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

Photo Journal & News

Friday, March 18, 2011

Edge of the Plains

This is one of those impromptu shots that sort of jumped out at me when I wasn't really expecting to shoot pictures. I was driving north on the freeway out of the Denver area last year when the late-afternoon sky became interesting. Seeing this scene develop while being on a freeway with limited points to exit and stop, I was in a sort of photographer's agony. Time was of the essence, and I worried that the changing atmosphere would soon deny me the opportunity to create a great image. I eventually found this location that presented me with a reasonable view, composed the shot, and made my photograph. It probably wasn't the most dramatic presentation of the sky that evening, but I feel satisfied that I was able to capture the mood and place and share it with you.

Journey Into Abstraction

As a photographer, one of the greatest challenges is taking full advantage of the medium's capabilities to produce imagery that is beyond the ordinary "postcard" shot. I'm not trying to disparage postcard-type images – I make lots of them, they are beautiful, and some are challenging in their own right. But, some very interesting effects can be made by utilizing light in unique ways with the camera. The image above was made at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in January as I was anticipating making those postcard-like photos of the full moonrise. Just before dusk, I found a stand of birch in the park that I liked and set up my tripod. The effect was created by using a slow shutter speed and panning the camera up and down during the exposure. I was able to use the slow shutter speed since it was late in the day with lower ambient light.

A bit less abstract is this image of floating ice platforms in the Grand Marais Harbor. It is interesting how the movement of the water and ice within the bay results in these varied ice formations.

Lake Superior has some expansive stretches of stone beach. Iona's beach between Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse is one example. Here you can find stones of seemingly most any shape and natural color.