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Split Rock Lighthouse State Park



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stars glow at the dark lighthouse

stars glow at the dark lighthouse
Made by whatsjoeupto
I spent some time this holiday weekend exploring my new state of Minnesota and took a drive up to Duluth and Lake Superior. I planned on spending the day in Duluth, but just kept driving north along the western shore of Lake Superior stopping along the way to take some photos. State Highway 61 hugs the shore all along the way, passing through a few small towns. My plan was to make it to Split Rock state park (and lighthouse) by sunset so I spent some time in Two Harbors checking out the steel agate loading docks, and Gooseberry Falls a little further North. I got to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park just before sunset, then realized that today the Minnesota government shut down (couldn’t reach a budget agreement) so the state parks were closed too. The entry road was under construction, and since there wasn’t really a gate (just some cones and a wooden barrier), I pulled over on the side of the road and hiked in. It was probably a little more than a mile walk through the park and down to the bottom of the cliff to get to the vantage point here. I got here just as the last of the sunlight was striking the lighthouse and cliff. With the park closed down and no one else there, it was amazingly serene and peaceful. The only sound was the water gently washing up against the rocks. I took some photos but even with the great light, there were no clouds which would have made it even better. Being so clear and not windy, I decided to stay until it go dark enough to photograph the stars with the silhouette of the lighthouse in the background. It was roughly 7:30pm and using the VelaClock iPhone app, I figured I had to wait until at least 10:45 to get past nautical twilight and it would be dark enough so I just sat on the rocks and watched the light fade listening to the splashing water.

New Snow, Lake Superior

New Snow, Lake Superior
Made by St Paul Paul
Large on Black and I went on a spontaneous trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior this past weekend. I know, I know ... we should have asked our Twin Cities friends. (You know who you are.) But it was a last-minute thing. Little tips for me to remember next time: - when changing lenses in the woods, try not to drop your camera in the snow; - if you must drop your camera in the snow, try to at least have a lens or a cap on it, so the camera body doesn't fill with snow; - if you must fill the camera with snow, pray you have a tough s.o.b. Nikon camera which, after some brushing and shaking, carried on without a blink (phew); - don't walk too far out on the ice to take photos; - if you must walk too far out on the ice, try not to break through; - if you must break through (up to the knee), try to get your leg out a bit quicker next time so your boot doesn't fill completely with icy water; - if you do get a boot full of icy water, you may want to actually *stop* shooting for a while and go back to the car to dry it out, not carry on as if nothing had happened; - of course, while all this is happening, try to remember to have Karen Meyer nearby so she can get photos ... it'll be amusing to look at them later at the hospital when you're having your lower leg removed because of frostbite or trench foot; and last - try not to have pinkeye while you're walking around shooting - it's a teensy bit inconvenient for photography. :-)

North Shore Bokeh

North Shore Bokeh
Made by nikrowell
After a 35 degree sunrise shoot, and a nice long nap, the afternoon sun began to warm things up at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Angel and I grabbed our cameras for another session. By this time, it was approaching noon (it was a really long nap!). Unfortunately, this time of day is often the worst time to shoot. The high sun means means high contrast - a higher range between light and dark than cameras can capture (without the use of HDR or filters). In these conditions, it usually helps to seek out shots on a smaller scale. Peering under what looked like a 100 year old fence dividing our campsite from a 30 foot drop to Lake Superior, I spotted an unscathed spider web. A rare sighting that late in the day and that close to a large, windy expanse. I took a few shots with the aperture wide open at f/1.8. The shallow depth of field, combined with a background of fall foliage and that afternoon high contrast light, made for an interesting bokeh. I like the fact that the web is recognizable, but the colorful bokeh makes for an otherwise abstract image. Nikon D300 with 50mm f1.8

