On a Cloudy Day, Go Close

Yesterday was a gray winter’s day. Early in the day, I set out to shoot some landscape photos. The trees were flocked with a new coat of snow, but the light was so diffuse that the photos all looked flat and dull. So I shifted gears and decided to look more closely at the landscapes and find mini-landscapes in the details. I headed to one of my favorite spots, Honey Creek, for these shots. (Click on images to see them larger.)


Point Betsie and beyond

I drove up to the Leelanau Peninsula early yesterday morning and stopped at the Point Betsie Lighthouse along the way.  The lighthouse was constructed in 1858.  In the winter it becomes a magical place of ice and light.  Point Betsie Lighthouse -7882aPoint Betsie Lighthouse -7851aPoint Betsie Lighthouse -7844aPoint Betsie Lighthouse -7841aPoint Beetsie Lighthouse- 7866aPoint Betsie Lighthouse-7897

A couple of shots of the Tweedle Farm near Empire in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.

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The Empire Lighthouse

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Shalda Creek where it passes under Bohemian Road.

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The Crystal River at the first portgage.

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Point Lobos and Soberanes Point

Point Lobos B&W-2034-2I recently attended a conference on the Monterey Peninsula in California.  This gave me the opportunity to shoot some photos at Point Lobos and Soberanes Point near Carmel-by-the-Sea.  I was excited to have this chance. The great photographer Edward Weston (1886-1958) lived nearby in a cabin on Wildcat Hill, beginning in 1938.  Weston was a spiritual leader of the Straight Photography movement.  Point Lobos was a frequent subject of Weston’s work in the later years of his life.  Of the cypress trees on the point he wrote:

Poor abused cypress, — photographed in all their picturesqueness by tourists, ‘pictorialists,’ etched, painted, and generally vilified by every self-labeled ‘artist.’ But no one has done it — to my knowledge — as I have, and will.

I took that not as a challenge but as an opportunity to draw inspiration from the rocks, trees and water that once inspired Weston.

Today, Point Lobos is a state reserve with numerous trails over its 554 acres.

Point Lobos

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I hiked the Cypress Grove Trail, which passes through one of only two remaining naturally growing stands of Monterey cypress trees anywhere on Earth.

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The trail leads to the Pinnacle and North Point.

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The Pinnacle
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North Point
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North Point

The twisted rings in this cypress root tell the tale of a life battling the elements on Point Lobos.

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Cypress Cove as seen along the Cypress Grove Trail.

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The Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is a refuge for Harbor Seals, Southern Sea Otters, and California Sea Lions, among many other species.  These sea lions are resting in China Cove along the Bird Island Trail.

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After his death, Weston’s ashes were spread at Point Lobos on what is known as Weston Beach, where I took these photos.

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Unfortunately, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve closes each day at 5:00 p.m in November, so it is not possible to shoot at sunset.  Farther down Route 1, however is the Rocky Ridge Trail at Soberanes Point.  On my last evening on the peninsula, I headed there to take these shots:

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A rainy (and snowy) day at Sleeping Bear

Rainy with a bit of snow today at Sleeping Bear Dunes. I got caught in quite a downpour when I hiked the Pyramid Point Trail loop (2.7 miles). Fortunately, my camera gear and I were both well under wraps. Lots of leaves and lots of color. A pleasant day of shooting, even if the weather was a bit nasty.

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Shalda Creek where it crosses Bohemian Road (CR 669)
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Shalda Creek where it crosses Bohemian Road (CR 669)
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Shalda Creek at Bohemian Road at little later in the day
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The Martin Basch Farm on Point Oneida

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Layers of Color on Tucker Lake
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Inspiration Point on Big Glen Lake

Some Shots on a Return Trip to New Mexico

I had a conference this past week in Santa Fe and went a day early so I could drive up to Taos.  I traveled up the High Road, stopping in Las Trampas to visit  the San José de Gracia Church in Las Trampas, New Mexico. Built between 1760 and 1776, San José de Gracia is a National Historic Landmark.

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Along the High Road to Taos, south of Chimayo
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San José de Gracia in Las Trampas


Gravesite, San José de Gracia Church, Las Trampas, New Mexico

Last May, I shot several photos along the top of the Rio Grande Gorge, northwest of Taos. On this trip, I wanted to get down to the base of the gorgeand found a road leading down to the John Dunn Bridge. The area is quite popular with fishers and paddlers. It is also the site of hot springs that attracts locals. Here are photos taken around the bridge, as well as one photo back at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

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The John Dunn Bridge near Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico

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The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

The Enchanted Circle is an 85 mile trip around Mount Wheeler, northeast of Taos. The road rises up to an elevation of 9,820 feet at Bobcat pass. Here are three photos I shots along the way. The first is of three pine trees reflected in Fawn Lakes near Red River. The second is of aspen trees that had lost their leaves, new Bobcat Pass. The third is a view of snow capped Mount Wheeler, looking through the entrance to a ranch north of Eagles Nest, New Mexico.

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Three Pines on Fawn Lakes


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Aspens near Bobcat Pass on the Enchanted Circle
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Mount Wheeler