Go See Do Photography

The Photo Blog of Mowers Photography, LLC

Tag: Upper Peninsula (Page 2 of 2)

Wordless Wednesday: Miner’s Castle

Miner's Castle

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.

Wordless Wednesday: Locks Worker

Locks Worker

Epic Michigan Road Trip: The Soo

Soo Locks Boat Tour

I have wanted to visit Sault Ste. Marie (which means the Rapids of the Saint Mary’s River, thank you Google!) for as long as I can remember. Since I was little, I’ve heard about how my grandfather guarded the locks during the Korean War and yet, I had never seen them. So, when we were planning our road trip, I added a stop in the Soo. After doing some research, I discovered that the best way to experience the locks was on a Soo Locks Boat Tour. I always enjoy these kinds of tours because they give you interesting facts and history of a location. This tour had so many facts, I barely remember any of them, but getting to go up and down in the locks was an experience I will never forget. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Soo Locks were built to bypass a 21ft waterfall on the St. Mary’s River that runs from Lake Superior to Lake Huron. Unless you have your own boat, the Soo Locks Boat Tour is the only way to ride through the locks. I highly recommend it!

The nearest state park to Sault Ste. Marie is in Brimley which is a 20 minute drive to town. So, I started exploring the private options. There are several private campgrounds in Sault Ste Marie, but only Aune Osborne allows you to reserve your spot in advance (although you have to call, they don’t take online reservations) and as I mentioned in a previous post, that is very important to me. I am not wasting vacation time driving around trying to find a place to sleep. The biggest thing this campground has going for it is the location. It is right on the river, the Soo Locks Boat Tour dock was two doors down. Waterfront sites are available (although not to tents because of “liability reasons”. I’ve posted the pictures from Straits right? This seems nuts to me) so you can watch the freighters go by while you sit around the campfire. That is pretty unique. Also, the bathrooms were the cleanest and fanciest of the trip, although they are locked which caused me a little headache trying to remember the code to get in. The downside and the reason why I usually stick to public campgrounds, we were one of three sites with a tent. I could get over this if it wasn’t for the fact that the other campers looked at us like we’d slept in an igloo or something. It was an interesting experience. I asked myself if I would stay here again and that’s really hard for me to answer. If could get a waterfront spot, I would be back in a heartbeat.

About the Photo:
This was a single RAW exposure taken on the Soo Locks Boat Tour and with basic edits done in the Lightroom. I was trying to highlight the architecture of the building along with the engineering marvel that is the locks.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18-55mm kit lens, handheld

Date Taken:
July 1, 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. For more information about The Soo Locks Boat Tour and Aune Osborne Campground, visit SaultSteMarie.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Epic Michigan Road Trip: Chasing Waterfalls

Wagner Falls

The Upper Peninsula is home to roughly 200 waterfalls and many of them can be found on the drive from Houghton to Munising. Some of these waterfalls are in parks with trails and parking areas, while others can be found on the side of the road or even in subdivisions. My favorite was probably Scott Falls (unfortunately, none of my pictures of it turned out) which is just on the side of M-28. The falls were just at a trickle when we were there, but I liked how I could get right up to the falls and put my hand in the water. A lot more of the falls used to allow people to walk behind them but because of the erosion, now there are fences keeping people back.

In Munising, we stayed at the Bay Furnace Campground, which is a rustic National Forest Campground right across from the Kewadin Casino in Christmas. I booked Bay Furnace because it was one of the few campgrounds in the area that you can book in advance. I would’ve liked to stay in the Pictured Rocks, but I was worried that there wouldn’t be any availabilities and we’d waste time driving around for a place to stay.

About the Photo:
The above photo was taken at Wagner Falls. One of the tough things about this shot is that I knew I wanted to blur the motion, so I was going to need a long exposure. As I mentioned above, a lot of the waterfalls have walkways and railings to keep foot traffic from eroding the falls, this makes space for a tripod tricky, especially with 2 photographers camping out. I chose to leave the tripod in the car and use the railings to support the camera. Compositionally, its not the best approach, but I felt like I could crop it and make it work. This was a single RAW 1/3 second exposure, with basic edits done in Lightroom. Because of the time of day we were at the falls, there were some blown out spots, so I pulled it into Photoshop and used content-aware autofill to bring back the texture to the water.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18-55mm kit lens, with a polarizer

Date Taken:
June 29, 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 UP Waterfall tour visit, UPTravel.com. To make a reservation at the Bay Furnace Campground, visit the National Forest Service.

Wordless Wednesday: Tree on Rock

Tree on Rock

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.

Fall in the UP

Lower Falls
One of my favorite fall memories is from a trip I took a few years ago to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. One of the places I visited was Tahquamenon Falls. If you haven’t been to the falls in autumn, it is a sight to behold. The red and yellow leaves blend in with the green of the pines as a background to the motion of the water. While the leaves fall, the tannins  run out (similar to tea) and turn the water a dark brown color and create the white foam.

One thing I did not prepare for was the weather on this trip. It was unseasonable cold for the first week in October and the highs were maybe in the 40s(F). I didn’t bring a coat or gloves and I ended up buying a fleece jacket in the gift shop at the falls. If you’re planning a trip to the UP in the fall, my biggest advice is bring winter clothes just in case. Its hard to enjoy the beauty of nature when you’re freezing your fingers off!

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr!

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