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The Sun Rises; Reprise

Bay Bridge Sunrise San Francisco, CA Copyright Andy Richards 2014

Bay Bridge Sunrise
San Francisco, CA
Copyright Andy Richards 2014

It seemed like 16 images were too many for a single blog post (really, 8 is probably too many, and my blogs tend to be longer than a blog should be 🙂 ).  So I split my sunrise images into 2 installments.

Bean Pond Barton, VT Copyright Andy Richards 2010

Bean Pond
Barton, VT
Copyright Andy Richards 2010

In 2010, I again visited Vermont for a fall color photography excursion.  My good friend, fellow photographer, fellow blogger, and co-author of the 2nd Edition of Photographing Vermont’s Fall Foliage, Carol, acted as my host and guide for the first couple days.  One magical place she took me too was Bean Pond, a small, unremarkable roadside pond near here home in Barton in the “Northeast Kingdom” of Vermont.  Unremarkable, that is, unless you are a photographer looking for fall foliage venues.  Since my first trip there, I have been back to the pond several times (and I am certain Carol has been there almost daily when she is in Vermont in season).  Our morning broke very cold, with frost on the ground, after a prolonged spell of heavy rain.  We knew the conditions were ripe for fog and steam rising off the pond and she had us there by twilight.  The resulting images (only one here) made the cold, early morning well worth it.

Bay Bridge San Francisco, CA Copyright Andy Richards 2011

Bay Bridge
San Francisco, CA
Copyright Andy Richards 2011

In 2011, we visited San Francisco, to visit our daughter.  She lives in downtown, which put me in the middle of one of the best photography venues I have ever visited.  Once again, the 3 hour time change worked in favor of early rising, and a 15 minute walk brought me to the Embarcadero, at the eastern boundary of the city, and one of San Francisco’s seaports with a closeup view of one of the two major bridges leading into San Francisco, the San Francisco Bay Bridge.  There are San Francisco Bay shooting opportunities all along the Embarcadero.  We returned again in 2014, and I couldn’t resist a couple more early morning walking trips to the Embarcadero.

Mocassin Lake Munising, MI Copyright Andy Richards 2010

Mocassin Lake
Hiawatha NF
Munising, MI
Copyright Andy Richards 2010

I have been traveling to the Michigan Upper Peninsula (U.P.) for many years for fall color photography.  As many readers here know, I think highly enough of the photographic potential that I have co-written an eBook on Photographing the Michigan U.P., with my good friend and fellow photographer and blogger, Kerry Leibowitz.  I have photographed Mocassin Lake many times and never cease to find it photogenic.  My writings on the U.P. and some of my imagery captured the attention of a professional photographer and teacher in Pennsylvania, James Moore.  Inn 2012, he decided to host one of his workshops in the U.P.  He asked me to be his guide.  These images were all made during the 2012 trip.  I appreciate his inspiration and I think that week was the most rewarding of all of my trips to the U.P.  I was there from the beginning to the peak of color, perhaps the only time in my shooting career.

Pete's Lake Hiawatha NF, Munising, MI Copyright Andy Richards 2012

Pete’s Lake
Hiawatha NF, Munising, MI
Copyright Andy Richards 2012

Pete's Lake Hiawatha NF, Munising, MI Copyright Andy Richards 2012

Pete’s Lake
Hiawatha NF, Munising, MI
Copyright Andy Richards 2012

In 2013 we went on two more cruises.  In January, we joined a group affiliated with the O’Brien Estate Winery in Napa, Ca, on a Caribbean Cruise.  We didn’t know a soul when we boarded.  We were fortunate to have some very friendly table mates and we ended up not only spending most of our time on board with them and another couple, but we have made lifelong friends.  We have traveled to Napa together, and they have recently visited us in our Florida home.  It was a great cruise.  As we arrived home in the early morning hours, I was able to capture this sunrise image of the Miami Skyline.

Miami, FL Copyright Andy Richards 2013

Miami, FL
Copyright Andy Richards 2013

Later, in September, we took what was my first trip out of the U.S. (Canada doesn’t count 🙂 ); a Mediterranean Cruise.  We started with a few days in Venice.  My only sunrise shot during that trip was the famous gondolas in St. Mark’s Square, which took some doing.  We were staying on the mainland, so I had to take the early train to Venice and then find my way through the maze to the square before the sunrise.  I had practiced a couple times.

