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Category Archives: Sunburst

Just about every year we try to drive out to Wisconsin Point to Photograph the lighthouse when the sun rises from behind the lighthouse. We made the trip again this year. We arrived well before sunrise so we stopped to photograph the Burlington Northern Ore Docks that were lit up. The Roger Blough was at the docks loading Taconite. I was very surprised to find there were no mosquitoes around.

We then drove back to the road that leads to the south breakwater where the lighthouse is located. I walked out to the beach for a photo before sunrise. As it turned out the best color was well before sunrise.

I decided to walk along the beach between the south and north breakwater photographing from various locations along the way. My wife drove the car over to the north breakwater parking lot to meet me.

I then walked out on the north breakwater to watch the sun rise.

When I turned around to leave I notice the beach was glowing in the sunrise.

I walked back along the breakwater to photograph the abandon Burlington Northern Ore Docks.

As I turned to leave I notice some small rocks on the breakwater. The sun had cast a long shadow.


We recently spent a beautiful morning on Wisconsin Point photographing the lighthouse. In addition to the lighthouse we saw five Bald Eagles along the road.




As the sun came up over Lake Superior I managed to capture some starbursts on the North Breakwater and North Breakwater Light. These can be captured by using a small aperture such as f32.

Duluth North Breakwater Light

Duluth North Breakwater Light

Duluth North Breakwater Light

Duluth North Breakwater Light


I spent quite a bit of time in Canal Park last weekend photographing a wide variety of things.  I watched the John G. Munson leave the harbor. There was a large crowd in Canal Park watching the ships this past weekend. The most people I’ve seen since last summer at the Tall Ship Festival.John G. Munson 14-8-_0524

A popular pastime is sitting on the benches in the park and watching the kids chase the gulls and pigeons in the park.Chasing-Birds-in-Canal-Park-14-8-_0546

I happened to notice these star reflections in the harbor and managed to capture a nice photo of them.Star-Reflections-14-8-_0454

Here are a few shots from my last visit to Crex Meadows. I was able to capture the sunset, dawn and sunrise.Crex-Meadows-Sunset-14-07-_1273a



I drove up to Crex Meadows a few weeks ago on an overnight road trip. It had been raining for weeks and we finally got some clear weather so I took advantage of it. When I arrived there were beautiful fluffy clouds over the Meadows. I drove around Crex for a while but there was not a lot happening. Most of the birds were taking a mid day nap and it was too windy to photograph the flowers.Crex-Meadows-14-07-_1208

I did find a large number of Hairstreaks feeding on Butterfly Plants and was able to get a few shots before heading back to Grantsburg for dinner.Hairstreak-gathering-14-07-_1204

I drove back out to Crex after dinner and found some young Pied-billed Grebes right along shore on Phantom Lake. I watched them for quite a while. The light was good late in the day for photographing them.Pied-billed-Grebe-14-7-_1914

I decided to photograph the sunset from the south end of Phantom Lake. I was disappointed that it wasn’t a better sunset given all of the clouds earlier in the day.Crex-Meadows-Sunset-14-07-_1243

The next morning I was up to capture some dawn photographs. My wife wasn’t along on this trip so I didn’t feel guilty about getting up around 4am. I stopped for some coffee and then drove out to Phantom lake to await for dawn. It was a beautiful dawn.Crex-Meadows-Sunrise-14-07-_0982

About an hour later the sun came up. There were not many clouds but there was a bit of ground fog on Phantom lake that made for some interesting shots.Crex-Meadows-Sunrise-14-07-_1087

After sunrise I spent quite a bit of time watching the Pied-billed Grebes feeding their young along the western edge of Phantom Lake. Unfortunately they were backlit so it was not a good time for pictures. This adult Grebe was feeding two fledglings. The one fledgling seemed to be getting all of the food. It would bide it’s time until the adult would surface with some food then dash to the adult so it would get the food. Finally the adult got fed up and dunked the fledgling and then chased it down the lake. I never saw it again. The remaining fledgling they got all of the food.Pied-billed-Grebes-14-7-_1627

There were a few Sandhill Cranes around. I photographed these in the fields at the north end of the Meadows. I did see one pair of adults with a colt but didn’t get any photographs.Sandhill-Cranes-14-7-_1662

It was well after sunrise and it was still relatively calm out. Normally I have trouble photographing flowers and small objects because the wind is usually blowing at a good clip. I photographed this Northern Bluet Damselfly along Phantom Lake.Northern-Bluet-Damselfly-14-7-_1862

I then started driving around Crex looking for flower photographs. This is a great time to photograph the wildflowers at Crex. The visitors center sells a nice book identifying the flowers found in the Grantsburg areaWood-Lilly-14-7-_1705

Just about every year I head out to Wisconsin Point Lighthouse. I think the best time is around the end of June when the sun rises to the north of the lighthouse and then passes over the lighthouse. This phenomenon last for a couple of weeks. Here are a few shots from this year’s event.

More sunrise photos from Wisconsin Point can be found on my website.




On a recent trip to Duluth, Minnesota I had a chance to spend some time on the South Breakwater taking a few photos. The first shot I noticed as I was walking out onto the breakwater just after sunrise.


As I walked along the breakwater I noticed the sunrise reflection shining off of a gull feather on the cement. It took a few shots to capture this photo because the wind was blowing and the feathers were blowing around.


Just as I was leaving the South Breakwater Lighthouse I happened to turn around and noticed that the sun was shining through the gap where the stairs were located. If offered an opportunity to capture a great starburst.

South-Breakwater-Light-13-7-_4466More photos of the South Breakwater Light can be found on my website.

Over the weekend my wife and I drove up to Duluth, Minnesota on business. We decided to splurge and stay at one of the motels on Canal Park. There was going to be a full moon and staying in the Park would allow us to easily photograph the moonrise in the evening and sunrise the next morning.

We had an early dinner then headed out to photograph the moonrise. The Photographers Ephemeris indicated that I should be able to get a shot of the full moon rising over the North Breakwater Lighthouse. Several years ago I had taken a photo of the moon rising over the South Breakwater Outer Lighthouse and was hoping for a matching shot. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and the moonrise was covered by clouds. This is the moonrise shot I took several years ago. We wandered around the harbor entrance photographing the Aerial Lift Bridge and the night lights of Duluth.

South Breakwater Moonrise


Aerial Lift Bridge

Duluth Lights

Earlier in the evening we had noticed there were a lot of lights in the Bayfront Festival Park area so we walked over to investigate. It turns out that workers were in the process of installing the Bentleyville Tour of Lights which is a popular holiday attraction in Duluth. Although the project was a work in progress enough of it was installed to provide an outstanding light display. Since there were only a few people around it was easy to get some good photographs.

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Bentleyville Tour of Lights

The plan was to photograph the sunrise the next morning. After all this was one of the reasons we splurged on a Canal Park motel. When the time came for sunrise I was still sleeping and really didn’t want to get out of bed. However, I glanced out the window and noticed a bright orange sky and made a mad dash for my photo gear. I was out the door in about five minutes. The sunrise was amazing as I hope the photos below capture the amazing light.

South Breakwater Outer Light Sunrise

North Breakwater Light Sunrise

North Breakwater Light sunrise


Breakwater Lights

After breakfast we went back to the harbor area to take a few more photos. We were fortunate to be on the south breakwater when the  James R. Barker exited the harbor with a load of coal. We then spent some time walking along the Park Point beach before heading for home.

South Breakwater Inner Light

James R. Barker

Wood Patterns

Ringed-billed Gull

More photos can be found on my website.

Last weekend we drove from Menomonie, Wisconsin through Northern Wisconsin to Copper Harbor, Michigan.

Chippewa River

The trip took us through Cornell where I took this photo of the Chippewa River from a small park at the edge of town.

Lac du Flambeau

We then drove up through Phillips, Park Falls, Lac Du Flambeau and on to Hurley. The leaves were spotty through Phillips. The leaf report said they were at peak in Phillips and north of Phillips but I think it will be later this week when they reach peak. This shot was taken outside of Woodruff.

Gile Flowage

They were near their peak around Hurley with some nice shots at the Gile Flowage. In some places the leaves were down from the strong winds.

O Kun de Kun Falls

We then drove from Ironwood to Bruce Crossing the trees were spotty with one hill at peak and the next hill green. We stopped to hike into O-Kun-de-Kun-Falls on  the Baltimore River north of Bruce Crossing. We have driven past this waterfall many times but have never stopped. As it turned out it probably wasn’t the day to stop. It was bright sunshine with the sun directly in back of the falls. In addition, a large group of students from Michigan Tech were camping at the waterfall. Late in the day we drove on Houghton highway 26. The trees were outstanding and at peak.

Sandstone Patterns

On the second day of the trip we drove around the Keweenaw the leaves were ok but will likely peak next weekend. Leaves on the Brockway Mountain drive will probably peak a week later. We typically drive the eastern shore of the Keweenaw on the way up. This photo was taken on a small pullout northeast of Gay. The sandstone rocks in this area are outstanding.

Lac La Belle

When we reached the small town of Lac La Belle we drove over to the public docks where this photo was taken. As you can see it will be at least next weekend before the leaves are at peak.

The drive along highway 41 into Copper Harbor was nice but I think it will be next weekend before the leaves are at their peak. We returned along highway 26 on the west coast. This area doesn’t have many trees that change color.


Returning to Houghton we then headed south on highway 26 where the color was excellent. The only issue was that some of the tops of the trees were bear because of the high winds earlier in the week. On the way up I noted that the trees in the Twin Lakes Campground look promising so we stopped on the way back. I wanted to take the traditional photo looking up through the trees but the space between the trees didn’t work so I took this shot of the sunburst through one of the trees.

The then headed over toward Ontonagon on highway 38 then on to the Porcupine Mountains on 64. It looked like the trees in this area wouldn’t peak for another week. When we reached the park we took south boundary road through the park. There was some good color but the peak will likely be closer to next weekend. We didn’t stop much because we wanted to make it to Copper Peak before the chairlift closed.

Copper Peak View

We made it with a little time to spare. The leaves were good but not as good as last year. The strong winds from last Thursday and Friday took down quite a few leaves. You can see that some of the trees have lost their leaves. The shadow in the photo is the ski jump. The good news from Copper Peak is that the international agency that governs ski flying has examined the jump. They noted the changes that need to be made to bring the jump up to international standards and work is progressing. Hopefully in the next few years they will have ski flying again at Copper Peak.

I know it is a bummer but we expect 40 mph winds later in the week. I’m not sure what this will due to the leaves.


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