Deb Beausoleil Photography: Blog https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog en-us (C) DebBeausoleilPhotography.com (Deb Beausoleil Photography) Tue, 26 Apr 2022 21:33:00 GMT Tue, 26 Apr 2022 21:33:00 GMT https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u533403775-o447402094-50.jpg Deb Beausoleil Photography: Blog https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog 120 118 Photographs Along the Way https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/10/photographs-along-the-way When I am not traveling, I typically have a plan before I leave the house with my camera. I know ahead of time where I plan to go and the route that I will take. Since so many areas around me are not familiar to me (I am a Midwestern gal), I almost always have to rely on the GPS to get me there.

Sometimes, the GPS steers me wrong and I end up in unfamiliar territory and never find what I was originally looking for. That is what happened last weekend when I was trying to find a small park in the Smith Mountain Lake area of Virginia. When I cannot find what I originally came for, I take advantage of the situation and make it into an adventure. And, oh my, the things that I see when I am not actually looking for them!

I’d never really spent a lot of time in the Smith Mountain Lake area of Virginia, so I headed out there before sunrise to see if I could find some pretty places to shoot the rising sun. I entered a destination into the GPS and made my way there, but it was closed to the public as it was the off-season (early October). I got back into the car and started driving and I caught a glimpse of this scene as I rounded a corner in Smith Mountain Lake. Dock FogDock FogThirty minutes after sunrise on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia in October. Even better, a fisherman was just coming back in towards the shore, about 30 minutes after sunrise.
Sunrise FishermanSunrise FishermanA fisherman was headed back in to shore shortly after sunrise on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. From there, I went off in search of a couple public parks in Moneta, Virginia, which is a short distance away from Smith Mountain Lake. The GPS could not locate one of the parks that I was looking for, but while driving around with my eyes peeled, I wound up at the end of a dead end street. Actually, the sign at the end of the street said “road closed”, as if they were doing construction. No signs of construction, but there were two very old abandoned buildings. This was the major photographic find of the day for me!
WindowsWindowsAbandoned building windows.

Moneta Produce Building - black and whiteMoneta Produce Building - black and whiteMoneta Produce building in Moneta, Virginia

Abandoned Building - black & whiteAbandoned Building - black & whiteAn old abandoned building in Moneta, Virginia.

This last photograph made me think of the Hitchcock movie "Psycho" and how the main house at the Bates Motel might have looked a few years after the last scene of the movie took place. Someone that I know commented that it felt like Tennessee Williams territory and "A Streetcar Named Desire". Absolutely!

If I hadn't have been looking for something else and just happened to wander into this neighborhood, look at what I would have missed!

This past weekend, I got up very early and made the drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mabry Mill. Rain and thunderstorms were in the forecast for the entire area, but in looking at the hourly forecast near the mill, I thought I might luck out and be able to get some shots in between rain showers. The entire time I was there, the rainfall was no more than a mist.

Mabry Mill in OctoberMabry Mill in OctoberThe colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway were not all at peak on October 9, 2021. The colors of the trees closest to Mabry Mill were. It was 60 degrees Fahrenheit and slightly misty on this day. On the way to Mabry Mill, I passed the Rock Castle Gorge Overlook, and the valley was cloaked in a heavy fog. But on the way past about 1-1/2 hours later, I glanced off to the side and saw wisps of clouds in the valley! I found a safe place to turn around on the Parkway and went back for a closer look. The clouds were still very threatening overhead, but the valley was visible below. What a breathtaking view! Rock Castle GorgeRock Castle GorgeThe Rock Castle Gorge Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway is at an elevation of 3,195 feet. Sometimes we get so busy in life that we don’t always take time to enjoy the ride. We might be on our way to an adventure, but sometimes, the best things might be missed if we don’t take the time to glance out the side window on the way to our destination.

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) autumn colors black and white photography Blue Ridge Parkway dock in sunrise mist fishing at sunrise Mabry Mill Moneta Rock Castle Gorge Overlook Smith Mountain Lake sunrise photography Virginia https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/10/photographs-along-the-way Sun, 10 Oct 2021 17:24:46 GMT
A New Day https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/a-new-day A New DayA New DayA view to the west as the sun comes up behind me in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A view to the west as the sun comes up behind me in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  A sunrise in the mountains is different than it is on sea level.  Depending on where you are in the mountains, it can take another 30 to 60 minutes for the sun to rise over the mountain after it comes up over the sea level horizon. 

On this day, looking to the west, the colors were muted because the sun hadn't come up over the mountain behind me.  If I was at sea level with nothing on the horizon, the sky would have been filled with light, seemingly all at once.  But in the mountains, the sunrise seemed to progress more slowly as the light gradually fills the valley.  That was accentuated on this day. It made for a marvelous transformation!

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) "Blue Ridge Mountains" "Blue Ridge Parkway" autumn background beautiful beauty cloud color dawn environment fog foggy forest green haze hill idyllic landscape light mist misty morning mountain mountains natural nature outdoor scene scenery scenic season silhouette sky sun sunlight sunrise sunshine tourism tranquil travel tree vacation valley view Virginia https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/a-new-day Tue, 28 Sep 2021 10:22:59 GMT
Prepared to Get the Shot https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/prepared-to-get-the-shot I recently came back from a long road trip between Virginia and Michigan. Naturally, I had all my camera equipment with me. If I wanted to stop along the long drive to photograph something interesting, I had everything I needed with me, including my tripod.

How many photographers travel with their primary camera and lenses in the car when they are just going to the grocery store or running errands? I once asked this question to a couple of photographers that I know, and it was 50/50. I do not do it as often as I should, and I can think of a few times when I missed what might have been some fantastic shots.

On a snowy day in late January of this year, I had gone out with all my equipment to see what I could see. It had not just snowed the night before – it was still snowing! I put many miles on my vehicle and drove all over the county and I was rewarded with many different kinds of shots (stay tuned for those to be eventually uploaded to the galleries).

Because I am from Upper Michigan, I know what it means to dress for outdoor winter adventures. I had my boots, snow pants, winter hat, scarf, and gloves. Even after getting into the warm car and driving between winter scenes, I was still very cold after 4 hours.

On my way home, I crossed some railroad tracks and as I looked to the side, a huge locomotive was sitting on the tracks, top light on. It was not moving, but it was not vacant, either. I had to park a quarter of a mile away so that I was safely off the road. I had no idea how long the train had been sitting there nor when it would start moving again.

I hustled back to the train tracks with my camera and got several shots. He still had not moved, so I took a chance and jogged back to my car to get my cell phone. I always get some establishing shots with my cell phone camera to set the time and GPS location, and sometimes some video.

It was still snowing, and my camera lens filter was covered with water droplets and snowflakes. During the previous 4 hours of shooting in snowy conditions, I had used up all my lens cloths. I had to resort to using the bottom of my sweatshirt which was under my coat and still dry. Gusts of wind would blow the snow into my face and into the lens, adding to the excitement of the day.

There were a few cars that were coming and going down the country road and over the tracks while I was there. I took some time to get a few shots of the road behind me. Country SnowCountry SnowWhile waiting for the Norfolk Southern 1198 to start moving down the tracks, I turned around to capture the scene behind me. As I'd been out with the camera for 4 hours while it was actively snowing, all my lens cloths were of no use by this time. Still, I'm happy with how this image turned out, water spots and all. It is a naturally-occuring color enhanced photograph. Even though it is obvious that the lens filter is very wet with snowflakes, I rather like how this image turned out. It represents the weather conditions of the day and adds to the beauty of the shot. Unfortunately, I do not have a clean lens shot of this view, but that is okay. It would have been difficult to change the filter when it was still actively snowing, and I did not want to miss the take-off of the locomotive on the tracks. Because of the weather conditions, the scene looks monochrome with just a few splashes of color for the road’s center line and the red house. I could have tweaked the vibrance and saturation a bit, but I did not – this is how it looked to the naked eye. Ready to RollReady to RollNorfolk Southern 1198 has turned on all the lights and is ready to roll!

Finally, I heard the engines ramping up and all of the lights came on. The Norfolk Southern 1198 was getting ready to move! He blew the train whistle several times before starting forward and it was a glorious sound! He started moving forward and the railroad crossing lights started flashing and the intersection was closed to traffic. It did not take long for the train to get up to speed and move through the crossing. What a marvelous sight and sound!

This experience was the number one reason and reminder to me to always have my camera with me.  Always be prepared to capture your best shot!

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) locomotive Norfolk Southern 1198 snow snowing train winter photography https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/prepared-to-get-the-shot Sat, 25 Sep 2021 14:13:57 GMT
Home State Pride https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/home-state-pride I recently took a road trip back to Michigan, my home state. In addition to spending some much needed time with my family, I had the opportunity to visit both familiar and unfamiliar locations in my home state.  Bridge View ParkBridge View ParkPerfect view of the Mackinac Bridge from Bridge View Park in St. Ignace, Michigan Getting to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula requires a drive over the Mackinac Bridge. The bridge is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. It is a 5-mile-long bridge that connects Michigan’s Lower Peninsula (Mackinaw City) and the Upper Peninsula (St. Ignace). There are several places to enjoy the view of the Mackinac Bridge. The Bridge View Park in St. Ignace, Michigan (Upper Peninsula) is one of my favorites. Sunday AfternoonSunday AfternoonSunday afternoon at the beach on Old Mackinac Point in Mackinaw City, Michigan. Whitecaps, Mackinac BridgeWhitecaps, Mackinac BridgeA thunderstorm had moved through Mackinaw City a few hours before. It was still very windy (but warm!) on Lake Huron. Beach CrowdBeach CrowdAfter the thunderstorm passed through the area, everyone arrived at the Old Mackinac Point beach to enjoy a warm summer afternoon. Mackinac SunriseMackinac SunriseShortly before sunrise from Old Mackinac Point in Mackinaw City, Michigan.

