Go See Do Photography

The Photo Blog of Mowers Photography, LLC

Tag: South Haven

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Wonderland

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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.

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Pure Michigan Beach

Beach Sunset

For one final summer hurrah, Chris and I took a camping trip to Van Buren State Park in South Haven. While deciding what park to visit, I knew I wanted to be on the water, but other than that I wasn’t too picky as to where we would go (we even considered going back to Straits but the lower campgrounds were already full) after checking a few times, an spot opened up at Van Buren so we jumped on it! I began looking into what to do in South Haven and discovered that our trip coincided with the Blueberry Festival. We always enjoy a good Pure Michigan festival! We explored downtown South Haven and walked out to the lighthouse (since it was a festival, it was impossible to get a shot of it without a million people in it), and got some blueberry jam at one of the festival tents.

This was my first visit to Van Buren State Park. Our site was very sandy, which made our tent very sandy due to the rain, but it seemed like other sites had more grass. The beach at Van Buren was just a short walk from the campground.¬†Once again, the bathroom facilities did not live up to Straits, but at this point I wasn’t surprised. One of the strangest things about the park is that it wrapped around a working nuclear power plant. On the way to the beach you encounter a fence with “no trespassing, violators will be shot” signs posted every few feet. Other than that, it was a pretty quiet park and if I was looking to camp in the area again, I would definitely stay here again.

About the Photo:
After exploring the festival, we headed out to the beach to capture the sunset. I love capturing the sunset over Lake Michigan because you get an unobstructed view but oftentimes it is difficult to find a compelling subject. After taking a few kind of boring sunset shots I pointed the camera down and captured the colors in a reflection of the receding tide. To get the motion of the water, I used a long (1.6 second) shutter speed.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens, on a tripod

Date Taken:
August 13, 2016

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. To plan your visit to South Haven check out SouthHaven.org. To book your stay at Van Buren State Park visit the Michigan DNR.

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