split rock lighthouse

split rock lighthouse
Made by Doug_Chartrand
No trip to the North Shore (that's what we Minnesotan's call the upper east section of Minnesota that runs along the northern shore of Lake Superior) is complete without looking at the Split Rock Lighthouse. This is a popularly photographed icon of the North Shore, and this picture looks about like the 1,000,000 other pictures that have been taken of this location. Rock Lobster - B52s From the website: The horrific shipwrecks of 1905 fueled the demand for a lighthouse along Superior's North Shore. The amazing construction process was completed in 1910, and the light at Split Rock shone until 1969. The history center's superb displays, exhibits, and video presentations showcase the evolution of the lighthouse. For a glimpse of this remote lifestyle, include a visit to the lighthouse keeper's home and outbuildings. (Did they really sleep in those little beds?) The path leading southwest down to Lake Superior presents a distinctive view of the lighthouse and remnants of the lift that was used to haul supplies up from the lake. Climb the short, steep circular stairs to the top of the lighthouse. Spend some time at this historic treasure!

Split Rock Lighthouse - Celebrating 100 Years

Split Rock Lighthouse - Celebrating 100 Years
Made by pmarkham
This year marks the 100th year of the first lighting of Split Rock Lighthouse. As part of the celebration, the Minnesota Historical Society has been lighting it for an hour or two on the first Friday of each month. I was fortunate enough to be able to be there for the November lighting. I have to say, seeing the lighthouse lit up is absolutely spectacular and worth it if you ever get the chance. This photo shows a closeup of the spectacular fresnel lens of this lighthouse. It is a third order lens, and is the original lens that was installed when the lighthouse was built. It is a bivalve type lens with two flash panels and it rotates, producing a flash every 12 seconds. The lens itself floats on a pool of 7 1/2 quarts of mercury. It was originally rotated by a clockworks mechanism that is driven by a counterweight that drops down a column in the center of the tower. The weight has to be wound back to the top of the tower ever few hours. The clockworks was discontinued in the 1940s when the light was electrified, but in the 1980s it was restored and is now used again to turn the lens. The lens is currently lit by a 1000 watt incandescent light bulb.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse
Made by FlappinMothra
Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior North Shore, Minnesota After a storm on Nov. 28, 1905 had damaged 29 ships, Congress authorized $70,000 to build a lighthouse and fog signal at Split Rock. The light station was completed in 1910. The light was taken out of service in 1969 when modern navigation methods made it obsolete, but the beacon is lit once a year on November 10th to commemorate the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I have made the beacon lighting ceremony the last two years, and I plan on going every year for as long as I can still make it. Yes, it's cold on the North Shore in November, but if you have a love of history, beauty, and a need for an unexplainable sense of something unexplainable, the trip is well worth it! Learn More about the history of the Split Rock light.

Split Rock Lighthouse - Celebrating 100 Years

Split Rock Lighthouse - Celebrating 100 Years
Made by pmarkham
This year marks the 100th year of the first lighting of Split Rock Lighthouse. As part of the celebration, the Minnesota Historical Society has been lighting it for an hour or two on the first Friday of each month. I was fortunate enough to be able to be there for the November lighting. I have to say, seeing the lighthouse lit up is absolutely spectacular and worth it if you ever get the chance. These photos were taken from Ellington Island, which you can sometimes get to from the Pebble Beach on the state park side of Split Rock if the wind and waves have left enough rock laying around to walk across. For this photo, I had to wait until the lens was pointed straight at me in order to get the starburst effect from the light. The lens makes a complete revolution every 24 seconds. It has two flash panels, so the beam would sweep across me every 12 seconds.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse
Made by FlappinMothra
Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior North Shore, Minnesota After a storm on Nov. 28, 1905 had damaged 29 ships, Congress authorized $70,000 to build a lighthouse and fog signal at Split Rock. The light station was completed in 1910. The light was taken out of service in 1969 when modern navigation methods made it obsolete, but the beacon is lit once a year on November 10th to commemorate the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Brave souls who wish to venture up to Lake Superior's north shore in November get treated to an awesome experience. This was the second year I ventured north to witness it - this time with a better camera and a tripod! Learn More about the history of the Split Rock light. This photo is as shot - no digital enhancement.

