A weekend at the North Shore

It amazes me that with a beautiful sunrise each morning and a beautiful sunset every evening, that we don’t take the time to enjoy them more. Funny how we start our day with newspapers and coffee and end them with tv and beer instead.

This weekend I decided it was a great time to visit the north shore of Minnesota. The weather was beautiful and the forecast was calling for clear nights with no moon. This is important as I was going up to photograph some star trails. While star trails were my main objective, I also wanted to flex my landscape muscles while I was there. This would mean waking up before the sunrise both mornings in order to capture the lake using long exposure to create a silky appearance.

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You might be saying to yourself, big deal, you had to get up early. Well that’s true, but because I was shooting star trails all night, that meant getting up with only a couple hours of sleep and hiking to my locations. Ok enough complaining. Landscape photographers have to suck it up and make it happen.

The image above was from the first morning. I found these old footings in the lake and decided a very clean image would be nice. The sky was clear so there would be no dramatic clouds. This meant that clean and simple would be the ticket.

That night I found my position deep in the woods overlooking the entire park. I was happy to witness the moon chasing the sun below the trees and put my 200mm lens on to capture the action.

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That night was amazing. The stars were spectacular. My buddy and I have started a light painting business called Stimulight the Night and that is what I was shooting the star trails for. Here is the image and you can read all about that night in the woods and how the image was made on Stimulight’s Blog.

Shelter Star Trails

After the amazing night under the stars, I slept a couple short hours and headed back into the dark to wait for the sunrise once again. I had spent the previous day hiking up and down the lake scouting my location. I was excited to get started and immediately came across this manmade rock formation. There were probably 6 or 7 of them laying around, but this one looked like it was made just for photography purposes.

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As I worked around the rocks, I began to look for patterns. I thought this was an interesting vantage point.

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Finally I created this image right down on the water.  My aunt once told me that an image with a great tonal range, usually makes for a great black and white. Once I converted it to black and white it became a very moody image. I have never been to the upper west coast, but it reminds me of what a landscape out there might look like.

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I packed up my gear and headed back home. It was an amazing trip and a great way to reset. It amazes me that with a beautiful sunrise each morning and a beautiful sunset every evening, that we don’t take the time to enjoy them more. Funny how we start our day with news papers and coffee and end them with tv and beer instead.

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