Lake Superior & Minnesota’s North Shore

As the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior offers a multitude of photographic opportunities. It just so happens to be within easy driving distance from my home. Let’s go explore, shall we?!

Lake Superior, the violent mistress

With around 350 shipwrecks and an estimated 10,000 lives claimed, Lake Superior certainly enjoys a reputation of being violent and deadly. One of the most famous shipwrecks was the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  You can hit that link to find out the actual facts about the wreck or check out the well known song by Gordon Lightfoot. It’s called, naturally,  The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which I’m sure you’ve heard. If not, hit that link to go listen, it’s a classic!

Even though she can be violent, I still love to visit whenever I can. While the waves can crest nearly 30 feet tall before crashing into the rocky shoreline, I’ll often find the lake to be very mellow. In fact, I have terrible luck trying to get there with those angry conditions that produce the amazing waves. Some day I’ll make that happen I hope.

Fun facts about Lake Superior

  • It’s estimated that if you were to stretch the shore into a single line it would travel from Duluth, MN all the way to the Bahamas. Yeah, it’s that big.
  • There is as much water in Lake Superior as all the other Great Lakes combined, plus three extra Lake Eries!
  • The lake is so big that in the summer the sun will set nearly 40 minutes sooner on the southeastern shore vs the western edge.
  • It’s one of the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes, with an average visibility of around 27 feet
  • As such a large lake, it has it’s own tide and is home to 78 different species of fish.

All of this within 1-4 hours from my back door, yet I’m lucky to get there even a couple times each year. It’s a damn shame really.

Lake Superior, the gentle giant

Over the last year or two I’ve had an opportunity to visit the north shore sparingly. Since I’ve been working through an extensive back catalog of images, I thought it was a good time to share some of my favorites.  The problem is that I go through phases where I spend all my time out making new images but never take time to actually process them. It’s a bad habit I think, though maybe it’s actually a good practice. On one hand you aren’t actually finishing the photographic process. Yet at the same time letting that work sit and gaining some distance before processing it can help you see your work more clearly. Something to dive into another time I think.

Instead of my rambling this week, let’s enjoy a look at the calmer side of Lake Superior and the north shore. I know there are many photographers that spend all of their time photographing this region, they know all the hidden nooks and trails to the best spots. I don’t have that luxury. What I am interested in is the natural beauty of the region.  The amazing little towns oozing with the “lake lifestyle”.  There are stories to be told, but that’s for another day. Today, let’s just explore shall we?


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