St Joseph, Michigan, USA by Kevin Rodde

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Picture Story

This shot was taken at the very last stop of along vacation to northern Michigan where the weather didn't cooperate photographically. Dreary, overcast, seasonably cold weather plagued our entire trip and stymied every one of my attempts to take any acceptable photographs. Feeling a bit downtrodden by this we drove home. A few hours out of our home-base in Chicago my wife convinced me to extend our trip by one day. She mentioned that, "It looks like St. Joseph is nice. It has a pretty little pier and lighthouse. We could stop there for the day and maybe you could get some shots."

Over the years I've seen many photographs of St. Joseph's semi-famous lighthouse. Encased in ice, bathing in warm summer sun, battered by violent waves, and situated with glass-calm waters, I've seen it photographed showing many distinct personalities and I decided to try my hand at interpreting it. After check-in from our 10th floor hotel room, I could see a line of storms quickly moving across the lake toward our location followed by a slight band of yellow sunlight behind storm's western edge. This yellow sliver was all the hope I needed to think I could redeem our vacation. So, I abandoned the family to the indoor pool and took off for the lake. Once there, due to the earlier storms I found a remarkably calm and quiet scene with none of the crowds normally associated with this tourist attraction. I was strangely left mostly alone when I took this shot. My photograph entitled, "The Artisan" was the result.


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