Mackinac Bridge from St. Ignace, MichiganMackinac Bridge from St. Ignace, MichiganBridge View Park in St. Ignace, Michigan is a wonderful place to enjoy the gardens and the magnificent view of the Mackinac Bridge. The Old Mackinac Point Park was a new location for me to visit on this trip. It’s located in Mackinaw City in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For the first time ever, I was finally able to find the place where you can stand under the Mackinac Bridge, and what a view that was!  Under the BridgeUnder the BridgeThe view from under the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world - the Mackinac Bridge. As you can imagine, there are many lighthouses on the Great Lakes. We were able to visit several of them on this trip. In this week’s blog, I’ve included photographs of lighthouses on Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. Wawatam Light - St. Ignace, MichiganWawatam Light - St. Ignace, MichiganEarly morning at the Wawatam Light in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This lighthouse was originally lit in 1998 as a Michigan Welcome Center travel icon in Monroe, Michigan (south of Detroit). In 2004, the Welcome Center was re-modeled and the Wawatam Light was moved to St. Ignace (north side of the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan's Upper Peninsula). https://www.michigan.org/property/wawatam-lighthouse I’ve visited the Whitefish Point lighthouse on Lake Superior several different times. Just to the east of Whitefish Point is the Crisp Point Lighthouse and I was finally able to visit here for the first time in my life. The road leading to this lighthouse is not open between November and April. Once we left the highway, we traveled on a loose packed dirt road for twenty miles, and the last section of the road (5 miles or so) was not much more than a two-track and barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass one another. I later found out that this is a snowmobile trail! A huge rainstorm had passed through the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) the day before, so there were several big mud puddles to maneuver around. It was thrilling to travel so far into the Michigan wilderness, and we were not disappointed by the view when we arrived at Crisp Point! Crisp Point LighthouseCrisp Point LighthouseCrisp Point Lighthouse on Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. By far, the most remote lighthouse location that I have ever traveled to. Twenty miles of dirt road and the last 5 miles is an actual snowmobile trail, barely wide enough to allow 2 vehicles to pass. I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, home of the Soo Locks. Ships come and go through the Locks on their way from Lake Superior to and from Lake Huron and the St. Lawrence Seaway. My grandparents lived a block away from the St. Mary’s River, so I grew up hearing the familiar sounds of lake freighters (lakers) moving up and down the river, occasionally tooting their greetings to the other freighters they passed.

Soo LocksSoo LocksThe view of the MacArthur Lock from the observation deck at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The International Bridge to Canada is in the background.

Frontenac Downbound on St. Mary's RiverFrontenac Downbound on St. Mary's RiverFrontenac heading downbound on the St. Mary's River about 5 minutes before sunrise

Indiana Harbor Downbound on the St. Mary's RiverIndiana Harbor Downbound on the St. Mary's RiverThe Indiana Harbor is a 1,000 foot long lake freighter. It was downbound on the St. Mary's River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. My other grandparents lived further up the shore of Lake Superior, about 30 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie. When we visited them, we used to always pass the Point Iroquois Light station. They’ve since restored the lighthouse and grounds and it’s a beautiful place to visit and to sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Lake Superior shoreline. On the day that we visited, there were workers on the north side of the lighthouse, cleaning and doing minor repairs to the façade. 

Point Iroquois LighthousePoint Iroquois LighthouseThe Point Iroquois Lighthouse is on Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is approximately 20 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Iroquois BeachIroquois BeachA stunning view of Lake Superior from the Point Iroquois Lighthouse in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Lake Superior ViewLake Superior ViewA perfect place to sit and admire the beauty of Lake Superior from the Point Iroquois Lighthouse in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Another lighthouse that I’ve visited a couple times is on Lake Michigan, on the Upper Peninsula’s southern shore. The Manistique East Breakwater Light is a beautiful area on Lake Michigan. On the day of our visit, there were several people down on the beach and walking on the boardwalk walkways leading down to the beach.  East Manistique LightEast Manistique LightThe East Manistique Breakwater Light is located on Lake Michigan in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In my second hometown in Michigan, we were able to visit the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse. The last time I’d visited, it was wintertime with a lot of snow and ice on the harbor. Whether it’s winter or summer, this lighthouse is a beautiful area to visit.  Marquette HarborMarquette HarborA mother and her son and their dog Bandit enjoying themselves down at the Marquette Harbor in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Marquette Harbor LighthouseMarquette Harbor LighthouseThe Marquette Harbor Lighthouse is on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When we were driving through town in Marquette, I spotted some bright blue bike racks. There were several different designs, but the musical note design was my favorite! My brother was responsible for creating and putting together these artistic bike racks, based on a design that was created by his employer. 
Musical Note Bike RackMusical Note Bike RackIn Marquette, Michigan, there are several different designs of these bike racks. This one is my favorite! It was a wonderful vacation filled with family, fun, and relaxation. Home is where the heart is, and I’ll always be a Great Lakes girl. 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) beach bench Crisp Point Lighthouse Lake Huron Lake Michigan Lake Superior Lower Peninsula Mackinac Bridge Mackinaw City Manistique East Breakwater Light Marquette Marquette Harbor Light Michigan Sault Ste. Marie Soo Locks St. Ignace sunrise Upper Peninsula Wawatam Light https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/home-state-pride Sun, 12 Sep 2021 16:21:41 GMT
Hometown Visit https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/hometown-visit We recently visited Sault Ste. Marie, my hometown in Upper Michigan. So many things have changed over the years since I lived there, but other things will always remain the same, much to my delight. Being able to see and hear the freighters traveling up and down the St. Mary's River on their way to and from the Soo Locks has always been a wonderful experience. 

Boats that are downbound are moving east from the Soo Locks and towards Lake Huron and/or the St. Lawrence Seaway. Boats that are upbound are moving west to the Soo Locks and out on to Lake Superior.  

One morning, we got down to the lookout spot too late to see a freighter approaching, but I was able to catch a glimpse after it passed behind Sugar Island on the St. Mary's River.  Frontenac Downbound on St. Mary's RiverFrontenac Downbound on St. Mary's RiverFrontenac heading downbound on the St. Mary's River about 5 minutes before sunrise It was less than 10 minutes before sunrise and a little cool, temperatures in the low 60s.  There was a slight fog on the water and that added to the overall dreamy quality of the ship passing quietly down the River.  Lake Freighter in the FogLake Freighter in the FogThe Frontenac was moving downbound from the Soo Locks on the St. Mary's River just before sunrise. Another freighter wasn't scheduled to go through the Soo Locks for a few more hours, but the ferry from Sugar Island was almost directly across from our vantage point on the St. Mary's River. The ferry transports people and their cars between the shore of Sault, Michigan and Sugar Island. Drummond Islander IIIDrummond Islander IIIFerry to and from Sugar Island, Michigan The sun was just starting to come up as the ferry was collecting their passengers.  It was a beautiful sunrise and the colors of the sky and reflections on the River were outstanding!

Sugar Island Ferry at SunriseSugar Island Ferry at SunriseThe ferry at Sugar Island was loading its passengers at sunrise.

 

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is on the northern border of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  On the other side of the St. Mary's River, to the north, is Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.  Some may not realize just how close in distance the two countries are. 

 

Sunrise Ferry RouteSunrise Ferry RouteThe ferry brings cars (and their owners) back and forth between Sugar Island and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is in the background.

In the photograph above, the buildings on the far shore are in Canada!

When on vacation, it's always nice to be able to slow down and take in new sights.  For us, visiting our hometown was a return to the familiar and that was a vacation from our every day lives.

The early morning visit to the St. Mary's River was a wonderful way for my Dad and I to start our day!  Sunrise on the St. Mary'sSunrise on the St. Mary'sSunrise on the St. Mary's River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan  

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) boatnerd ferry fog lake freighter laker Michigan Michigan travel Sault Ste. Marie Soo Locks Sugar Island sunrise https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/9/hometown-visit Sun, 05 Sep 2021 00:30:42 GMT
Coastlines That Never Cease to Amaze Me https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/Coastlines-That-Never-Cease-to-Amaze-Me I grew up in the Great Lakes states and have always been awed and amazed by the beautiful scenic views.  One of my favorite locations to visit (and photograph) is the Whitefish Point Lighthouse.  It is in a remote area of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, far to the north, on Lake Superior. 

Oldest Active Light on Lake SuperiorOldest Active Light on Lake SuperiorWhitefish Point Lighthouse, Upper Michigan It takes some time to drive the county roads to get to Whitefish Point, but that just adds to its allure. It's Michigan's oldest active light and a very important light.  Without it, Great Lakes shipping freighters would not be able to safely navigate Lake Superior to and from the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario, Canada, and from there, Lake Huron and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Rays and WavesRays and WavesWhitefish Point Lighthouse Beach in July

I've visited Whitefish Point in both summer and winter (more than once!) and my favorite time to visit is the winter.  There is always a wind at Whitefish Point and it's always cooler there.  But the views of the lighthouse and Lake Superior are beautiful.  

Frozen WalkwayFrozen WalkwaySnow and sand are frozen solid on the walkway to and from the beach. The Light is OnThe Light is OnDecember 24, 2007 - Whitefish Point Lighthouse just after sunrise on a cloudy morning. Air temperature 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

I always thought that Whitefish Point was the most breathtaking view and it always held a special place in my soul. 

Until I stood on the path overlooking McWay Falls in Big Sur, California.  I felt like I had just come home, even though I'd never laid eyes on this beautiful area before.  

McWay FallsMcWay FallsBig Sur, California Unlike Whitefish Point, the Big Sur area was loaded with people.  It was not exactly a remote location, though there is a rugged beauty to the Pacific Ocean shoreline.  But people aren't allowed down in the little cove where McWay Falls spills into the Pacific.  As I looked down into that cove, it was as if the crowds of people on the path with me disappeared and I could only hear my heart beat and the sound of my breath.

