"What Happens When Six Photographers Meet in Michigan's Upper Peninsula"

November 20, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I published a blog on Pure Michigan's website describing some of my adventures while photographing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in October 2014.  It contained pictures by some of Michigan's finest landscape photographers, including:  Neil Weaver Photography, Craig Sterken Photography, Michigan Nut Photography, Michigan Waterfalls, and Kenneth Keifer Photography.

"Autumn in the Upper Peninsula:  A Tale of Six Shooters"

by Aubrieta V. Hope

(originally published on Pure Michigan's website)

Once upon a time, six shooters ventured north to the Tripod Forest, a fabled land of brilliant fall color in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  All were packing:  most brought Nikon's, but two carried Canon's.  They loaded up minivans, SUV's and 4x4's, bringing filters and flashlights, bug spray, raingear, ice scrapers, and backpacks.  About half of them planned to find a campsite someplace and the others made hotel reservations.  Some had never met, but were destined to.  A few of them hoped to cross paths somewhere.

It was late September and their only plan was to find and follow the color.  Frost was in the forecast.  The time was now.  The 2014 Michigan Fall Foliage Convention had begun!

Their program?  It all depended on the trees, sun, wind and cloud cover.  Some headed for the western U.P. first, others tracked to central inland areas.  In this rugged and beautiful land, photo opportunities crop up everwhere.  Cell coverage, however, can be scarce, especially in the remotest areas.  So, happenstance and coincidence tend to be the best, if not the only, methods of connection.  That certainly proved to be true for the shooters in our tale:  Neil Weaver, Craig Sterken, John McCormick, Phil Stagg, Ken Keifer, and Aubrieta Hope.

Over the next couple of weeks, with surprising frequency and with almost no planning, these six shooters ran into each other on rocky outcrops, at the end of nearly impassable two-tracks, in parking areas, and other likely and unlikely places.  They shared location tips, stories of shots taken and shots missed, and bucket lists of dreams on the front burner  There was no conference schedule.  Everyone had their own agenda.  But there was plenty of camaraderie and inspiration.  And, there were rescues, for example when Aubrieta fractured her ankle on a trail and was glad to be shooting with others at the time.  Outdoor photography is an unpredictable pursuit.  It's nice to have friends in the vicinity!  So, maybe this was more of a round-up than a convention, all these creative mavericks meeting on the beaches and overlooks, sharing tripod space and good light, and bagging some great shots.  

 


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