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

Photo Journal & News

Friday, December 31, 2010

Bentleyville 2010

Bentleyville Tour of Lights is wrapping up its second season at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. This year's highlight (pun not originally intended!) and centerpiece has been the 120-foot tall steel-framed Christmas tree. As usual, the display consisted of several themes, including: Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, Penguin Park, Canal Park, the Twelve Days of Christmas, and many more. Here's a sampling (more here):

Bentleyville will light up one more time for the season on January 1 with fireworks scheduled at 6 PM.

Light displays in Duluth go beyond the magic of Bentleyville. Superior Street through downtown is adorned with lights as is the Bayfield Tug near the Lake Superior Maritime Museum.

I hope you all had a great year. I wish everyone continued and newfound peace, happiness, and prosperity as we enter 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Breakers of Dawn

Morning is usually a peaceful, calm time of day along the North Shore. In late fall, however, Lake Superior is most unpredictable and very willing to flex its powerful muscles at any time of its choosing.

A moderate lake breeze in mid-November sent breaker upon breaker crashing ashore. Even at just a few feet tall, the energy contained within these swells was remarkable and formidable enough to keep me and other photographers a comfortable distance from the outermost rocks.

As the sun rose higher and clouds moved rapidly across the sky, interesting scenes developed. In this image, the rays of sunlight, or "God Beams," almost seem to be pushing the water ashore. This is quite symbolic since the Sun provides the energy for all motion on Earth, including the wind and rough seas that can be awesome to view, yet treacherous at the same time.

Most of us are truly blessed, yet many people are struggling through their own rough seas this holiday season. As you celebrate with friends and family this Christmas, please take time to remember those less fortunate.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Back Door Exit

This is a scene that thousands of people miss every year when they visit the Twin Ports. In fact, even many frequent visitors to Duluth-Superior don't recognize this lesser-known place. This is the Superior Entry to the Twin Ports Harbor. Unlike its man-made sister, the Duluth Canal Entry, it lacks an iconic lift bridge but is the natural, original entry to the bustling harbor (although modifications have been made to support modern shipping traffic). Hotels do not line the waterfront here, and vessels often glide through this opening between Minnesota and Wisconsin Points unnoticed.

That's exactly what would have happened if I had not been there on  a balmy mid-November evening. With its cargo aboard, the Roger Blough made its way through the Superior entry and out into the big lake.I likely was the Blough's sole spectator as it departed that evening.

After the Blough exited, I remained as the sun sank below the horizon behind me, casting warm light onto the Superior Entry/Wisconsin Point Lighthouse at the end of the breakwater. The calm water within the breakwater made for nice reflections of both the Blough and lighthouse.

If you're looking for a close-up and exclusive view of boat traffic in the Twin Ports, remember to check out the "back door."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Park Point Horizons

Park Point, more formally known as Minnesota Point, is a seven-mile long sandbar in Duluth that extends from Canal Park to the Superior, Wisconsin harbor entry. It is interrupted by the man-made Duluth canal, and hence, is technically an island and no longer a sandbar. Technicalities aside, Minnesota Point, combined with the three-mile Wisconsin Point is believed to be the largest freshwater sandbar in the world.

I was walking along the beach on a recent visit to Park Point and noticed some interesting cloud formations in the sky over Lake Superior. Soon, I found the sand formation in the image above that almost-perfectly complements the cloud pattern in the sky. The golden hues of the beachgrass also offer a nice contrast with the light blue sky and lake.

Because of the simplicity of these images, they are great as desktop wallpaper backgrounds, and I have added the specially-sized images here.

"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter." - Ansel Adams