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You'll Think I snuck to VT - Michigan U.P. Photos

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:35 pm
by Andy
I spent the last 3 days shooting in the U.P. of Michigan. The color up there was as good as it gets and the best I have seen it in years. Some of you have asked about the comparison to VT and how the foliage is up there. HERE ARE A FEW OF MY RESULTS.

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:30 pm
by shush

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:00 pm
by MrBumps
Very Nice Andy!

You have some pretty nice color there. Love the reflections!

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:14 pm
by lirwin13
I love the photo of Elliott Falls! It almost looks like some of the mineral deposits around the geysers out in Yellowstone the way the light is hitting the rocks! Great shots! When do you head to Acadia? I'll be anxious to see your photos from there.

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:34 pm
by Aspen
Very nice pictures. Like the different waterfalls (Elliott Falls) and the unique lighthouse. Mirror reflections on the lake really are nice!
Agree with you, you often do not have to venture far to find beautiful Fall Foliage. Many of us have it in "our own back yards" but those sugar maples and red maples in Vermont have that "carrot" effect. Keep luring us to Vermont. Was wanting to venture up to Michigan last year to Mackinaw Island and take in some Fall Foliage along the coasts. Had no clue when nor where would be a good time for Fall Foliage up there so you know where we were! Is there a Michigan Fall Foliage Forum?
Enjoy getting out and about capturing more beautiful pictures "in your own back yard!"!

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:06 pm
by rk
Great Pics Andy

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm
by autzig
Andy, you have some nice shots there. My wife looked over my shoulder and commented that the colors on the Moccasin Lake photo are "fake". She meant that they are oversaturated, and I have to agree. The reds could be toned down a bit.

I like the waterfall a lot and the lighthouse is nice. The horizon isn't level on the other Moccasin Lake shot. Put a couple of eyes on the log on the river photo, and you'll have a pretty good looking alligator. Either way, I like that shot.


Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:59 pm
by faxmachineanthem
Really nice shots. I disagree with autzig about the oversaturation. I guess all our monitors are different though. I am impressed with the color there. It beats what we're getting in North Jersey this year. My favorite is the first, the Deer Lake reflection. Feels so warm. Beautiful soft reflection there. I also really like the Sugar Loaf Mountain shot. It looks like that wilderness goes forever.

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:00 pm
by Marilee516
Very nice color in the U.P. this year! I still think Vermont (overall) has Michigan beat. Of course I'm still blown away by our vacation and all the wonderful sights, colors, and landscapes in the Green Mountain State.


Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:04 am
by ixl
Very nice shots, Andy... though I do agree that some of the reds in your galleries seem to look a little overcooked. :)

I love that waterfall with the scalloped terraces at the base, what is it called?

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:19 pm
by Andy
Thanks for all your comments, folks. I really found some nice color in a brief period.

As far as the saturation/oversaturation goes, for my "quick" post processing (I did these in just a few minutes -- convert from RAW jpg, color space Adobe RGB to "the other one" SRwhatever, sharpen and resize and "tweak"), I use a rather global LAB curve technique. Sometimes its a little overpowering. Obviously they need some more subtle work before they are ready for "prime time." My main goal here was to get them up for people who were requesting them to see ASAP. I also continue to be amazed (even in a color managed setup -- my main PS monitor is calibrated with a Spyder on a regular basis), how different they look monitor to monitor. I have now viewed them on 3 different monitors. On the one here at work, that particular photo indeed looks pretty saturated in the reds (you can see it in the sky and water, too).

However, (leave it to a lawyer :) ), My personal tendency is toward very saturated images, for several reasons. First, I just like them that way. "Fake" or not, I think they have impact -- especially in print. Second, I am working with all my images toward the final result of a Print on the wall. As saturated at it looks on the computer monitor, it will print much more sedately. Third, I am not a reporter, so my images don't have to be "real." I sometimes think is just a matter of differing views (as FaxMachine's comment attests). But I tend to purposely push the envelope on saturation and particularly in the reds.

I will look at toning the reds down in the one Mocassin Lake Shot. Also, thanks Al, for the eye on the horizon. I didn't see it. I put a "guide" on it on PS and although it isn't much, it is indeed not level. Nothing I can "fix" with a little straightening. I am on it.

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:21 pm
by Andy
Marilee: I agree. I am a Vermonter at heart! I lived there for much of my youth and it has a "going home" feeling to me every time I go back. I have grown to appreciate that this U.S. (indeed our world) has some pretty incredible and beautiful places -- I understand, for example, why they call NM the "Land of Enchantment," having spent a week there in 2008.

But there is no fall folliage like Vermont fall foliage!

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:28 pm
by Andy
Laura: Thanks again. I leave for Acadia on Friday. Part of the reason these images were so hurriedly prepped is that I arrived home late Sunday afternoon and had to process everything, download, convert and save to my Archive System. It is a time-consuming process, but I wanted everything "clean" to start the trip.

The part of Michigan where the water fall was taken is known as "Pictured Rock National Lakeshore. It occupies about 1/2 the coast along the Southern shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula (mainly the Eastern 1/2). There are some incredible sandstone formations including Arches large enough to run a boat underneath. On a clear day with no wind, you can see to the bottom of the lake near shore. Its pretty incredible.

Those ridges are sandstone. Very fragile and susceptible to erosion. Back in off shore there is an area which looks for all the world like someone trucked beach sand back there. It is actually eroded sandstone. It makes for some wonderful, streaky texture to photograph.

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:38 pm
by Andy
Aspen: Unfortunately, no. There is no Michigan Foliage Forum. In fact, as far as I can tell there is NO foliage forum like this one! In a way that is too bad, but it certainly makes this one a unique place.

Mackinaw Island is not really a foliage destination, although October is a great time to go over there (less crowds and generally beautiful weather). It is kind of a magical place all in and of itself.

For foliage, the U.P. is really the best bet. Its season is similar to Vermont, except that the influences of Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron influence it some. It also has a rather diverse geography and forestation. In the West, it is rocky and "almost" mountainous. In the The Hiawatha National Forest covers much of the Western half. In the middle, especially toward the south there is a huge tract of open land (cleared many years back by settlers to farm -- before they realized that the sandy soils were largely infertile). There are also a number of swampy areas which tend to have a large percentage of conifers instead of deciduous trees. In the North and East, The Hiawatha NF (eastern) takes up again and there is a fair amount of color there. Also, up there is Tahquamenan Falls. Only Niagara, in the eastern 1/2 of the U.S. is bigger. Its pretty spectacular.

Look on my website and you will see some of these areas in the U.P. Gallery. I also describe much of it in my PDF on the UP (which will be updated sometime this late fall or winter to add some new items).

The U.P. has some fascinating history and would be a good "alternative" trip some year.

Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:28 pm
by Aspen
Thanks Andy for sharing the information about what to expect with Michigan's Fall foliage. Will check your website to view some of your pictures of areas in Michigan. Certainly hope to visit Mackinaw Island someday. Have heard nice compliments of this Island from those who have visited it. Hey...we are talking Michigan, not Vermont but I guess it's okay since we are faithful Vermont Forum participants and Vermont visitors. Sadly, "colorful" (pun intended) stories from Vermont are dwindling down to a handful these days so guess no harm in showing interest and support to members who live in other states :wink: