On the morning of the wedding, I took advantage of the weather to enjoy a three-mile hike in the hills above the lake on what is known as the Oberg Mountain Loop trail. Here is some of what I got.
First up was a tree along the trail that I was drawn to for the texture of its bark.
I converted this to a black & white to emphasize the detail in the bark and to avoid the distraction of the color of the surrounding foliage. I actually thought this was a better shot than it appears at first glance.
The sun filtering through the trees along the trail also provided opportunities to capture the mood.
I also took a couple of closeups of the vegetation.
Along the way I met an individual who is a considerably more dedicated hiker than I.
His trail name was Buffalo Jump Sly, based on a spot with the name of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump located in Alberta. Sly was hiking from the Canadian border to Duluth, a distance, including trail loops such as this one, of some 300 miles. He was averaging about 18 miles a day. He admitted that he previously had hiked both the entire Pacific Crest Trail and the entire Appalachian Trail. It was a real pleasure to spend an hour of conversation and leisurely hiking with Sly.
Here are a couple of more vista views along the trail.
I thought the second shot was much the better of the two. I tried to incorporate the evergreen in the first image as a foreground element, but it didn't really work, and the shot is quite blah. I took the second shot from close to the ground to include the rock and low-lying vegetation. It tells more of a story, I think and also includes better color. I do wish the tree to the right was not in the shot. But I doubt that I am ever going to revisit the spot to capture a different perspective.
Later in the day we visited Grand Marais, a charming tourist town north of Lutsen, for lunch and a little shopping. The town included a shop "impaled" by what I believe is a gigantic northern pike.
And then there was the shot in one of the antique shops that only I would love, some plates silhouetted in front of a backlit glass-block wall that presented an interesting texture.
The wedding was held that evening at a mountaintop chalet that was accessible by gondola.
The wedding featured a terrific bluegrass band and a spectacular view . . .
particularly later in the evening.
The following morning we made our way back home, stopping to view the Split Rock Lighthouse. We were too early to pay a visit to the lighthouse, but I did get a couple of shots from a viewing area to the south.
There was some residual morning mist at the time, which drained most of the color from the actual lighthouse, so I converted the shots to black & whites in order to minimize the distraction created by the more saturated color of the surrounding vegetation.
Our final visit was to Gooseberry Falls State Park, which I highly recommend to anyone driving along the North Shore. I had brought my tripod in an effort to capture longer exposure shots to provide a sense of movement in the water.
This shot involved an exposure of 1/5 second, long enough to blur in the flow of water, an impossibly long time to shoot handheld. It was a bright and sunny morning so I narrowed the aperture to f/22 and chose the lowest ISO to extend the exposure time. Here's another shot that I converted to black & white. This one involved a 1/4 second exposure. I artificially darkened the image some in post processing.