Winter on Lake Michigan

Winter on Lake Michigan 

Winter in the Midwest. Always cold. Often snowy. But yesterday’s 8+ inches of snow was perfect around here. It has blanketed everything with a new white layer and softened the sounds of the city. So it was with anticipation I headed once again down to my favorite beach on the way to the studio. Not sure what I would find, as Lake Michigan is different every day and as I left for the beach it was still snowing. The dark clouds overhead contrasted with the white of the ice which had been blown in with the Northeastern winds. It is not often we get this much ice built up on the lakefront here. Alone on the beach, with a cold wind still blowing the clouds quickly across the sky I worked both quickly and quietly. It seemed everywhere I looked there was a new image to be had. A wide shot before walking onto the beach, close up’s of the icebergs, shots of the old pier posts. One thing I like about digital imaging is it seems to capture a much wider range of light, from highlights to shadows. I wasn’t sure the clouds would look as dark as they seemed in real life, but they were coming out in the display, so there seemed to be no need to use the split neutral density filter to bring the brightness back into range. I was very happy when back in the studio on the color calibrated monitor they all looked great almost right out of the gate. Unfortunately I have not found a way to get that same vibrancy and luminosity online yet. Of course we all know that on the web everyone “sees” with a different monitor – most of which are not calibrated so colors and densities will be all over the place. Something which can ruin great shots, especially the one with soft delicate balances in the images such as snow shots.

But the images I found also brought about a starkness to the landscape which I fell in love with. Hopefully the images convey that feeling of isolation and emptiness. Nature is always full of surprises. Ice being blown in from across the lake, dark clouds overhead. Perfect. In the weeks ahead I will be working more with these images and hope to refine some for the fine art prints we sell online. So check back often, and of course you can ad your comments and tell us which ones you like best using the links below.

See more from this shoot using this link to our gallery:

Happy Winter! Oh, and Happy Ground Hog Day!

Richard Mack