Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Category: Travel (Page 1 of 14)

Off Season Camping

Autumn at Tahquamenon Falls

Now is the time of year where people start clamoring to get the perfect summer campsite. Michigan State Parks 6 month reservation window is open now for summer and all over the internet, campers are posting about the difficulties of getting their favorite spot. All this hype makes it really hard to get into the popular campgrounds especially over the busy weekends. There is one way sure fire way to avoid all this hassle: camp in the off season. Camping in Michigan outside of the summer, you practically have the campgrounds to yourself.

The slowest season for camping is definitely winter. Winter brings less options as some campgrounds close completely while others limit availability. Many campgrounds that remain open close the bath houses in winter as well. Of course, winter camping brings lower temperatures and snow (although not much of that yet this year) so you need to be prepared with a quality tent and sleeping bag rated for the cold. Bring your snowshoes or cross country skis and take to the trails during the daylight. If you are prepared for it, camping in the winter is a unique experience.

For those who are not that hearty, spring and fall are less busy than the summer, but more comfortable than winter. And if you are able to go during the week, you might not have many neighbors. Last May we took an impromptu one night camping trip at Holly Rec just to get out of the house. There were a few other campers around, but it was much calmer than the summer and we were able to walk right in and get a spot without booking months in advance.

Of course, camping in Michigan in the fall adds a whole other layer to the experience. The trees put on a show that dress up the campgrounds. I love going up to the Upper Peninsula in the fall. The colors really add another layer to an already beautiful wilderness. We camped at Tahquamenon Falls a few years ago in the fall and there were only a handful of other campers around after the weekend. Of course, it gets chilly up there in the fall so you need to be prepared for it, but the views make it worth it!

Thank you for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

New Year, New Travels!

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Egg Rock Lighthouse

As with the last few years, for 2019 I have set the goal to go at least one place I have never been before. In 2018, I barely went anywhere I had been before. Within the next three months, I have two trips coming up to two places I’ve never explored before so that shouldn’t be a problem. After having not flown on a plane since January 1, 2014, we are going to take two flights in 30 days. And Chris was very excited to point out that neither of them are on Spirit.

The first thing coming up is a trip to Phoenix for a conference. I have never been that far west before so I am hoping to get a little bit of exploring in between sessions. We are also planning on staying an extra day and heading out to the Grand Canyon. You can’t send me that close and not to go! Right now we are trying to figure out where we want to stay. If you have any advice, please tell me in the comments. I’m a little overwhelmed right now.

And of course, the cruise I have been talking about has pushed back so many times I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen is coming up early this year! We are sailing out of New Orleans, which I have been to Louisiana several times but never to NOLA before. From there, we sail to Mexico and Belize. I’m excited to get back to the sea and smell the salt air while enjoying a floating hotel. Cruising is the best.

After that, I don’t have anything planned, which is very weird feeling. I’m sure we will get some camping in this summer, exploring more of our beautiful home state. Be sure to stay tuned to find out where we end up!

Thanks for stopping by! Where are you traveling to in 2019? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

2018: A Year in Review

2018 has been one of the biggest years for photography for me so far. While I feel like my landscape work has been pretty stagnant over the last few years. I definitely improved my portrait game this year. We continued our photography tours in 2018 and we are looking at how we can continue and come up with new classes for next year.

Catwalk at frozen St. Joseph Lighthouse

We had our biggest portrait job ever this year, photographing over one hundred families for our church directory. We also shot a wedding this year and I did my first ever infant shoot. We even got a few senior shoots in too and did a little more sports photography.

In terms of landscape photography, we started off the year with a trip to frozen Lake Michigan lighthouses (left). Early in the summer, we explored the Hocking Hills region of Ohio which really blew me away. I really want to return there when the colors change. That would be beautiful!

We also returned to a favorite campground, Straits State Park in St. Ignace and took a day trip to Sault Ste. Marie to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Michigan’s oldest city. Of course, at the end of the summer, we took a great road trip to Boston,  Acadia National Park, and Watkins Glen. As unbelievably beautiful as it was at Acadia, the sheer vastness was difficult to capture. Watkins Glen (right) was one of the most stunning places I have ever visited and I have been telling everyone I meet that they need to check it out. It really isn’t a bad drive from Michigan. If you would make the drive to the U.P., Watkins Glen is a similar distance.

Us at Watkins Glen

We finally upgraded our camera this year to a Nikon D7200. I can no longer say that I shoot with an entry level camera. We had rented them a few times so I was excited to finally own one. When you hit the top of your camera’s abilities, it feels so good to upgrade and be able to do the things that your camera was keeping you from. In this case the biggest thing was ISO sensitivity and low light capability. Even with the new camera, I think my favorite photo I took all year may be the Jordan Pond House photo I took with my iPhone (top).

This has been a good year for photography and exploring new places. I am looking forward to 2019 for more of the same! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Missing Maine

Wordless Wednesday: Another Waterfall

East Coast Adventure

Cadillac Mountain Panorama

Looking back on this trip, and I have to think that this was one of the best trips in my recent memory. We visited three places that I have wanted to visit for years. We visited three places that I want to return to. There is so much history in Boston. There is no way to see it all in a day. Acadia National Park is giant and I feel like we only scratched the surface. Watkins Glen is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. I would love to see it in the fall. All three of the stops on this trip will have to be revisited later.

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Boston Highlights: Honestly, the best thing about our time in Boston was dinner at a trendy, Mexican restaurant called Lolita Cantina that was unlike anything we have at home. The meal started with a complimentary granita with a splash of tequila and ended with cotton candy and temporary tattoos. I often wondered if I was cool enough to eat there. I was worried they were going to throw me out. For me the biggest thing about Boston was just being in this historic city. Boston played a huge part in the early part of our country and there are many sites to see. Walking the freedom trail and knowing all that happened there was unreal.

Acadia Highlights: My favorite part of Acadia was probably the sweeping vistas along the Park Loop Road. I’ve thought about that a lot since I’ve been back home. When work gets tough, I can go back to Cadillac Mountain and hear the rush of the water and smell the salt air. Its not a matter of if I will get back there but a when. And it needs to be for longer. And maybe not in August. Lunch at The Jordan Pond House was good too. Eating a lobster roll and looking out over Jordan Pond is not something you can do anywhere else.

Watkins Glen Gorge Trail

Watkins Glen Highlights: Obviously, Corning Museum of Glass was great and I want to go back and create some more glass. But, the gorge trail at Watkins Glen State Park was unlike anything I had seen before. As beautiful as Acadia was, Watkins Glen was more photogenic. The beauty was more compact. Every turn was more beautiful than the one before. I had expected beauty and was blown away.

As I kind of mentioned about Boston, one of the best things about this trip was the food. We utilized TripAdvisor’s Cheap Eats a lot and got to try off the beaten path places that were surprisingly good! We had Asian Fusion is Corning, Gyros in New Hampshire, and poutine in Boston. Probably one of the best was a little Italian Place in Lexington (Massachusetts) called Marios that had unlimited bread and ridiculous portions of very good pasta. We were able to get out of there for less than $25 for two people. It was insane. We wouldn’t have found it without TripAdvisor.

Thank you for stopping by and for following along with this trip! To read more about our East Coast Adventure, click the link to get to our itinerary. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Waterfall Profile

Exploring Seneca Lake


After leaving the Corning Museum of Glass, we made a quick stop at the Rockwell Museum. Corning’s Rockwell Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate with a focus on American Art. Housed in the old Corning City Hall, the collection was a gift of Bob and Hertha Rockwell. Its a small museum and didn’t take long to see the whole collection. If you have extra time in the Finger Lakes or you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, The Rockwell Museum wouldn’t be a bad choice.

At the museum, I grabbed a guide for the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, so we headed back north to check it out. The Finger Lakes was just voted the best wine region by 10best.com and being in the area, I was looking forward to seeing what the big deal is. With over 30 wineries on the trail, it is much bigger than the Michigan wine trails. Obviously, we couldn’t visit all of them in one afternoon, so we stuck to the ones closest to Watkins Glen.

We visited Catharine Valley (above), J.R. Dill, and Atwater Estates. Located on the shore of Seneca Lake, all of the wineries had beautiful views. Much like in Michigan, Riesling is the king in Seneca Lake and our favorite was a forced carbonated Riesling from Atwater Estates. It was unlike anything I’ve ever had before.  Doing a winery tour was a relaxing way to end our final day of this trip and a way to bring back the perfect Finger Lakes souvenir.

Thanks for stopping by! To plan your visit to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, visit SenecaLakeWine.com.If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Corning Museum of Glass

We began our first full day in the Finger Lakes area with a plan. We would get up early and head to the Corning Museum of Glass. I have to thank Doug Parker of Cruise Radio for first turning me on to this museum and it has been on my list to visit for years now. If you’ve never heard of the Corning Museum of Glass, let me give you a brief run down of what they have to offer: unique, glass sculptures, a large exhibit on the history of glass (it may not sound exciting, but it really is interesting), glass blowing demonstrations, and a make your own glass experience.

Pendants We Made

I was most looking forward to making my own glass. I have watched the glass blowers at Greenfield Village for years, and I’ve always wanted to give it a try. So, we looked online the day before and all the glass blowing was already booked up for the day. Instead, we booked flame working and Chris and I both made a pendant. I am so glad we did that! It was a great experience to use a hot torch and melt the glass together and form it into a tear drop (right). While we were waiting, we got to watch people doing the glassblowing and they were literally only

Chris’ Etched Glass

doing the blowing. A worker was the one putting the glass in the kiln and molding it to shape. Knowing that, I am so glad we chose the flame working instead. Getting to actually create something with your own hands is a really good feeling! After we did that, we actually went back and tried our hand at the sand blasting, which is something anyone, any age can do. We were given a glass (I chose a bowl. Chris did a glass) and were given tape and stickers to cover it. Then, you put it in a sand blasting machine and any area that isn’t covered got etched. Chris’ glass turned out really cool (left)!

If you are in the Finger Lakes, you HAVE to stop at the Corning Museum of Glass! The exhibits are interesting. The demonstrations are unique. There are not many places these days where you can get to see glass blowing. If you are visiting, definitely budget time and a little extra money to create something. If you don’t get to do glass blowing, don’t feel bad, there are a ton of other ways that you can create a unique memento of your trip and get a conversation piece out of it!

To plan your visit to the Corning Museum of Glass, visit CMOG.org. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Fog at Owls Head

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