Self assignment

Ice sculpture - Lake Michigan  

There are definitely some reasons why we keep coming back to the Door peninsula in Lake Michigan in November and one of them is that we have it almost for ourselves. It is a touristy place in the summer but at this time of the year not too many people find the way up here. One of our favorite hikes starts at Cave Point County Park and leads on top of the rocky bluffs along the lake shore into White Fish Dunes State Park. Beside enjoying the crisp and clear air after an excellent Thanksgiving meal we watched out for ice sculptures that have been shaped by the waves and the surf of the lake. We have done this every time during the last three years and it is never the same experience.

I gave myself an assignment today by using only the wide angle zoom Sigma 10-20mm / f4-5.6 for all photos. I was looking for a way to challenge creativity on a subject I have worked on before under similar circumstances. Where is the challenge? The easy way is to zoom in with a longer lens, like the Nikkor 24-120, f/4, because the winter weather with ice and snow on the ground forbids to get really close to the edge of the bluffs. A fall into the icy water might be fatal. The challenge was finding the places where subject, light, and a safe way to make the shot coincided. You can certainly make a bet on the fact that the most interesting ice formations are right at the edge of the bluffs. It is obvious that the second photo wasn’t so difficult to make but above the bluffs it was a different game. Needless to say that cropping beyond keeping the horizon line straight was not an option for today’s assignment. I like to rework known photo subjects or situations with different technical means, during shooting as well as in the post process. I believe it is a valid way to improve… Give it a try! :-)

Ice sculpture - Lake Michigan 2