Split Rock Lighthouse Atop Cliff

Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota

Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Minnesota. Located at an hour’s drive from Duluth and 3.5 hrs drive from Minneapolis on the scenic North Shore drive of highway 61, this lighthouse sits atop a cliff on the Lake Superior (more entries for this week’s challenge are here). Built in 1910 after the loss of 29 ships on the Lake Superior, the beacon of this lighthouse is lit up on November 10th of every year for few hours to commemorate the sinking of ship Edmund Fitzgerald. This is a wonderful opportunity to photograph the lighthouse with its beacon lit up on the Lake Superior. Even though i have made a couple of trips to the lighthouse, i am waiting for November 10th, when i will be able to make another photographic trip to capture in its full glory. Above photograph was shot during the fall color trip of 2016, when the colors of changing leaves add to the beauty of the iconic landmark.

Lighthouse is nestled in the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park of Minnesota. Though i have never been inside the lighthouse, i have captured it from the shores of Lake Superior, from where you can capture this picturesque view.

Best Time to Photograph: Any day of the year is a good time to visit the lighthouse. November 10th is a special day to photograph it with its beacon lit up. Sunrise and sunset is another beautiful time of the day to shoot the lighthouse. During winter, you can capture the grand view of the lighthouse, with its cliff and the lake covered in snow. Full moon night could be another memorable night when you can compose an interesting postcard shot of the lighthouse. Few of the viewpoints from where you can photograph the lighthouse are mentioned here.

Admission Fees: If you are interested to get inside the lighthouse, it costs $10 for adults. Kids below 4 years enter for free. However, if you only want to photograph the lighthouse from the shores of Lake Superior, you just need to pay $5 for entering the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. I have bought the annual pass of Minnesota State Parks costing $25 and it allows me unlimited access to all the parks in the state.

To plan your trip, visit the official site for more information.

Posted in Events, Minnesota, Nature, Photography, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish

Bodh Gaya

During my visit to Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment sitting under the peepal tree, I shot this Buddhist monk with his folded hands, praying to the Lord. This photo is part of this week’s challenge: Wish.

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It’s a Spring Party… Let’s Groove 🎶🌻🌷⚘🌺🍉🍔🍗🍿🍦🍻💃

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on a cooking pot and twisted tales:
Thank you for coming to my Spring party. I love Spring. It’s a beautiful season with a lot of refreshing promises of budding life and blooms. A season of rebirth. Do make…

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Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

The Road Taken in the Park

Great River Bluffs State Park is one of the beautiful parks in the state of Minnesota, providing breathtaking views of the Mississippi River and the valley. Located 150 miles south east of Minneapolis, this state park can be reached within 2.5 hours of driving from Minneapolis. It lies on the scenic route of Great River Road Scenic Byway of Minnesota which runs parallel to the river Mississippi. As one says the best part of the travel is the journey or the road taken, you can actually experience this if you are driving on the Great River Road enroute to the State Park. Apart from the journey, the destination – Great River Bluffs State park – is equally rewarding for nature lovers and photographers.

One can see the layers of sedimentary and dolomite rocks deposited millions of years back on the bluffs in this park. Unlike most parts of Minnesota, which were covered by glaciers, the area where park is located was interestingly never part of any glacier. This is the unique history of this place.

Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

Mississippi River Valley Overlook

What to do: There are several overlooks in this park, and all of them give scenic vistas of the Mississippi River and the valley. It is an excellent place to do landscape photography. Not to be missed are the shots of variety of plants and wildlife. Bald eagles  can be spotted in this park during the winter. One can do camping in the park and also has picnic tables and benches, from where one can leisurely enjoy the beauty of the valley down below. There are hiking trails of 6.5 miles for nature lovers. Cross-country skiing is also available for the most adventurous souls in winter.

When to Visit: This park is open throughout the year and any day is a good day to visit it. Fall season is especially a good time to visit to enjoy the changing colors of leaves on the bluffs and the river valley. I had clicked these shots during fall season last year.

Great River Bluffs State Park, Minnesota

Scenic Overlook

Entrance Fees: $5 per vehicle. However i would highly recommend to buy an annual pass of Minnesota State Park, which costs $25 and is good for unlimited visits to Minnesota state park for the entire year. For me, this has been a real cost saver as i have visited several state parks since i bought the pass, and have already recovered the cost of this pass after my fifth visit to any of the state’s parks.

