Tag Archives: Minnesota

High Falls, Rocks and Water: Dealing with the conditions at hand and having back-up equipment!

I made this image of High Falls in Tettegouche State Park on a trip to the North Shore Region of Minnesota. I had hoped to photograph some spectacular fall colors, but as it turned out I was late by about a week as a large wind storm had brought down most of the leaves. I traveled to Minnesota primarily to attend the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America that was held in Minneapolis this year, so I wanted to take advantage of the travel and do some photography after the meeting. The North Shore region along Lake Superior north of Duluth is spectacular, and I headed first to Gooseberry Fall State Park where I previously had photographed a Summer solstice sunrise over Lake Superior. As I prepared for a sunrise from the rocky shore and was setting up my tripod low in front a pool I had hoped to get a nice reflection of color in, a moment of in-attention resulted in a bit of a disaster! As I turned to get my cable release from my pack, my tripod with my Nikon D700 and 14-24 lens tipped over and crashed into the shallow pool. Not a good feeling as I quickly pulled it out, but the damage was done. The result was a large scratch in the middle of the front element of the lens and a wet camera body. Not good,and I thought well there goes the trip!. Fortunately I had my D300 along as a backup, but my only other wide angle I had with me with was a 24mm TS-E that has a 36mm field of view on the D300. With this combination I would not be able to photograph the real wide angle shots with prominent elements large in the foreground I love to compose. Oh well, sometimes photographers have to just deal with the situations and conditions they are presented with. So traveled a bit farther north to Tettegouche SP, and ended up a having a great couple of days concentrating on images and compositions that worked with the equipment I had and did not lament the real wide angle compositions I could not make.
This image of High Falls (the highest waterfall in Minnesota) was made using the 24mm Tilt -Shift, which given the composition I extracted actually worked well. The moral of this story for all photographers is 1: pay attention to the stability of your tripod; 2, have a second camera body as a back-up; and 3 see and extract the compositions that can be made with the equipment you have!

High Falls in Tettegouche State park, Minnesota


Lake Superior Summer Solstice Sunrise

During my  June trip through the upper Midwest I spent several days in Minnesota. The day before the Summer Solstice I arrived at Gooseberry Falls State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It was a Saturday and the park was absolutely packed with people enjoying the spectacular waterfalls. Because of harsh light and the crowds of people I did very little photography that day, instead I scouted locations along the shore for the following morning’s sunrise.  I woke the next morning at about 4:00 AM and could tell almost immediately that the dawn light and sunrise was going to be spectacular.  I hiked down to the shore to the spots I had scouted the day before and waited for the light show to begin and Summer  officially start. As you can see from the two images below I was not disappointed!

Lake Superior Summer Solstice Dawn Light

Lake Superior Summer Solstice Dawn Light

Summer Solstice Sunrise Over Lake Superior

Summer Solstice Sunrise Over Lake Superior

Photo: Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Aspen and Ferns

Ferns grow in a grove of Aspen in Tamarav NWR, Minnesots

Ferns grow in a grove of Aspen in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, Minnesota ©Stephen Weaver

During my Mid-West trip I spent several days in Minnesota including time at Gooseberry Falls State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior and Buffalo River State Park  just east of Moorhead. The day I traveled to Buffalo River SP I passed through Tamarac National Wildlife refuge on a  rather rainy afternoon. Tamarac NWR lies just at the western edge of the great northern forests of northern Minnesota and within 15 miles of the refuge  you reach the prairie. The rainy day provided excellent soft light that is perfect for photographing forest environments. Wandering a bit in this forest I found this composition of aspen trees and ferns.