The splash by the lighthouse

The splash by the lighthouse
Made by Angiezpics
In the midst of our incredibly busy summer, my husband and I were able to get away for a long weekend up to the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) in northern Minnesota. This photo was actually taken on our way home. I made him stop at one of Minnesota's more famous sights for a little photoshooting - The Split Rock Lighthouse. This is actually one of my favorite places to visit and camp - all of the sights are cart-in only and so the campground is far less busy than the area around the famous lighthouse. Oh, and the views of Lake Superior are fabulous. I hope everyone's summer is packed full of fun as mine has been. Things will begin to slow down for me since my 2 girls will be starting school on Monday, and then I can put in some time once again on Flickr. I miss you all and wish you well.

Split Rock Lighthouse & Moon (ns0811-01-064)

Split Rock Lighthouse & Moon (ns0811-01-064)
Made by nibi mocs
Every November 10, Split Rock Lighthouse, located along Minnesota's Lake Superior Shoreline, is lit, in memory of the Edmund Fitzgerald. This year, I went up to view it. The moon was about 2 days short of being full... which meant that it rose early. By the time it was dark enough to see the light from the lighthouse, the moon was already high in the sky and had moved southwards. I did manage to capture both in the same frame though. A little HDR work (combining 2 different exposures) brought out a little detail on the shoreline while keeping the light from the moon and the lighthouse under control. ISO 100, f/8, 8 seconds. Nikon D200, Nikon 18-70mm. My Web Gallery My Blog

The Lighthouse on the Cliff

The Lighthouse on the Cliff
Made by St Paul Paul
Split Rock Lighthouse on the north shore of Lake Superior. ...The thick storm seemed to break apart To show us, staggering to her grave, The fated brig. We had no heart To look, for naught could save. ...And when at last from the distant shore A little boat stole out, to reach Our loneliness, and bring once more Fresh human thought and speech, We told our tale, and the boatman cried; “Twas the ‘Pocahantas,’-all were lost! For miles along the coast the tide Her shattered timbers tossed.” Sighing I climbed the lighthouse stair, Half forgetting my grief and pain; And while the day died, sweet and fair, I lit the lamps again. - from Celia Thaxter, The Wreck of the Pocahontas

Split Rock Lighthouse all lit up

Split Rock Lighthouse all lit up
Made by Angiezpics
I took the kids and my mom up to the Split Rock Lighthouse on Oct. 1st for it's lighting ceremony and had a blast!!! Typically the lighthouse is only lit up once a year on the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald - a mega lake freighter that sank on November 10, 1975 with all 29 hands onboard into the massive Lake Superior. This year though, being the 100th anniversary of the lighthouse, they lit it up the first Friday of every month until this coming November 10th. I am not a huge fan of the cold weather on the big lake so I wanted to get there before November rolled around, and plus it was kind of a once in a lifetime thing too!! You wouldn't believe how many other people had the same idea!!!

Canvassing Split Rock

Canvassing Split Rock
Made by Sola Lumina Captura
This was a great moment during my backpacking trip. The sunset was brilliant, the skies were clear, and the temperature was perfect. This is a picture of one of America's most famous lighthouses - the Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore. I happened to catch an artist completing his work below. I included his shadow on his work as it is symbolic of the transmission of art. There is the Creator and his creation. God and his creation, and the artist and his imitation. The shadow represents the impression of the mind of the artist as it resembles the source of his manifested work. Anyway, no need for futher explanation. It was just a very cool moment for me. :)

Split Rock Lighthouse (ns0710-04-020hdr2)

