I’m always surprised at some of the locations where I setup a tripod. This was on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the northern most reaches of Michigan – at a roadside picnic area!
I kid you not, I stopped by to fix a little problem that was generated from too much sweet tea at lunch and then took a brief walk down to the lakeshore. At first it was a bit of a yawn fest, but curiosity got the better of me so I wandered over the rocks and down the beach. It wasn’t long before I discovered the spot you see in the photo – and hey, the sun was even going to be in a perfect spot just before it slipped below the horizon! Hmm…
So, I left for more scouting with the idea of coming back later in the day to attempt a sunset shot.
A few hours later I was sitting in my truck at the picnic area trying to decide what to do. It looked like the sky wasn’t going to cooperate and besides, it was COLD out. We’re talking temps hovering around 40 degrees, a wicked wind kicking up, and the truck rocking with every gust. I didn’t want to head down and freeze for nothing, and besides, I was pretty sure I’d end up at least partially soaked in the process.
The internal debate if I should go or not ended abruptly about 30 minutes before sunset as conditions started to hint that they just might come together for a nice photo. I was still unsure about it, but I knew I’d hate myself if I didn’t at least try.
So, I scurried down, a brisk wind biting my face, only to find the water washing MUCH higher up the rocks than when I was scouting just a few hours before.
High waves and water made getting back to the spot I had found a much trickier proposition - at least if I wanted to keep from getting my lower half doused in icy lake water. I opted for a strategy of waiting between waves and dashing like a dork between slick wet rocks and sharp outcroppings.
I arrived at the location patting myself on the back for staying dry.
I quickly setup my tripod and framed the shot – and not a moment too soon. The sky was starting to light up and I snapped away furiously, trying to capture just the right wave.
Then it happend, about 10 minutes into it this monster washed up!
And yes, if it looks like I got wet in the process, I did.
Soaked to my knee in fact.
I promise you, nothing gets your attention like frigid lake water in 40 degree weather with a nearly gale force wind blowing off the lake!
I was cold and soaked but to me the price paid was totally worth it – at least getting back dry wasn’t a challenge anymore – I just went right though the waves!