Go See Do Photography

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

Tag: Lake Michigan (Page 2 of 4)

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Wonderland


Wordless Wednesday: Winter Lighthouse

St. Joseph Light

West Michigan Winter

South Haven Lighthouse

As I mentioned last week, we recently took a trip out to Lake Michigan to capture the beautify its lighthouses in winter. As we learned last year on our day trip to Muskegon, the weather out there can be unpredictable. When we left our house, the sun was shining. By the time we were west of Kalamazoo, it because obvious that we were travelling at the end of a snow storm. After I returned home, I checked social media and learned that along Lake Michigan it had snowed for eight days straight. Needless to say, the roads were treacherous and the locals must have had a bad case of cabin fever, because shortly after we reached the lighthouse in St. Joseph, it seemed like we we not the only ones to have the idea to explore and photograph the lighthouse.

After we got all the shots we wanted, we decided to head north to South Haven while we still had some daylight. By the time we got there, the sun was setting and if it wasn’t for the lingering snow clouds, it would have been a stunning winter sunset. Alas, with the setting sun, the temperature was dropping and it was time for us to make our way back east. I am very glad we braved the frigid cold and the threat of snow to finally experience the beauty of these lighthouses in the winter when it would have been much easier to stay inside. I will be watching my instagram for the lighthouses to turn into ice castles and I may have to return.

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

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Wordless Wednesday: Tugboat


Lighthouse in Winter

Lighthouse in Winter

By now, I’m sure my regular readers are aware of my love of Michigan lighthouses. Many of my summer days are spent exploring the coastline and its beacons. Until this past weekend, I had never explored them in their winter splendor! So, even though the temperature was in the teens, this weekend I ventured to the west side of the state to see the frozen St. Joseph lighthouse.

This lighthouse is known for its beautiful ice formations in the winter and one shot of it actually showed up as my Windows 10 lock screen the other day. If you haven’t seen any pictures of it, check it out here. Even though it had snowed for the past eight days, there was a path worn through the snow on the pier out to the lighthouse. While it was cold and there were ice floats in the water, the lighthouse wasn’t as covered in ice as I was hoping. I didn’t get the shot that I was hoping for, but I was glad that I ventured out in the cold with my camera!

I encourage you to follow my lead and get out this winter! It is so easy to sit inside out of the cold, but that is not how memories and photos are made! This winter, get outside, explore new places, and go shoot! If you decide to venture out to lighthouses this winter, I suggest bringing along ice cleats (like these ones) so you don’t fall into the lake!

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

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Wordless Wednesday: Big Red

Big Red

Wordless Wednesday: Yellow Sunset

Yellow Sunset

Spring on Leelanau Peninsula

Spring on the Peninsula

During our recent time in Traverse City, we decided to head to Leelanau State Park for sunset. We were a little early for sunset, so we headed out to the Lighthouse at the tip of the Peninsula. The clouds were really interesting at this point in time, but looking at this photo, you can see movement in the clouds. A little closer to sunset, we headed up to an overlook that looks over the dunes and the bay below. This would be an amazing spot for sunset if the sun was in a different spot in the sky.  According to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, the middle of June would be a great time to photograph the sunset at this spot. So, we continued on towards the beach and by this point, clouds have rolled in and the sun could only be seen in the opposite corner of the beach, so this shoot was kind of a bust but I was able to get this kind of interesting, reflective shot from the beach near the lighthouse. The moral of my story, not every shoot results in breathtaking images. Sometimes, you have to just relax and enjoy being outside and try another time.

Above I mentioned The Photographer’s Ephemeris. I recommend TPE to every photographer! You are able to put your pin at a photos spot on a map and it shows you where the sun and moon will be in the sky at any given day.  Obviously it can’t tell you what the cloud cover will be like, you’ll need your favorite weather app for that, but the web app is free and there is mobile app for when you are on the go. It was integral to planning our Chateau Grand Traverse shoot from a few weeks ago.

For more information about Leelanau State Park, visit the Michigan DNR. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Vineyard Sunset

Vineyards at Sunset

Wine Tasting in Northern Michigan

Chateau Grand Traverse at Sunset

Back in November I wrote about Bourbon tasting in Kentucky. This past weekend we did a beverage tour that is much more my speed: we went wine tasting. Old Mission Peninsula extends into the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan extending out from the popular tourist town of Traverse City. The interesting thing about Old Mission Peninsula is that it lies on the 45th parallel, halfway between the North Pole and the Equator, which is an ideal climate for growing grapes. Interestingly, Bordeaux is also on the 45th parallel.

Nine wineries make up the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail (although when we were there, I learned there are a few more wineries on the peninsula that for whatever reason aren’t on the wine trail) and on this trip we visited four of them: Chateau Grand Traverse, Bowers Harbor, 2 Lads, and Peninsula Cellars. Chateau Grand Traverse was founded in 1974 and was the first commercial winery in Northern Michigan and was the first Michigan winery to grow European grape varietals (Riesling, Chardonnay, etc.). Of the wineries we visited, Chateau Grand Traverse had the most extensive wine list and I liked that you could deduct your tasting fee from any purchases made in the tasting room. Chateau Grand Traverse offers a free tour that showcases their history as well as the wine making process. If you’re visiting the area, I highly recommend you check it out. We also loved Bowers Harbor, which is another one of the older wineries in the area, with the first vines being planted in 1991. Their wines are sophisticated and the tasting room is cozy. With the $5 tasting fee, you get to keep your glass. 2 Lads Winery is one of the newer wineries and its modern architecture really makes it stand apart from the others in the area. They have a smaller selection (you get 5 tastings for $5 and they tell you to basically choose the one you don’t want) but they were all complex and sophisticated.  Peninsula Cellars was the last winery we visited and it was the one we were least impressed with. It is housed in a historic schoolhouse and has a unique feel to it, but the tasting room was small and when a bus pulled in it got crowded. I wasn’t impressed with their wines at all, they were mostly too sweet for me. Overall, Chateau Grand Traverse and Bowers Harbor remain our favorites. We also liked 2 Lads and it will probably remain in the rotation with Chateau Chantal (which we didn’t visit this time but we have in the past) but we will skip Peninsula Cellars.

This photo of Chateau Grand Traverse was taken at the roadside park that is on the road right in front of the vineyard and tasting room. We got lucky that there was a stunning sunset that night. I had my tripod pointed toward the bay but when the sun poked out and illuminated the vines and the rooftop, I swiftly picked up the entire tripod and snapped a quick shot knowing that I was probably going to have to straighten in post processing. When I got back to my computer, I realized that this rapid-fire shot, was one of my favorites of the evening.

To plan your wine tasting tour of Old Mission, visit WineriesofOMP.com and OldMission.com. Please, explore the region responsibly. There are many tour companies in the area, but TraverseCityTours.com was the cheapest I could find. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

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