Quail Creek State Park, Mouth of Creek, Sunset Reflections

Quail Creek State Park is very close to where we live. It’s a small but popular park for fishing, boating, kayaking, and hiking.

Quail Creek reservoir was completed in 1985 to provide irrigation and culinary water to the St. George area. Most of the water in the reservoir does not come from Quail Creek but is diverted from the Virgin River and transported through a buried pipeline.

Two dams form the reservoir. The main dam is an earth-fill embankment dam. The south dam is a roller compacted concrete dam, constructed to replace the original earth-fill dam that failed in the early hours of New Year’s Day 1989.

The maximum depth of Quail Creek can reach 120 feet, so it is cold enough to sustain the stocked rainbow trout, bullhead catfish, and crappie. Largemouth bass, which is also stocked, and bluegill thrive in the warmer, upper layers of the reservoir.

Standing In the Creek 

Image Details
Continue reading “Quail Creek State Park, Mouth of Creek, Sunset Reflections”

Quail Creek State Park, Sunset Reflections From Overlook

Quail Creek State Park is very close to where we live. It’s a small but popular park for fishing, boating, kayaking, and hiking.

Quail Creek reservoir was completed in 1985 to provide irrigation and culinary water to the St. George area. Most of the water in the reservoir does not come from Quail Creek but is diverted from the Virgin River and transported through a buried pipeline.

Two dams form the reservoir. The main dam is an earth-fill embankment dam. The south dam is a roller compacted concrete dam, constructed to replace the original earth-fill dam that failed in the early hours of New Year’s Day 1989.

The maximum depth of Quail Creek can reach 120 feet, so it is cold enough to sustain the stocked rainbow trout, bullhead catfish, and crappie. Largemouth bass, which is also stocked, and bluegill thrive in the warmer, upper layers of the reservoir.

Park Overlook at Sunset

Image Details
Continue reading “Quail Creek State Park, Sunset Reflections From Overlook”

Bond Falls, Michigan UP, Autumn

I took these shots of Bond Falls about a year ago on my final farewell Autumn photography tour of the Midwest.

Bond Falls is a scenic waterfall created as the middle branch of the Ontonagon river tumbles over a thick belt of fractured rock, dividing it into numerous small cascades. Roadside parking and picnic tables are available near the top of the falls. An accessible boardwalk with six viewing locations.

It takes four things to get a good Autumn image of Bond Falls: Good color, good flows, good technique, clouds. Images of Bond Falls do not look good in the sun.

Bond Falls


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Au Train Falls and Weeping Wall, Alger County Michigan

There are numerous waterfalls in Alger County Michigan, also home of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

It’s an easy drive to Au Train Falls from Munising. The hike is about 5 minutes.

Much of the time there is so much water there is no formation at all to the falls.

That was the case when I photographed what I call the “Weeping Wall” at the base of road that takes you to the falls.

Weeping Wall


Continue reading “Au Train Falls and Weeping Wall, Alger County Michigan”

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Sable Falls

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of my favorite spots on Lake Superior. It is a fantastic park for hiking. The waterfalls are exceptional after a Spring or Summer rain.

Sable Falls is best if the water level is not too high as is the case here. Sometimes these huge potholes are completely underwater.

Pictured Rocks NL - Sable Falls (33)
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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Late Spring Trilliums

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of my favorite spots on Lake Superior. The park is carpeted with wildflowers at the end of May and early June.

The road to Miner’s Castle is a particularly good spot. I took these images in light rain.


Continue reading “Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Late Spring Trilliums”

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: St. Louis Canyon Canyon and Wildcat Canyon Waterfalls

Starved Rock State Park is in Utica, Illinois. The park is about 2 hours away from Chicago.

My favorite times to visit, in order, are Autumn, Winter, and Spring. Summer is too crowded and the waterfall flows are typically minimum.

I have covered the area in previous posts extensively and will wrap up Starved Rock in two posts, this being the second to last.

St. Louis Canyon Waterfall

I took that image hiking with a friend this past Autumn. I have been to this spot at least a dozen times but this past Autumn is the first time I made what I would label a good shot. Continue reading “Starved Rock State Park, Illinois: St. Louis Canyon Canyon and Wildcat Canyon Waterfalls”

Mish’s Garden: Yellow Tiger Lilies and Bee Balm Reflections – Working With Helicon Focus

Tiger Lilies put on a long show in July and early August in my garden every year. They are not deer resistant. If I did not spray these flowers, I would not have any.

I made these images following an afternoon rain. For this type of image to work, you need deal calm and I do mean dead calm, not just for a second but for minutes.

Feature Image Details

For this set of images I used a my Canon 100MM Macro F 2.8 Lens at perhaps 1/4 life size. Meta data does not capture that information so I cannot say precisely.

This is a fixed focal length macro lens. It’s an excellent lens for butterflies and small insects.

