Archive for October, 2012

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Posted: October 31, 2012 in HDR, Michigan, Nikon D90

Here’s the main attraction of the Pierce Stocking scenic drive… the Sleeping Bear Dunes. I believe it’s number 9 on the driving tour, and when you get here you are at the top of the Dunes, looking 450 feet down to the beautiful turquoise waters of Lake Michigan.

We stopped here for a few minutes to take in the scenery, and just happened to be able to watch a couple guys walk all the way down to the lake and all the way back up. One of the guys was obviously in shape and performed the task pretty easily, whereas the other guy was staggering up the dune on all fours by about a third of the way up. There are signs posted that state that although the climb is not prohibited, it is very strenuous and should not be attempted if you are not sure you can make it back, as there are no go-arounds or shortcuts.

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Pierce Stocking Covered Bridge

Posted: October 30, 2012 in HDR, Michigan, Nikon D90

The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is named after the man who built it. Pierce Stocking, a lumberman by trade, had knowledge of road-building and a love for the beautiful scenic vistas of what is now known as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It was this love that inspired him to construct a 7.4 mile roadway that people could drive and thereby get quick access to many scenic lookouts, including the dunes themselves.
The national park service bought the property in the late 1970’s and renovated the road by paving it, constructing a bicycle lane, adding wooden lookout towers, and raising the covered bridge, shown here, that Pierce Stocking built himself, to a 13 foot clearance.

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In Dreams

Posted: October 29, 2012 in HDR, Michigan, Nikon D90

This was a shot of one of the many barns we encountered while driving the M-22 near Empire, Michigan. The M-22 follows the coast of Lake Michigan all the way around the north-western tip of the main body of Michigan state. The section near Empire is a pretty drive, but amazingly, does not contain very many views of Lake Michigan, even though you are so close. What it does offer, is awesome fall color, sand dunes, sweeping views of farmland, and barns; like the one shown here.

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Chicago Underground

Posted: October 28, 2012 in HDR, Illinois, Nikon D90

My friend informed me shortly after we arrived in Chicago, that if we were going to be able to get to all the places I wanted to take pictures at, then we would need to purchase some all-you-can ride CTA passes. We got a 3-day all you can ride pass for about $15 or something each, and that entitled us to ride the ‘L’, public buses, or the subway. All in all the public transportation wasn’t bad, and the 3-day ticket was a bargain for how much we used it. Plus the underground passages for the subway had some pretty awesome structure and tile work too.

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Teardrop Bridge

Posted: October 27, 2012 in HDR, Illinois, Nikon D90

I’m generally not a fan of inefficient uses of space. However, I think I have to make an exception here. Walking across the BP Pedestrian bridge is more of an experience than just an outlet for transportation. As the bridge snakes its way from one side of the park to the other, you have time to enjoy the view and maybe even tap into the inner, artsy-fartsy, portion of your brain. It also helps if you might be listening to some electronic/trance music as you do so.

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Tree of the Dead

Posted: October 26, 2012 in HDR, Nikon D40, Ohio

These trees are on the path from the Upper to Lower falls in Hocking Hills, Ohio. I passed them and just had to stop due to their Tim Burtonish aura. I expected the roots to split at any time and the Headless Horseman to come barreling out on horseback. But then I realized that I probably had just drank too much coffee and moved on after taking this picture.

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Chicago Board of Trade

Posted: October 25, 2012 in HDR, Illinois, Nikon D90

As we headed toward the Rookery building for our tour, we passed the Chicago Board of Trade building, which is quite massive and impressive and epic looking. I suppose it was the epic nature of this building that resulted in it being included in the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. In fact, it was on the top of this building where scenes in which Commissioner Gordon uses the bat signal to call Batman were filmed. That’s pretty awesome (the bat signal I mean) because imagine if Gordon were to just text Batman… it wouldn’t have the same effect.

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