13 November 2012

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

This particular post is several months overdue I'm afraid. In August I went to Michigan for my high school reunion and while I was there my little brother took me with him to Big Sable Point lighthouse in Ludington, Michigan-which is about a 90 minute drive north from our parents' place. Most of what I've learned about photography and Photoshop I've learned from my brother. Just about every time I'm in Michigan I get a lesson of some sort. This visit included a field trip to capture lighthouses, one of Brian's favorite subjects.

Lake Michigan
Big Sable Point is one of the tallest lighthouses in Michigan. It's also one of Brian's favorites making it apparently worth the mile hike along the beach to get to it. Michigan has more shoreline than any other US state thanks to the Great Lakes. And while most people I know here in DC don't believe it; Michigan attracts a lot of tourism, largely because of the beaches.

So far away...

At least I only made the trek with one camera, a couple lenses, and a bottle of water. Brian, who is far more serious about all of this than am I, had two camera bodies, a fair few lenses, a tripod, and his water. Normally I wouldn't call a mere mile a 'trek', but any distance through sand is just three times as difficult.

This was done with a Lens Baby attachment

Deliberately underexposed
By the time we finally got within sight of the lighthouse I was already exhausted. How my brother tramps around with all this weight strapped to him I have no idea. I should do it more often though because my composition still needs work. So does my knowledge of lighting...all the dials and buttons on my camera...

Done with a wide angle Lens Baby
Despite everything I don't know I still managed to get a few decent pictures, I think. Could they use work? Certainly, but they're still pretty!

Brian also showed me how to use Photoshop to straighten pictures that end up crooked for one reason or another (shores slope). I think he did it to the above pictures but I promptly forgot how to do it.

We stayed into the evening to try to catch the sunset. Unfortunately there were too many clouds for us to see the actual sun set, but we did manage to get some of the colors reflecting in the clouds.

Michigan had a rather cold summer this year. in fact when I was there in August it was only in the 60s and low 70s. The general low temperature meant that the lake never really warmed up, especially as far north as Ludington. So no swimming for us while we were there. Which turned out in our favor really. Later there was a news story that the Coast Guard found two people drowned in the lake. Which answered our curiosity about the Coast Guard boat we saw cruising around on the horizon.


Lighthouses...not as much my thing as they are Brian's. However I enjoyed the opportunity to shoot with my brother and observe his process a little. We're very different photographers he and I, both in interest and process, and I thought it was fun to work with someone else and get some tips and advice while in action.

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