The lift bridge is always a popular subject for Copper Country photographers, and I'm no exception. The wild colors of the sky and reflections caught me this time -- they're different in every season.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I've always enjoyed playing around with long exposures, and for a while I've been working on my star trail photos. Taking a single very long exposure is impractical, because the sensors of digital cameras overheat and add bright purple clouds of color to the image. So, the solution is to take many shorter photos, and "stack" them together into one photo.
In order to take that many photos, I needed a way to control the camera. Some cameras have built-in features to do this, but in my case, I used gphoto2, which I previously used to take some time lapse videos of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.
This photo is a stack of 40 images, each of which was a 30-second long exposure at f/3.5 and ISO 400. Things did not work out perfectly: my camera went crazy at one point (gphoto isn't perfect), and after 20 minutes my battery died (I failed to fully charge it before!). I've learned a lot, so I'm planning to head out and try again next weekend!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
... ok, maybe it is. This board is on the outside of the old Quincy #5 boiler house, a structure which has stood for well over 100 years. This board has survived decades of hard weather, snow, rain, sun, and everything else the Keweenaw can throw at it.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
There are many drops at Hungarian Falls, which is one of the easiest sets of waterfalls for people in the Houghton-Hancock area to visit. This is the largest of the drops, a very large vertical drop which is barely a dribble during most of the year.
During the spring, however, the lower falls are amazing. They are a regular torrent, and Kyle and I decided to head out there one mid-spring day to see what we could see. As it turns out, it is rather difficult to get near these falls in the spring: there are no regular paths, the stream below the waterfall is (unusually) full and treacherous, and the sides of the Hungarian gorge are steep and slick with a combination of snow, ice, and red, muddy clay.
On this particular day, we managed to monkey our way down to the falls, using a series of branches, rocks, roots, and sheer dumb luck. Once I got to the bottom, I discovered that my camera's battery was nearly dead! I had been intending to take a bunch of long exposures of the waterfalls, but those eat up battery life in a very unpleasant way. Instead, I spent my time mentally framing shots and planning my work very carefully. In the end, I took only very few shots, this being one of them. It was an excellent lesson in photography and the mental skills necessary.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Here's one from the archives: a lonely swing at McLain State Park, under the last full moon of winter. Kyle and I headed out there one weekend to see what we could do with light painting, long exposures, and a full moon. We had a lot of fun, and this was one of the results.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Perhaps thimbleberries grow elsewhere in the world, but if they do I've never seen them. Thimbleberries are a delicious and tart relative of raspberries which are very common up here in the Keweenaw. You can literally drive down fairly major roads, lean out the window, and pick them! They make a wonderful jam, whose entire recipe I will add here:
Add equal parts thimbleberries and sugar into a pot. Heat until the berries dissolve. Boil hard for one minute, and put into glass jars for storage.
If you can't have thimbleberry jam, enjoy this thimbleberry photo instead!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Sarah and I just had a lovely weekend of camping. You can tell just how lovely it was by this photo -- this was taken right in our campsite! The pine trees and the lake we camped on were lit up like this every evening and every morning.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Powderhouses were used by mines to store their explosives -- originally black powder, later dynamite and similar mixtures. To protect the people and buildings at the mines, powderhouses were built with very thick walls, far away from the mines. The powderhouse at Central is especially ornate, with a doorway lined with bricks -- a huge rarity for the time when it was built. Although the mine is long gone, much of the powderhouse still remains -- as it was designed to do.
Does anyone else think that the lines of this door are reminiscent of an explosion? Perhaps it's just the wide angle.