Welcome to my blog! For the most part, I'll use this space to post notes about recent work I've done. From time to time, I may also pass on tips and other information of interest relating to photography and the subjects I've been photographing.
Sometimes, a mistake can result in a better opportunity than the original intent. In the case at hand, I had actually set out to take pictures of the Holland Harbor Lighthouse. However, I missed the exit. Grrr! In my defense, I was passing a truck and didn't see the sign - that's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Anyway, I had a decision to make - should I get off at the next exit and turn back, or continue south on US-31 to visit the South Haven South Pier Light? As either one would be fine, I decided to continue on. I'm glad I did, because the conditions on Lake Michigan were windy, which translates to choppy waves and images of the waves splashing hard against the end of the lighthouse pier. This was in winter, so it was pretty cold, but I hope you agree that the image below was worthy of the effort, and a salvation of my earlier mistake! Here's one of my favorite images from that outing:
On a whim, last autumn I decided to attempt to get sunset shots with the Pentwater Pier Lights in silhouette. Unfortunately, the clouds had become pretty thick, with no break to let the sun peek through. Thus, that original whim was rowed out into Lake Michigan and unceremoniously dumped overboard with an anchor attached! Better luck next time, I guess.
Despite my disappointment, I stuck around, anyway, and figured I'd just try out different compositions that I could use some day in the future when the conditions might be a little more favorable. When I loaded the images into Lightroom and started reviewing them, I thought they might stand out better as black and white images, so I ran them through Nik Silver Effex to see what I could get. Here are two of the better images that I captured that night:
I have only visited the Michigan City East Pierhead Light two times, so far. I already posted an image from earlier this year. These images were both taken on the same cold, November morning last year. The first shows the lighthouse building framed by the catwak:
The second image was taken from the beach, and shows just how rough Lake Michigan can get at times:
When creating images like this, I like to get lots of shots, trying to time them for the most dramtic splashes, or the most interesting wave patterns. It's a little bit of an art, and a lot of luck, patience, and persistence. Waves just have this indelible habit of being unpredicatble, so taking lots of images allows me to choose one or two that have a bit more "umph".
I visited the Old Michigan City Lighthouse on the way back from a conference in Chicago. The early morning light was decent enough to get some usable images. The lighthouse itself is now a museum, and only open seasonally, so I wasn't able to get the kind of image I would really like, but that just gives me an excuse to revist! Nevertheless, I like these two images, and I hope you will, too! The first gives you a complete image of the front side of the building:
The second image gives you a detail shot:
Lighthouses are a favorite subject of mine, and they are certainly popular with the general public. When I'm done taking pictures of a given lighthouse, I like to turn my attention to other subjects nearby. Often, there is a breakwater light paired with the main lighthouse, as in the case of the White River Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. These structures are often very simple cylinders with a flashing light on top, so they are often overlooked by photographers and tourists. Yet, sometimes they can make for very simple, but colorful compositions. Here's a recently posted image that I hope you will enjoy:
All the images that appear in this blog are available as high-quality matte prints through Zenfolio's print services. Click the gallery link above to browse through the selection.
Authors, editors, and publishers, please contact me if you are interested in obtaining a digital copy of any image for use in publications or advertising. Interior decorators may contact me regarding volume discounts for prints.