traverse of the grand sort

It's been a long time. I apologize. The bad news is that my laptop, a Toshiba Satellite A105 series, sadly met its maker last month, taking with it everything I had not yet backed up. Thankfully, that wasn't too much. The good news is that I was still under a service contract at Best Buy, Best Buy honoured the $1000 that I spent on Zorba almost three years ago, and gave me a credit. I used this towards a new MacBook, and I think we'll be very happy together. After two Toshibas with nearly identical demises (having to do with the power input), I am done with Toshiba. Since I was also done with HP, I narrowed my choices to either Sony or Mac, and I took the plunge and went Mac. It's really neat. I might write a whole blog about it on my other blog, but since this is about photos, let's pick up where I left off, shall we?

To refresh memories (yours and mine alike), when I last pblogged, I began pblogging my trip Up North--meaning to the northern half of Michigan. I covered Sleeping Bear Dunes, and now I'm on Traverse City and the surrounding area. Beautiful, beautiful places. See for yourself!

Traverse City

I thought this was a cool shot from downtown Traverse City. It's one of those obviously picturesque, old-fashioned downtown areas that I kind of love. I've been trying to develop a better eye for photographic patterns, and I like the lines in this shot. 1/80, f/11, ISO 200.

Kilwin's Fudge

All over northern Michigan, the smell of Kilwin's fudge infiltrates said picturesque downtown areas. This is also something that I love. We stopped at Kilwin's more than once on that trip! I'm partial to the mint fudge, myself...such a delightful shade of sea foam green. 1/40, f/3.5, ISO 200. Shot through a glass display case with a circular polarizer.

Old Mission Lighthouse

I love a rich blue colour for the skies in my photographs, and I often underexpose a bit to get it. I didn't have to do a thing to this in Photoshop besides clone out a little dust speck and bring out the red in the chimney just a smidge. This is definitely one of my favourite shots from Day One of the trip. Oh right, the subject. It's Old Mission Lighthouse. We headed up the Old Mission Peninsula in late afternoon, with plans to photograph at the point and eat at the Peninsula Grill. We weren't sorry, because of shots like this, and also because of the potatoes at the Peninsula Grill. They were garlicky and buttery and full of potato goodness. I think they were the best potatoes I have ever had, and I've had a lot of potatoes. 1/80, f/11, ISO 200.

Grand Traverse Bay

This might not be the best swimming water, but it makes for more interesting photo composition than your average sandy beach! Taken from just in front of the Old Mission Lighthouse, this is the northern end of the Grand Traverse Bay. 1/80, f/11, ISO 200.

Grand Traverse Sunset

Grand Traverse sunset...emphasis on grand! When we left the Peninsula Grill, we walked outside into one of the most beautiful sunsets I'd ever seen. So we got in my car and floored it back to the "scenic lookout" that we'd seen on the way up and managed to catch the tail end of the sunset. I don't often wish for a tripod, but I wish I'd had one for this shot so I could have used a lower ISO. The original is a bit noisy, but it reproduces well enough for web. 1/200, f/8, ISO 1600. Reds enhanced a bit in Photoshop to bring out the rays.

I hope it won't be too long before my next blog, but you never know, I guess. Next time: More from Up North, but from the Upper Peninsula.