Gondolas San Marco Piazza Venice, Italy Copyright Andy Richards 2013

Gondolas
San Marco Piazza
Venice, Italy
Copyright Andy Richards 2013

I grew up in the Northern Michigan town of Traverse City.  It is a resort town, and by all reports, beautiful in all seasons.  The city sits at the base of a peninsula of land (Old Mission Peninsula) which creates two deep bays (East Bay and West Bay) into Lake Michigan.  It has unique, sandy coastline and a climate similar to that of Northern California (except that winters up there are brutal and snowy).  I moved away from there shortly after I graduated from High School in 1975.  But I still have family there, and only live about 2 3/4 hours away.  It occurred to me at some point that I had spent little time photographing up there, and so, in 2014, with no major fall foliage outings planned, took a long-weekend trip up there.  I was on the high point of the peninsula, where it is possible to see both bays, at sunrise.  This sunrise image faces (perhaps obviously) East Bay.

Center Road Old Mission Peninsula Traverse City, MI Copyright Andy Richards 2014

Center Road
Old Mission Peninsula
Traverse City, MI
Copyright Andy Richards 2014

 

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My Eclectic Fall Color Shooting Season – Part III

Old Mission Peninsula Grand Traverse County, MI Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Old Mission Peninsula
Grand Traverse County, MI
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

I grew up in Traverse City, which is the county seat of Grand Traverse County. Grand Traverse County is a geographically unique.  Using the “hand” comparison to the State of Michigan, Traverse City sits near the “little finger,” at the base of a narrow peninsula, which divides Traverse Bay into West Bay and East Bay. These long, narrow, North to South bays are part of Lake Michigan. Parts of Grand Traverse County skirt four different “Lake Michigan shorelines.” There are also many inland lakes in Northern Michigan and Grand Traverse County has its share of them.

Sunrise over East Bay Old Mission Peninsula Grand Traverse County, MI Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Sunrise over East Bay
Old Mission Peninsula
Grand Traverse County, MI
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

But perhaps the most spectacular part of Grand Traverse County is the “Old Mission Peninsula.” There are 2 primary roads that go out almost to the Northern tip of the peninsula. Peninsula Drive skirts the West side of the peninsula and the Eastern Shore of West Bay. Center Road goes up the middle of the peninsula, mainly on a ridge, which provides views in many places, of either West or East Bay, and in some instances, both.  I photographed the sunrise, from nearly the same spot on Center Road, at nearly the same time, on both the West Bay and the East Bay.

Sunrise over West Bay Old Mission Peninsula Grand Traverse County, MI Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Sunrise over West Bay
Old Mission Peninsula
Grand Traverse County, MI
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

There are some pretty spectacular views from Center Road; particularly at its highest point near the northernmost part of the peninsula, where Center Road and Peninsula Drive come together. There are points here where you have a panoramic view of both of the bays.

When I was growing up, the primary activity on the peninsula was fruit farming, with a major emphasis on tart cherries. There was a time when this area lead the world in tart cherry production. Traverse City took on the title, “Cherry Capital of the World,” and that has remained a claim even today. For example the Traverse Airport calls itself Cherry Capital Airport. For many reasons, the production of tart cherries is also being done in many other areas today and while there is still a significant cherry production in Grand Traverse County, it is neither the sole, nor largest, producer. Times change and today, the fruit production has been largely replaced by a number of large wineries. I read an article in a national wine publication a year or so back that opined that this area was poised to be the next “Napa.” Time will tell.  But it is certainly an area that has both the climate and the soil conditions for growing grapes for wine.  They have done a nice job with some of the white wines. I have heard in years past that the reds – not so much. But lately, I am being told that they are coming on with the reds. I prefer reds to whites, so bring them on!

Vineyard on Old Mission Peninsula; Grand Traverse County, MI Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Vineyard on Old Mission Peninsula; Grand Traverse County, MI
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Off of Center Road, there are many turnoffs and secondary roads that bear exploring. As time goes on, perhaps I will return and find more to photograph.

Old Mission Peninsula Grand Traverse County, MI Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Old Mission Peninsula
Grand Traverse County, MI
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Because of my trip to San Francisco (next week’s topic), I spent some fall foliage “prime time” in California (not known for fall foliage in the same way other parts of the U.S. might be) and my foliage shooting this year was catch as catch can, on a couple of quick weekend trips.  Nonetheless, I thought they were (no pun intended) “fruitful.”  Next year promises at least a short trip to Vermont.  This year, the leaves are off and I will look forward to perhaps some winter scenery shooting.