Sunset over Lake Michigan

We are heading off to Michigan tomorrow afternoon to enjoy the fourth of July weekend. I took this photo last summer but finally got around to working on it. I was standing on top of one of the dunes overlooking Lake Michigan while the sun set on a perfect summer day. I thought the beach grass would make an interesting element in the foreground while still minimizing the rather boring and cloudless sky. I added a hint of texture (Antique Paper) to the sky to give it a little bit of interest because in general I think skies without any texture tend to be rather ‘blah’ (technical term?).

Sunset over Lake Michigan

Sunset over Lake Michigan


The Beach Path

“If you’re reading this…Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.”

– Chad Sugg, Monsters Under your Head

The Beach Path – Lake Michigan

Beach Path Sunset Lake Michigan

The path leading to the beach below it on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan where we spend many weekends in the summer. The two benches where people old and young remove their shoes before sprinting down to hop into the frigid cold waters (especially after this winter). The sunsetting slowly into the lake as the sky takes on all different shades of orange and pink. The dunes to the right and left creating a perfect place to lay the planks of a path…It is a such a contrast from the Chicago craziness we take in during the week or the Chicago beaches on the weekend so it is always nice to step away to our little slice of heaven.

If you can’t smile in these situations than what can you smile about? Life is pretty good sometimes.

Do you want $100?

Well I can’t just give you $100 (unfortunately but I wish I could) however I can direct you to the OnOne Store where they are giving away free copies of Perfect Effects 8 which is an amazing photo editing software. Who doesn’t like free stuff?!

Here is the link to the Perfect Effects page – provide your name and email and it will take you to a page with the downloadable copy.

I use it to post process almost every picture I’ve ever taken. Compared with some of the other post processing software out there like Photoshop, Topaz Adjust and Nik Software this has by far the lowest learning curve so most people should be able to download it and be using it within a matter of minutes.

Photo of the Day – California Coast

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Off to LA next week and then spending a few days hiking/photographing Death Valley. Given the weather here I cannot wait to get the hell out of Chicago. High temps next week on Monday and Tuesday of below zero with wind chills in the minus twenty range.

Pacific Coast Sunset

Hibernated all day in Chicago as the weather was winter and stormy – not too cold but just not worth going out if you don’t have too. Thank God for online shopping or I would have been absolutely useless. As I type this I’m dreading walking the short few block to the grocery store.

Photo of the Day – Pacific Sunset

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During my last trip to California I took a drive up the coast to Matador Beach and watched the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Alot of people left right after the sun had dipped below the horizon. Ten minutes later it looked like this. I love how the colors change after a sunset.

Despite the cold and snow the weather looks promising to go out and catch some of the Christmas lights on Michigan Avenue so I’ll bundle up and head on over there.

Sand Soldiers

Another shout out to those men and women who so bravely serve our country each and every day. This was taken on a beach in Santa Monica, California. The artist was a homeless veteran who spends his summer days creating sand sculptures and taking tips from people passing by admiring his work. I talked to him for a few minutes. He wasn’t happy with his situation but understood his drinking had got him into it. He wasn’t off the booze but was trying to and I was happy at least that he was striving for that much. He thanked me for just spending a few minutes chatting with him since most people just throw some money in his bucket tell him ‘neat’ and pass on by.

Photo of the Day – Brothers in the Sand

The world isn’t perfect and I didn’t pry into what it was he saw or experienced while serving but whatever it was I know it was much worse than I can ever imagine. I don’t know what it’s like to close my eyes and see those scenes over and over again like something out of a whore movie that is actually real to them. I’m sure the booze and/or other drugs does take the pain away momentarily and that fleeting glimpse of forgetting is the real high they are after. I don’t watch the show Addiction (from A&E) so I’m not even sure what I’m typing makes sense. The real message that I’m trying to convey is that hopefully we all have some compassion in our hearts that we can pass on to those in need especially as we approach this holiday season. Take some time to talk to people – listen to their stories – people who are homeless or addicts aren’t all ‘losers’. They are the sons, daughters, fathers and mothers of others. They’ve clearly made bad choices along the way and probably will make more before they hit the bottom. Some of them are more gone then others and some are close to turning it around.

The Seagull

I read this article a couple days back on wildlife photography which is something I don’t do very often and thought back to some photos I took of a seagull when I was out in Los Angeles a year or so ago. I had to wait for a while until the seagull settled down and then I fired off a few shots.

Photo of the day – Pelican?

Unfortunately, knowing my beach animals isn’t my strong suit however as I had labeled this picture ‘Pelican’ on my hard drive. My wife had to inform me as I wrote this post that it was a seagull. Hey I’m a numbers guy and mostly do landscape photography…wildlife clearly isn’t my strong suit. Let’s just hope next week in the Grand Canyon I don’t confuse a poisonous snake with anything.

Sharks are Back

My favorite show came back on last night – Shark Tank on ABC. It’s amazing the success you can have with one great idea – the show really is the epitome of the American Dream. Sure there are some really dumb ideas (like Throcks) but for the most part when the people pitch their ideas I think they make a lot of sense and the way their businesses take off if they get money from the sharks is life changing.

Photo of the Day – Ixtapa Sunset

Taken with a Sony Cybershot P/S camera and I like the way it turned out. Sure it isn’t as good as some of the shots I take with my DSLR but point-and-shoots are getting much more competitive. In fact, Sony just came out with a new p/s camera that would probably put my DSLR to shame. However, the price tag reflects its superiority to other p/s and some DSLRs in the market.