“Woodland Studies,” an exhibit of six of my photos, opened today at the Glen Arbor Arts Center in Glen Arbor, Michigan. The exhibit will run until April 13. The exhibit can be viewed online at https://glenarborart.org/events/exhibit-woodland-studies/. That page also has a link to a video of a conversation about the exhibit that I had with Gallery Manager Sarah Bearup-Neal. I have also embedded that conversation below.
[Note: “Woodland Studies” is no longer available on the Glen Arbor Arts Center website. You can see the photos in the exhibit on my website by clicking here.]
I am grateful to the Glen Arbor Arts Center for hosting this show and especially to Sarah Bearup-Neal for guiding me through the process of preparing my first exhibit.
After months of working at home, we spent a week physical distancing in Leelanau County. I rose early each morning to shoot as the sun rose.
Sunrise in Glen Haven
One of my goals for the week was to practice panoramic photographs. It involves taking several overlapping photographs and stitching them together using Photoshop. I had some pretty dramatic sunrises looking across Sleeping Bear Bay toward Pyramid Point.
Glen Haven was once a bustling port. One of the remaining buildings in the village the Glen Haven Canning Company, owned by D.H. Day.
Dew on the beach grass creates specular highlights in this photo.
Even without dramatic clouds, the sunrise on Sleeping Bear Bay is breathtaking.
Finding My Roots
Lately, I have been intrigued by the roots of trees. So another goal for our trip was to try to take some interesting photos of them. I visited Bass Lake, where the shore is lined by cedar trees.
I also visited the Teichner Preserve on Lime Lake where cedars again line the shore.
These cedar roots are the last thing keeping these three trees from falling into the lake.
I took this shot along the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail in Glen Arbor.
Port Oneida Rural Historic District
I return frequently to the Port Oneida Rural Historic District, where the farms were established in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For a time, the National Park Service was letting the farms decay, with the intention of turning Sleeping Bear Dunes into a wilderness area. That plan has changed, and with the help of Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear, a not-for-profit, the farms buildings are being restored and preserved.
This is a panoramic photo of the outbuildings of the Thoreson Farm. The red building is the granary.
I have taken so many photos of this granary, one of the few remaining buildings on the Peter and Jenny Burfiend Farm.
Omena, Michigan, is a tiny town on the Leelanau Peninsula, between Sutton’s Bay and Northport. It has a few charming buildings, including the local post office . . .
and the Omena Bay Country Store, which has unfortunately closed.
The Omena Presbyterian Church was dedicated in 1858. It holds services only in the summer, with visiting ministers.
But, services were suspended this year because of the Covid-19 virus.
Photographing the church, I noticed the cemetery behind it. The cemetery was unlike any I have visited before. Most of the graves were marked by blank, roughcut headstones.
A marker explained.
Sunset over Lake Michigan and South Manitou Island
One of our traditions when vacationing in Glen Arbor is watching the sun set each evening. The show was dramatic on our second evening, as the sun set amidst a clearing storm.
As the year comes to a close, it is a good time to look back at the year’s batch of photos and assess how I did. Ansel Adams said, “Twelve significant photos in any one year is a good crop.” I can’t claim significance for these twelve photos but they are my favorites of 2019.
Each time I look at the photos, I see imperfections, which to me is a good sign since it tells me I am learning my craft, both the field work and the post processing. I have edited most of these photos several times with the goal of attaining what I envisioned when I was on location. Hopefully, they do not look over-processed to you.
Yesterday, I explored the Houdek Dunes Natural Area. Houdek Dunes is five miles north of Leland on M-22. The property is owned by the Leelanau Conservancy. It comprises 330 acres and has about 3 miles of trails that take you through open dunes and several types of forests. What stood out to me yesterday morning were the birch trees, many of which, protected by the dunes, have lived for over 100 years. That’s quite unusual for a birch tree. With their white bark, the birches caught my eye for this series of photographs.
Cedar roots on the shore of Lime Lake in the Teichner Preserve in Leelanau County. CBS News correspondent Martha Teichner donated the first 20 acres for this 43-acre preserve and then mortgaged her apartment in Manhattan to join with the Jean Raymond Family to double its size. Teichner was born in Traverse City and graduated from East Grand Rapids High School, before attending Wellesley College and getting an MBA from the University of Chicago.