Thursday, February 19, 2009



Lake Michigan can never be confused with a surfer's paradise by any stretch of the imagination, but it can throw up some pretty impressive tubes from time to time. This photo was taken in Door County, Wisconsin in late October, when the approaching winter sent some stiff winds over the Great Lakes. Gusts were clocking in at 40 mph and being out on the beach on a day like that was akin to being sandblasted.

I arrived at the parking lot of the county park that provides this view of the Sturgeon Bay Canal Pier Lighthouse at the same time as a group of four visitors. I hopped out of the car and opened up the rear hatch to prep my camera bag for the trip to the beach. The people in the other car opened their doors, sized up the weather situation, closed the doors and drove off.

Leaning into the wind, I made my way to the beach. I set up the camera on a tripod about a foot off the ground to emphasize the size of the waves. Using a telephoto lens, a large aperture and a fast shutter speed, I was able to place the focus on the waves while throwing the lighthouse behind them slightly out of focus. I used my free hand to try to shield the lens from flying sand, which was plentiful and painful, and shot a couple of dozen exposures, trying to catch the waves just as they were breaking. Most of the shots show water in various stages of mush. This one and a couple of others show some shape to the breakers.

Always happy to provide inspiration My photo of a semi-dilapidated red barn inspired an artist to do a rendering which she posted on her blog.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.


Nan said...

I might have to pop over here more often for inspiration. Keep snapping those great pics!

Christy said...

Great shot. I remember when I was younger sitting on the beach at Lake Michigan (in the St. Joe, MI area) and letting the breakers bring us back in. It was the end of the summer season and it was so much fun. I haven't been there in years and hope to take my boys this spring. Looking through your blog, I told myself I need to add this one to my reader. And the fact that you are somewhat close to my neck of the woods helped to seal that decision. I look forward to visiting again.