Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oh, Give me a Home.......

Luckily for you this a written blog instead of a vocal blog.  I'm a dancer, not a singer.  Anyway, the title gives you an idea where I'm going tonight.  Going to post a pic of buffalo.  No, I didn't take a drive to Montana or Wyoming this weekend.  They actually live and are raised in the area.  Makes me hungry for a burger.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Come on in

In my drives, I often come across old buildings, abandoned houses, decrepit barns, etc.  I always think,"Wow, I bet I could get some great shots if got up close or went inside." But, this is the problem.  How far do you venture into unknown/private territory to get the shot.  Usually, there is a chain or barrier across the driveway and I get the hint pretty fast that whoever owns it wants no one on that property.  But, sometimes you find one with somewhat easy access and no barriers.  Here's one I found like that.  I can't for the life of me figure out what it was every used for, but it was a neat looking structure.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back in Time

I'm digging into the vault tonight.  To a time when life was simpler.  Only one "monster" running around instead of two.  No fancy shmancy camera.  Just a regular Sony point and shoot.  And just a nice fall afternoon watching my then 2 year old daughter playing in the leaves.  As tonight's post shows, no fancy shmancy equipment is necessary.  Just a good subject.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is it Autumn or Winter

One of the "more funner" things for me in photography is, as some people call it, "messing" with my photos.  Sorry, but it is sometimes the difference between a snapshot and a photograph.  Sometimes, it is just getting a shot to look how you felt you saw it.  And sometimes, it is just letting your creative juices flow.  I just finished reading a book about Ansel Adams and it was noted that on most of his photos, he spent 40% of his time getting the composition of the shot right.  The other 60% was spent in the darkroom getting the photo to look like he saw it.  Of course, he did not have the tools available now, but, he still spent alot of time "messing" with his pics.  Tonight's post is 2 shots.  The first is a nice fall scene that I came across this weekend.  The second is me just messing around letting the creative juices flow.  Both the same scene.  Just different views.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You can't beat this

A beautiful crisp, yet sunny, October morning.  We don't see conditions like this too often at this time of year.  Saturday morning was a nice day to head for a drive so I headed to Rock Cut State Park outside of Rockford.  It was the time of the day and year when I had to slow down for the deer on the roads as well as the flocks of turkeys.  Unfortunately, they don't sit still for a shot like a fisherman does.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Scouting out where not to go

I was out for a drive today for various reasons.  Of course, Halloween, one week from tomorrow.  Of course, you gotta pick a trick or treating route that looks the most promising for the most treats.  Here is one place we won't be stopping at.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Grand Finale

Finally, it is done.  It amazes me how there are thousands and thousands of 10-16 year olds posting videos on line all day of everything from milk coming out of their nose to...............I won't go there. Yet, it takes me days to post one video.  I know, I'm kind of comparing apples to oranges, but, you get the point.  Even in this day and age, it ain't easy.  I'm glad I chose for a hobby photography instead of cinematography.  So here goes my final postings on my fall trip.  I've embedded the video in my blog but here is the URL if you want to go to YouTube to watch it.  I don't know if one way is better than the other, but for some computers it might make a difference.  Unfortunately, the video isn't as clear as when I created it.  I'm not sure why, but I think when its uploaded it gets goofy due to limitations set up the internet sites. But its still pretty good.  I hope you like it.
Oh yeah, props to George Winston's version of "The Great Pumpkin Waltz" from the Peanuts/Charlie Brown series as an accompaniment to the slideshow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Last one before the Grand Finale

No posting the last few days due to just sitting down and trying to go through the 1200 + shots taken on my trip.  I believe I am done going through and discarding the garbage and I have only saved the best(I can feel the jokes coming already).  Anyway, tonight's post will include 2 of my favorite shots from the trip.  Hopefully, by Thursday or at the latest Friday I'll have a slideshow put together that I can post to show the world the rest of my shots. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Did you ever notice.....?

...that waterfalls are always going downhill?  Not that there was ever any doubt in my mind.  But if there was, I definitely learned that water goes downhill after seeing numerous waterfalls in Upper Michigan.  The Western side of the state has more waterfalls than the Eastern, I think, but the Eastern side has bigger falls.  Much more dramatic ones last year, for sure.  There wasn't the drama of seeing big huge falls vistas this year, but the opportunity was in focusing on smaller aspects of the falls that were in front of me.  Oh yeah, also, the falls I checked out last year usually were not too deep in the forests nor did you have to walk up hill much.  Different story this year.  I mainly checked out the most popular ones and even those were usually a mile or more in. Uphill most of the way.  From what I read, there are actually hundreds of falls scattered throughout the Western side, but much deeper in.  All I can do is hope I didn't miss something spectacular.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Leaf me alone

Tonight shot will be more simplistic than the big rolling vistas of previous nights.  Sometimes its nice to check out the detail.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sky Dive

I don't know what else to name this 1st shot of Lake in the Clouds.  From the peaks of the Porcupine Mountains, you just want to float down with a parachute into the lake.  The name of the lake is appropriate.  These shots are pretty representative of my time up north:  totally blue skies, some good color in the trees, crystal blue lakes everywhere(which must be identified with unbelievably cold water), and alot of rocky bluffs.  One week earlier and I think my eyes would have exploded.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Save your pity

After talking to several people today, I guess some had the perception that my trip didn't deliver as I had hoped.  On the contrary.  I think I made the mistake of making some assumptions before I left that it would be the same great experience I had last year.  It was still a great trip and experience, just not the same.  And as for color, even though I got lucky last year and hit the peak color of the season, this year was by no means shabby. Tonight's post is an example of just some of the color that was around.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back home and happy

I made it back from another wonderful trip to the upper peninsula of the state of Michigan.  I loved every minute I spent up there but, I am very happy to be back home.  No matter what anyone tells you, it is much nicer taking a hot shower, eating at a dinner table, and sleeping in my own bed instead of eating beef stew out of a can and a bag of chips, cleaning up in Lake Superior(water a bit chilly), and sleeping on deck chair cushions in my van.  Really, I'm not kidding.  Its better at home.
This year's trip took me to the Western side of the U.P. Once again, looking for fall color as well as any backwoods experiences I could find.  I found the color to be on the downside at this time.  According to the locals, they had full color about a week and a half ago, but it only lasted a few days and the leaves came down in a hurry.  I was amazed at how most all of the color was of the "yellow" variety.  I learned, again, from the locals, that their part of the state has alot of poplar and birch which accounts for the numerous yellow hues.  It was nice, but I like alot of red mixed in to my fall color.  I found the Western side had lots and lots of lakes, but less "backroads" to travel.  Oh, there's still plenty of them, but not as many to get me extremely lost.  More state highways, too, instead of county roads which you take into really interesting areas. The nice thing about all the lakes is most all have public access so during the day as I would explore I would find one that I felt comfortable with and make my way back there that night.  Park the van. Build a little fire. Relax for a bit. And then close my eyes for 6-7 hours in the back of my van.  And then back on the exploration the next morning.
The Western side has numerous waterfalls which is one of the highlights of my trips to Michigan.  I will admit, by the end of my trip, I was "waterfalled" out.  I had an itinerary of falls to check out and as I got to my last one on Sunday morning, I said to myself,"Self, do you really need to see another one?"  The answer was "No!" Most of the falls were decent hikes into the woods and what seemed to be uphill both ways.  Add in carrying 15# of camera gear and a tripod, I felt justified in saying "I'm done."  My pedometer read 21 miles after my last hike even though I think it read a little high.  I think, after adding up the documented number of miles for each hike it came to about 16 miles.
The Porcupine mountains were one of the stops on my itinerary and they were wonderful.  If you're a hiker, go there.  Me, not so much. But it is setup to see the main areas without full day hikes.  You'll still do a lot of hiking, though.  Once again, uphill both ways.
I've got over 1000 pics to go through and, of course, I will be posting as I go through them.  Tonights post is a simple shot to get you in the mood.  One of the most wonderful parts of the trip for me each year is when I reach Lake Superior.  I just love the way its cold Canadian wind coming off it lets you know where you are and waves hitting the shore just seem mean and angry.  I don't know what that says about me, but..........hey, make of it what you will.  This shot is just of some rocks and leaves and driftwood that I saw when I hit the shore of Lake Superior.  More shots to come.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stalker in Training

Oh, to be 6 years old again.  We all are animal lovers in our household.  We all just have different ways of expressing  our love of animals.  My son can spend hours playing(torturing) the ants in the sidewalk cracks. He can also make every squirrel on the block nervous.  Luckily, they can climb trees faster than him.  He's learned that now during the fall season, the squirrels are focused on gathering their stock for winter and aren't as aware of his presence.  Perfect stalking opportunity.  I was outside today cleaning out my car and had the opportunity to watch him in action for about an hour.  The squirrel would be on the ground doing it's thing and he would try to get up close.  Of course, the squirrel never let him get within 10 feet of him, but as he walked away frustrated, the squirrel would watch him and come back down.  A few minutes later he would try again using a little bit different tactic. Same result. Tonight's shot is his technique #5 I'll call "I'm just walking down the sidewalk not even knowing you are there, Mr. Squirrel.  So you just keep going about your business as I walk on past you."(Notice the hands in the pockets.)  Needless to say, this, once again, ended in frustration.
 Also, just a footnote.  There will be a break in posting for a few days.  I leave Thursday morning for my 2nd annual trip to Upper Michigan.  Last year it was the central part of the UP.  This year I'm heading to the western part of the UP into the Porcupine Mountains and maybe a little Apostle Islands action.  Hopefully, I'll have some nice pics to post when I get back.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Autumn Oasis

October is here, therefore, time to get the autumnal glasses on.  Fall color has started here, but is probably a good couple of weeks away from being at peak.  Maybe even three depending on the weather.  But, I have to start practicing catching the fall color shots since my 2nd annual trip to upper Michigan is just a few days away. From all reports, the U.P. is just about to hit their peak so I should be there either during the peak or just on the edge of the downward spiral of all the leaves.  Either way, I'm sure I'll grab some good shots.  Here's one I got today that was like being in an "autumnal zone".  It seemed this little area had deep fall colors already, before most any other spots. And the cloudy threatening skies acted like one big softbox to give a nice glow to the foliage