Last week I had the pleasure of working in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with George Elder as part of our Great Lakes Project The Sweetwater Seas a documentary on all five of the Great Lakes and their beauty and environmental issues and how we use these lakes.
We went to Sleeping Bear because it is not one of the most beautiful places on the Great Lakes it is one of two dunes which lay on bedrock so they have become tall and do not naturally sink back into the lakes. The other is the Au Sable Dunes on Lake Superior. We also went to shoot the story about of the US Fish & Wildlife and National Park Service has worked together to bring the Piping Plover back from near extinction to a growing group of birds. These tiny shorebirds nest right on the beach and continue to come back to the same areas they were born in. At one time they were down to about 7 pairs and are currently up to around 70 pairs. We were fortunate to have Vince Cavalieri and Sue Jennings worked with us. While we thought we might be able to see some parents sitting on their eggs they had all hatched the few days before we got there. But we were able to photograph and videotape hatchlings only a few days old along with their parents running along the beach. They are quick little birds so it took a lot to keep them in the frame! Especially as I was using a Canon 500mm lens, sometimes with a 2x convertor to make it 1000mm!
The dunes themselves gave us a look at the beauty found in Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Sunsets along the north shore of Michigan were stunning with clouds and fog giving us stunning views and clouds to capture on film and a background to show how people enjoy these places. Above is the confluence of the Platte River and Lake Michigan where the waves meet the current of the river.