I have only had one opportunity to visit Big Sur, but I think about this area just about every day, and I can't wait to go back.

Pacific CoastPacific CoastPacific Ocean, California central coast.

Pacific Coast HIghwayPacific Coast HIghwayPacific Coast Highway along the Pacific Coast in Big Sur, California

  Pristine ViewPristine ViewPacific coast in Big Sur, California

West CoastWest CoastWest Coast shoreline, California central coast

Hazy Day on the CoastHazy Day on the CoastCalifornia's central coast near Big Sur, California

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Big Sur California Lake Superior landscape photography McWay Falls Pacific Ocean shorelines Upper Michigan waterscapes Whitefish Point Lighthouse https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/Coastlines-That-Never-Cease-to-Amaze-Me Mon, 30 Aug 2021 13:39:29 GMT
Cold Weather Photography https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/cold-weather-photography It’s the end of August and it’s still very warm here in the southern United States. Autumn and winter are on their way. The winters here aren’t nearly as severe as they were in Upper Michigan and Wisconsin when we lived there, so I don't dread the changing of the seasons as much as I used to when I lived there.

Although the winters in the Great Lakes region can be brutal, it can also be beautiful.  The beauty of a winter sunrise over a Great Lake is a photographer’s dream. But only if you have the patience to stand out in the cold for hours, making photographs, waiting for the light to change for the right shot.  Since I was raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I was accustomed to the frigid temperatures. I have that patience.

Late Winter SunriseLate Winter SunriseAn Easter Sunday sunrise on Lake Michigan.

To get these 2 photographs, I had to walk around in the snowbanks quite a bit. It was mid-March on Lake Michigan, so the snow depth had dropped quite a bit. But it was still quite cold at dawn.

Winter Sunrise Through the BranchesWinter Sunrise Through the BranchesWinter sunrise at Wind Point in Racine County, Wisconsin

This next photograph was captured in early March on Lake Michigan down at Wind Point.  The waves were washing little ice cubes up onto the shore, making the oddest sound. 

Icy ShoresIcy ShoresIt was still 20 days from the first day of Spring on Lake Michigan.

Back in late 2013, I was able to put that patience to the test when we visited Melbourne, Florida during the 2013 North American Cold Wave (also known as the polar vortex). As is my custom, I got up very early to photograph the sunrise over the Atlantic. The temperatures during the day weren’t much about the mid-40s (Fahrenheit), but at sunrise, it was closer to 32 degrees (freezing). I didn't think to bring my snowpants with me to Florida, but I did layer up with sweatpants and my jeans. And I wore a sweatshirt, sweater, and a jacket. It paid off (for once) to pack as many outerwear clothes as I did!

Self Portrait 2013 North American Cold WaveSelf Portrait 2013 North American Cold WaveIt was near 32F degrees at sunrise on the beach at dawn in Melbourne, Florida!

The only other time I’ve been that cold during a sunrise shoot was when I was at the Whitefish Point Lighthouse on Lake Superior. I was bone cold by the time I left both beaches. 

Whitefish Point Lighthouse - verticalWhitefish Point Lighthouse - verticalIt was a cold winter day at the Whitefish Point Lighthouse

The average temperature for my winter photographs is roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit.  The wind makes all the difference in the world.  In the following photograph of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse on Lake Superior, there wasn't much wind at all.  Temperatures right around 32 degrees.

Marquette Harbor LighthouseMarquette Harbor LighthouseThe Marquette Harbor Lighthouse is located on Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

In this next photograph, it was right around 32 degrees.  I was at the top of bridge that was 1,000 feet above the Roanoke River on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The wind was quite strong and it made it all the colder on the bridge. Sunrise after Snow on the Blue Ridge ParkwaySunrise after Snow on the Blue Ridge ParkwayChristmas morning at dawn on the Blue Ridge Parkway after a snowfall.

And at Tahquamenon Falls in the month of December, it was very cold (temperatures were in the teens). Down at the brink of the falls, the wind was ferocious! When it started to snow, I had to constantly wipe off the lens from the moisture.

Upper Falls & Tahquamenon RiverUpper Falls & Tahquamenon RiverUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December

And in this last photograph, the temperature was in mid-30s. I had spent over an hour walking around the Milwaukee County Zoo the day after a snow storm.

Picnic Under Snow BranchesPicnic Under Snow BranchesAfter a snow fall at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Florida Lake Michigan Lake Superior Marquette Harbor Lighthouse Melbourne sunrise Tahquamenon Falls Whitefish Point Lighthouse winter photography https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/cold-weather-photography Sat, 21 Aug 2021 18:49:39 GMT
A Storm to the West of the Manistique East Breakwater Light https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/manistique-east-breakwater-light Several years ago, we were traveling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula on our way back to our home in Wisconsin. Manistique, Michigan is located on the southern border of the Upper Peninsula, along US 2. This highway is a scenic route that runs along the shore of Lake Michigan. It can be treacherous in the wintertime, though, due to blowing and drifting snow coming off Lake Michigan. But in the summer, it is beautiful!

We knew we would be driving into a rainstorm a little further to the west in the Upper Peninsula, so we decided to pull off to get some shots of the Manistique East Breakwater Light.

Manistique East Breakwater LightManistique East Breakwater LightThe Manistique East Breakwater Light is on Lake Michigan. It is located on the southern shore of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It was a beautiful summer day when we visited; just a light breeze coming off Lake Michigan. There were a few people out on the beach, but not as many as we would have expected for a Sunday afternoon in the middle of July. The shore was rocky in places, and it made it challenging for anyone venturing into the Lake for a swim. This sunbather seemed happy to just sit on the beach and look out over Lake Michigan.

Enjoying the SunEnjoying the SunThe rocky shores on Lake Michigan, in Manistique, Michigan

About 20 minutes later, we noticed more dark clouds in the sky. The sun was still out, and not covered with clouds, though, so it was still a pleasant and sunny afternoon at the beach.

Manistique LightManistique LightStorm clouds gathering over the Manistique Light.

To the west, we could easily see the rainstorm that had formed. If you look on a map for where Manistique is located on the shore of Lake Michigan, we were at the top of a horseshoe turned down. Directly to the west of the light itself was US 2, a couple of miles across Lake Michigan. It was an odd sensation to be standing in bright sunlight and see dark clouds and rainfall to the west out over the Lake.

Rain to the WestRain to the WestIt was still sunny at the Manistique Light, but it was obviously raining to the west.

Further to the WestFurther to the WestA heavy rainstorm has formed to the west of the Manistique Light.

It was one of the only times I have been able to clearly see a rainstorm in the distance, at least while on flat land. Typically, there are buildings or trees in the way and that makes it difficult to see the effects of the storm.

Storm Clouds Over the Manistique LighthouseStorm Clouds Over the Manistique LighthouseThe Manistique Lighthouse is located on the southern border of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's in Lake Michigan.

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Lake Michigan Manistique Manistique East Breakwater Light Michigan rocky beach storm clouds summer https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/manistique-east-breakwater-light Sat, 14 Aug 2021 20:13:42 GMT
National Lighthouse Day - August 7 https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/national-lighthouse-day---august-7 August 7, 1989 was known as National Lighthouse Day.  Since then, it has been celebrated each year by lighthouse organizations, but it has not been designated as an official holiday that would appear on our calendars. Take a look at this link for further information.  

These represent just a few of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes. To see all of the lighthouse photographs in my gallery, click here.

Point Iroquois Light StationPoint Iroquois Light StationPoint Iroquois Light Station in Brimley, Michigan. Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior.

Standing TallStanding TallCana Island Lighthouse, Door County, Wisconsin

Wind Point Lighthouse at SunriseWind Point Lighthouse at SunriseWind Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan in Racine County, Wisconsin

Marquette Harbor LighthouseMarquette Harbor LighthouseThe Marquette Harbor Lighthouse is located on Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Storm Clouds Over the Manistique LighthouseStorm Clouds Over the Manistique LighthouseThe Manistique Lighthouse is located on the southern border of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's in Lake Michigan.

Grand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseGrand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseThe Grand Haven Lighthouse is on Lake Michigan in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Whitefish Point LighthouseWhitefish Point LighthouseThe Whitefish Point Lighthouse is the oldest active light on Lake Superior.

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Cana Island Lighthouse Grand Haven Lighthouse Lake Michigan lighthouses Lake Superior lighthouses Lower Peninsula Manistique East Breakwater Light Marquette Harbor Light Michigan Point Iroquois Light Station Upper Peninsula Whitefish Point Lighthouse Wind Point Lighthouse Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/8/national-lighthouse-day---august-7 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 00:50:53 GMT
Black and White Vision https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/black-and-white-vision Sometimes, it's difficult to balance the light and shadows at sunrise.  In this first shot, it was over an hour after sunrise, but the sun was hiding behind a rather dense cloud bank on the horizon.  Because of this, it threw the foreground into more shadow than if the sun was higher in the sky.

It was not completely overcast that morning, and the clouds were lower in the sky.  The sun was on the way to rising above the cloud bank, and it was shining brightly on the clouds above.  The brighter it got above the clouds, the more it created a mismatch of exposure in the foreground of my image.  November SunriseNovember SunriseWinter sunrise on Lake Michigan. While I was shooting, I decided to take advantage of the contrast of light and shadows.  Not all photographs (day or night) can be made in black and white.  But this one qualified because of the dramatic contrast of light and shadow. In a black and white photograph, whites are whiter, and blacks are blacker.  Now our eyes are drawn to how the light is reflected on the water.  The tree in the foreground is silhouetted against the brightness of the image, yet you can still see the white line of snow on the north side of the tree trunk from a recent snow squall.  It makes the image look even colder than when it was photographed in color.  Sunrise in Black & WhiteSunrise in Black & WhiteSunrise on Lake Michigan in late November. In a night photograph, it is often easier to shoot in black and white because of the automatic contrast of light and dark.  If the night scene has a lot of color, the photograph will often look better in black and white than you might imagine.   The shades of color will lend more shades of gray to the black and white photograph.

Here, the colors of the Christmas decorations are prominent. The red vehicle adds an additional pop of color.  The buildings are different colors and each with lights coming through their windows.  There's enough sky to fully illustrate that it's nighttime.  December Evening DowntownDecember Evening DowntownMid-December on East Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. In black and white, it can be just as dramatic.  The pops of color are gone.  We can tell it's the holiday season because we see the trees are decorated and the wreaths are lit.  But other things are accentuated when this image is presented in black and white.  We now notice the reflections of the light on the cars.  We can still see the night sky against the lights of the buildings.  Black & White Christmas LightsBlack & White Christmas LightsDowntown Milwaukee at Christmas time. As with any piece of art, the same image affects different people in different ways.  Long ago, when I was first starting out as a photographer, my father-in-law gave me a bit of advice.  He told me to make a photograph in color when I'm trying to bring out information and to shoot in black and white if I'm trying to bring out emotion.  I have learned that this isn't always true; that it's still possible to evoke emotion with a color photograph.  But, in many cases, a black and white photograph is even better than one made in color - and for just that reason - it brings out more emotion. City Nights in Black & WhiteCity Nights in Black & WhiteDowntown Milwaukee at night.  

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) b&w photography black and white photography city scenes Lake Michigan Milwaukee night photography sunrise winter sunrise Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/black-and-white-vision Sun, 01 Aug 2021 01:04:43 GMT
Night Life https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/night-life As a landscape photographer, the best time for me to shoot is in the time just before or after a sunrise or a sunset.  The golden hour is a time when the sun is lower in the sky, creating a warmer feeling with golden colors and hues.

Golden HourGolden HourThere weren't many people in this area of the Boerner Botanical Gardens on this day. There was, however, another photographer and we were both vying for the same positions during the Golden Hour.

The sun doesn't even have to be a part of your image to create a dramatic impact.  The colors during the golden hour are deeper and richer than they would be if the sun were high in the sky. 

The blue hour is the time when the sun is still below the horizon.  The sky turns a deep shade of blue and it's easier to see the silhouettes of the objects around you. 

First LightFirst LightFirst Light on the Blue Ridge Parkway

But for me, one of the best times to go out with the camera is when it's full-on dark.  Night photography shows an entirely different side of things than what you might see in the day.  An ordinary scene during the day becomes brilliant during the night. 

Crossing the Milwaukee RiverCrossing the Milwaukee RiverCrossings over the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In the image above, the different crossings over the Milwaukee River come to life at night.  The lights and shadows give this photograph more depth and drama.  During the day, you'd still see the geometric layers and patterns of the bridges and crossings, but at night, they're brought to life.

River SceneRiver SceneMarcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The above photograph was made during River Splash in Milwaukee several years ago.  Before then, I hadn't realized that the colors of the lights on the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts building changed!

And at night, the neon fish on the side of a building look fantastic!  During the day, it's not quite the same effect. 

Neon FishNeon FishNeon fish on the side of a building along the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The light trails from traffic offer even more drama to a photograph made at night.  It's not even something that you would see during the day.

Lincoln Memorial Drive at NightLincoln Memorial Drive at NightTaken from the overpass walkway over Lincoln Memorial Drive in Milwaukee.

Passing the TimePassing the TimeThe Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Street scenes in a big city are always more fun to photograph at night.  My exposure time in the photograph above was only 4 seconds, but it was long enough to create a light trail of the cars that passed.

Night MovesNight MovesTraffic passes by The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Night photography is a whole different way to view the world around us and just as colorful and brilliant as a photograph made during the day. 

Along the RiverAlong the RiverA view across the Milwaukee River at night.

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) blue hour Blue Ridge Parkway golden hour light trails Milwaukee night photography reflections Wisconsin Wisconsin River https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/night-life Sun, 25 Jul 2021 15:24:14 GMT
Winter Sunrise over the Atlantic https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/winter-sunrise-over-the-atlantic Some of my best sunrise photographs have been made during extreme weather conditions - usually in the winter and on the shores of either Lake Superior or Lake Michigan.  Therefore, I was somewhat prepared for cold weather temperatures when we visited Melbourne, Florida during the Polar Vortex (aka the North American cold wave) in late 2013 and early 2014. 

On one of the mornings that I went down to the beach, it was only 48 degrees Fahrenheit at sunrise and the winds were around 15 miles per hour.  It was COLD!  I did not have my winter coat, but I was wearing a couple layers of sweatshirts and a windbreaker with a hood on it.  And thankfully, I had what I call my photography gloves - they are gloves where my fingertips were exposed for turning the dials on my camera, but I could pull the mitten over top to warm up those cold fingers.

The images that I captured were well worth the cold weather conditions that I endured.  The colors, cloud formations, and the clouds on the horizon as the sun rose made some of the most dramatic sunrise photographs I have made in my career.

Over the next week or two, I will be uploading more of the photographs that I captured during the cold wave on Florida's central coast on the Atlantic Ocean.  Please stop by my Sunrises and Sunsets gallery to take a look!   

Winter sunrise over the AtlanticWinter sunrise over the AtlanticSunrise over the Atlantic in Melbourne, Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Atlantic Ocean beach BeausoleilPhotography.com BeautifulSunPhotography.com clouds florida melbourne North American cold wave polar vortex 2014 sky sunrise https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/winter-sunrise-over-the-atlantic Sat, 17 Jul 2021 14:03:11 GMT
Door County, Wisconsin - Cana Island Lighthouse https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/cana-island-lighthouse Several years ago, we were able to spend a long weekend in Door County, Wisconsin.  Door County is on a narrow peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan.  As a photographer, I loved it because I could capture both sunrise and sunset photographs in the same county with relatively little driving involved!  

Furling the SailFurling the SailSister Bay, Door County, Wisconsin I was able to visit the Cana Island Lighthouse on 2 different mornings.  The clouds were present on both days, but that just made for more dramatic shots.  It never ended up raining while I was on the island, fortunately.  It did rain off and on later in the day and during the night, but cleared up for a while before more clouds rolled back in the next day.

Rain CloudsRain CloudsA storm was brewing at the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin

I have visited many lighthouses over the years, but the way the Cana Island Lighthouse is situated is very unique.  I traveled through a residential area and parked my car in a makeshift parking lot.  I couldn't see the lighthouse (or even Lake Michigan) from where I parked. 

Cana Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway.  On the day that I visited, the water levels were low, and I could walk right across. 

Cana Island Causeway SignCana Island Causeway SignA land bridge connects the peninsula and Cana Island.

Before our visit, I remember reading that sometimes you must wade across to the island.  These days, they have someone with a tractor and wagon that will bring people to and from the island when the water levels are high.  I don't recall if they had this wonderful option back when we visited or if it just wasn't needed on the days that I was there. 

The water views on the land bridge were fantastic and wide enough that I could stop to make photographs while other visitors moved past me.

Lake Michigan from Cana IslandLake Michigan from Cana IslandOne of the views on the causeway (land bridge) between the parking area and the Cana Island Lighthouse.

Cana Island CloudsCana Island CloudsCana Island is an island in Lake Michigan and is located in Door County, Wisconsin.

Once we reached the island, I still couldn't immediately see the lighthouse.  But the walk along the path was beautiful!

Path to Cana Island LighthousePath to Cana Island LighthouseA beautiful canopy of trees cover the pathway that leads to the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin

First GlimpseFirst GlimpseFirst glimpse of the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin

Finally, the lighthouse was in view! 

Cana Island LighthouseCana Island LighthouseDoor County, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan

Two mornings in a row, I spent quite a bit of time wandering around the grounds of the Cana Island Lighthouse.  It was a truly memorable experience, and I was glad I had the opportunity and time to visit!

Cana Island LighthouseCana Island LighthouseCana Island Lighthouse, Door County, Wisconsin

Standing TallStanding TallCana Island Lighthouse, Door County, Wisconsin

Cloudy MorningCloudy MorningCana Island Lighthouse, Door County, Wisconsin

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Cana Island Lighthouse causeway clouds Door County island Lake Michigan Lake Michigan Lighthouses land bridge Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/cana-island-lighthouse Sat, 10 Jul 2021 14:18:59 GMT
Rolling Clouds on the Parkway https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/rolling-clouds-on-the-parkway It was drizzling when I left the house before dawn in early July.  I drove through patchy fog on my way to an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I was not sure just what the view would be like with the weather acting the way it was.  It had stopped drizzling, but still, I would never know if I didn't try.

When I arrived at the overlook, there was no visibility to the east.  I could not see the valley below.  I walked across the road to see what the valley looked like to the west.  I was treated to seeing the bigger pockets of fog in the valley.      Pockets of FogPockets of FogTo the west on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a few minutes before sunrise. A few minutes after sunrise, the wind picked up high in the trees.  It was not as windy down on the ground, but I could hear it rushing through the treetops.  At first, I thought the sound meant that someone was coming down the road!  I looked back to the overlook to the east and saw that the low clouds were moving quickly over the valley.  I trotted back down the road to see what I could see. Amazingly, as I crossed the road, I walked out of the fog.    Shifting Clouds at SunriseShifting Clouds at SunriseBlue Ridge Parkway just after sunrise. For the next 8 minutes, I was witness to the clouds rolling through the valley below.  At an elevation of 2,100 feet, I could look straight out from the overlook and see the dark clouds on the horizon between the low-lying clouds in the sky and the low clouds in the valley.  There were no sounds but the sound of the wind in the treetops.  It was an amazing display of beauty that I had never seen before.  I felt very blessed to be there at the right time and in the right place.

