Michigan: Sleeping Bear Point, and Grand Traverse Bay

Photos taken December 22 and 24, 2017

The advent of a new year brings with it the desire to reflect on the past year, and to make resolutions to make the next year even better. I decided to do this by revisiting some areas I have not photographed in quite some time: Sleeping Bear Point, a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and downtown Traverse City. Mostly I chose these locations because I thought it would be fun, but I also wanted to see how my photography has improved since my last time visiting the locations.

For Christmas Annika and I visited our families in Traverse City, MI. Growing up near the Great Lakes I have always had a love for water, but that appreciation has grown exponentially since moving to Missouri. Rivers, even those as grand as the Mississippi, are no replacement for such large bodies of water. Every time we are in Michigan we make sure to set aside time to visit the lake. 

There are a number of great places to hike in the Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore. We made no plans for what route we would hike, but instead chose to see where our feet would take us. We parked at a trail head near the Historic city Glen Haven, and headed straight for the lake! 

I approached photographing the area as I have been approaching the State Parks in Missouri. Because it has been a few years since I visited the dunes I was able to see them with fresh eyes. I think this helped me create new, interesting compositions I would not have considered in the past.

The same held true when I photographed Traverse City. I was excited to revisit the place that I spent so much of my life, and document it in the style I have grown accustomed to while photographing Saint Louis. 

My plan was to start at the Boardman River, visit Clinch Park, then circle back into downtown and the warehouse district. I barely made it as far as the park before I realized it had already been 2.5 hours! I had been in the cold so long my film camera stopped working. I was so enamored by the sight of the off season beach and marina covered in snow, I didn't pay attention to the time. Needless to say I was unable to photograph everything I had hoped, but that just means I’ll have something to do next time I visit.

I think that this was the perfect way to close out 2017, creatively speaking. This exercise really drove home how much I have grown as an artist over the last few years. I created some of my favorite images during this trip, which is a great way to start 2018. I'm excited to see what else this year holds!

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