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

Photo Journal & News

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Split Rock Aurora

I have always found the Aurora Borealis, also known as the northern lights, to be a phenomenon that has eluded me for most of my life — actually all of it — until Saturday evening. Pictured here is my first known view of the northern lights in my life!

I first caught sight of the aurora while driving north from Two Harbors to Beaver Bay along Highway 61. It was not a particularly strong light show, but a test shot with my camera upon arriving at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park quickly revealed that this was the real deal and not just some clouds illuminated by distant city lights. Trying to contain my excitement, I quickly slid on my cleats, donned my headlamp, grabbed my camera gear, and dashed down the the dark trail to the lakeshore.

The colors of the aurora were not easy to discern with the naked eye, but with a long (30 second) exposure, the camera allowed some of the dramatic colors to be brought out.

The aurora was there, I was there, and I was thrilled!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Winter Storm Sculptures - Grand Marais

With winter largely silent this year, I am glad that I maintain an archive of previously unreleased images to share, including this one from Grand Marais, MN. This image was made in January of 2011 during a winter that was quite the antithesis of the the current winter, with storm after storm pounding the region and ice-cold surf pummeling the North Shore.

With the lake temperature near freezing and everything on land well below freezing, much of the water hurled ashore quickly froze onto whatever surface it made contact with. This included the rocky shore (cleats highly recommended when exploring!) as well as any trees and shrubbery. The ice-coated landscape, by means of wind and water, was an amazing work of art, made by the force of nature through a higher authority. I am pleased to share with you a small part of this icy grandeur.