Lifeguard On Duty

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Hope they have a shovel and ice pick.

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Before It’s Gone

On Thursday, I took time for a short visit to Duluth’s Park Point to see if the winds had blown the remaining ice into shore.  It had, but the warm temperature was making quick work of eliminating the ice along the beach.  As I walked the beach, I was able to spot a few gems amongst the larger churning chunks.  It took paying attention to the timing of the waves to get the shots without getting soaked, and I had to also pay attention the loosely piled bits of ice which was like drifts of large hail stones.  I never knew how deep I might sink or if I would slide toward the beach and land in the water.  But, if you don’t go, you don’t see.  If you don’t see, you don’t get the photo.

Winter’s Frozen Embrace

Happy New Year to all, hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays in whatever form you preferred to celebrate.  For me it was a very enjoyable break with family and friends, not much photography, but plenty of merriment.  However, my urge to wander with a camera overcame the comfort of home and off I went for a walk along the beach known as Park Point here in Duluth.  There had been strong winds coupled with freezing temps and the spray from the waves had coated everything near the water.  I present two images in color and two in black and white.  The specks imbedded in the icy coating are grains of sand that mixed in with the blowing spray.

Canon 5D Mk11, Tamron 28-200mm.

24 Hours

After a long week of sports photography in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, it was nice to take a break and head north for a visit home.  It’s a little over two hours from where I stay in the cities to my home in Duluth, so it’s not a big deal to make the trip on the same day if needed.  If I feel I have the time, I will sometimes use these trips to explore alternate ways of getting north or south rather than use the freeway so that I might discover new photo ops.  But not this trip, this was a quick turnaround where I would have about twenty-four hours in Duluth.  Upon my arrival, as I came to the top of the hill, which affords a panoramic view of Duluth, Lake Superior and the St. Louis River harbor, I was greeted with no view of any city, lake or harbor.  The entire lake basin was hidden by a low lying fog bank.

Besides the tasks that need to be done, water plants, do my laundry, work a bit on cleaning the garage to be ready for my car this winter, local errands, I also had plans to be on the shore of Lake Superior for the lunar events Sunday night.  As most know, there was a rare combination of a full moon, super moon and a lunar eclipse.  I have never photographed an eclipse and wanted to give it a try.  But, before leaving for the lake, I took  a bit of time to document things growing in the yard.

Since the location I had planned to shoot the moon from was being used by a group of Native American women for a ceremony, I moved down shore about fifty yards and setup my gear.  As the evening progressed, the magic of the lunar event was enhanced by the sounds and sights of the ceremonial event taking place nearby.

As I mentioned, this was my first attempt at photographing an eclipse and the intermittent cloud cover didn’t help.  I did enjoy some successes, but there were many unusable images.  However, I learned from the experience and will be better prepared the next time I have the chance to witness a celestial event of this nature again.

And now it’s Monday morning and in a couple of hours, I will be loading the car and heading back south to shoot soccer games later today.  But my time in the northland was good, as it allowed me to slow down a bit and be removed from the frenetic pace of the big city for a few hours and to spend time by the “big lake” and be reminded why I move up here and away from the “big city.”

Things On The Beach, Pt. 2: A Closer Examination

My time at home in Duluth is drawing to a close and I took time to walk the beach on Park Point on a pleasant, late August day.  The last time I was walking on a beach, it was on Stockton Island which is part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.  On that walk, my focus was the large driftwood pieces lining the shore.  On this walk I chose to take a closer look at the smaller things that wash ashore.  Lining the beach is a combination of human-made, human-altered and natural debris.  It’s hard to know how much of the human debris ends up on the beach intentionally and how much is inadvertent, but it wouldn’t be hard to fill a trash bag on every walk with little bits of mostly plastic trash.  It also highlights the growing problem of plastic microbeads in the Great lakes, more on that here.  I realize that when we go for a walk, we want to be able to enjoy the time and the environment as we are walking and would rather not be distracted by trash along the way, so perhaps carrying a small trash bag and making a point of picking up a bit of human-made trash would go a long way in making future walks a bit more pleasant.

Things On The Beach

It’s been a busy several months, which means I have been neglecting my blog.  But things are slowing down a bit and I realized that I have been taking photographs during the long, strange journey of 2015.
Most recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to join a group for camping and water activities in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior.  We were able to explore the islands, enjoy the beaches, hike, kayak, visit a lighthouse, go snorkeling, and get introduced to scuba diving.  I had done this once before in a swimming pool, but never in a lake.  It was an incredible experience exploring a shipwreck and I wish I had photos of that, but I don’t own an underwater camera.  So, instead of things underwater, I have things on the beach.