A September Day Shooting Photos at Sleeping Bear

I headed north early yesterday morning to the Sleeping Bear Dunes trail in Glen Haven, Michigan. It was a beautiful morning. I had climbed to the top of a dune an hour before sunrise and got to enjoy the stars as I planned my first shots of the day. As always, the stars were beautiful, with Orion and his belt showing off in the southern sky. (Click on a photo to see a larger view.)

Sleeping Bear Bay from atop the dune on the Sleeping Bear Dune Trail.

After shooting across Sleeping Bear Bay, I headed further along the the Sleeping Bear Dune Trail to the Ghost Forest, which is always fun to shoot in the morning light. To me, photos of these trees that were once buried in sand and have now risen from the dead look best in black and white.

There were few signs of color up north, but I founds some hints of fall at Tucker Lake in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Tucker Lake 2

Tucker Lake 3

Near Tucker Lake are the headwaters of the Crystal River, a 6.3 mile shallow stream that winds through the forest from Fisher Lake to Lake Michigan.  Here is a photograph taken from the bridge where the river first crosses Crystal View Road (County Road 675).

Crystal River 2

Before leaving Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to return home, I stopped at Lane Road Beach on Sleeping Bear Bay in the Point Oneida Rural Historic District.

Sleeping Bear Bay

The dappled light brought out the colors of the stones in the water.

Sleeping Bear Bay Stones

On my day trips up north, I shoot early in the morning, setting up before dawn (yesterday at 6:15 a.m.), until that special morning light is gone. After about three hours it is off to breakfast and then some additional shooting and scouting. On my way back from the Leelanau Peninsula, I stopped at the High Rollaway Overlook near Buckley. It offers an incredible view of the valley. I wanted to see it for the first time and take a test shot in the hopes that I can return during peak color this fall. The rollaway was used by logging companies in the 18th century. They rolled their logs down the steep embankment to the Manistee River. From there, the logs were floated down river to a sawmill.

Highbanks Rollaway