North Shore MN Ladies Photography Retreat, Part I

long exposure of sunset at Black Beach MN

I am so blessed that I got to participate in not one but two ladies photography retreats in 2022! I shared my experience at the Magic in the Tetons on earlier blog posts, you can find them starting here. But this time I traveled to the beautiful state of Minnesota adding another pin to my USA map 🙂 Beth Mancuso hosted the North Shore Retreat and you can find more about her and her incredible retreats here.

I flew into Minneapolis and met up with another lady attending the retreat to make the 4 hour drive to the North Shore. Charlotte and I had never met but we hit it off immediately! She was my navigator as we ventured north, stopping when we could to enjoy the sites. We made a few u-turns and laughed as we followed the map directions from her phone……a pointless detour for 1 mile that ultimately put us back on the same highway, but we saw Pierre the Pantless!! More on him later 😉

We stopped in Duluth at a little park that had a ski slope for winter months. It had a fun display of skis on the side of a building.

skis on building near Duluth MN

We then found the Canal Path Park in Duluth where we enjoyed lunch and a little time to wander.

street photography Duluth MN
Minnesota Slip Bridge

They have a lift bridge that I’d never seen before. Evidently the entire road lifts straight up to allow boats to pass, unlike the drawbridges I’m familiar with.

lift bridge in Duluth MN

Here’s a full view where you can see the road on the lower half with a little building in the middle. That’s the section that lifts up. Fascinating!

lift bridge in Duluth MN

There were two concrete piers providing the canal for the boats with a lighthouse at the end of each. I love lighthouses so I had to get an image and this was my first view of Lake Superior!

two lighthouse in Canal Path Park Duluth MN

We continued north talking constantly, laughing and getting acquainted. We made it to our destination and got settled in our rooms. There were 11 ladies at the retreat and we all stayed in one big home, or lodge as they called it. After a quick introduction we headed out to capture the sunset. Our destination was Black Beach on the shore of Lake Superior. The skies were cloudy and the sunset was behind us creating beautiful color in the sky.

sunset at Black Beach MN

I fell in love with the curve in the beach and the beautiful colors in the rock island. I love rocks and texture and lighthouses so I was having a wonderful trip on day one!

sunset at Black Beach MN

I played a little with long exposures and really love this image. The smooth water of Lake Superior and the textures in the clouds and of course, the amazing colors of that rock island!

long exposure of sunset at Black Beach MN

We headed back to the lodge and spent some time getting more acquainted with everyone in the group. The skies cleared briefly so we practiced astrophotography from the deck in hopes we could do more later in the trip. This is just one image and while it’s not amazing, I love how you can see the cloud bank moving in on the right and the stars still visible on the left with the milky way in the middle. Thanks to Lindsey and her eagle (young) eyes that helped me correct exposure so I didn’t have star trails!

stars from the lodge deck in Minnesota

Next week I’ll share Part II of the North Shore Ladies Photography Retreat.

Photograph what brings you Joy!

  1. Susie Sell says:

    Great Blog Sharon and terrific photos.
    Really looking forward to seeing and reading more
    about our great North Shore adventures!!

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