Go See Do Photography

The Photo Blog of Mowers Photography, LLC

Tag: sunset (Page 2 of 4)

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.

Wordless Wednesday: Marsh Sunset

Marsh Sunset

McLain State Park

Superior Self Portrait

Last summer, during our road trip, we made a stop in the Keewenaw Peninsula on at McLain State Park. The park had breathtaking views of Lake Superior and allowed you to view both the sunrise and sunset over the water, but it was in desperate need of repair. In my campground review, I mentioned that the bathhouse was the worst of the whole trip and the fact that the park had a bizarre layout due to the fact that the old campground road virtually crumbled into Lake Superior. Well, as I began planning our camping adventures for this summer, I noticed McLain was not open for reservations. I did some digging and learned that the park is beginning a major renovation this spring. Well, it seems like someone at the DNR must read this blog, because the first phase of the construction is going to focus on all of my complaints.  The plans include a new bathhouse as well as 30 new campsites and a new road throughout the campground. I am very excited for the renovations and will have to make reservations once its all complete.

About the Photo
I posted a similar photo shortly after our road trip and once I set up for that shot, I realized, it would make a great location for an epic self portrait. Sometimes, its fun to put yourself in the landscape to give it perspective.

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

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 more information about the construction plans for the park, click here.

Wordless Wednesday: Bench at Sunset

Bench at Sunset

Wordless Wednesday: Superior Sunset

McLain Sunset

Wordless Wednesday: Orchard Beach

Orchard Beach Sunset

Evening in Manistee

Manistee Light at Blue Hour

Over Labor Day Weekend I had the chance to visit Manistee. This was an important visit because it checks the final box on my Lake Michigan beach town checklist. I have been to St. Joseph, Muskegon, Ludington, Traverse City, but I had yet to visit Manistee. There is a lot to see and do in Manistee and we enjoyed exploring the 1.5 mile riverwalk and crossed another State Park off our list at Orchard Beach. Of course, we ended the day watching the sunset at Fifth Avenue Beach. Afterwards, we stopped at House of Flavors for a yummy ice cream treat!

About the Photo:
The Manistee Lighthouse is a popular evening fishing spot so I really wanted to capture the action with my shot. I knew I wanted all of the lighthouse in focus so I went with a small aperture and long exposure. The long exposure caused the ghost effect in a few areas, but I think it shows the story of the fishermen on the pier. I did basic color adjustments in Lightroom but went into Photoshop to create the beam of light.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 55-200 kit lens on a tripod

Date Taken:
September 4, 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.

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.

Epic Michigan Road Trip: Recap

McLain Sunset

Wow! I can’t believe this summer-long blog series is coming to an end. What am I going to write about now? Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on this epic trip, I wanted to give you a little recap and share some of my favorite things from the journey.

Favorite Campground: Straits State Park lower campground, St. Ignace. You just can’t beat that view! And that was the bathroom I now measure every campground bathroom to. I would love to make a trip to Straits an annual occasion!

Favorite Tourist Attraction: Soo Locks Boat Tour – Its one thing to watch the Locks from the viewing platform its another entirely to get to ride through them!

Best Natural Wonder: The Big Spring (AKA Kitch-iti-kipi) – This was a really tough decision, but I have never seen anything like this before. The water was so calm and such a unique color! It was breathtaking!

Best Sunset Spot: McLain State Park Campground – unobstructed views over Lake Superior and benches to watch it from. Not mention you can also catch a sunrise here.

Best UP Pasties: Lehto’s, St. Ignace – This is a no-frills restaurant that serves one thing, pasties. You can get them hot or chilled or frozen to take home. They also sell canned soda and they have picnic tables outside if you decide to eat them there. They stay warm awhile so we enjoyed ours in Manistique. If you’ve never had them, you can even order them online and they’ll ship them to you!

About the Photo:
Our second night at McLain we were able to catch this fabulous sunset. This is a big deal at this park and people flock towards the water to watch it. After the sun went down, most of the people went back to their sites, but the sky was not done with its show! Lately, I have noticed that the best colors seem to come out after sunset! Don’t rush off after the sun goes down, you never know what Mother Nature has in store for you!

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

Date Taken:
June 28, 2016

Thanks for stopping by and for following along on my trip! 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.

Epic Michigan Road Trip: The Keewenaw

Superior Sunset

After leaving St. Ignace we began our trip up to the Keewenaw. It was our longest drive of the trip and we made it longer but going down to Manistique and Palms Book State Park to see the Big Spring which I will write about at some point. McLain State Park  has beautiful views of Lake Superior and you can catch both the sunrise and sunset at the campground. Views aside, it is one of the strangest State Park campgrounds that I’ve ever stayed at. Its biggest problem is that road that used to run the loop around the campground eroded off of a cliff into Lake Superior. So, while I’m assuming you used to be able to drive the whole way around, now you can only go one way and to get back to the front of the park or to the beach, you actually have to leave the park and drive a half mile back past the entrance booth. This is especially frustrating to those in campers and RVs who actually have to leave the park and come back in to use the sanitation station. The park has a camp store, which on the map is listed at the information booth but is actually at the beach which is a good two miles from the campground. Also, when compared to Hartwick Pines and Straits, the restrooms at McLain leave something to be desired.

About the Photo:
The campground at McLain State Park has these benches along the cliff overlooking Lake Superior and when I first saw them, I knew I had the subject for a sunset shot. This shot started with merging 3 RAW exposures using Lightroom’s HDR funtion. From there I adjusted the exposure, contrast, and color temperature.

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

Date Taken:
June 28, 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 McLain State Park visit the Michigan DNR.

Page 2 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén