Stars of Glen Haven, Michigan

I thought I’d share a few photographs I took of the night sky in and around Glen Haven MichiganSleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This was my first attempt at this kind of photography, so I took a few notes as well.

stars_of_glen_haven_tug_boat_bw

Tug boat – Cannery Boathouse Museum, Glen Haven, MI

1. Don’t rock the tug boat (use a tripod and shutter-release cable to prevent camera-shake). Even with a high ISO setting (3200 +/-) and a wide-open lens capturing stars requires slow shutter-speeds (30 seconds +/-). Earth’s rotation will cause motion-blur / star-trails in exposures of much longer than 30 seconds.

Mast – US Life Saving Station, Glen Haven, MI

2. The moon can be surprisingly bright (shoot during a New Moon or wait for the moon to set for maximum star-capturing power). The illumination on this mast comes entirely from the moon, and while it can be helpful at times, if the moon is too high and/or full it can significantly reduce the number of stars you (and your camera) will see.

US Life Saving Station, Glen Haven, MI

3. Got a light? Bring that, too. I know, I know… I just mentioned how bright the moon is. Still, it’s very easy for a blogger (and her/his gear) to go bump in the night. Also, in extreme low-light situations you’ll often have to rely manual focusing – shining some light on nearby objects can be a big help with that.

Sleeping Bear Inn, Glen Haven, MI

4. Charge your battery (and your camera battery, too). Pre-plan (scout locations, look-up moon phases, weather reports, etc.) and pack-up early. Then get some rest. If you are like me, you will easily get carried away and the sun will be up in no time.

Cannery Boathouse Museum, Glen Haven, MI

5. Shoot the lights out (take lots-o-photographs). I find it never hurts to hedge my bet. It’s often easier to delete a few ‘bad’ photos than it is to get back on location and shoot more ‘good ones’.

Trees, Glen Haven, MI

6. Thank your lovely wifey. It takes great patience to help scout locations, transport gear and carefully aim flashlights at 3 o’clock in the morning, etc. It will all be greatly appreciated.

About these images: digital photographs (Canon 600D) lightly modified in Adobe Photoshop

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Reflecting Shadows

Outside The Sleeping Bear Inn last summer (which is totally abandoned, so… you know… it’s not like that). Have a great weekend, everyone!

Morpheus: “To your left there is a window: open it…”

– Laurence Fishburne – The Matrix

About this image: digital photograph (smart phone) lightly modified in Adobe Photoshop

D.H. Day Farmstead (Glen Haven, M.I.)

D.H. Day Farmstead (Glen Haven, M.I.) © Robert Jay Matejcek

I’d love to darken that big flower in the lower right (it’s really competing for attention), but apparently my computer (and thus my Photoshop access, etc.) has moved on to greener pastures. ‘Technology’. Face-palm.

*NOTE* Flower has now been burned-in…  for a small thing it’s SO much better!

Michael Bolton: “PC load letter? What the **** does that mean?”

– David Herman – Office Space

About this image: digital photograph taken and modified with smart phone (minimally edited in iPhoto)

Rowboat – Glen Haven, M.I.


Who knew? I’m on a boat! Or… I took a photo of one, anyway.

Al Czervik (whose giant anchor has crushed Judge Smails’ boat): “Hey! You scratched my anchor!”

– Rodney Dangerfield – Caddyshack

About this image: digital photograph taken and modified with smart phone (minimally re-touched in Photoshop)

Sleeping Bear Point Life-Saving Station (faux wet plate collodion)

More  fakery today with a highly edited photograph of the Sleeping Bear Point Life-Saving Station in Glen Haven, Michigan. Have a great weekend, everyone – for real!

Dr. Watson: “Homes? What are you doing?”

Sherlock Holmes: “Nothing.”

Dr. Watson: “Are you wearing a fa…”

Sherlock Holmes: “False nose? No.”

– Jude Law & Robert Downey Jr. – Sherlock Holmes

About this image: digital photograph (Canon 300D) heavily modified to replicate wet plate collodion