If you read my last blog post you might be expecting another 'Photographer Profile' because I told you that would be the next post. Well, I lied. I didn't mean to lie but I did. I didn't plan on writing this post but here it is.
It's been 6 months now since the start of the Parks Series, which of course means that I've been to 6 different Michigan State Parks. So far it has been a great experience and I'm quite happy that I decided to do this project. It has had it's challenges but for the most part it has been quite rewarding. As last years 'Pier Series' was winding down I was thinking about doing another series and of the few 'series' that I could think of doing this one sounded the most interesting.
January. Silver Lake State Park. Once I decided that it did in fact sound like a good and "doable" series I had to do a bit of research and come up with a list of parks that would hopefully be interesting to visit and photograph. The first on my list was one that I had been to on many occasions, Silver Lake State Park.
This has always been one of favorite parks in West Michigan, with it's awesome dunes, beautiful Silver Lake(even frozen) and Little Sable Point Lighthouse it is pretty much a photographers dream. The most difficult part of creating images at this park is trying to decide which part to be in when the natural light is at it's best and that's not really a bad problem to have! I'm sure many of you, particularly west siders, have been to this park and if you haven't you need to go!
February. Ludington State Park. After shooting at Silver Lake State Park I took my time in deciding where to go next. The weather was absolutely terrible in January and February and I knew I wanted to go somewhere closer to home. Which brought me to Ludington State Park. I drove through white out snow and at times a one lane expressway due to drifting snow but it was worth it! When I finally arrived, after about a 2 hour car trip that's normally 1 hour, the snow stopped and the clouds parted a bit. I hiked around for quite some time and ended up eventually at Big Sable Lighthouse - a two mile hike through snow which was actually quite relaxing. This park, which I had been to twice before, was quite beautiful covered in snow!
March. Fisherman's Island State Park. Ahh March. Man, do I not like March. It's still cold. The remaining snow is brown and crusty. Winter's over but Spring hasn't arrived yet. I just don't like March. Which made it kind of unfair for Fisherman's Island in Charlevoix when I went to photograph it in March. This park, however, deserves a revisit. Underneath all the ugly snow and half melted ice I could tell there was a fantastic park. There was rocky beach, gently flowing creeks and beautiful old growth forest and though I may not have really enjoyed my time there I can't wait to get back now that the weather is improved. Unlike the first two parks in the series, I had never been to this park before and I encourage you to check it out, just not in March. Oh and by the way, there is no island and I saw no fishermen but I'd still like to go back.
April. Hartwick Pines State Park. In April I ventured away from the Lake Michigan coast and travelled to Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling. Yet another fantastic State Park. It has miles of hiking through gorgeous forest, the east branch of the Au Sable River and my favorite spot in the park, Bright and Glory Lakes. These two lakes were created by passing glaciers over 10,000 years ago and they are absolutely stunning to observe and photograph. To me, these two lakes are how all lakes should be - no houses - no boats - just a couple docks to fish from or, of course, set up a tripod. I'm sure this park is well visited by those on the east side of the state but I had never been and I'm glad I got the chance to visit!
May. Tawas Point State Park. I had been looking forward to visiting this park ever since I decided to do this series. It was another park that I had never been to before. It was Memorial Day weekend and the park was quite busy with folks all around and I had a bit of difficulty(ok a lot) getting into that "comfort zone" where photographers like to be when we're creating images. Eventually, the sun started setting and the park visitors started leaving. When dusk settled in I was able to create one of my favorite images of the series date - the image in this post featuring Tawas Point Lighthouse.
June. Wilderness State Park. The shoot at Wilderness State Park was a bit of a change as I was able to bring my wife and son along on the trip! In a wise decision, they stayed at the cabin while I was shooting and being absolutely devoured by mosquitos! The park itself is only a couple minutes from Mackinaw City(which is apparently a Village....) and it has some stunning shoreline and fantastic wilderness(go figure). This definitely is a park I would like to get to again and another I hadn't been to before. I'm actually still processing images from this park so stay tuned to the website and to Facebook for more pics from this park, I think there are a couple you may like!
If you were keeping track you noticed that the majority of theses parks I had not been to before and that creates a bit of a challenge. I personally like to go places multiple times and a get a feel of where I want my camera set up and when I might need to be in certain locations. But on the positive side this makes me think a little more "on my feet" and might make me create images I wouldn't normally create. It gets me a little out of my "comfort zone" and that's not always a bad thing! Thanks for taking the time read the latest Fine Michigan Photography Blog post and stay tuned for more photos from the Parks Series and I promise the next post will be a 'Photographer Profile'! Feel free to stick around and check out more photos from the Parks Series in the slide show below or click the link to go to the Parks Series page on the website!