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

Photo Journal & News

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Early Spring Morning at Split Rock

I am very lucky to be able to live relatively near one of the most beautiful regions in the country. Up and down the North Shore lie impressive and charming locations too numerable to mention. I have visited (and photographed!) many of them and still have much to explore. Yet, my North Shore excursions often seem to bring me back to this iconic landmark - Split Rock Lighthouse.

This cliff-top lighthouse has attracted the eyes of photographers since its construction 101 years ago and has become the most photographed lighthouse on the Great Lakes and perhaps one of the most photographed in the world. It's not hard to imagine why it is so alluring. Not merely a historic lighthouse upon a cliff, it also stands in the midst of a relatively remote and scenic location on Lake Superior's North Shore. The lighthouse is strikingly visible from most of the half-mile of shoreline to the immediate south, providing innumerable viewpoints. Minnesota's four seasons and the ever-changing Lake Superior provide even further opportunities to witness the various moods of this icon.

The image above was made on an April morning in which the temperature was still cold enough to form a thin layer of ice in the small puddles within the rock. The warm hues of the sunrise were subtle, yet attractive. I found myself alone while photographing this scene, as I often do in the mornings here. At a busy place such as Split Rock, mornings can sometimes be the only time of day for the contemplative photographer to consider and compose a scene without distraction. And, mornings often contain the best light of the day, too. It is scenes like these that touch my inner spirit and keep me returning again and again.

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