Split Rock Lighthouse (ns0710-04-020hdr2)
Made by nibi mocs
A brief pause from flower photos for a little HDR work. I uploaded the non-HDR version of this a couple of months ago and will reference it in the comments for comparison. This is a pretty basic HDR. I used the double-processed RAW technique and used Photomatrix to combine the 2 exposures. The original (as you will see) had very little detail in the area of the cliff. My Web Gallery My Blog Original captured at dawn on October 26, 2007. Split Rock Lighthouse on the Lake Superior Northshore, Minnesota, USA. Nikon D200.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse
Made by FlappinMothra
Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior North Shore, Minnesota (ore boat on right) After a storm on Nov. 28, 1905 had damaged 29 ships, Congress authorized $70,000 to build a lighthouse and fog signal at Split Rock. The light station was completed in 1910. The light was taken out of service in 1969 when modern navigation methods made it obsolete, but the beacon is lit once a year on November 10th to commemorate the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Learn More about the history of the Split Rock light. This photo is as shot - no digital enhancement.

The Keeper

The Keeper
Made by siskokid
From the Minnesota Historical Society: A mighty and fatal 1905 gale over western Lake Superior spurred the construction of Split Rock Lighthouse overlooking one of the world’s most dangerous stretches of water. On July 31, 1910, after five years of arduous labor constructing the edifice atop a 130-foot sheer rock cliff, the now world-famous North Shore landmark first sent its powerful beam out across the water. The Minnesota Historical Society is celebrating the centennial of Split Rock Lighthouse in 2010. Restored to its early-20th century splendor, it is one of America’s best-preserved lighthouses.

Lake Superior is upon my eyes.

Lake Superior is upon my eyes.
Made by Tim Kiser
Maybe you'd like to scramble across the highway & get down there to the lakeshore, I wouldn't blame ya for it's one of the prettiest spots on earth. Dodging the highspeed motorcars like a damn deer but it's all worth it. You'll have a verrry spiritual experience believe me. The waves rolling in etc. O Lordey I can hear the waters, they're the voices of God & Jesus talking. --------------- In Lake County, Minnesota, on May 27th, 2008, Minnesota Route 61 and Lake Superior as viewed from a state wayside in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, south of the mouth of the Split Rock River.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse
Made by FlappinMothra
Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior North Shore, Minnesota Photo taken by my sister, Deb Parker After a storm on Nov. 28, 1905 had damaged 29 ships, Congress authorized $70,000 to build a lighthouse and fog signal at Split Rock. The light station was completed in 1910. The light was taken out of service in 1969 when modern navigation methods made it obsolete, but the beacon is lit once a year on November 10th to commemorate the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Learn More about the history of the Split Rock light.

What Gets You Through The Night?

What Gets You Through The Night?
Made by LaserGuided
What Gets You Through The Night? A lighthouse? A flashing beacon? The north star? A night light? A flashlight? A candle in the dark? A bed-time story? A thrilling page-turner? An evening prayer? A goodnight kiss? A quickie? Some naughty fantasy? A six-pack? A cocktail? White wine? Red? Coke? Ecstasy? Pain killers? Viagra? A glass of milk? Midnight snack? Caffeine? Late-night talk shows? Movie reruns? Your security blanket? A stuffed animal? A cherished memory? Prospect of a new day? -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse
Made by TumblingRun
This lighthouse near Two Harbors, Minnesota was in operation from 1910 until 1969. It has been meticulously restored to the way it looked in the 1920's. The tower stands 54 feet tall on top of a cliff that is 130 feet high. The beacon had a range of 22 miles. It took 35-50 men 13 months to construct supplied entirely by boat from the lake below. It is open for tours daily from mid May to mid October and on weekends during the winter months. The light is lit on November 10th each year to honor the men who lost their lives on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.



Nearest places of interest:

Gooseberry Falls State Park
Gooseberry Falls
bark bay
siskiwit bay
  Split Rock Lighthouse
Beaver Bay, MN
North McDougal Lake
Brimson , MN

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