Glensheen Mansion Photo Meet

This past Saturday morning, the historic Glensheen mansion in Duluth was opened to photographers for a two hour opportunity to wander with cameras.  Glensheen was decked out for the season with twenty five decorated trees, lots of trim and all the little knickknacks you would expect this time of year.  Outdoors, the grounds were filled tacky inflatables and other statuettes.  Lake Superior added a few touches to the shoreline with some ice.

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For the fourth year in a row, I had made a plan to take part in the “Opt Outside” movement started by REI.  It has grown over the years to include many other businesses.  In Minnesota, all the state parks are open to the public for free on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
However, as the day drew nearer, I became concerned about the weather due to the extended forecast calling for freezing rain on Friday and I had hoped to travel up the north shore of Lake Superior to visit Cascade River State Park.  In the event travel wasn’t possible on Friday, I chose to take my trip on the day before Thanksgiving and opted to only go as far as Temperance River State Park.  I also made stops at Gooseberry Falls State Park and Tettegouche State Park.
As it turned out, not only did it not rain till much later in the day Friday, the temps were in the low forties.  Over the three days around Thanksgiving I managed to get in three very nice hikes. The day up the shore, through the woods and on the shore of Park Point and on the Superior Hiking Trail above Duluth.  Not once did I think about wanting to go shopping!  (Except for some thoughts of getting some new hiking boots.)

Here are a few memories from the last three days.  If you stare at the black & white image for awhile, it morphs in to all kinds of strange things.

 

Preparation

I’ve had in mind a sunset shot looking up river from the swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park, however you have to wait until the right time of year to get the right alignment.  Thanks to the PhotoPills app, I was able to travel forward in time to find out exactly when I should be in the park to get the shot.  Using the augmented reality feature, I could see just where the sun will be based on where I stand on the bridge.  Technology is a wonderful thing…when it works!  I will be visiting the park later today to give it a shot, but feel safe knowing that I have a window of several days to get the image I am hoping for.  In the meantime, here is a teaser of the view I will be working with.

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The Photographer

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Challenging weather days around Lake Superior brings out photographers trying to get that great storm shot.  It amazes me just how many people will brave the elements to come out and witness Lake Superior when the strong northeast winds bring big waves to Duluth.  We may not have hurricanes here, but Gitche Gummi can do her best impression of one.

Things In The Forest

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Strange beings are hiding among the innocent trees, but you have to change your angle of view to find them.  One has to wonder what else might be lurking in the forest.

Playing In The Park

I had some time while waiting for a family member and, as usual, I had a camera with me. Since I was near Leif Erickson Park and the Duluth Rose Garden, two popular parks in Duluth, I took time to wander around and see what would catch my eye.  The roses are not yet in bloom, but other flowers were and there were other subjects that caught my attention.  I used three different lenses and once again experimented with depth of field and framing.
Later, when examining the images, I decided that next time I will try expanding my focus points to allow more of certain subjects to be in focus.  Some of the flower shots could have benefited from more overall focus.  However, the bokeh is pleasing in some and I want to improve upon the selective focus used in a couple of others.