Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

There is nothing more musical than a sunset. ~ Claude Debussy

Nature paints works of art like no other.  Within the span of just minutes, the palette changes.  Colors shift, light dances.

Two Island Lake at sunset ~ Grand Marais, Minnesota

Winter continues its lingering goodbye in northern Minnesota with Spring competing for the landscape.  While the loons called out, always a welcome sign of the shifting seasons, the snow on the edge of the lake provided a foundation for the fading light, taking on hues of gold, blue and violet.

An extra element was placed on the canvas in the open water closest to shore.  From the start of sunset until the last light disappeared, a delicate film appeared on the water’s surface.  Ice crystals were reforming with the help of the frigid water and crisp evening air, as if Mother Nature was tucking her lake in for the night with a gossamer blanket.

Sunset on Two Island Lake ~ Grand Marais, MN

The scene at sunset was made even more sweet by the fact that we had endured a damp chill for most of the day with heavy cloud cover and even snow flurries. But, a day full of art made it worthwhile.  Two friends and I arranged a photography workshop with Bryan Hansel of Bryan Hansel Photography, a photographer from the Grand Marais area whose work I have admired for some time.  In fact, he beat me to it in posting a photo from this lovely sunset on his Facebook page, and sharing the wonder of watching the ice crystals spread their way across the water in the fading light.

After gathering in the campground shelter at Cascade River State Park for a slide show on some DSLR photography basics and techniques, we enjoyed a short hike to the cascades for which the park is named.  We learned how to apply our newly expanded knowledge of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focal length and more to the always-stunning beauty of Minnesota’s scenery.  With the insights Bryan imparted, the hands-on workshop allowed us to create our own works of art ….

Cascade River State Park, Minnesota

For more information on the photography of Bryan Hansel, or if you are interested in taking one of his photography workshops (highly recommended!), visit his website.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. ”Work of Art” was this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.