Bitterly Cold Lighthouse Photo

The recent news of the massive snowstorms hitting the Midwest and Northeast made me think of this photo from a year ago.

In early January of 2022, I saw that Michigan was going to get hit with a winter storm — ice, snow, high winds, the whole works.  I did what any sane photographer would do — get in the car and head north!  Although I like a warm evening with a good sunset, I’m just as happy with a freezing cold wind blowing in my face as I try to steady my camera and take a picture of snow and ice.  In fact, the ever-changing winter landscape is a lot of fun to photograph.  No two winters are alike, and ice and snow can change a landscape overnight.

As I drove north, the weather continually got worse.  By the time I reached South Haven, there were near whiteout conditions and we were only going about 30 miles per hour.  I pushed on to Grand Haven, another hour north.  As I arrived, the snow slowed down, and I headed to the state park to check out the lighthouse.  I was pleased to see a fresh coat of snow, plus some ice on the lighthouse.  I decided to check into a hotel, then come back for sunset.

As it got closer to sunset, I decided to drive to the north side of the channel and photograph the lighthouse from there.  Arriving on site, I was excited to see lots of snow and no footprints — a photographer’s dream!  Unfortunately, it had clouded up and there was no sunset to speak of.  As the light dimmed, I found a composition I liked with the lighthouse, a frozen railing, snow, and a tree with some ice in it:

Grand Haven Lighthouse in Winter
Grand Haven Lighthouse in Winter


I rather liked how the lights from the catwalk were reflected in the water, and they bounced around a bit on the waves.  The railing and paths were covered in ice.  I wish there had been more ice on the tree, but I’m not going to get greedy.  Did I mention it was cold?  It was cold.  And windy.  But very much worth it.

Currently I’m in New Mexico photographing vintage motels along Route 66.  There will be a lot of content coming from this trip.


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