Our site will be undergoing maintenance from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. During this time, Bookshop, checkout, and other features will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Cookies must be enabled to use this website.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • SubGenre:Subjects & Themes / Regional
  • Language:English
  • Pages:140
  • eBook ISBN:9781483593074

The Photographer's Guide to Minnesota's North Shore

Second Edition

by Allen Utzig

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Minnesota’s North Shore extends 150 miles from the southwestern tip of Lake Superior at Duluth to the Pigeon River on the Canadian border. Along it you can photograph magnificent cascading streams, breathtaking waterfalls, one of the most picturesque lighthouses anywhere and spectacular views of the world’s largest fresh water lake. This book is a comprehensive guide to help photographers find the best photo locations along the North Shore. It includes GPS coordinates, descriptions of trail difficulty when hiking is required and photographs made by the author, complete with captions. The book includes the best photo locations in Duluth, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock State Park, Tettegouche State Park, Caribou Wayside and Temperance River State Park. It also identifies photo sites along the Cascade River, the Devil’s Kettle and the area around Grand Portage, including Hollow Rock. The book also includes chapters on photographing waterfalls, basic composition and nighttime photography. The chapter on waterfalls discusses essential equipment, selecting the correct shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings to get the best photograph. The author illustrates the importance of using the correct settings by marking up photos with incorrect settings, explaining the problems created and describing how to fix them. The chapter on basic composition includes an explanation of the rule of thirds as well has techniques for successfully capturing three-dimensional scenes and displaying them on two-dimensional media. It also includes discussions of geometric patterns in photography as well as the importance of photographic housekeeping. The author teaches his audience how to make nighttime photographs, including photos with star trails and those without by relying on the “Rule of 600”. He also describes how to photograph the moon, moonbows, how to “paint with light” and offers examples of creative nighttime photography.
While Minnesota is often thought of as “fly over” country, cornfields and prairie, the 150 mile stretch between the aerial lift bridge in Duluth and the High Falls of the Pigeon River on the Canadian border, is none of that. The North Shore is home to Minnesota’s most scenic and awe inspiring places. There you will find magnificent cascading streams, breathtaking waterfalls, one of the most picturesque lighthouses anywhere and spectacular views of the world’s largest fresh water lake. Lake Superior can be wild or placid and photo opportunities abound year round. The full moon rises behind Split Rock Lighthouse on a bitter cold night in January and winter ice flows are blown ashore, producing piles of ice shards. November storms like the one that sank the Edmond Fitzgerald, create crashing surf that rivals that of the rocky Atlantic or Pacific coasts. The brilliant color of aspens and birches along the lake and sugar maples in the higher elevations match the beauty of any New England autumn. Stands of lupines and other wild flowers adorn the roadsides in spring and summer. The North Shore is a land of ancient lava flows where streams have carved their way from highlands to the lake’s shore, creating boulder strewn gorges along the way. The exception is the Brule River which, just a mile from its mouth, splits and falls; half dropping towards Lake Superior and the other half plunging deep into the earth to a destination unknown. Minnesota’s North Shore is truly a landscape photographer’s dream. Unfortunately, much of the land along the lake is privately owned and off limits to photographers. The good news is that the most scenic places are in state parks, state forests, waysides and pull offs that provide access to stunning sites where a photographer can spend hours upon hours making photographs. This book will identify what I believe are the most scenic spots along the North Shore and, in most cases, I provide the GPS coordinates of the location. The book will describe the best time to photograph each place. I will also point out when a scene requires a telephoto lens. Otherwise, most photos can be captured using standard lenses with focal lengths between 24mm and 85mm. I’ve included a final chapter that identifies photo locations that are worth considering because they are very near the highway or they are particularly good at certain times of the year. The book is intended for landscape photographers of all skill levels. Because there are so many waterfalls along the North Shore, I have included a chapter describing techniques for photographing them. The experienced photographer may find limited benefit from this information although I describe some newer techniques related to super fast shutter speeds. I hope that less experienced ones will find the entire section helpful. Because the full moon rises behind Split Rock Lighthouse in January, the lighthouse makes a great nighttime photo and because the skies above the North Shore are dark and don’t suffer from serious light pollution, I have included a section on photographing at night. The Split Rock Lighthouse beacon is illuminated once each year and on special occasions so I’ve included information about when it will be lit and how to capture it. Most of the locations included in the book can be photographed after a short walk. The High Falls of the Baptism River involves a round trip hike of just over two miles as does the hike to the Devil’s Kettle on the Brule River. These hikes are generally regarded as moderately strenuous so I’ve added specific details about what they involve, including the elevation gains. For most photographers, these hikes will not be too demanding even when loaded down with all of their photo gear but photographers who are not in good physical condition should consider whether these hikes are right for them. North Shore rivers can usually be photographed within a short distance from the parking areas but you can hike a considerable distance
About the author
Allen Utzig has been a photographer and freelance writer for more than 30 years. During that time he has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has photographed landscapes from Maine to California and from Florida to Alaska. As a Minnesota resident, he has explored and photographed the North Shore from end to end. Allen founded Gold Images, Inc. after a long career in the insurance industry. He retired as the Senior Vice President in charge of workers’ compensation assigned risk plans at Berkley Risk Administrators Co. in Minneapolis. He organized Gold Images to help others learn nature and landscape photography and to help them publish their photos and articles. Allen took up photography in the early 1980’s to complement his writing. While most of his photographic skills were self-taught, he studied with and participated in photographic workshops conducted by the likes of John Shaw, America’s foremost landscape photographer and author, Tim Cooper and Doug Johnson from the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, master photographers Charles Glatzer and Robert Glenn Ketchum. His photography experience really took off when he moved to Oregon with his family. He was overwhelmed by the photo opportunities there. From the rocky Pacific coast to the Cascade Mountains and from the high desert of eastern Oregon to Hell’s Canyon, few places offered such photographic diversity. When he moved to Minnesota, he quickly discovered that the North Star State wasn’t a photographer’s paradise like the Pacific Northwest. But he did learn that Minnesota wasn’t all cornfields and prairieland. On his first visit to the North Shore of Lake Superior, he found spectacular waterfalls, one of the most scenic lighthouses he had ever seen and even mountains. Now, Minnesota’s mountains aren’t the Rockies, but the Sawtooth Range offers wonderful views of Lake Superior and the autumn color is as impressive as can be found anywhere. He has photographed Minnesota’s North Shore many times since and was surprised to find out that a photographer’s guide to this picturesque area doesn’t exist. So he decided to write one. Before getting into the insurance industry, he taught high school. The teacher in him felt that a photographer’s guide needed more than a listing of the best photo locations along the North Shore; it needed to help photographers of all skill levels make better photographs. He included information and techniques that he gained through his many experiences behind a camera. His photos have appeared in calendars, greeting cards, CD jackets and promotional materials for businesses. They have also graced the walls of homes and businesses across the country. Some of his publishers and clients include the National Park Foundation, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Alaska’s Camp Denali and Bluefin Bay Resort, the premier resort on Minnesota’s North Shore. Allen earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He also studied at the Carlson School of Management MBA program at the University of Minnesota. To learn more about Allen’s work or to see more North Shore and landscape photographs from around the United States, please visit his website at www.goldimagesphoto.com Married for over 45 years, Allen has two children and six grandchildren.