This black and white striped, 112-foot lighthouse on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan is in Ludington State Park. It’s a 3.6 mile round-trip hike to the light and back. Afternoon light was perfect for this subject but I want to return at sunset next time. My lighthouse trip began in Chicago and continued around Lake Michigan in a clockwise direction. I photographed many of the 102 lighthouses and edited my list of favorites down to eighteen. I started near Evanston, Illinois, and avoided the offshore lights in Chicago’s harbor since they require a boat to reach. Eighteen miles north of Chicago, Grosse Point Lighthouse was the first light I photographed, and “Big Red” at Holland, Michigan, was the end of the loop.
This newsletter issue #135 - Lake Michigan's Lighthouses, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois includes directions, best time of day, a bit of history, and tips on finding the best way to photograph each of the lighthouses. This trip needs very little planning. Fly in and out of Chicago and rent a car. Lodgings and restaurants are easy to find and 25 of the lights are open to the public.
If you are looking for covered bridges to photograph, Vermont should be at the top of your list. There are several in the Stowe area, but my favorite is north of Mount Mansfield, the summit above Stowe’s winter ski slopes. The narrow and winding road to the top of Mount Mansfield climbs through a fantasy of windblown evergreens and waterfalls. When you reach the other side of the mountain, head east to the village of Waterville and drive through the Village Covered Bridge to find the cottage in this photo. North of the village is the Montgomery Covered Bridge, similar but longer.
There are thousands of Zoos scattered across the country. If you have no plans for a trip to Africa to photograph wildlife, a trip to your local zoo for wildlife photography will give you the opportunity to learn how to operate your camera properly so that you can capture the best possible photos of the creatures you will find in the wild. A photo trip to a zoo can be interesting and enjoyable. This issue #143 - Photographing Wildlife at the Zoo has tips on lenses and exposure that will greatly improve your zoo portraits. The red panda (as large as a medium-size dog) is not closely related to the giant panda.
If your zoo is closed by the Covid19 pandemic, practice on your pet and try to get the best possible photo of your dog or cat. They are necessary if you ever need to post any “Lost Pet” posters.
The center of the best aspen color in the Sierra Nevada Range is usually found along Highway 395, between Mono Lake and Bishop, California. Some of the best color peaked in early October last year along Rush Creek between Grant Lake and Silver Lake on the edge of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Every year I return to photograph aspen groves in this area. Next year, Parker Lake and Gem Lake are on my list to explore and photograph. Arrive too early and you’ll have to wait for the peak of the color to arrive. Instead of camping for two weeks, with luck you can find a motel room in Lee Vining.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.