David Barthel - North Shore Images PhotographyDavid Barthel North Shore Images Photography
David Barthel

Photo Journal & News

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Full Moon's Night

The night of the January full moon is very special for a handful of photographers who ritually gather on the shore below Split Rock Lighthouse awaiting the rise of the winter full moon. This is one of the few nights of the year that the moon can be seen rising from behind the 130-foot cliff that is the foundation of the iconic lighthouse. Unlike the moons of the other winter months, the January full moon has also been the most reliable to see here - it has not failed to appear during the last four years.

I arrived as several other photographers were already setting up, awaiting Earth's only natural satellite to break the horizon. It is sort of a photographer's reunion as many of us have come to know each other over the years through this mutual interest.

Soon, light began to filter through the clouds and the promise of seeing a stellar full moon was imminent. The thin clouds that remained in front of the moon added a nice texture to this later moonrise in which capturing the detail of the moon along with the darker landscape would have been nearly impossible. After snapping several shots, it quickly grew too dark to fully capture the essence of the evening.

With each passing year, new memories are made, and it is the simple ones like these that are most cherished. Despite winter's cold bite, the magic of a moonrise at Split Rock will always be a pleasant experience.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Full Moon's Eve

With a winter rife with overcast skies, obscuring the last few full moons, I was not very optimistic about the odds of catching a glimpse of the January full moon. As I made my way toward Split Rock Lighthouse from overcast Duluth, I started to see light on the horizon and, soon, clear sky.

Once at Split Rock, I quickly parked the car, grabbed my camera gear, and trudged through the snow toward the lake where, to my awe, I saw the moon rising above the cliff. Quite a few clouds remained in the sky, giving the scene an interesting texture. With lots of ice near the shore, I carefully found stable ground and snapped a few shots as the orb continued on its trajectory above the lighthouse.

These photographs were taken on the night before the full moon in which the moon rises at a time in which there remains a fair amount of ambient daylight in the landscape. I returned the following night to a later, but equally stunning, moonrise. I will post an image from that night within the next day or so. Stay tuned . . .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sheltered Sunrise

Gooseberry Falls State Park is best known for its namesake falls on the Gooseberry River, but its rich Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) history is what distinguishes this park from others. The CCC was a public work relief program for unemployed young men during the Great Depression. Its mission provided for the conservation and development government-owned natural resources while putting unemployed young men to work for a modest wage. Gooseberry Falls had its very own CCC camp from 1933-1942.

The efforts of the CCC "boys" essentially helped bring Gooseberry Falls State Park into official existence in 1937. According to the Minnesota DNR, over 80 buildings, structures, or objects constructed during the CCC era are found within the park. Lakeview shelter, pictured above, is one of these CCC-era buildings. Its stonework, as also seen on many other structures, is a hallmark of CCC work.

Winter Sunrise

As you can see, with the reflection of the sunrise over Lake Superior, the shelter certainly lives up to its name! I can only imagine the innumerable spectacular Lake Superior sunrises that have been cast upon these windows. I will never tire of seeing another Lake Superior sunrise (although waking up early for them can sometimes be tiring!).

While I was photographing the shelter, I found this lone large pine next to it rather interesting with the placement of picnic tables around it. Of course, I aptly named this image, "Picnic Pine."