Rolling CloudsRolling CloudsFrom the Blue Ridge Parkway just after sunrise.

Cloud LayersCloud LayersThe fog in the valley below was constantly moving and changing.

Cloudy SunriseCloudy SunriseSunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Between the CloudsBetween the CloudsFrom an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway at an elevation of over 2,000 feet. Low clouds were sweeping through the valley just after sunrise.

Clouds Coming TogetherClouds Coming TogetherThe clouds were filling up the valley as they rolled past me.

Cloud BankCloud BankThe clouds were moving further along, obscuring my view of the valley.

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Blue Ridge Parkway clouds fog mountains nature photography valleys https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/7/rolling-clouds-on-the-parkway Sun, 04 Jul 2021 03:02:40 GMT
Beautiful Sun Photography https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/beautiful-sun-photography The other day, someone asked me about my family surname, Beausoleil.  It's a French-Canadian name and Beausoleil in English means “beautiful sun” (beau soleil).  It seems rather fitting that I am a photographer who specializes in landscape photography which includes the sun with sunrises and sunsets! 

Admittedly, I first fell in love with photography when I made my first night photograph. 

International Bridge at NightInternational Bridge at NightInternational Bridge and Railroad Bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.

It was (and still is) exciting to meet the challenge of making a photograph using what little available light there might be in the scene.  It is rewarding to achieve the balance between the dark of night and the brightness of the available light.  If done properly, a photograph made at night can be as stunning and detailed as one that is made during the day.  Reflections of the NightReflections of the NightMilwaukee skyline at night from the north end of the Lagoon on the lakefront. When I head out to shoot at sunrise, it is always about the light before the sun rises over the horizon.  I am not there to point the camera directly into the sun as it comes up over the horizon.  There are a few exceptions, of course. Silhouettes at SunriseSilhouettes at SunriseSunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Winter Sunrise on Lake MichiganWinter Sunrise on Lake MichiganThe waves were a mixture of water and ice chunks. When it washed up, it made the sound of ice cubes hitting the ground. When I was living in the Midwest, I loved using the reflections of the sun and clouds on bodies of water (Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and inland lakes and coves).  I would compose the shot by cropping the sun out of the frame so that my shot only included the sky (clouds) and the reflection itself.  The bright sun itself can be rather distracting in a photograph and take away from the beauty of other objects in the scene. Icy ShoresIcy ShoresIt was still 20 days from the first day of Spring on Lake Michigan. Reflections in the SandReflections in the SandMelbourne, Florida just after sunrise in the month of December Living in the mountains, I have had to come up with other methods of shooting the sunrise without pointing the camera directly at the sun.  Instead of using reflections, I use more silhouettes in the shot.  Unless the clouds are extremely dramatic.  Colorful SunriseColorful SunriseSunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Sunrise in Staunton, VirginiaSunrise in Staunton, VirginiaBetsy Bell Wilderness Park overlooking Staunton, Virginia at sunrise in December. Or I turn around and look for a subject that is being illuminated by the rising sun.  Wind Point Lighthouse at SunriseWind Point Lighthouse at SunriseWind Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan in Racine County, Wisconsin

Grand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseGrand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseThe Grand Haven Lighthouse is on Lake Michigan in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. There are unlimited opportunities for different types of photographs at sunrise (or sunset), no matter where you are.  We all share the sun, no matter where we are on the planet.  Any one of us could take a picture of the sun and it would look like the others.  What sets it apart is how we compose the photograph to include our surroundings and the effect of the light, whether it’s the sun or the moon.

And that is my goal as a “beautiful sun” photographer.  It is all about the light, whether it’s at sunrise, sunset, or the dark of night. 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Beausoleil Photography Beautiful Sun Photography Blue Ridge Parkway Lake Michigan silhouettes Staunton sunrise Virginia https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/beautiful-sun-photography Sat, 26 Jun 2021 18:48:43 GMT
The Soo Locks https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/the-soo-locks In 2007, my dad and I got up before sunrise and headed down to the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  We got there just in time to see a lake freighter leaving the MacArthur Lock.  It was so exciting to see a laker so close – just on the other side of the fence! 

Lake Freighter in the MacArthur LockLake Freighter in the MacArthur LockJuly 2007 - Canadian lake freighter, the John B. Aird, is exiting the MacArthur Lock at the Soo Locks in Michigan

John B. AirdJohn B. AirdThe John B. Aird has left the MacArthur Lock and is headed down the St. Mary's River and on the way to Lake Huron

The Soo Locks are a way for ships to travel to and from Lake Superior to Lake Huron and the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Before the Locks were built, the St. Mary’s River system was a series of rapids.  The water level difference between Lake Superior and the St. Mary’s River is 21 feet.  When a freighter goes through the Locks, water is either added or taken out of the lock so that the ship is either raised or lowered to the level of the waterway it's entering.

They have observation decks overlooking the Locks.  Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, I spent many hours watching the boats come and go through them.  But on this day in July 2007, we had just enough time to get to the fence to watch the freighter exit the MacArthur Lock. 

When you live in the Great Lakes region of the United States, you often see the ships on the horizon.  You don’t realize just how large they are until you see them going through the Locks.  It's awesome to be so close to these huge ships that are moving slowly through the water while you stand on the sidewalk.  It was better to view this ship from my vantage point on the ground because it really illustrated its size.

Just after SunriseJust after SunriseThe John B Aird was heading east on the St. Mary's River just after sunrise.

Lake FreighterLake FreighterWatching the ships go through the Soo Locks is a popular pastime.

The freighter was the John B. Aird, and it was owned and operated by Algoma Central in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  According to the ship log inside the Visitor’s Center, the John B. Aird was 730 feet long and was 75 feet wide. 

From the upper observation decks, you can better see just how tight the quarters are for a ship of this size to enter the lock.  The length of the MacArthur Lock is 800 feet, so it easily accommodated the 730-foot-long freighter.  But the width of the MacArthur Lock is only 80 feet wide – that’s a clearance of 2-1/2 feet on both sides of the freighter once it enters the lock.  For a ship of that size, it’s not much. 

MacArthur LockMacArthur LockThe lake freighter is just leaving the MacArthur Lock. The International Bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is in the background.

In this photograph, you can see the stern of the John B. Aird as it leaves the MacArthur Lock.  The International Bridge between the United States and Canada is in the background. 

Once a freighter leaves the lock, the main gates are closed. 

MacArthur Lock closingMacArthur Lock closingMacArthur Lock, Soo Locks, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

There are several gates inside the lock that are opened and closed as ships enter. 

Only seven minutes passed before my first photograph and this last photograph.  We got there just in time.  I felt fortunate to have been able to see this freighter leave the lock.  The sounds of a ship going through the lock was familiar to me.  There are all sorts of mechanical sounds in the air, coming from both the locks and the ship.  Bells and buzzers and the sound of heavy machinery and clanking gears.  Since it was so early in the morning, there weren’t any other park visitors around.  The only voices we could hear were the occasional shouts and calls of direction from the crews on the boat and on the ground. 

John B. Aird SternJohn B. Aird SternThis lake freighter was owned and operated by Algoma Central in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario until 2016.

To read more about the Soo Locks, click here. 

If you ever have the chance to visit Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, a trip over to the Soo Locks is a must.  During the summer months, they have Boat Tours that take you through the locks and it is a whole different experience and view. 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) boatnerd Canada John B Aird lake freighters Lake Superior lakers locks Michigan Ontario Sault Ste. Marie Soo Locks St. Mary's River Upper Peninsula https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/the-soo-locks Fri, 18 Jun 2021 23:10:00 GMT
Great Lakes Lighthouses https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/great-lakes-lighthouses One of the things that I have missed the most about living in the Midwest is visiting the lighthouses on the Great Lakes.  One of my favorite lighthouses to visit was the Wind Point Lighthouse in Racine, Wisconsin.  It is located on the north side of Racine Harbor and is on Lake Michigan.  

Wind Point LighthouseWind Point LighthouseWind Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan in Racine County, Wisconsin I have visited the Whitefish Point Lighthouse in Upper Michigan several times and it is always breathtaking. It is on Whitefish Bay and Lake Superior and is the oldest operating lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula.  It's almost always windy out on Whitefish Point.  In this photograph, it was a cold winter day, and the outside temperatures were in the 20s (Fahrenheit).  

Whitefish Point LighthouseWhitefish Point LighthouseThe Whitefish Point Lighthouse is the oldest active light on Lake Superior. A couple years ago, I was happy to be able to visit the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the winter.  It, too, is located on Lake Superior.  Many ships travel Lake Superior hauling the iron ore that is mined in the Upper Peninsula.  Its bright red color makes it one of the most recognizable lighthouses in Michigan.  In the summer, there are tours of the lighthouse and visitors can walk the catwalk out in front.  

Marquette Harbor LighthouseMarquette Harbor LighthouseThe Marquette Harbor Lighthouse is located on Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Grand Haven Lighthouse on Lake Michigan in Lower Michigan is beautiful, too.  I went out just before sunset to see this lighthouse for the first time.  There were so many people on both piers and a lot of boat activity.  I went back the next morning before sunrise and found just as many people out there, though none on the beach or wading in the water!  There is a pier that runs parallel to where the lighthouse is and there were several fishermen hard at work both times that I visited.  The sun came up behind us and lit the red lighthouse up! Grand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseGrand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseThe Grand Haven Lighthouse is on Lake Michigan in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

If you ever can visit a Great Lakes lighthouse, don't pass it up.  There are so many unique and beautiful lighthouses and many of them offer tours.  After the tour, you can find an empty bench to sit and experience the beauty of the Great Lake.  This bench is at the Wind Point Lighthouse and offers a beautiful view of Lake Michigan.  

Autumn on Lake MichiganAutumn on Lake MichiganIt was a beautifully warm autumn afternoon at the Windpoint Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Autumn bench Great Lakes Lake Michigan Lake Superior lighthouse Michigan Upper Michigan Upper Peninsula Winter Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/great-lakes-lighthouses Fri, 11 Jun 2021 23:00:00 GMT
Tahquamenon Falls in December https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/tahquamenon-falls-in-december In December several years ago, we had traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to spend Christmas with my Dad.  While we were there, we decided to make a trip over to Tahquamenon Falls.  Normally, there’s too much snow on the ground at that time of the year to easily get down to the Falls without cross-country skiing.  But, the week before Christmas, the U.P. got a lot of heavy rain that knocked down the snow levels significantly! 

Wet SnowWet SnowA lot of rain fell the week before and it knocked down a lot of snow.

There were only a couple cars in the parking lot when we got to the Upper Falls.  The walk over to the stairs leading down to the brink wasn’t too bad.  The top of the snow was icy and crunchy, but our feet sank through the surface so it made it easier to walk without slipping.  Tahquamenon Falls State Park is open year around and the trails are maintained for cross-country skiing.

First Glimpse in WinterFirst Glimpse in WinterUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December As always, the first sight of the Upper Falls through the trees is exciting!  The temperature on the day we visited was in the high 20s (Fahrenheit).  It was an overcast day with a forecast for snow mixed with rain. Upper Falls in DecemberUpper Falls in DecemberUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December

Stairway Down to the BrinkStairway Down to the Brink12/23/07 Had to be careful not to slip on the wood part of the stairs.

There are 94 steps down to the brink.  The landings between flights are wood (probably treated), but someone must have salted them as they weren’t too slippery.  Still, we had to watch our step. Each stair is a kind of metal grate that doesn’t allow water to stand, so no ice on the stairs themselves. 

Upper Falls & Tahquamenon RiverUpper Falls & Tahquamenon RiverUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December Standing at the brink, the wind was blowing the mist into our faces.  It was very windy that day and at a temperature of 28F, it was freezing! The Falls don't typically freeze completely in the winter.  Several years after our visit, there was an ice cap covering the Falls that made it look like it was frozen over, but the water was rushing underneath.  I would have loved to see that in person.

We only spent about 30 minutes down on the platform at the brink. Winter gear is a necessity when visiting Tahquamenon Falls in the winter. Dad is wearing the snow pants and boots that he usually only wears when snow blowing.  On the Way Back UpOn the Way Back UpAfter 30 minutes down at the Brink of the Upper Falls, Dad and I are heading back to the top (94 steps up from the Brink)

I let Dad walk on ahead to the car so that I could get a few more shots of the Falls.  I couldn't resist!  It was just starting to snow when we decided to head back to the car.  Tahquamenon Falls is a beautiful place to visit, in any season.  Even more breathtaking (literally) on a cold winter day!   

Snow in the AirSnow in the AirIt was starting to snow as we left the Upper Falls

Ice Across from the Upper FallsIce Across from the Upper FallsAcross from the Upper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December

Upper FallsUpper FallsThe sound of the waterfall is so loud!

Tahquamenon RiverTahquamenon RiverTahquamenon River, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December Partially FrozenPartially FrozenUpper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls State Park in the month of December

 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) december michigan snow tahquamenon falls state park upper falls upper peninsula waterfalls winter https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/tahquamenon-falls-in-december Fri, 04 Jun 2021 22:00:00 GMT
Sunrise from Betsy Bell Wilderness Park https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/sunrise-from-betsy-bell-wilderness-park Last year, someone recommended a location for me to photograph the sunrise in Staunton, Virginia.  There’s an observation deck at the top of the mountain in Betsy Bell Wilderness Park.  They said that I’d need a vehicle that has a higher clearance because the road to the top of the mountain could be in bad shape.  Fortunately, I have an all-wheel drive SUV, so unless the ruts in the road were really extreme, I’d probably be okay.  In my mind, I was thinking of the dirt roads and two-tracks that take you back to Carp River Falls in Upper Michigan.  You definitely need a 4x4 to get back there, and a winch is an excellent idea.  But that’s a story for another time.

I did, however, wonder how much difficulty I’d have since I’d never been to this park, and I would be going up there in the dark.  I was told the same road to the top was the only road back down and that it was narrow.  There is apparently a gravel road that goes down the eastern face of the mountain, but that it’s not open to motor vehicles. 

The night before, I took some time to review a couple websites and mapping programs to make sure I knew just where to enter the park.  I saw a few comments from people saying that the trip to the top of the mountain was a frightening experience. The park’s website does warn that the road to the top is maintained once a year, but that the road is loosely packed gravel, steep and narrow.  They recommend four-wheel drive vehicles.

The weather forecast for that morning was partly cloudy.  As long as it wasn’t raining before sunrise, I knew I’d give it a try.  I found the turn off for the park without any trouble.  The road was narrow, but it was packed gravel and no signs of ruts, so maybe the road maintenance had been done recently.  Mountain Road before SunriseMountain Road before SunriseOne-lane road to the top of the mountain to Betsy Bell Wilderness Park I think I could have still gotten to the top with a regular car.  I don’t think I would have bottomed out on the way up, but I would have had traction problems in the steep areas. The gravel was somewhat loose in some areas, but I’d seen a lot worse.

When I got to the top, the road/path just kind of ended.  I had enough room to turn around, though.  No parking lot up there but there is enough room for a couple cars to park between the trees. Narrow Mountain RoadNarrow Mountain RoadThis is the "road" leading down the mountain from the overlook at Betsy Bell Wilderness Park in Staunton, Virginia

The observation deck is at an elevation of 1,959 feet and has a fantastic view of the Shenandoah Valley.  The view is to the east and looks towards Waynesboro, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There are some long benches that face the observation deck and a picnic table and grill.  Maybe more people make the hike to the top of the mountain in the summer.

I got up there about 10 minutes before sunrise, so I barely had enough time to get from my vehicle over to the observation platform.  It wasn’t a long distance, but I had to watch my step as the terrain was a bit rocky and there were leaves on the ground that covered some exposed roots.

The view was out of this world!  I was blessed with partly cloudy skies and colors were breathtaking!  I was so glad that I went!  Sunrise in Staunton, VirginiaSunrise in Staunton, VirginiaBetsy Bell Wilderness Park overlooking Staunton, Virginia at sunrise in December.

I walked around a bit before heading back down the mountain.  Mountain RoadMountain RoadJust after sunrise at Betsy Bell Wilderness Park. I didn’t really see the gravel road down the east face of the mountain, but I admit that I didn’t spend a lot of time looking for it. The trip back down was uneventful.  I didn’t pass any cars going up or down the mountain.

To see other photographs in my galleries, please click here
 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Betsy Bell Wilderness Park Blue Ridge Mountains mountain road overlook Staunton sunrise Virginia https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/6/sunrise-from-betsy-bell-wilderness-park Tue, 01 Jun 2021 20:00:00 GMT
Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/sunrise-on-the-blue-ridge-parkway Since childhood, I have always been an early riser, just like the rest of my immediate family.  That habit came in handy once I took up photography.  I found that my best photo opportunities were at sunrise rather than sunset.  Mostly because I don't encounter nearly as many people at that time of the day.  No crowds to shoot around.  As a morning person and a photographer, sunrise is the best part of my day.  It's a time of quiet reflection when everything is still.   After Sunrise on the Blue Ridge ParkwayAfter Sunrise on the Blue Ridge ParkwayThe sun has risen but hasn't come up over the mountain yet.  

I lived most of my life within 15 minutes of a Great Lake, either Lake Superior or Lake Michigan.  For most places that I visited in the Midwest states, I could count on knowing when the sun would come up over the horizon, and I would be at the site an hour before that, at first light.  That meant getting up very, very early.  In Southeast Wisconsin in early July, first light is at around 4:45 a.m. and sunrise is just about 35 minutes later at 5:20 a.m. 

In Wisconsin, if I got a late start out of the house, I was going to miss my best shots if I wanted to be there before sunrise.  Kind of like missing an airplane flight.  That plane is going to leave without you if you're not there on time, just as the sun is going to rise and the light will change even if you're not there to capture it. Silhouettes and CloudsSilhouettes and CloudsSunrise and Clouds on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Now, living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I have a little bit more time to shoot before the sun comes up Foggy SunriseFoggy SunriseFog in the valleys on the Blue Ridge Parkway over the mountains.  I can take advantage of the blue hour after the sun comes up over the horizon on the other side of the mountain.  But I can also take advantage of the changing light, colors, and shadows in the time that it takes the sun to come over the top of the mountain. 

First light in early July here is at 5:32 a.m. with sunrise at 6:03 a.m.  First LightFirst LightFirst Light on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Depending on where I'm shooting the sunrise from, it'll be another 30 to 60 minutes before the sun comes up over the mountain. 

It has been interesting to learn the timing and where I can go to capture the sunrise (or twilight) at various points on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I typically avoid shooting straight into the sun after it comes up over the horizon (or mountain), though there are exceptions to that rule.  Silhouettes at SunriseSilhouettes at SunriseSunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway Colorful SunriseColorful SunriseSunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Orange LayersOrange LayersAfter sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Shooting sunrises in the mountains is somewhat easier than shooting on a Great Lake shoreline because there are other objects that I can shoot through or behind to get some excellent silhouette shots. Generally, once that sun comes up over the expanse of water, it blows out the colors in the sky unless you have some cloud cover.  I can't tell you how many times I looked at the weather on my phone the night before, hoping for partly cloudy skies at sunrise.  Too much cloud cover, and you can't see the sun rise above the horizon.

