Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looking Back on 2014

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.

While watching an annual slide program populated with photos by members of the Traverse Area Camera Club, it made me think back to this past year in photos for me. There have been a few trips and a few local photos that were memorable. Here are some of the images:

The epic winter of 2013-14 was memorable for the trip to the shoreline of Lake Superior. This is Madeline Island, Big Bay State Park, which in years when Lake Superior freezes, can be reached by driving over the frozen lake. It was a balmy 3 degrees that morning.

 The ice formations along the Lake Superior Shore at the Apostle Islands National Park were impressive. This formation is known as the keyhole. This photo was a finalist with the North American Nature Photography Association.   Amazing experience along the frozen shore of Lake Superior.
Back in Michigan, Lake Michigan was frozen into April. A truly historic winter.

The next trip was to the Great Smoky Mountains in late April. The bears seemed to be quite active at that time. This mother and her yearling cub (not pictured)  were chomping on plants. Bears draw quite the crowd in Cades Cove, hence the term "Bear Jams".

Hyatt Lane in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of my favorite places in the spring and fall. This photo was two days in the making. I spotted this the previous day when the clouds refused to yield.

Being surrounded by Elk in Cataloochee Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains is quite an experience. It was my intention to keep a safe distance, but they were coming out of the surrounding forest behind me. This young bull elk was nice enough to let me photograph him.

 Along the North Country Trail at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore the first week of June. The mosquitoes were horrendous. So, it was click, slap, click, slap. Beautiful sunlight through the trees near Miner's Castle.

This wood lily was a perfect specimen and is actually a composite of two images to increase the focus distance. Though the mosquitoes were out in force, my preparations allowed me to ignore the bites. 

Back home until the next journey, this delightful scene presented itself to me at the Sleeping Bear Dunes. It is so rare to find a dune sans footprints and to get great light and clouds too is even better.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Watkins Glen State Park in upstate New York, bring your camera. There are at least 19 waterfalls in the gorge, plus bridges and tunnels along the route. Truly one of the more spectacular places I have visited. 

The days were already starting to be quite chilly in September. On one of those chilly evenings I was fortunate to find this scene looking west from the Old Mission Peninsula. It actually reminds me of the Smoky Mountains because of the layering.

 One last day of sailing on Grand Traverse Bay before the cooler weather.


Great reflection on a beautiful fall morning. The reflections seemed to last for a long-long time that morning. If you are standing in the lake, the slightest movement causes ripples all the way across the lake.  Given time, the reflection reappears.


One of those intimate scenes that sometimes just grabs you. Especially if you have to make a "U" turn to go back to get it. Was that a good opportunity for a photo?  Well, go back and check it out, and yes, it was a fantastic scene.

Yes, the fall of 2014 presented many photo opportunities. This was a pre-visualized photo that actually worked as planned. The gold color was really accentuated by the late-day light coming through the leaves.


Believe it or not, this is actually a winter image. Taken in a thick fog, these pines give a real sense of the mystery in the woods. 

Finally, winter scenes like this one taken at night on the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City.

If you have made it through my year in pictures, thank you. It has been a pretty darn good year for photos and I really appreciate the support from everyone. I am truly blessed to be able to capture and share some of the beauty of this world.