Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a place that my wife and I have wanted to visit for a long time.  We had a small window of opportunity recently due to life circumstances and some very kind people who let us use their house to finally make the trip.  We only had a couple full days and the purpose of this trip was not photography, but I did manage to make it to a few locations that made for some nice photos.

Almost all of these were taken with a Fujifilm XT-2 and 10-24mm lens.  I will try to point out where other gear was used.

On our first night, we were treated to a spectacular sunset while on a dinner cruise.  Tahoe doesn't get clouds like this very often, so, it really was a special moment.

We did some kayaking at Emerald Bay and explored the only island in the Lake, Fannette Island.  The island contains the ruins of the old "Tea House" that was constructed by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight in 1928 to go with her vacation home, Vikingsholm.

On our last night, we found Secret Cove.  Secret Cove does not have a parking lot and isn't easy to find.  It's at the bottom of a steep decline that's at least a mile and not well marked.  I had heard that the cove was a "clothing optional" area, but hoped that by this time in the evening, it might be clear or at least the people would be covered.  We were wrong, and immediately upon finding Secret Cove, were greeted with all the glory and "bits and pieces" of its inhabitants.  The light was nice, And I would've liked to have photographed the cove at this time, but didn't think it would be appropriate to walk around shooting while people were hanging around in their natural state.

We hiked up the rocky shore a ways, until we were alone and still found a nice location for sunset.  I used a circular polarizing filter for these to try and bring out the rocks under the water's surface.

After the sun, set, we hiked back over to Secret Cove where there was only one man left.  He was clothed and on his way out.  We spoke for a few minutes about the amazing sunset the night before with the rare cloud covered sky and about all of the wildlife he has seen in the cove over the 40 years he has been going there, including the bears!

It's hard to tell from some of these pictures, but the sun was down and it was dark.  I used a tripod for the first time this trip to get the exposure I wanted.

 

Lake Tahoe is a special place that can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you want. The lake provides the space and serenity for a person to contemplate, consider,  and refresh themselves, which is what we did.  It feels like we're closer to God in places like this.

Cleveland and the RNC

The Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland this year and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get downtown and photograph the experience.  It started for me the Sunday night before the big event was do to start.  I knew Cleveland would be all lit up and this would be a fantastic chance to capture some night images of the city looking her best.  

My plan was to set off from my kayak from Wendy Park and head over to the North Coast Harbor and capture all the views in between.  This should give me a unique perspective that I haven't seen before.  I was thrown a curve ball from the start...it was very difficult getting into the city due to all the road closures, which I expected, but I did not anticipate highway 2 also being closed.  I eventually made it to Whisky Island via Tremont and Ohio City just after sunset.  I was hoping to be on the water before dark to get some dusk shots, but oh well, my primary purpose is the after dark stuff.  Things went pretty good at first, the water was calm and the paddling was easy.  I was able to capture a few pictures, but realized quickly that I had mistakenly packed the wrong lens!  I had meant to bring the Olympus 12-40 f2.8 and Panasonic 25 f1.7, well, I had the 12-40, but accidentally threw the slow Pany 12-60,  so getting a sharp photo at night, while floating in a kayak was going to be very difficult!  

I did manage to get a couple photos, but over all, things didn’t work out well. I also had a run-in with the coast guard as they were not comfortable with how close I was to the restricted water zone.  I didn’t argue with them and decided it was a good time to head to shore anyway.  On the way out of town, I stopped by one of the new Cleveland script signs in Tremont and took some pictures, probably the best of the night.

The next morning I headed back to the city for a full day.  To make travel easy, I parked down in the Flats East Bank and used my bike to get around.  I immediately found a rally of bikers and other Trump supporters at Settlers Park.  These folks spoke a lot about guns, religion and their disdain for Clinton and for some reason, John McCain.  There were plenty of colorful characters and a picturesque backdrop of the Cuyahoga to photograph at this location.

From here I headed up the hill to Public Square and the Mall were Anti-Trump protesters were preparing to march.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

The next day I went straight to Public Square where it was almost festival like with food trucks, dancers in the lawn, and kids playing in the fountain.

There were certainly protesters, but I didn’t witness any altercations and for the most part a very peaceful vibe.  

Next, I headed over to 4th street where it was packed with media, delegates, and vendors.

This is the area right outside the gate were many of the delegates come in and out of and it’s also an area saturated with law enforcement.  I saw state troopers from at least 6 or 7 different states, Cleveland and Akron Bike Patrol, mounted police,  and Secret Service.  There presence was all over, but never forceful, unless there was a reason, and very friendly in my interactions. At one point, I found myself surrounded by Cleveland Bike Patrol as they were posing for some post card worthy photos, themselves.

I am very proud of Cleveland for showing the world how a large political event can be held with no major situations.  The people who gathered and law enforcement were exceptional.  People’s voices were heard and nobody got hurt.  

Nice job CLE!

Here are a few more photos from the week.

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The Edmund Fitzgerald | 40 Years Ago

In memory of The SS Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew who sank 40 years ago today in Lake Superior “when the gales of November came early”.  All 29 crew members died and it’s still unknown exactly why the “Fitz” went down.

This is a photo of a similar vessel, the SS Wilfred Sykes that I took entering the Grand River in Michigan in 2014.  The Sykes loaded opposite the Fitz on November 9th, 1975 and left 2 hours later. Captain Dudley J. Paquette anticipated the storm's path and avoided the worst of it.  The Edmund Fitzgerald wasn't so fortunate.

It’s great to still see these huge Lakers continuing to work out on the Great Lakes!

 

Down By The River

Last summer in my hometown of Cuyahoga Falls, the city removed two 100 year old dams from the the Cuyahoga River in the name of a healthier, cleaner river and recreation.  When the dams were removed the water level dropped by several feet and interestingly to me, revealed evidence of the city's industrial past.  Among heaps of garbage, soot and muck, were tons of discarded pieces of rubber, remnants of a pre-1913 dam, old carts and lots and lots of old bottles.

Remains of old dam pylons

Remains of old dam pylons

Debris pulled from the river

Debris pulled from the river

It has been fun poking around the river bank documenting the changes with my camera and collecting some of the bottles and rusty cans I have come across.  It has been particularly fascinating to find old milk bottles from several local milk plants and creameries, and old pop bottles of beverages I've never heard of.  Many of these bottles have held up well considering being submerged and tumbled in the river for decades!

Milk Bottles

Milk Bottles

Almost a year since the dam removal started, the river has a swift current and does appear to be much improved.  There is still a lot of cleanup being done to remove debris that continues to reveal itself and can make the river unsafe for kayakers and other recreation.  I think it's great that the city has taken this step to take the river back to it's natural state and reveal once again the falls and rapids that Cuyahoga Falls is named after.  Now... there's been talk, and hopefully soon, we can get rid of the old Ohio Edison Dam in the Gorge and really open up the river!

Here is a gallery of many of the bottles I found.