North Shore Ladies Photography Retreat, Part IV

fall leaves

I’m wrapping up the last few days of my trip to the North Shore of Minnesota. We spent our third morning at Sugarloaf Cove (don’t you just love that name!). The sun barely crested the horizon before it was lost in thick cloud cover so I decided to post process in black and white to emphasize the long exposure of the waves meeting the shoreline.

B&W at Sugarloaf Cove on Lake Superior MN

And a little different composition in color. Rocks of an orangish/red color were scattered along the shoreline, can you see them?

long exposure of Lake Superior at Sugarloaf Cove MN

Fall color had exploded over the last few days so we found a country road that was full of color, light and shadow. I practiced ICM (intentional camera movement),

ICM of forest

zoomed in on the details with my tele-photo lens,

fall leaves
tiny orange flower

and pulled my Lensbaby Velvet 56 out of my bag.

fall color along a country road in MN
fall leaf on pine needles

We ventured further north to Lutsen Mountain and took the gondola ride to the top. The view was stunning and if I was younger I would love to ski their slopes in the winter!! But I was more than content to enjoy the fabulous color. We can have beautiful fall color in Virginia but I’ve never seen the vibrancy that Minnesota displayed! Layers and layers of color.

fall color on Lutsen Mountain MN

I could have sat here for hours just soaking in the view! Thanks Beth for capturing this image for me!

fall color on Lutsen Mountain MN

It’s hard to tell where Lake Superior ends and the sky begins from this view on top Lutsen Mountain. I bet it’s stunning covered in snow!!

Lake Superior seen from Lutsen Mountain MN

We found a worn down ski shack at the top of the mountain. I imagine it was used as part of the ski lift back in it’s day. And you know it’s a great trip when you see a rainbow!!

Our final morning was spent at Lax Lake where I was intrigued with the colorful lily pads.

colorful lily pads

Sadly our retreat was over so we said our goodbyes and started our travels back home. Charlotte and I had a four hour drive back to Minneapolis/St Paul to catch our flights but we had a list of places to stop along the way. The first was Palisade Head. I’m afraid of heights but this was gorgeous and I was only slightly nervous! I can imagine Elizabeth Bennet standing on this ledge with her skirts blowing 😉

Palisade Head MN

We had seen this wonderful old red barn on our drive north and knew we wanted to stop on the return trip. It’s so much more fun to stop on the side of the highway with a buddy!!

old red barn in MN

The most laughter, or close to it, came from the sighting of Pierre the Pantless. I can’t remember now if that’s his real name or one we created. But hey, who doesn’t notice a GIANT statue on the side of the road with leg showing?

Did they run out of material or mean to leave the man partly clothed? I bet he gets cold during the winter months! I’m not usually silly in images but Charlotte was laughing so hard I just had to be goofy!!

two ladies in front of Pierre the Pantless statue

We had so much fun sharing our adventures via text & images as we all made our trips home! We had bonded over the last few days as women and photographers. I expect our friendships will stand the test of time.

The definition of a successful photography retreat, for me, does not depend on the weather conditions and only partly on the location. It’s in large part the leader; the thought and planning she puts into the shoot locations and being present and available to each participant. Her ability to teach and share her craft, her story and love for the art of photography. The ratio of leader + assistant to the participants, the smaller the better. Answering ALL the questions, from advanced to what might seem obvious (who knew I could view my image in the viewfinder on my new mirrorless camera!!). It’s the willingness to learn & grow by the participants as we share our passion for photography. Thank you Beth for an amazing adventure and for our group photo!

ladies photography retreat group photo

As I boarded my plane to fly home I was exhausted but content. The sunsets had eluded us during the retreat but she sure did shine this night. I couldn’t resist a parting image. Goodbye for now Minnesota, I hope to return again.

sunset from airplane

Photograph what brings you Joy!

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