The Amazing World of Reflections Through My Lens

One magical thing in doing long exposures at night near bodies of water is the reflections created in the often still liquid. Working in the Twin Cities water is always nearby; whether it is rivers, lakes, streams, or puddles. Looking back through the work I have created over the past years I find many images of reflections. These reflections combined with the lights of the city or of the moon give the world a surreal look of unimaginable beauty that one is unable to see with their eyes, yet is able to be captured through a camera. Here are a few of my favorites.

Lake Harriet Tenders 2011
Lake Harriet Tenders

The clarity of the reflection of the boats on Lake Harriet simply amaze me every time I look at this image.

Twilight Calhoun 2011
Twilight Calhoun

The stillness of the water and the fact that the bird did not move during this exposure are astonishing. Add to that the reflections of the colorful city lights in the water with the neon colors of the tree and it is a magical scene.

Hennepin Bridge Reflections 2012
Hennepin Bridge Reflections

Though some dislike the symmetry of this image I absolutely love everything about it. The lights reflecting on the waters of the Mississippi River appear as a highway across the river beneath the Hennepin Ave. bridge that crosses from downtown to northeast.

That was Wisconsin, night photography in the beauty of winter

That was Wisconsin,

that was yesterday,

now I have nothing that I can keep,

cause every place I go I take another place with me

-Justin Vernon

Relaxing on shore in a bed of snow and winter clothes as I watch the colorful winter night in the Wisconsin sky
Relaxing on shore in a bed of snow and winter clothes as I watch the colorful winter night in the Wisconsin sky

The night sky is a view that will just never get old. This was taken at the cabin on a chilly December night. Somehow the cold seems to disappear as you sit on the shoreline and watch the beauty of the sky, even on a cloudy, starless night. The puffy clouds act like a diffuser for the moonlight evenly lighting the world below as the snow brightens the scene. Night photography is a beautiful way to capture not only a space but also a time. Using longer exposures helps to keep a photographic record of a period of time. That period can be anywhere from a few moments to hours. This specific image shows 30 seconds of history. You can see the yellow grasses blowing gently in the wind against the moonlit whites of the snow upon the lake. The fall colors are still showing in a fire of red, orange, and yellow on the ground through the snow providing contrast to the gentle violets and blues of the clouds while the orange gently peek out through a break in the clouds all divided by the bare trees. Night photography requires the patience to sit back and let the camera do its magic and do nothing but wait. The results are always worth that wait!

At Home Up North

Easily one of my favorite campsites on the Superior Hiking Trail this view of the sunset from where our tents were set up shows why it is worth the effort to get to.
Easily one of my favorite campsites on the Superior Hiking Trail this view of the sunset from where our tents were set up shows why it is worth the effort to get to.

After moving to Texas I have been more drawn to trying to capture the magic of the sunset. The colors in the sky that are created during this time of the day are so vibrant and magnificent it is hard not to feel an appreciation for things beyond the control of man. I must admit I have not yet captured a Texas sunset I deem worthy of showing, but upon looking back on images I had taken I found this wondrous scene on the shore of Bear Lake on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). This section, the Twin Lakes Loop, is one of the most popular areas for many reasons. Foremost is it’s beauty, this section goes from rocky outcrops, through wooded marshes, scenic lakes, and more. It is also on the southernmost leg of the SHT; making it an easy weekend destination from the Twin Cities. Over the past several years I have found myself at this campsite countless times. This image is a perfect example of the serenity found at any given moment while sitting at this campsite. The subtle details in this image are overwhelming to anybody who has been to this location. The strips of birch bark along the shore are easily mistaken for litter, but are simply a sign of the beavers who have a den built at the southernmost tip of this lake on the stream that leads to Beaver Lake. Hidden in the water is the beaver swimming across the lake creating the ripples that are coming towards the shoreline from where the photograph is taken. The crystal clear water is all too inviting on the heated days of July and August after a sweaty hike through the ups and downs of the Sawtooth Mountains to get to this hidden oasis. This view accompanies every activity at the campsite from cooking breakfast over the propane stove, conversing over a campfire on a chilly eve in the north woods, lying in the afternoon sun to relax after a day hike, etc. Easily my favorite parts of the day while at this campsite are the sunrise and sunset. Even if you are not an early riser it is hard to not be awoken by the early morning sun heating up your tent on the shore. For these reasons and more this location is a place that in my heart has a feeling of home.

Down the foggy ruins of time

Down The Foggy Ruins of TimeThis image holds so much of the magic that photography consists of. I consistently look back upon this shot to dissect what in my mind makes a wonderful image. I think it began with the normalcy of the situation. This was not an out of the ordinary site to wake up to, and was therefore natural and relaxing for me to capture. The unplanned shots tend to be the most honest. Then the ice trail makes such a wonderful line to the island, which upon looking closely you can see the boat and person whom created this break in the ice. The little details add up to the big picture. The magical part of the image is the fog. The sense of mystery and intrigue that it brings to the scene glues everything together. To me it looks like something in a dream, yet it is a part of ordinary life.  This is a cold and typical November morning on the lake in Wisconsin. It shows the slowness of life and the serenity of all activities. I was watching the rowboat make its way to the tiny island as I ate breakfast on the dock with my camera on a tripod capturing segments of time.