This week’s Photo Friday is more of a photo essay. Last weekend I was invited to a friends cabin in northern Minnesota. In addition to the fun times I had hanging out with friends who I don’t see often enough, I was completely in awe of how beautiful the area looks with calm lake waters and fall colors. In the end I took over a hundred photos and videos on my iPhone and my friends EOS 50D.
The iPhone photos were so clear that I ended up posting several of them to Instagram throughout the weekend and when I got home.
For those of you who want to see some awesome photos and a little bit of the story behind how they were taken, please read on. If you don’t care much about photography, you can just look at the photos on the sidebar for reference, I won’t be offended.
The chilly morning started off by waking up to a view of the lake where our cabin was situated. I took a photo of the area in front of me, but the colors didn’t do it justice. The waters were so calm and the air was so crisp that I decided to use a black and white filter to incorporate the mood of the morning.
After a lazy morning we went to a restaurant for lunch. I noticed that the restaurant was located on a lake, so I naturally ran down to the lake to snap some photos. The water was smooth in some areas, but choppy in others and even though I could see a tree reflection, it was incomplete at my height. In order to get a proper reflection I had to squat down and take the photo. The things I do for beauty!
While the photo with the reflection was nice, it didn’t really pop. However, with the Instagram treatment it became an instant classic.
We went to another establishment on another lake for “high tea” (aka beer). This place was located directly on a lake with several docks where boats pull up in the summer. Again, the area was beautiful to the eye but didn’t pop on the camera. I used the same instagram filter to bring out the fall colors and I think it turned out well.
After the photo of the bridge I also wanted to experiment with a panorama of the area, since the lake was so calm. The result is the panorama below (click for a larger image).
On the way back to the cabin we drove past a pond that caught my eye. Seeing the way the sun was shining and how the clouds reflected off the calm surface, I knew I wanted to take a photo of the area. I asked my friend to stop so that I could get out and take photos. As you can see it was well worth it.
Rather than narrate every photo, I’ll simply set the scene. We were walking around a pond on ATV trails in the middle of hunting season in MN. While I was initially cautious about getting shot by hunters, I quickly learned that the area was void of men with guns.
The sun was shining perfectly on the area, the pond was calm enough for reflections and there were violent clouds in the sky, which always make for great photos. I set up shop in a duck hunters blind located on the path and started snapping away.
After taking way too many photos we continued on the path and ended up in a wooded area filled with creepy statues and what appeared to be a pet gravesite. This was the type of place where you feel fine by day, but could be very scary at night.
We made it back to the cabin in time for sunset. It sure was beautiful the way it lit up the northern Minnesota sky.
That night we had a bonfire on the beach, but the word bonfire barely does it justice. What word is stronger than bonfire? We set a blaze?
Whatever you want to call it, we burned several dead trees that were piled up on the beach and I had fun snapping photos and experimenting with the slow motion feature on the new iPhone 5S. I have not figured out how to upload the slow-mo videos yet, but I can assure you that they were really cool to watch.
Most readers outside of Minnesota probably don’t know how beautiful the state can be. I take it for granted myself most of the time. Perhaps you will find these photos pretty enough to vote for Minnesota in my most beautiful state in America poll?