We asked Great Lakes photographers to send us their favorite Great Lakes shot. Craig Blacklock of Blacklock Photography sent us this photo, also the cover image from his book Apostle Islands — From Land and Sea.
Bear Island, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
I discovered this small arch the previous afternoon. I took the time to set up and make an image. I was ecstatic about the composition, which seemed to contain all the elements of the Apostle Islands, but was not satisfied with the light. So, I set my alarm for 4:30, and was back standing chest deep in the water well before sunrise. Setting up the day before allowed me to know which lens (17mm tilt/shift) I wanted to use, and how I wanted to fine-tune the composition. The one thing I had not anticipated was how warm the morning would be. My lens retained the cold of the night, and the warming, moist air kept condensing on the glass. I had to wipe it with a soft cloth between each exposure.
Like many of my sea cave photographs, this image required multiple captures at different exposures, to be able to compress the extreme brightness range of the composition in the final print. Not only did I need to consider exposure, but also the need for extreme depth of field, and shutter speed, as I wanted to use an eighth of a second on the foreground water. It took five captures to record everything I needed, in order to composite the final photograph.