Fall is here and I’ve been out photographing the changing colors and starry skies! A recent trip took me to Vilas County in northern Wisconsin, and later the North Shore of Minnesota. The Land-o-Lakes and Presque Isle area in Wisconsin seemed to have about a 25% change in color (the week of September 13-17th), and some areas like Boulder Junction and Star Lake were in the 10-15% range.
My first night I camped at East Star Lake Campground and was grateful for a nice sunset, calm water, and clear skies at night for a bit of star photography. The weather was quite nice, although surprisingly warm with quite a few bugs considering it was mid-September. The next morning was a bit foggy, but cleared up and turned into another perfect day for photography, hiking, and hanging out in nature.
The weather forecast was calling for rain in Minnesota, later moving into Wisconsin. I was hesitant to spend time driving all the way to Grand Marais, Minnesota, only to encounter rain. Yet there were a couple images I really wanted to get if the conditions were right, so I headed there for the second half of my trip.
I was blessed with great weather the first afternoon and managed to get a few shots. Lake Superior was quite rough so a few of my photo ideas never worked out. I really wanted to try to get a sunset shot of a river flowing into Lake Superior and planned to be at the location an hour before sunset. The sky was getting stormy as I arrived, but I set up my shot and would wait it out. There was a family fishing at the mouth of the river, but I figured they may leave in time for me to take the photo. They never left… there was no sunset… and a wicked thunderstorm was rolling in behind me. It was time to head back to the tent!
The rest of the weekend had a mix of gray skies and rain, but I made the best out of it by mountain biking the Pincushion Mountain trails in between rain, and then enjoying a fish fry and a beer at the Dockside Fish Market in Grand Marais. Heck, sometimes it is worth the long drive just for the fish fry!
All in all it was a nice trip! I took some nice photos, had some nice hikes and a great mountain bike ride, and the fish fry and cold beer really hit the spot!
Being a landscape photographer can be a tricky thing. You have to be flexible, and often make several trips to an area to get the right light, fall color, and all that. The cost of these photo road trips can add up and you’re not always guaranteed to come home with images worth printing and selling to customers. But for many of us photographers, this is part of our DNA… we have to be out there photographing new images, and hoping to sell prints to the customers who love and appreciate our work!