Not many people, lots of trees… Well, the year 2020 rolled to a close, and as we all seem to agree, it wasn’t a great year. There were a lot of losses for me – several old friends died, plans for a “travel year” dissolved, the kids have all moved out, and the passion for software development has faded. But still, the opportunity for growth and change is always there. My photography has changed a bit too. While I won’t use the trope of saying I had to do more with less, I did have to strive a bit more to discover scenes that drew me in and made me want to find an image I wanted to share. This year I spent more time learning and admiring the real experts at macro and floral photography. I’ve always been one to stop and admire how nature surrounds us with beauty, so why not get close up? I read and watched the work of Janice Sullivan and Harold Ross, two masters at the game. In the end, I did come up with a few macros in my top images. I also love to play around with filters. My father was an excellent artist. Watching him make sketches and designs always fascinated me as a kid. Unfortunately, that gene skipped me, and I can hardly draw a box. But I still can see the potential. So, getting out my Topaz filters and adding some impressionistic vibe or just breaking an image down…

Wind and water form ever-changing art at the base of Barton Dam

February in the mid-west, and it’s finally gotten really cold here in the last week or two. When winter temperatures take a deep dive like this, we Great Lakes photographers know to head out looking for beautiful ice.

Peonies at Nichols Arboretum

Every spring the Nichols Arboretum Peony garden bursts into bloom. Over the years, I’ve gone to this garden to photograph these incredible flowers. This year, armed with a new, low-key photography method, I’m heading back to get some great close-ups of these historic blossoms.

On to the Tip of the Thumb

After a wet and dreary morning of exploring the outback of Michigan’s Thumb area (see the previous post), we moved north towards the tip of the peninsula for some historic lighthouse architecture. We soon arrived at one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes and were greeted with bright sunshine and blue skies.

I’ve been really impressed by Facebook’s new 360 image capabilities.  I love taking panoramas with my phone and sharing them with friends on Facebook.  One problem is that I’m having a hard time getting panoramas I created with my DSLR to show up as a live image on social media. Being a geek, I searched GitHub for a javascript library that would enable this capability on my Wordpress blog.  One of the many choices was a library called Paver.  It seemed to give a good experience on the desktop and promises to integrate with mobile devices so you can move the phone and get the images to move.  Plus I found that someone had developed a plugin for Wordpress called easy-panorama that already implements it. Being a lazy geek, it’s time to give it a try. Here’s a shot I took in Acadia National park at dawn from one of the many overlooks on Cadillac Mountain. [easy_panorama id=”1364″] What do you think, did it work for you? Oh, here’s what you’re seeing on this image – on the left side is the city of Bar Harbor with its fishing fleet still at anchor. In the distance, on the far right, you can see Schoodic Point, the northern part of Acadia National Park. I had an awesome trip to Maine this summer, and I will be posting more about it all in the near future.