Oneida is an historic farming area in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The area has an interesting collection of old farmhouses and out buildings. My wife and I were driving through the area on a less beaten path when we came across this farmstead. There was a farmhouse off to the right which was interesting, but I thought these two buildings had more character.
I recently purchased a B+W 10 Stop ND filter and I’ve been looking for opportunities to try it out. My wife and I were on vacation last week and one evening I decided to try my hand at a long exposure landscape shot. I’m still learning the tricks to making long exposures work so this shot was as much of an experiment as anything. The sun was setting on the other side of the island but I had noticed that there were some clouds that were going to get some of the late sunlight. I headed to a spot which I thought might make an interesting composition and set up. I took a couple practice shots and then put on the 10 stop filter. The exposure was 2 minutes. Post processing involved working to lighten up the tree area on the left which was rather dark in the raw image. I spent a little time with some curves layers trying to adjust the brightness/contrast of the rocky area in the foreground as well. I’m not sure this qualifies as a great landscape shot, but I’m happy with it.
We received our first snowstorm of the season today and it created a nice opportunity for some winter photography. The weather yesterday was slightly warmer and we had some rain before the snow moved in. As a result, the snow stuck to the limbs of the trees. Early in the afternoon the snow was falling steadily but lightly, not much wind. By mid-afternoon an Alberty Clipper moved in and the wind really picked up. I had gone out around lunchtime to get some city shots in the gentle snowfall and I was planning on going out in the country to get some rural shots. When I went out later in the afternoon I debated about going. The wind was blowing down trees and knocking out dead limbs. I decided to take a short trip outside of town to see what I could find. This shot was taken a couple of miles from my house. On one side of the road was a barn (which I took pictures of) and the other side was the field with these trees in the distance. With the snow falling it created a foggy atmosphere and I liked the way the trees looked in the distance. I shot a handful of shots, focusing on the trees. When I got home and looked at the picture, I noticed the windmill off to the right which I thought added a nice element to the shot.
I’ve been looking at this image from time to time in my Lightroom catalog for some time. The picture was taken in 2008 and I’ve tinkered with it on and off since then. There isn’t really anything that interesting in the shot, but I like the simplicity and the repetition created by the poles.