When you're standing on a lake shore or sea shore, there aren't many obstacles between you and the rising sun, so you have to turn and photograph whatever the sun is shining on. Grand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseGrand Haven Lighthouse at SunriseThe Grand Haven Lighthouse is on Lake Michigan in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Unless you're fortunate to witness a sunrise (or sunset!) with dramatic cloud cover.   Solitude at SunsetSolitude at SunsetNatural lighting at sunset at "Sunset Point" at Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan

Maker of Heaven & EarthMaker of Heaven & EarthNatural light after sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway

 

 

 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Blue Ridge Parkway mountains nature photography silhouettes sunrise twilight valleys https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/sunrise-on-the-blue-ridge-parkway Fri, 28 May 2021 21:00:00 GMT
Tahquamenon Falls - July https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/tahquamenon-falls---july In July 2007, on our way to a family reunion in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, we stopped at Tahquamenon Falls State Park.  (Tahquamenon rhymes with phenomenon).  It's about a 1-1/2 hour drive to the west of Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced Soo Sainte Marie).  

When you get out of your car in the parking area closest to the Upper Falls, you can hear the roar of the waterfalls. It was so exciting to walk towards the sound of rushing water!

Tahquamenon Falls - Upper FallsTahquamenon Falls - Upper FallsThis was our first full view of the Tahquamenon Upper Falls as we walked from the parking lot. The sound of the waterfall is tremendous. It was a partly cloudy but warm summer day in Upper Michigan and the height of tourist season, so there were several people at the park on the day we visited.  The walkways are wide and paved and it's an easy walk. I've since heard that they provide a few wheelchairs on a first-come-first-serve basis. Tahquamenon Falls - Upper Falls (scenic)Tahquamenon Falls - Upper Falls (scenic)The Tahquamenon Falls are on the Tahquamenon River. The river is a blackwater river that is just over 89 miles long and empties into Whitefish Bay and Lake Superior. There are several viewing areas along the path, but to get to the brink, you have to take the stairs (94 steps). 94 Steps to the Brink94 Steps to the BrinkI can't recall if there are any benches on the landings between the flights of stairs down to the brink. But there are benches to rest and relax at both the top and bottom of the stairs. If you can manage the stairs, the sights and sounds are breathtaking! The observation platform is large and can accommodate many people. The Top of the Upper Tahquamenon FallsThe Top of the Upper Tahquamenon FallsIt has always amazed me to see so much water falling 50 feet when it appears like very little water at the edge! The typical flow is around 3,000 gallons per second.
In this photograph, I am at the brink of the falls. It's 94 steps down from the path.
I've visited Tahquamenon Falls many times, and it's always amazed me to look at the water on top of the falls, just before it falls over the edge - it hardly looks like any water at all!  The illusion is enhanced by the presence of the sea gull on the dry area in the middle of the falls.  I'm sure this looks very different during the spring runoff when all the snow is melting and flowing into the Tahquamenon River.  The Root Beer FallsThe Root Beer FallsAnother name for Tahquamenon Falls. The brown color in the water is because of tannin in the water (organic material from the cedar swamps that the River drains).

In this close up, you can really see the volume of water. The brown color in the water is tannin - it's from the cedar swamps.  We learned in school that the Tahquamenon River is a blackwater river; it flows through forest wetlands and swamps.  Tahquamenon Falls has the nickname "Root Beer Falls" because of the brown tannin in the water.

View to Tahquamenon's Lower FallsView to Tahquamenon's Lower FallsThe Lower Falls consist of five smaller falls that cascade around an island. The Lower Falls are about 4 miles downstream and to the East of the Upper Falls on the Tahquamenon River.

You can either walk or drive the 4 miles to the Lower Falls that are downstream of the Upper Falls.  If you have the time, you can rent a rowboat to paddle around the river basin and to get a little closer look at the Lower Falls.

Tanin in the Tahquamenon Lower FallsTanin in the Tahquamenon Lower FallsYou can really see the tanin in the water of the Tahquamenon Lower Falls.

If you're ever in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, it is well worth the time to make a side trip to Tahquamenon Falls State Park! To see the rest of the Tahquamenon Falls photographs in my Waterfalls gallery, please click here

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) hiking Michigan nature photography Root Beer Falls Tahquamenon Falls State Park Tahquamenon River Upper Peninsula waterfalls https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/tahquamenon-falls---july Tue, 25 May 2021 20:46:16 GMT
Winter Night Photography at the Milwaukee Art Museum https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/winter-night-photography-at-the-milwaukee-art-museum One night in mid-December several years ago, we decided to head down to the Milwaukee lakefront to take photographs of the Christmas lights on Wisconsin Avenue.  We knew the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) was open later on Thursday nights, but we had no idea that the wings would be open.  What a sight!  When the winds are calm, the wings (the Burke Brise Soleil) will stay open.  There are sensors on the wings that detect wind speed.  If the wind gusts to 23 mph or more for 3 seconds, the wings automatically close.

There was some snow on the ground at that time, though it wasn't excessive.  You can imagine how cold it was after the 4:30 p.m. sunset on Lake Michigan's lakefront.  If I had to guess, I'd say that the temperature was in the 30s.  

Milwaukee Art MuseumMilwaukee Art MuseumThe MAM was open late on a Thursday night in December. No wind, so the wings were open. Time: 6:48pm CST Fortunately, the wings were open for the entire time we were downtown shooting (1-1/2 hours).  I did not know this at the time, of course, so I moved quickly and got as many shots as I could from as many angles as possible.  To get the second photograph, I had hustled up the stairs with my camera and tripod and around to the street-level entrance to the MAM on East Wisconsin Avenue.  I had to wait a bit for people to come and go from the museum, but not too long. 

What you don't see in this particular photograph is the full (or near full) moon.  The moon had just risen and wasn't that far above the the top of the museum when I framed my shots.  The light from the moon was far too bright for my photographs.  The lighting of the museum and the walkway is perfect here!

Winter Night at the MuseumWinter Night at the MuseumWinter Night at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

This is probably one of my favorite vantage points of the museum. In this photograph, I love how you can see the snow on one side of the walkway.  It adds to the overall feel of the image and suggests just how cold it was that night.  December Evening DowntownDecember Evening DowntownMid-December on East Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

After getting several more shots of the museum, we spent the next 45 minutes taking shots of the Christmas lights decorating East Wisconsin Avenue.  When we turned to go back towards the museum, the moon was much higher in the sky.  

The next photograph was a stroke of luck. I never would have gotten it if I had gone home early because my feet were cold.  The moon had risen higher in the sky so I no longer needed to frame the shot to crop out the moon.  The full moon was so bright, it created a beautiful blue backdrop of clouds behind the museum.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  It was absolutely breathtaking!   

Milwaukee Art Museum Under a Full MoonMilwaukee Art Museum Under a Full MoonThe clouds were bright and vivid thanks to a full moon behind thin clouds.

Even 8 minutes later, you can see the moon is rising further in the sky and the blue cloud backdrop is starting to fade.  I consider myself lucky that we started walking back towards the museum when we did or I'd have missed this spectacular effect.  Milwaukee Art Museum Under a Full MoonMilwaukee Art Museum Under a Full MoonThe moon was full on this cold December night at the MAM. Time: 7:59pm CST After stomping around in the cold for another 15 minutes, we finally made our way back down to the parking garage to our car.  Of course, I had to stop and take several more shots of the museum.  This was my last photograph of the evening.  Milwaukee Art MuseumMilwaukee Art MuseumThis was the last photograph of this shoot on a cold December night at the MAM. Time: 8:14pm CST

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Burke Brise Soleil Milwaukee Art Museum night photography Quadracci Pavilion Santiago Calatrava Winter Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/winter-night-photography-at-the-milwaukee-art-museum Fri, 21 May 2021 22:25:00 GMT
Self Portrait https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/self-portrait Self PortraitSelf PortraitOn the way into San Francisco.

This is me!  I don't allow many photographs of myself and I rarely take selfies of myself.  This is the exception to the rule.

I'd been an active photographer for 7 years when I took this photo. I was on the "Trip of a Lifetime" with my dad and my brother.  In late August of 2014, Dad and I flew out to San Francisco from Virginia to drive the Pacific Coast Highway down to San Diego.  What Dad didn't realize was that my brother was flying from Michigan to meet us for the trip!  We had arranged our flights to land at about the same time.  What a big surprise for Dad!

We were staying in Pacifica, just south of San Francisco.  The day after we arrived, my brother drove the rental car so that I could shoot whatever scenery might be whizzing by.  It was a Friday morning at rush hour and traffic got heavier the closer we got to the city.  There are so many colorful homes on the hillsides as you drive into the city.  You can see the fog in the higher areas of the hillside.  Colorful HousesColorful HousesLayers of colorful houses that I saw on the ride into downtown San Francisco.

There was quite a lot of fog downtown, though, but just at the tops of the buildings. Fortunately, there wasn't a lot of fog on the roads to make driving hazardous. I'm so thankful that my brother was there to do the driving to give me a chance to get some photographs. 

Foggy San FranciscoFoggy San FranciscoIt was amazing how much fog there was when we got into downtown San Francisco. Foggy San FranciscoFoggy San FranciscoThe tops of the buildings are shrouded in fog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you don't see are the people on motorcycles who used the white lane marker between lanes as their own freeway lane when traffic was stopped or slowly moving.  I'd never seen anything like it.

Three minutes after seeing all the fog on the city buildings, we were crossing Folsom in the Mission District.  No fog at all, at least not on the streets. It was overcast and foggy for most of the day.

Mission District, San FranciscoMission District, San FranciscoNo fog!

That trip truly was the "Trip of a Lifetime" to me.  I think about it just about every day.  I can't wait to go back!

I welcome you to take a look at the photographs in my galleries.  Stop back from soon as I'm constantly adding more. 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) fog San Francisco skyline street scenes travel photography https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/self-portrait Tue, 18 May 2021 20:00:00 GMT
Night Photography in Black and White https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/night-photography-in-black-and-white Night photography is something that I've come back to, time and time again.  Ever since that very first night photograph back in July 2007, I've been drawn to making photographs at night. 

