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

Photo Journal & News

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Photographs from 2013 and Early 2014

This is the first photo journal and email update I have sent this year, and therefore, I have amassed a number of new photographs (19 in all) to share with you. So sit back and enjoy the scroll to the bottom of this e-mail. If you'd like to receive more frequent updates, please follow me on Facebook here: facebook.com/NorthShoreImages.


Palisade Dawn

"Palisade Dawn" - Palisade Head, Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota


This photograph was captured last July atop Palisade Head in Tettegouche State Park, on the North Shore of Lake Superior. This stretch of greater than 150-foot cliffs is almost certainly the highest and most prominent landscape directly overlooking Lake Superior in Minnesota. I have shot this location on several mornings over the years, but this time the light had worked to my favor...













 
Totem Pole & Yei Bi Chei Silhouette
"Totem Pole & Yei Bi Chei Silhouette" - Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona

I made this photograph in April 2013 in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in northern Arizona. Monument Valley is known for its many interesting spires, buttes, and mesas.

For simplicity, I intentionally exposed and processed the image to maintain the monuments and foreground in silhouette. Their shapes, set against the rich predawn sky, make this a quintessential image of the Southwest.



Navajo Dawn

"Navajo Dawn" - Monument Valley, Arizona

This photograph was captured just minutes after the above, this one depicting the sun breaking the horizon between the Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei monuments. The monuments are spiritually significant to the Navajo people, with the Yei Bi Chei representing Navajo gods. There remain some Navajo in the valley who live without modern conveniences such as electricity and running water, choosing the lifestyle of their ancestors and making their living from tourists.
















 
Storm Over Badlands
"Storm Over Badlands" - Badlands National Park, South Dakota

I was on my way home from several days spent photographing in the Western U.S. and had not intended to make a stop in Badlands National Park. However, with stormy weather in the area, I could not resist the temptation to make a few photographs. There is something I love about seeing a storm over the vast prairie landscape.

The views from the higher elevations within the park are some of the most expansive anywhere, extending for dozens of miles. Between bouts of rain passing directly overhead, I made several exposures to combine into a panoramic photograph depicting the storm passing over the eroded landscape. This particular panorama consists of seven individual vertical shots.



Reach
"Reach" - Monument Valley, Arizona

This image was made at Ear of the Wind Arch, one of several natural arches in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. I like how this dead tree frames the nearly-circular arch opening. Getting to this location requires hiring a Navajo guide since it is well off of the main park loop.



















White House Ruin

"White House Ruin" - Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona

It's hard to imagine what life was like around 900 years ago when the Anasazi people constructed these masonry cliff dwellings within this recess inside Canyon de Chelly in northeastern Arizona. White House Ruin is one of the most famous of all ancient Native American dwellings and also includes structures on the valley floor, just outside the edge of this photograph. The "White House" name comes from the relative lightness of the exterior of the ancient village's largest structure seen in the center rear.

One particularly attractive feature of this canyon wall is the dark vertical streaks on its surface, known as desert varnish. It is a very thin layer of clay and metal oxides that form on stable, unchanging rock surfaces. If you look closely, you'll also see petroglyph figures in the rock face just below the ruin.

As a side note and being a Minnesotan, I couldn't help but notice the large, rough outline in the canyon wall above the ruin. Kinda looks like Minnesota...don't cha think?




Autumn Rush

"Autumn Rush" - Temperance River State Park, Minnesota

I made this photograph last October along the Temperance River in Temperance River State Park during peak fall color on Lake Superior's North Shore. The color produced by the oxidized minerals in the falling water complement nicely with the autumn foliage.




















Brown-Eyed Dream 
"Brown-Eyed Dream" - Superior National Forest, Minnesota

In keeping with the fall theme, here is another new image from last October. I found this patch of Brown-eyed Susan (also known as Black-eyed Susan or Gloriosa) daisies near the Oberg Mountain trail head in the Superior National Forest. Fall-blooming wildflowers tend to bear more warm-hued blossoms, in contrast to their spring and early summer counterparts...at least that's what I've noticed.

I used a very narrow depth-of-field here to isolate a few of the blossoms while giving the image an overall sense of dreaminess.














Caribou Falls II 
"Caribou Falls II" - Caribou Falls State Wayside, Minnesota

This image was captured last summer near the base of Caribou Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Minnesota, on Lake Superior's North Shore. With the abundant snow pack here this past winter, the North Shore's waterfalls should be raging very soon. 



















Rush Hour
"Rush Hour" - Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona

Seventeen miles of rugged, unpaved road wind through Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in northern Arizona. As visitors exit the park at dusk, an interesting contrast is created between the fleeting and the seemingly eternal.



