This is a project I've been working on for a while. I've been showing my girlfriend, who is from Canada, around the Keweenaw Peninsula, a narrow band of land in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that juts into Lake Superior's southern shore. Her first experiences and thoughts of the area influenced me to think back on all the great times that I've had in the area and the UP. Whether it's Houghton/Hancock, Marquette, Iron Mountain, Escanaba, Sault Ste. Marie – there aren't many parts of the UP that I haven't been to yet and fewer places I haven't had a good time.
I was born in the UP, and apart from my undergraduate studies at Central Michigan University, I've worked in the UP. I enjoy the UP as much now as I ever have, and encountering tourists seeing the area for the first time is always fun recommending the sites and food options. It's a place that deserves to be known, but being a well kept secret, and left off of the mainstream tourist destinations, its mystery is also its charm.
The Limited Edition UP Collection is a project inspired by the UP. It's a place that feels timeless. It's a region dotted with small towns that change little across the decades, similar to landscapes around them that have changed little in thousands of years. The UP is a gem – unforgiving in the winters, but still a gem to visit, explore, and live.
The design in this collection, the red rectangle and the UP silhouette together have a throwback feel, a nod to the UP's timeless charm. A variant of this design atop clouds is a truly unique look. Residents and tourists alike call the UP heaven, this design speaks to that sentiment.
Check out the apparel and reach out with any questions at email@example.com. I check it often and would love to help you. Also be sure to check out the photo store for prints. Products include framed prints, canvas, coffee mugs, acrylic blocks, and more.
The apparel won't be in the store for long. If you're deciding, my advice is to buy. Besides, you have 30 days after purchase for free returns. You can't go wrong!
The scenic photos in my print store were all taken around the UP. I have intentions to visit many other UP spots to take plenty more photos and add to the photo prints available.
Here are a few photos that I love taken from sites I recommend you visit.
Presque Isle • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Lens: 40mm • ISO: 400 • f/stop: 10 • Shutter: 1/4
Located on the western edge of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, this photo was taken on a muggy day. It's one of my favorite places to have a camera. The land there feels wild – it's remote, quiet, and it's the kind of place that makes you feel small in the world.
This shot of Presque Isle is somewhat difficult, depending on how many visitors are there and how much coffee you've had. This shot is taken from a pedestrian suspension bridge. It sways on jostles as you walk along. Obviously, more visitors means you don't get to let the bridge settle before taking a shot, which is the other challenge. The more coffee you've had, the harder it is to brace the camera long enough for a slower shutter speed to capture the water's motion.
I love this photo because it's a beautiful spot, and a challenging image to capture. It's well worth the drive and the effort, though. This print looks amazing on the wall.
Lens: 200mm • ISO: 100 • f/stop: 2.8 • Shutter: 1/2500
Copper Harbor is the most tranquil part of the UP. Of course that's simply my opinion, but I feel refreshed and recharged every time I make the 45-minute trek there from Hancock. Copper Harbor has an air of untouched beauty. It has such a different feel than the rest of the Upper Peninsula. The shores here are rugged and rocky. While this is true of other UP shorelines, Copper Harbor's feels different. It has a similar feel to Minnesota's north shore. Except for state parks, it's one of the last places in Michigan that truly feels untouched. It's a great place to go hiking, camping, biking, kayaking, and anything else outdoors.
This particular shot was made from a roadside lookout on Brockway Mountain. Copper Harbor is below the lookout, and the view is straight out of a Hemingway novel. It's hard to have a bad photo from that location. It's also a great place to spot Great Lakes freighters. There are many shorelines including Eagle Harbor, Eagle River, and roadside parks along M-26 that are worth checking out. Hunter's Point is my absolute favorite place to stop. It's a place where my grandparents went agate picking, and so I think of them every time I'm there. Always worth a stop – though it's now a popular spot for agate pickers.
I love this image because if you look closely on the left side of the image, you'll see a small boat making its way across the harbor. The perspective shows how small we are in this world, how beautiful the scenery is around us, and it reminds me to always appreciate what I have.
Presque Isle Park • Marquette
Lens: 200mm • ISO: 100 • f/stop: 6.3 • Shutter: 1/500
This short little photography tour began at a place called Presque Isle and ends at another at a park with the same name. This park isn't in the wilderness like Presque Isle River or Copper Harbor. In fact, swinging the camera to the right of this image would reveal Marquette.
I took this shot at an f/stop of 6.3 because I wanted the lighthouse and pier to be in focus as a flock of seagulls flew across the frame. This park is a popular spot for people to come and observe the large waves that come from an angry November storm. Marquette has some really good hikes not too far from downtown. My personal favorite hike is Hogsback, an in-and-out hike to one of the highest points around Marquette. But beware the hike gets a bit steep at the end (no climbing).
I love this image because it's one of those magical fall days where the leaves are vivid colors, the air warm enough to have a late summer feel, and yet there's a chill in the air. This was one of those days that makes you stop and realize how magical the Upper Peninsula is.
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