While it's exciting to capture the colors in night photography, converting the same image to black and white is just as satisfying.  Sometimes, the colors in a night photograph can be distracting.  The eye doesn't always know quite where to look if the colors are overwhelming.  The same can be said with a daytime photograph. Not every photograph looks good converted to black and white.  This night photograph looks good in both black & white and in color.  There are enough lights on in the buildings to clearly outline the black night background.

I entered this particular photograph in a contest a number of years ago and it won 2nd place in the Black & White category! 

Black and White City ReflectionsBlack and White City ReflectionsDowntown Milwaukee buildings reflected in the Fountain pond.

Color ReflectionColor ReflectionDowntown Milwaukee buildings reflected in the Fountain pond.

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) cityscape Milwaukee night photography reflections Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/night-photography-in-black-and-white Sat, 15 May 2021 09:30:00 GMT
Miami Beach https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/miami-beach Several years ago, my Dad and I traveled to southern Florida for a week's vacation.  Our last night was spent in Miami Beach.  Surf, Sunrays and CloudsSurf, Sunrays and CloudsMiami Beach, late afternoon. A rainstorm was brewing. When we drove up to Miami from the Florida Keys, we tried to drive to a couple parks in Miami Beach but we could never find a place to park.  We finally gave up looking and went back to our beachfront hotel for the afternoon.

Before dinner, we ventured out to the walkway that separated the beachfront hotels from the beach.  As we were guests in one of the hotels, we had access to the beach.  We were there in early March and the weather was in the low 70s in the late afternoon - perfect!  We rounded the corner and this is the view that greeted me! 

The water was so green (alive with algae and plant life, I was told)!  I'd never seen the ocean looking so dramatic.  It took my breath away!  The smell of the air and the sight of those gathering clouds and the green ocean - it was overwhelmingly beautiful.

It started raining an hour after we left the beach and rained through the night.  We were blessed to see this view when we did!

Miami BeachMiami BeachA storm was approaching Miami Beach in late afternoon.

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Atlantic Ocean beach clouds Florida green ocean Miami Beach sand sunrays https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/miami-beach Thu, 13 May 2021 20:00:00 GMT
Storm Approaching https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/storm-approaching On a Saturday in mid-May several years ago, we went to the Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners, Wisconsin in the middle of the afternoon.  There were clouds in the distance, and we hoped to get a quick visit in before the storm arrived.  As it turned out, we only had an hour. We stayed relatively close to the entrance, in case we had to make a dash back to the car. 

GazeboGazeboBoerner Botanical Gardens, Hales Corners, Wisconsin

Within 45 minutes, we had to move quickly through our mini tour as the clouds were getting closer and thunder was rumbling.  I stopped to take a couple photos of the Gazebo.  The May flowers were in full bloom.  This is one of my favorite areas of the Gardens (there are so many!).  It's such a peaceful area to sit and just enjoy the beauty. 

Garden ViewGarden ViewBoerner Botanical Garden, Hales Corners, Wisconsin

Within 10 minutes of this photo, we knew we had to leave for the parking lot or we would be soaked. With the changing light, I just had to stop to get a few more shots.  I mean, really, look at the light here! 

Shady SunShady SunBoerner Botanical Garden, Hales Corners, Wisconsin

This last photograph was the last shot I was able to get before making a run to the car.  We made it just in time!  It was starting to sprinkle as we ran to the parking lot and it was raining by the time we got into the car.  Even if I had gotten wet before reaching the car, stopping for this photograph would have made it all worth it.

Storm ApproachingStorm ApproachingOne of my last shots before the storm finally broke.

Boerner Botanical Gardens, Hales Corners, Wisconsin

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Boerner Botanical Gardens Hales Corners thunder storm Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/storm-approaching Mon, 10 May 2021 00:00:00 GMT
A Work of Art https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/a-work-of-art My favorite museum is the Milwaukee Art Museum.  It's on Lake Michigan and the design of the Quadracci Pavilion (by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava) is absolutely perfect for the art museum.  It's a beautiful museum, both inside and out. There are so many wonderful exhibits inside the museum, and we had spent hours there back when we lived in Milwaukee. 

Milwaukee Art Museum at NightMilwaukee Art Museum at NightCalm night at the museum.

We were at the Lakefront with our cameras on a warm evening in late September several years ago.  The museum was open late that night, and the winds were calm, so the wings were open.  There are sensors on the wings that monitor wind speeds from all directions.  If the wind speed is 23 miles per hour for more than 3 seconds, the wings automatically close. 

We knew they were getting ready to close when they turned off the outside fountain.  And I thought my night couldn't get any better until I glimpsed this composition - a reflection of the wings-open museum in the fountain water! 

ReflectionsReflectionsReflection of the Milwaukee Art Museum in the fountain water

Once the museum closed for the evening, I turned in the opposite direction to capture this reflection in the fountain pool.

Downtown ReflectionsDowntown ReflectionsDowntown Milwaukee buildings reflected in the Fountain pond.

 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Burke Brise Soleil Lake Michigan Milwaukee Art Museum night photography Quadracci Pavilion reflection Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/a-work-of-art Thu, 06 May 2021 20:43:47 GMT
Sunset Seating https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/sunset-seating Several years ago in late September, we visited the Boerner Botanical Gardens Sunset SeatingSunset SeatingThis photograph was my whole purpose of being at the Boerner Botanical Gardens this day. It was the end of September in the Midwest and with the sun going down, the air becomes a bit chilly. But the seating is so inviting and is a wonderful place to watch the sun set. in Hales Corners, Wisconsin (Milwaukee County).  It was a Saturday afternoon and we spent much of our time in the unpopulated areas of the gardens to avoid the wedding parties and their photographers.  We came back around to this area of the gardens just before the Golden Hour (that period of time just before the sun sets).  The sun was lower in the sky and it was casting a beautiful light. 

As I came up the hill towards this seating area, there was another photographer with the same thing in mind.  We looked at each other and we both said, at the same time, "Look at the light!".  Once the few people that were there left the area, he let me take my shots first.  I did so quickly, and moved aside for him to take his.  I stayed a while longer after he left, and got several other shots in the series. 

Boerner Botanical GardensBoerner Botanical GardensThis is the best location for the sunset at the Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners, Wisconsin Waiting for the SunsetWaiting for the SunsetThis area of the Boerner Botanical Gardens is a superb place to sit and wait for the sunset. Golden HourGolden HourThere weren't many people in this area of the Boerner Botanical Gardens on this day. There was, however, another photographer and we were both vying for the same positions during the Golden Hour.

 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) Boerner Botanical Gardens botanical gardens gardens golden hour Hales Corners landscape nature https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/sunset-seating Tue, 04 May 2021 11:58:23 GMT
Stella, the Beautiful Jaguar https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/stella-the-beautiful-jaguar I went Stella profileStella profileStella, the jaguar at the Milwaukee County Zoo (2007) to the Milwaukee County Zoo after a big snow storm in late December several years ago. Besides the caretakers, I was pretty much the only person wandering around the Zoo.  There was at least a foot of new snow on the ground and it was a crisp 23 degrees Fahrenheit. I was able to get several photographs of the heavy snow on the trees. 

The highlight of this Zoo visit was seeing Stella, the beautiful jaguar.  She was posing so nicely and was watching the visitors on the other side of the glass.  I was mesmerized, looking through the lens and into her beautiful eyes!  There weren't many people in the Cat House by then, so I had plenty of room to set up my tripod.

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Deb Beausoleil Photography is sponsoring a few page on Fine Arts America - to see my work and the excellent work of other artists, please visit!
 

Framed Art Prints

Art Prints

Tote Bags

 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) jaguar Milwaukee County Zoo Stella Wisconsin zoo https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/stella-the-beautiful-jaguar Sat, 01 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Night and Day Reflections https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/night-and-day-reflections It was a beautiful autumn evening, and warmer after sunset than usual in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  We went out with the cameras to capture the beauty of the night down at the Lakefront. Our main focus was the skyline from the area surrounding the Milwaukee Art Museum.  We wandered down to McKinley Marina and noticed the reflection of the skyline on the Lagoon from East Lagoon Drive.  Breathtaking!  I later used this vantage point to photograph the fall colors. 

Check out my galleries here!

Reflections of the NightReflections of the NightMilwaukee skyline at night from the north end of the Lagoon on the lakefront.   Autumn Skyline ReflectionAutumn Skyline ReflectionMilwaukee skyline reflection on the lagoon at the lakefront in Autumn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deb Beausoleil Photography is sponsoring a few page on Fine Arts America - to see my work and the excellent work of other artists, please visit!
 

Shower Curtains

Metal Prints

Greeting Cards

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) autumn lagoon Milwaukee night reflections Wisconsin https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/5/night-and-day-reflections Sat, 01 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Beginnings https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/4/Beginnings Have you ever been able to look back and pinpoint a International Bridge at NightInternational Bridge at NightInternational Bridge and Railroad Bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. specific date as a turning point in your life?  Or, at the time it was it was happening, did you know that it was a turning point?  For me, it was in July 2007 when I stood on an overpass at night, overlooking the International Bridge Toll Plaza in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. 

I was taking my first-ever night photograph with my new DSLR camera - a Sony A100.  I shot it in manual mode, not relying on any automatic settings in the camera.  From the moment that I saw the image on the camera display, I was hooked and I knew that I had reached a turning point in my life.  I had found my new calling - night photography!

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You can also find my work on Fine Arts America

Deb Beausoleil Photography is sponsoring a few page on Fine Arts America - to see my work and the excellent work of other artists, please visit!
 

Canvas Print

Acrylic Print



 

 

 

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(Deb Beausoleil Photography) International Bridge Michigan night Sault Ste. Marie https://www.beausoleilphotography.com/blog/2021/4/Beginnings Wed, 28 Apr 2021 22:40:35 GMT