Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse

What is my photographic muse?  It is that big, beautiful body of water called Lake Superior, a frequent subject of my photos and thoughts.  The shores of Gitche Gumee are ever-changing, and each season has its own character and allure.

Grand Marais Lighthouse

I have to give a nod to Bryan Hansel Photography, and an evening photo workshop I was fortunate enough to take from him yesterday in Grand Marais.  It was the kind of evening that reminds us why we put up with months of sub-zero temperatures and bone-chilling winds off the frigid waters of the Lake.  As we set up our tripods and adjusted to the fading light, the haze of campfire smoke and fog settled into the pine-covered hills rising from the shoreline.

Across the bay, the lights of the charming town of Grand Marais danced and twinkled across the calm waters.  The sound of bluegrass music from one of the local bars wafted on the air.  Rather than intruding on the peaceful scene, the notes blended seamlessly with the soft colors of the sunset.

Grand Marais at Sunset

The waxing gibbous moon illuminated the dark waters as twilight turned to night.  A loon’s haunting cry … the silent ripples from a beaver swimming in the bay … the night shift was starting …. my muse never sleeps.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Muse” is 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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed

Starkly shadowed and backlit at sunset, a bare tree in winter can be a beautiful thing.

New Year's Eve on Brighton Beach ~ Lake Superior

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Shadowed” 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.

Taking Time to Enjoy the Sunsets

 

The blog has been neglected, but summers are not meant for sitting in front of the computer screen.  Hope your summer has been full of the things summer is meant for:  soaking up the sunshine (although in Duluth, the first 1/3 of summer left us sorely sun-starved), digging in the dirt, playing in the sand, wandering along the trails, reading a good book, learning something new ….

Minnesota sunset

Posts may be a little less frequent over the next month or two, but patiently hang with me, and I will try to make time to stop by your blog, as well …. I always look forward to our conversations and visits.

Ciao! ~ Kat

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.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

My blog has been neglected of late, as the cup of life overfloweth.  My camera has been busy, but it has been at high school Nordic ski races, music concerts and the like.  So, I intentionally set aside a few minutes today to tackle this week’s Challenge:  the three-picture story.

With a fresh foot of snow and new round of bitter wind chills, and Lake Superior nearly frozen over, the story up north is the weather.

1.  An establishing shot: a broad photo of your subject.

Catching the last light of a February sunset on Lake Superior, looking toward the City of Duluth, Minnesota.

Frozen Lake Superior ~ Duluth, Minnesota

2.  A relationship: two elements interacting with one another.

The wind is not always easy to capture in still photos (in hindsight, I wish I would have thought to take a short video clip instead), so you need to expand your senses for this shot.  Imagine, a cold winter wind whipping across the ice, fingers turning numb in thin gloves (to make it easier to handle camera controls), and then listen closely … think of the sound of sugar pouring into a mixing bowl, and now transfer that sound to the photo below:  it is the sound of powdery snow and ice pellets skimming across the frozen expanse of the ice-covered Lake.  The fine particles create the illusion of a low-lying, fast-moving fog bank.

Wind-swept Lake Superior ~ Duluth, Minnesota

3.  A detail: a close-up of one part of your subject.

From a distance, the shore-to-shore ice cover of Lake Superior may appear uniform, but the beauty lies in the details.

Lake Superior ice formations ~ Duluth, Minnesota

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Threes” 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.