Monthly photo assignments


Lake Superior shorelineJim and I took a weeklong vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, staying in a B&B on the shores of Lake Superior (Gitchigoomee to its friends). Anyhoo, the monthly theme was ‘nautical’…I stretch a bit…but it’s watery. Click on the photos to enlarge.
Lake Craig in Michigan's UP Lake Craig offers a fairly rugged (though you don’t need to use your hands when you climb the hills) 8-mile loop trail in the woods around the lake. You hardly ever see the lake. But the hike is lovely – especially in autumn. The area is home to the famous ‘moose transplant’ of the 80s. The local moose population, depleted by deforestation, was reinstated by importing moose from Canada – in slings attached to helicopters. Now that the radio collars’ batteries have died, no one can find the moose. We didn’t either.
Big Bay Lighthouse in Michigan's UPOur B&B – the Big Bay Point Lighthouse, an 111-year-old working beacon of hope, on a cliff above Lake Superior. Yes, you can climb the tower. Yes, you can buy merchandise. Big Bay Lighthouse socks? Cap? Poster? Mug? Moose? They have it. And cookies. Lots of chocolate chip cookies.
Crab ClawI found this crab leg on the lawn outside the Milwaukee Art Museum. I’m guessing it was dropped by a bird who found it attached to its original owner in Lake Michigan. Or, it could have come from a fast food joint. Who can say?
Sailboats in MilwaukeeSailboats as seen from the cathedral space inside the Calatrava Milwaukee Art Museum. They’re setting up for a wedding banquet.
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Chicago alley at nightSo, my friend Matt and I decided to get to know our new digital cameras a little better by giving ourselves some monthly assignments and sharing our photos. Our first assignment was called “Night.” No other parameters. So, here are a few images and thoughts.This is the alley behind my building. ISO 800, f9.0, 1/13. No color correction.Everything in the city at night on a long-ish exposure is just interminably orange. But with the alley, at any rate, it seems true to how it looks with my own eyes.
Golden Nugget ChicagoThe “greasy nugget” next door to my place. Taken on an appropriately sweltering night. The lump of gold on the top has running lights for that classic twinkling effect.ISO 100, f9, .4 sec
Golden Nugget window Chicago night
The latent spy in me comes out, peering at people in lighted windows. They peer back at the chick in the alley with the tripod.
Rooftop door nightChicago nightThe door to the rooftop deck on my building. ISO 800, f22, 8 sec.

A view from my rooftop. ISO 800, f25, 24 seconds. Such a long exposure had a few serious spots of noise – big red dots that I cleaned up in photoshop, but for the most part it came out like this. Color corrected a bit, to capture the blue/green of the condo light.

Lawrence Avenue Chicago nightAnother from the roof. This took me about a million tries, but pixels are cheap! ISO 800, f22, 4 sec.