Anasazi Art
"Anasazi Art" - Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona

Petroglyphs, such as these carvings of bighorn sheep, were a lasting means of artistic expression for various ancient peoples worldwide. The Anasazi resided in the region in and around Monument Valley, in the southwestern United States, leaving behind dwellings and petroglyphs. These artifacts have provided an understanding of what life may have been like for these people who roamed this land many centuries ago.

Extraterrestrial Communication
"Extraterrestrial Communication" - Stud Horse Point, near Page, Arizona

The American Southwest is filled with incredible landscapes and strange rock formations. This location, near Page, Arizona, feels quite literally out of this world! I had the good fortune of spending an evening here last April with local Page photographer Jackson Bridges. The color exploded at sunset, which made for exciting and productive photography. The hoodoos (balanced rock formations) in this image make me think of (petrified) satellite dishes pointed toward outer space, hence the title.


Fire & Ice"Fire & Ice" - Lighthouse Point, Two Harbors, Minnesota

Lake Superior's surface was up to 95% covered in ice this past winter, which is the most ice seen on the lake in at least five years. The local ice conditions changed daily, fluctuating between ice cover and open water. These fluctuations were largely driven by the wind which pushed sheets of ice onto the shore, where they broke into the beautiful shards that you see in this image.

I'm admittedly not much of a cold weather guy, but somehow I managed to drag myself out of the warm bed and out to Lighthouse Point in Two Harbors for a few minutes on a Saturday morning in February to capture this frozen spectacle. The ice took on a blue glow from the gentle morning light which contrasted nicely with the warm sunrise light entering through the break in the clouds.


Magic of the North

"Magic of the North" - near Royalton, Minnesota

There was some chatter on social media on the night of February 18th about an aurora event that was starting to materialize, but I hesitated to go out, thinking it wouldn't amount to much. Then, at about 1:00 AM and after further reports, I stepped out to my backyard (in town) and could easily see the telltale green glow along with beams in the northern sky, a sign that I knew the aurora would be magical once I drove away from the city lights.

Being the relatively mild evening it was for February, I grabbed by camera equipment and drove to a few locations east of Royalton, about 20 miles from my home, and made a few photographs. The bright landscape was created by the nearly full moon, which rather surprisingly did not drown out the auroral display much. I could only imagine what this display would have looked like without the bright moon!






The Fire Within "The Fire Within" - Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Mesa Arch is a true icon of the American Southwest, one of the top bucket list locations of many landscape photographers. And for good reason. The view of the distant canyons and natural monuments from this location is simply majestic, and the arch provides a nice window into that view. Sunrise provides an amazing warm glow of light on the underside of the arch thanks to reflection from the canyon below.

After capturing a classic sunrise shot through the arch (which I look forward to sharing soon) and waiting for most of the other two dozen or so photographers to pack up and depart, I found this composition. I like how the shrub in the right foreground anchors the composition and adds to the sense of depth.



 
"Pothole Pond" - Temperance River State Park, Minnesota

The ancient basalt lava flows along the Temperance River bed are home to many potholes carved by sediment from the moving water over millennia. Many of these potholes lie directly within the river's channel while others, like the one pictured here, formed when the river followed a slightly different course and now only collect water during rain or high water.



















"Winter Breakup" - Stoney Point, near Knife River, Minnesota

This was the scene at Stoney Point on Lake Superior's North Shore on a beautiful early March morning. Strong onshore winds can send large sheets of ice ashore, where they break into hundreds of pieces, like the shards in this image. Offshore winds can just as easily send most of this piled-up ice back out to sea (or lake), with open water taking its place. What's really amazing is that these transformations of ice/no ice on the shoreline can happen within hours, creating a new experience each time one visits the big lake in winter.

















"Winter Breakup II" - Stoney Point, near Knife River, Minnesota
 
Here's another ice shot from later in the morning at Stoney Point. Even though the sunrise was well short of epic, the sky that morning did not disappoint. Just a few days after I shot this image, most of this ice was carried away by the lake.




















"Seven Bunchberry Blooms" - Cascade River State Park, Minnesota

Winter has been long and cold here in Minnesota, but it won't be long until flowers and vegetation grace the landscape that was covered in snow until very recently.


It will take some rain and a couple of months before we see bunchberry blossoms like those in this image I captured last summer. This is one of the most photogenic groupings of the plant that I have seen. Encountering these blooms on the forest floor is one of the many joys of hiking through the woods of northeastern Minnesota in early summer.

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