Rainbow in the Golden Hour at Bryant Lake

Rainbow at Bryant Lake, Minneapolis

Last weekend, i visited Bryant Lake in Minneapolis to check how the fall colors looked like around the lake. Being a cloudy day with hardly any sun throughout the day, my plan was to just check the status of fall colors, and return on a brighter day with my camera to capture the evening light. Colors seemed to be close to peak, though in next few days, it might get better, i thought so. I was almost done with my survey of the lake area.

Just then, to my amazement, sun came out from behind the clouds and the whole landscape changed dramatically with few seconds. I decided to stay on. I took out my camera and began to shoot the scenery, shining with the sunlight and draped in the light of golden hour, considered to be one of the best times for photography. There was some drizzle as well. I was about to return when i turned my back and saw the formation of a small rainbow from amidst the dark cloud. I went back to the fishing pier and took few shots of the evening with the rainbow.

This post was inspired by this week’s photo challenge: Shine.

More shots of the evening from my earlier posts:

Badlands National Park at Sunset

Tulips in Minnesota Arboretum at Sunset

Sunset at Normandale Lake, Bloomington

Woodlake Nature Center

Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington DC

Sunset in Bali

Silhouette on the Bank of River Ganges

Twilight at Centennial Lake Pake

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Think Local Travel Global

Fall Colors in North Shore

Fall or autumn is the beautiful time of the year when nature wraps itself in splendid colors. Before the extreme winter sets in, state of Minnesota turns dramatic yellow, golden and red in its fall color. Even though my desire is always to travel across the countries of the world, i simply cannot miss the local flavors of fall season. Hence, we went on the fall  color trip to North Shore in Minnesota along Lake Superior.

Apart from driving on the scenic Minnesota Highway 61 along with the North Shore, we also drove across the Superior National Forest Scenic Byway, which is also called Forest Highway 11. During fall season, if you have to pick up a couple of best drives in Minnesota, these are the ones not to be missed. It is simply breathtaking and gorgeous. Most people wanting to see fall colors in Minnesota take the road trip of the North Shore, driving from Duluth to up north. But after driving through Superior National Forest Scenic Byway, i would like to recommend you to include this fall drive too in your list.

My recommendation for the best fall color drives in Minnesota are:

  1. Minnesota Highway 61 along Lake Superior from Duluth to all the way up to the Canada Border
  2. Superior National Forest Scenic Byway (Forest Highway 11) up to Silver Bay on Lake Superior
  3. Great River Road Scenic Byway along with Mississippi River from Minneapolis to Winona in the south

And not to mention several detours and smaller roads on these routes!

Below countryside morning shot is of one of the farmlands in Virginia, Minnesota.

Minnesota Countryside

This post is part of this week’s photo challenge: Local.

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Gooseberry Falls, Minnesota

Gooseberry Falls, Minnesota

This shot is of Gooseberry Falls, located in the state of Minnesota, USA. The falls is part of the Gooseberry Falls State Park, which is located 13 miles north of the small town of Twin Harbors on the scenic Minnesota Highway 61. One of the most visited spots and falls in the state, there are four waterfalls in this state park. This shot is of the Middle falls. There are Lower Falls, Upper Falls and Fifth Falls as well. Except for the Fifth Falls, which requires some hiking, all other falls are close to the parking lot and are easily accessible.

This shot of inspired by the weekly challenge: H20.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

During the last 11 months, the most joyful, exciting, memorable and fun moments that I had, had been with my daughter, who is now 11 months old. Seeing her grow has been an amazing experience of my life. She has been a blessing for us.

In this post, I am presenting two of those fun moments.

My Daughter

This is the shot of my daughter when she was four and half months old. She looked straight look into the camera, which any photographer would love the most that their subjects look into the camera and they can capture their beautiful eyes. This makes photographs more intense, magically appealing that connects with the audience instantly. And I am thankful to her that she has given me many opportunities to hone my skills at clicking portraits of children. Otherwise, I know it is a very challenging effort to take shots of children. Here is a shot when she was just 10 days old.

My Daughter

This was the shot which my wife took while we were strolling on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis during this spring. She loves photography, and was the one who inspired me to learn the techniques of photography. When we took our daughter to the lake, she was very curious and excited looking around things, staring at people. Everything – colors, people, nature, everything and everyone in motion – was new to her, kind of first time since she had come on this earth and in our lives. She was then just seven months old. I was enjoying looking at her. Soon I started imitating her so that my wife can click photos of both of us with similar expression and action. Though I could not match her inquisitive looks, I tried playing ‘like the daughter, so the father’.

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

This is my friend running on the narrow strip of land in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. When he went on this ‘trail’ (this path was not marked as a trail), I waited for him to return back so that i can click a human soul walking in this wilderness. Due to certain adrenaline rush, i saw him instead running on the ‘trail’. When he reached back to the parking lot, i showed him this photo and he was very much excited, and surprised as well. Probably, he had not expected that i would click an action shot of him doing adventure along the edges of these cliffs.

Walking off the marked trail can often reward you with better sights and experiences in these national parks. And wildlife too! But running on these narrow strips of cliffs requires an adventurous spirit. Most certainly, walking on the edge of such cliff is not for them with fear of heights. However, from a photography perspective, I am glad that my friend walked off the trail and i was able to click a human form set against the majestic wilderness of Badlands. So, thank you my friend!

This photo is a contribution for this week’s challenge: Narrow.

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Badlands National Park at Sunset

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Do you find the ‘cherry on top‘ in this photo? Or over the top of these hills?

This is the shot of wilderness in Badlands National Park. This is a beautiful, rugged, barren country of spires, buttes, pinnacles and several picturesque geological formations that have stood tall here, though eroded with times, since millions of years in South Dakota. The unique geological formations were mesmerizing. Layers of deposits and erosion over millions of years have given these structures unique multitude and rings of colors which can be seen in this shot.

According to me, the icing on the cake in this shot is the pink color of sunset which made my trip to this National park truly memorable. I specifically wanted to take shots of sunrise and sunset in this wilderness, and i am glad i could capture it during this road trip in USA. In this centennial year of National Park Service, which maintains and manages these beautiful national parks in USA, it was exciting to visit my first National Park in USA. In the  last couple of months, i have visited three national parks in USA – Badlands, Wind Cave and Yellowstone – and there are more i plan to visit. Trips have just begun, more photos will soon trickle in.

Hope you enjoyed this shot of Badlands National Park.

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Lake Erie, Pennsylvania

Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park

This is the photo i took during my road trip in USA on the July 4th weekend of 2016. Enroute to Niagara Falls from Detroit, I visited the beautiful shores of Lake Erie in Presque Isle State Park in Pennsylvania.

Submitting this shot for this week’s photo challenge: Details.

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Blood Red Supermoon Total Eclipse

Blood Red Supermoon Eclipse, Minneapolis

These are the pictures of once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon of Blood Red Supermoon Eclipse that took place last year on 27/28 September, 2015. Total eclipses of super full moons are rare. It is estimated that the next total eclipse of the Supermoon will not happen for another 17 years, until October 8th, 2033.

Blood Red Supermoon Eclipse, Minneapolis

The building that you see in the pictures is the corporate headquarter of BestBuy Inc. in Richfield, Minneapolis. Since it was difficult for me at that moment to travel to a really nice location to shoot this phenomenon, i decided to form this building as my spot. As you can see in both the pictures, the color of the moon is the unusual red color, which is in sharp contrast to the soothing white color of the usual days. Eclipse had taken place after i had shot these pictures.

This post is inspired by Weekly Photo Challenge: Look up.

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Tulips in Minnesota Arboretum at Sunset

Minnesota Landscape ArboretumMinnesota Landscape Arboretum, with its 1200 acres of gardens & parks, variety of plant collection, beautiful prairies, wildlife, flowers and trailing path, is one of the best places to visit in Minneapolis. This is a place which you can visit round the year and every month and season, you will be greeted with something new and exciting. Be it fall colors, or the tulips of spring, Minnesota Arboretum draws the crowd throughout the year. It has a huge collection of garden, flowers and plantations. Two weeks back when i visited the Arboretum, tulips were at its prime in the spring. There was a large collection of tulips of various variety. In this blog, i am presenting few photos of mine taken at the golden hour of the day displaying the grandeur and jubilant mood of tulips.

Tulips at Sunset in Minnesota Arboretum

Oswald Visitor center, located in the Arboretum, hosts several programs, walks and tours for all ages round the year. Andersen Horticulture Library is a great source of information for enthusiasts interested in the subject. Not only for the flower and nature lovers, Minnesota Arboretum is a wonderful place for art lovers, be it the photographers or painters. Several weddings are also planned in the Arboretum with the perfect romantic setting for the newly wed couple.

Tulips in Minnesota Arboretum

Three-mile drive is the motorable road inside the Arboretum using which one can cover all the gardens and important attractions from within the comfort of a four-wheeler. One of the best thing to do on the drive is to go really slow on this drive, enjoying the nature around you. Road is shared by the bikers and pedestrians as well. There is a shuttle service as well inside the Arboretum.  There are several trails which takes you to various nook and corner of the Arboretum. In case, you visit one of the trails around the evening, you might be lucky like me to be greeted by deer in the woods.

Location: Minnesota Arboretum is located approximately 22 miles from the downtown in the town of Chaska.

When to go: Arboretum gets its maximum footfall in the spring and fall. But you can visit any month of the year. And especially for photographers, it provides opportunities throughout the year, including the harsh winter of Minnesota. Visit here for timings.

Free Admission: Throughout the year on certain days of the month, Arboretum allows free entry. This year, in 2016, there is a free entry on every third Monday of the month, noon to 6 pm, from April to October. This is when i visited the Arboretum two weeks back to shoot these tulips when they were swaying with pride and jubilant in their colorful attire. Otherwise, there is a fee for visiting the Arboretum. It is free for children of and under 12 years of age. On sites like Groupon, you might find good deals on the admission ticket price and annual membership, which we made use of last fall season.

This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant.

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Lake Calhoun at Sunrise

Lake Calhoun at Sunrise

This post is part of the weekly photo challenge: Half-Light.

Here is another shot of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.

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