Category Archives: Midwest

Symphony of Sunset

I went up to Lake Superior National Lake Shore with a couple of friends last October to photograph fall color.  We wondered in the forest for a couple of days.  The fall color was rather unimpressive, so we decided to head to the beach.  This is a place I visited a few years ago.  What always intrigues me here is a tiny waterfall on the Miners Beach.  It is only about 4 feet high and rather ordinary.  In upper Michigan where water falls are abundant, many people probably won’t bother to take the camera out of bag.  However, the real attraction is the rock underneath the falls.  At sunset, the rock is lit up by sunset. The ledges of rocks turns into golden lines that lead to the water fall.

This time, we photographed sunset as usual. Just when the light started to fade away and we were ready to leave. The whole sky towards west explored in red and Lake Superior water looked like on fire. At that moment, blue, red and golden lights came together signing a nature’s symphony with the tiny water falls stood proudly on the Miners Beach. I quickly took a few more shots of my favorite water fall before the light totally faded away. It was one of the most spectacular sunsets I experienced. I looked at my LCD screen and smiled.

This picture was published on 1x.com and Earthshots.org in April, 2014

Symphony of Sunset

Crabapple in the Snow

Crabapple is one of the most common trees in Midwest.  But in the world of long and hash winter, crabapple is like a spice on an otherwise tasteless dish.  It had been snowing for a couple of days in Midwest.  I finally can’t take it anymore.  So I decided to go out to Morton Arboretum to photograph some crabapple trees to brighten up my day.  Just when I was photographing this tree, strong wind blew the snow up in the air, helped me to filter out distracting elements at distance.

Crabapple in the Wind

After hundreds of crabapple pictures on my hard drive, I decided to try a new angle.  So I put my tripod on a higher ground over a smaller tree.  The flip screen of my Sony A99 comes handy when I compose the picture from underneath.  At this angle, the background is finally pure.

Fire in the Snow

Frozen Passage

Frozen Passage

I had been planning to drive up the Lake Michigan coast to photograph those lighthouses in the winter.  But we had an unusually warm winter last year.  I had to give up the plan.  This year, I was watching the weather every week, hoping for a bad wintery weather.  A cold front finally went by at end of January.  I decided to give a try, even it started to warm up over the weekend.

Frankfort, Michigan was a deserted town in the middle of winter.  When I arrived under a heavy snow, the huge resort we checked in probably only had five guests.  I am sure I was the only photographer in town.  I scouted the area and waited for the gloomy sky to clear.  Well, it didn’t clear next morning.  There was a plan B.  My wife and I decided to head up Old Mission Peninsula for a wine tour instead.  This area in Michigan produces some of the finest wines in the country.  Fortunately, the taste of wine does not depend on the weather like the photography does.  We have never visited so many wineries in a single day. 

On the way back to the hotel near dusk, I saw a glimpse of hope.  There was a slim gap in the thick cloud at horizon towards west.  I drove directly to the pier, put on the cleats, grabbed my gears, headed out to the icy pier. But the sun never came out. I decided to shoot into dark regardless.  After a few shots, the light turned blue.  There was enough light escaped through the gap in the cloud so that the magical blue hour was visible to the camera sensor.

There is hope in any situation.