Let me know if you have visited this park or any of the Minnesota State parks.

Posted in Minnesota, Nature, Photography, Sunset, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Road to Yellowstone National Park

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

I had visited Yellowstone National Park on an unplanned road trip in the summer of 2016. This is one of the shots from that road trip, where i saw a herd of bison crossing the park road. Traffic had to stop, as is the norm in any national parks in USA when animals cross the road, and the visitors were excited to flash their cameras at these animals. I was fortunate enough to capture this single bison, away from the herd, and without any traffic or visitor in my shot. Yellowstone is famous for wildlife, including bison, fox and grizzly bear.

This shot is part of this week’s photo challenge: The Road Taken.

Posted in Life, Nature, Photography, Travel, USA, Wyoming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Good Match in Willow River State Park, Wisconsin

Willow River State Park Wisconsin

Waterfall and long exposure techniques are considered good match for shooting beautiful landscape photos of falling water. I took this shot of the waterfall in the Willow River State Park in the Wisconsin state of USA. Another long exposure shot of waterfall – Gooseberry Falls here.

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Winter Morning at Lake Harriet Bandshell

Lake Harriet Bandshell in Winter

Yay! Its weekend and time for the weekly photo. Today’s shot displays the play of light and shadow. During one of my weekend morning photo walks last winter, i captured this shot of Lake Harriet Bandshell amidst all the snow that had fallen previous night.

Posted in Art & Culture, Minnesota, Nature, Photography, Sunrise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Washington Memorial

Washington Memorial

My plan that evening was to capture Lincoln Memorial at the sunset. I had left the office slightly before my usual time, only to realize that it was cloudy with slight drizzle. I walked towards the Lincoln Memorial with my camera. I got some decent shots of the monument but i was not satisfied. Moreover, as usual, there was a huge crowd gathered and being a Friday, did not help either. There was no way i could just isolate the Lincoln Memorial. After few attempts, i gave up and decided to walk towards the Washington Memorial, which lies exactly opposite to the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC.

I turned my back to the Lincoln Memorial, and what i saw is captured in this post. As it had rained the evening, after sunset hour, sky had turned pink and the beautiful reflection of the lit-up Washington Memorial in the pool looked stunning. Everyone seemed to enjoy the beautiful Lincoln Memorial that evening. Washington Memorial looked, to me, lonely and standing tall, kissing the skies. It is said that as you go ‘higher’ in life, you tend to be more in solitude. Here it was the wonderful piece of architecture living that philosophy.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

Sunset at Lake Nokomis Minneapolis

Nature has its own way to grace and reward the lesser mortals like us. And i would categorize this photograph under one such category. Plan was to do a photo shoot of my 6 month old daughter on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis in the early spring of 2016. There were clouds in the sky, which made me more excited in the hope of a dramatic sunset. But the nature had some other plans. An hour before the sunset, the rays of sun sneaked out from the clouds and fell on the lake and the surrounding. It was a brilliant moment and how i could have resisted the temptation to point my camera towards the action. I found these two guys kayaking on the lake, which according to me added the point of interest, along with providing the foreground to this image. Having captured this image, i was pretty satisfied and decided to call it a day, without waiting for the sunset and twilight colors.

When i looked at the image in my laptop, i decided to post-process this into a black and white image so that i can make the rays more prominent and add more drama to the whole scene. Check out more photos of this week’s challenge here.

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Sunset at Bush Lake Bloomington

Sunset at Bush Lake Bloomington

I had been always wanting to take a sunset picture with the reflection of dramatic light in the still and transparent waters of a lake – so transparent that i could even capture the stones lying on the lake-bed in the foreground of my picture. Last summer, i made several biking trips from my home to Bush Lake, Bloomington along with my camera. Fortunately, this evening i was able to see the dramatic light of the sunset and i did not waste a moment to capture it. Sky had some cloud and they appeared to have been dancing with the streaks of colors, adding interest in my composition.

I loved the sunset because it made the ambience very soothing and relaxed. Catch more photos of memorable ambience here.

Posted in Life, Nature, Photography, Sunset, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments