Monday, August 14, 2017


Last week my wife and I traveled to Minnesota's North Shore to attend the wedding of the daughter of good friends of ours.  The wedding was held in Lutsen, which is 90 miles northeast of Duluth and a 500 mile drive from our home in Wisconsin.  The drive from Duluth along the Lake Superior shore has gorgeous scenery, and I tried to take advantage of the opportunity.  The trip up was rainy (very rainy, actually), but the following two days were beautiful.

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.


1 comment:

  1. What awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing