Cold water flying

Late October weather usually precludes any Lake Michigan water sports unless you’re a polar bear club member.  Still, technology can give an edge for the truly hard-core water lover.  The water temperature off Door County was probably in the 50’s but with a great wind blowing there were people ready to ride the waves.

1/1000 sec., f/4.0, ISO100

1/800 sec, f/4.0, ISO100

1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO100

Looks like lots of fun, zipping along on a wind-propelled surfboard.  There were several people out with their sails and wetsuits – maybe a class for the weekend.  Just the sport for a nice beach bonfire for afterwards with plenty of hot dogs and marshmallows.


Autumn – yet another year

Door County colors were variable this year – you really had to wander around the peninsula and look for the spots of gold and red.  Seemed the leaves were changing quickly.  So much so that the edges would be brown while the interior was green.  Trees had a rusted appearance to them rather than iridescence.  Fortunately the sun cooperated while I was there so there was no lack of light.

The last subject caught my attention.  There are bluffs along parts of the peninsula, edges of the Niagara Escarpment broken off by winter, waves and erosion.  Crumbling limestone cracked and falls toward the lake.  Looks like this tree got caught between rock and soil, successfully struggling against both to keep moving upward.  Strength through struggle.

Just a little fall

Colors in Wisconsin seem pretty variable this year, probably due to the unusual weather through summer very early fall.  I did make it up to the northern part of the state, though, and found some nice scenery.  Here’s a few autumn images for those of you missing the changing season.

Morning Watch

It’s the time of year when sunrise closely matches my drive to work.  Which fortunately takes me right by Lake Michigan.  I’m making a point of taking my camera along in case something great shows up and it turns out to be a good idea.

There is a local marina right by a nice hill overlooking the lake and breakwater.  This morning there was more haze than clouds, enough to give a somewhat dreamy effect to the scene.  A few waterfowl were wandering around looking for breakfast, nice addition to the composition.

Watching a sunrise is something to take time and consider as conditions change each second.  It’s easy to keep looking for different light and perspective, only to forget there are other subjects being affected as well.  Fortunately I turned around and behind me was this high-rise, a glass and steel structure waking up to the early light.  What you see is simply the sunrise reflecting off the windows of the building.

Earlier this week there were clouds heading east over the lake, with just enough gap under them for the horizon to be clear as the sun came up.  Just at that right moment when the light caught the underside of the clouds, right before the sun was hidden behind them, I was very happy to have thought this through and planned for just this image.

Only a few more days of this confluence of my time and the sun’s position.  Hopefully the week will deliver open skies and interesting subjects.

Holiday wanderings

Nice Labor Day weekend visit to the International Crane Foundation near Baraboo, WI.  They’ll be closing down for winter in a month or so and I wanted to make some more images there this year.  It was a cloudy day so the light was even and not harsh.  Their exhibits are well done and fun even if you aren’t a crane fanatic.  There are quite a few endangered crane species in the world and the Foundation works to preserve habitat as well as repopulate birds.  They hand-rear various species for relocation around the globe.  Hurricane Harvey did quite a bit of damage to their facility near Houston, which is involved with whooping crane research and repopulation.  You can contribute to their efforts by clicking on the link above.

Black Crowned Crane, International Crane Foundation

Whooping Crane, International Crane Foundation

Thought I’d practice with fast moving birds a bit but the gull population down by the lake was absent, with very few birds flying down the beach.  Pretty odd – maybe they had filled up on tourist snacks earlier in the day.  With the good weather, however, there were several fast moving objects on the water the practice on.

425mm, f/5, 1/1000sec

After waiting a bit and enjoying the sailboats gliding around the harbor I finally got this guy cruising the area.

425mm, f/5, 1/1600sec

The gear is all working as I hoped but I still need to work on the continuous focus system in my camera.  It doesn’t always react as fast as I think I need and it sometimes doesn’t focus on the subject I’m seeing.  Just need more birds flying by.