Apparently March is “variety” month here at Life Intrigued. Pretty much everything but the kitchen sink – got you some birds, some insects an accident what more could you ask for? What was that .. you want some landscape shots? Now this is really a topic better left to the landscape specialist (Linda) but if this is what you want, we’re here to satisfy. Looking back into the archives I found a set of shots taken while visiting the Porcupine Mountains.
The above shot is the favorite of the bunch for a couple of reasons. The first being the fact I like the overall composition. The shore line tends to push the eye from left to right into the fire and then back out to the sunset. Could have used a little bit more color but this was taken later in the set and most of the pinks and purples had taken off for better horizons. The other reason is I specifically remember when I took this shot and recall how calm and peaceful everything was – my definition of a great vacation spot.
Jumping back to a little bit earlier in the set, you can see those soft pinks and purps I was talking about. These particular shots were taken down the shoreline in the opposite direction. This would be one of those very few times when I wish I had a panoramic camera that could have captured the beauty of the entire scene.
Hit the jump to see some more shots from the Porkies
Time for some audience participation! So the above shot was composed with a focus on the sky. There were actually visible rays of color coming out from the horizon that was producing a nice effect. Admittedly, those rays ended up getting subdued in the dark room trying to boost the vibrancy up a bit. The shutter was also open for a little bit longer giving the smooth glass look of the water. Now, the following shot was taken at essentially the same time, but recomposed to add a little bit more beach to the scene at the cost of some of the features in the sky. A little more texture showed up in the water as well.
So which composition do you like better? I am torn. I like the depth that is produced from the second shot, but the edge of the beach keeps dragging my eye away from the focus of the shot (the sunset). Also prefer the less textured version of the water, but that could have been addressed by simply letting the shutter ride a bit longer.
And then there’s the standard sunset shots without the water’s edge. Does kind of loose some of the depth but the sky was significantly more dramatic at that point. That is one of the great aspects of sunset photography – if you don’t like the mood at the moment, just wait 20 seconds and it is likely going to change!
Admittedly, the wildlife opportunity was pretty slim while up there. I literally thought there would be a chance to photograph a porcupine since we were in the Porcupine Mountains. Little did I know they were not named because of an abundance of porcupine animals in the State Park but rather named by the native Indians (Ojibwe) because they thought the mountain silhouettes “looked” like porcupines. Drat! They do have a number of waterfalls in the area which kept Linda busy. Other than being able to spend time on Lake Superior the highlight at the time was an encounter with a Pileated Woodpecker while on our way out of the park. This was my first sighting ever. It literally flew across the road in front of us and landed in the woods near the side of the road. Linda was NOT on her game and missed my signal and thus unable to get the car stopped in time. We had to travel up the road a ways until we found a way to turn around and head back – by then the prized bird had disappeared into the woods. Opportunity lost, just thankful we tracked one down after that (link here).
So you are probably wondering about the title. there was one aspect of our time on the shores of Lake Superior that was .. let’s say.. less than appealing. The place was loaded with insects. Maybe not the size of the ones we had to deal with in Ely, Minnesota, but what they lacked in size they made up in ABUNDANCE. I added the following shot as an example of what the digital darkroom experience was like, but the smaller size helped mask the issue.
If you look closely at the sky there are tons of insect specs all over the place. This was similar to the other shots above, but I took the time to ummm.. shop them out. A total pain in the butt, but it was impossible to get any shots short of having my UB wash off her thick layers of Deet and run back and forth along the beach to draw their attention – needless to say, she refused so there I was removing hundreds of little specs to save the shot.
Well, that’s all for now – hope you enjoyed a little time on the beach.