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

Photo Journal & News

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Stoney Point Gold and Other Recent Work

Most people visit Lake Superior's north shore during the heat of summer and the brilliance of autumn, but those who can tolerate a little bit of arctic air and snow get to experience a truly exquisite winter treat! All of the images featured here were captured within about a 24 hour period.

"Stoney Point Gold"

The image above was captured on Stoney Point, just south of the village of Knife River. This little fishing cabin on Stoney Point has withstood the test of time, having been exposed to Lake Superior's elements for many decades. It is a testament to the rustic nature of Lake Superior's fishing past.

I've been to this location a few times and have always wanted to capture this historic cabin in the right conditions. All of the elements I was seeking came together last weekend.

 "Stoney Point Dusk"

This image was captured about 15 minutes later that evening as the sun set and the clouds took on magical pink and purple hues. You can even see a sun pillar and snow shower in the distance toward Duluth.

One important lesson I've learned over the years regarding photographing sunrises or sunsets is to stay around until it's completely over (or arrive early enough in the case of sunrises). Sometimes, you just don't know what will transpire!

"Lake Effect"

When it gets bitter cold, Lake Superior gives off steam — literally. On calm, subzero nights, this steam rises from the lake and hovers there until it is burned off by the sun's heat or wind carries it away. The steam occurs when the surface temperature of the lake is much warmer than the temperature of the ambient air above it. This is analogous to how boiling water creates steam by being much warmer than the air above.

It was around -10°F when I captured this image on the shore of Lake Superior at Brighton Beach in Duluth. The lake was a bit too calm for my liking, but with a little luck, one relatively large wave rolled in and allowed me to make the image I wanted.

 "Winter Light"

This image was captured on the evening of January's full moon. Typically, this would be one of the best nights of the year to see (or photograph) the full moon as it rises from behind Split Rock Lighthouse.

With the full moon having been visible at this location every January for at least the past five years, it has become well known among photographers as the most reliable night to witness this spectacle...that is, until Split Rock Lighthouse, in partnership with a photography instructor from Two Harbors, decided to hold a photography workshop for this January's full moon! Murphy's law at work...the moon didn't appear this time!

I must admit that I wasn't overly disappointed as I have photographed this moonrise enough times that it has become somewhat cliché for me, personally. I do, however, feel bad for the workshop organizers and participants who were hoping to catch a glimpse of Earth's natural satellite in such a majestic place.

To brighten everyone's evening, the lighthouse historic site manager and "keeper" did flip the beacon on, so everyone there could at least capture this rare January scene.

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