That’s a blend of 10 different images, each focused on a different rain drop or portion of the stem. Even with the varying focus spots the background is out of focus. That adds to the image, I wanted the key elements to be in focus and the rest not.

Focus Stacking

All of these images are focus-stacked.

I used Helicon Focus to blend them.

For comparison purposes, here is one of the frames, un-stacked.

Single Image – Not Focus Stacked 

The detail on the leaf at the right is missing and only one of the drops is in focus. Helicon focus did superb on this set, better and faster than I could do myself. For that I can thank the calm wind.

Here is a another focus-stacked image.

Depth of Field

Depth of field on close-up images is extremely shallow. The only way to get a completely sharp image is to focus stack.

Helicon Focus works best with stationary objects. Mountains don’t move but flowers do.

I took this set of images on a very calm day with little wind.

See links number 2 and 6 below for a focus-stacked Green Tree Frog and focus-stacked coneflowers.

Garden to Attract Bees and Insects 

If you are looking for tips to attract bees and other insects you may wish to consider Flowers for Bees

More Mish Garden Images

  1. Mish’s Garden Springtime: Bleeding Hearts, Tulips, Daffodils
  2. Mish’s Garden: Green Tree Frog on Bromeliad
  3. Mish’s Garden: Alliums and Iris Early Summer
  4. Mish’s Garden: Roses and Clematis Blooms
  5. Mish’s Garden: Columbines
  6. Mish’s Garden: Purple Prairie Coneflowers – Working With Helicon Focus

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse

The Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town.

Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.

Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of “arrested decay”. Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.

Access

  • Winter hours 9am to 4pm (November 4th to April 15th)
  • Summer hours 9am-6pm (April 15th to November 3rd )

In the winter, you may need a snowmobile to get in. The road is not plowed.

The only access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building is by permit. The cost is steep but worth it. My wife Liz and I went on a photography tour at $800 a pop.

The tour gave us access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building at mid-day.

Feature Image Details

I used a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 20mm, F4.5, ISO 6400 for 61 seconds. Stars will streak beyond about 20 seconds so I shot them separately with a star tracker then merged the images.

The formula for determining when stars will stop looking like points if governed by the formula e = 400/FL.

E is the exposure time in seconds. 400 is a constant from experience and FL is the focal length of the lens in mm.

The result of this image would be 20 seconds. My exposure was 60 seconds.

Barbershop Interior

Boarding House

We did not have access to that building. I took the above shots through a window.

They were taken with a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at 16mm and 19mm continuing the streak of very wide angle images.

Firehouse

Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon

The first two articles discuss the importance of very wide angle lenses and tilt-shift lenses for photographing Bodie and the interiors of buildings in general.

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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This is just the beginning of my Bodie series.

There is much more coming up: Sam Leon’s saloon, the morgue, the Methodist church, a Shell gas station, the schoolhouse, the barbershop, other buildings, and milky way shots at night.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Chemung Mine – Ghost Town – Masonic California – Milky Way

The Chemong Mine, founded in 1909, is located near the ghost town of Masonic, CA. It was torn down and rebuilt three times. The structures were eventually abandoned in 1939. By the 1950s the nearby town of Masonic was abandoned also, leaving Chemung to fade quietly into the dust.

Feature Image Details

I used Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera coupled with a Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens at 16mm. It’s a composite image. The Milky Way was taken separately but this is the correct position of the stars.

I use an iOptron start tracker to take long exposures without the stars blurring. The camera slowly rotates with the stars. I have a second EOS 5D Mark IV Canon body with Canon’s low-pass filter removed, invalidating my warranty, but granting me an extra stop of light. With the iOptron star tracker, I can easily take 2-minute exposures without the stars blurring. The end result is milky way images with far more stars than the naked eye can see.

But if you are tracking the stars, the land is blurry because it isn’t moving. One needs to blend images if using a star tracker.

These images were taken on September 12.

In late August and September, the Milky Way is nearly vertical. The core of the Milky Way is visible only for a short time after sunset this time of year.

In April, the Milky Way takes on a rounded appearance and is visible only very early in the morning (think 3AM or so). In summer the Milky Way is diagonal.

The core of the Milky Way is not visible from October through February.

Additional Chemung Mine Images

If you are visiting the Mono Lake area and the ghost town of Bodie, this ghost town is right in the area and worth a visit. Unlike Bodie, there are no hour restrictions. At your own risk, you can enter the buildings.

Bodie is far better preserved and there are many more buildings. But the hours at Bodie are restricted and you can only enter the buildings on a private tour.

Mono Lake Area

  1. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunset for my favorite Mono Lake image of the trip.
  2. Mono Lake, California, Eastern Sierra, Sunrise
  3. Panum Crater Shadows, Eastern Sierras

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Coming Up: An Ancient 5,000-year-old Bristlecone Pine forest followed by the Ghost Town of Bodie.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock