• Wandering in Michigan's Wild and Scenic Upper Peninsula with Jeff Caverly

    October 1, 2020

    Jeff Caverly is a Michigan photographer that enjoys exploring the Great Lakes State and capturing the natural beauty that it has to offer.  Some of Jeff’s favorite destinations are the forests and lakes of Northern Michigan, the Upper Peninsula and the downtown Bay City area near his home in Essexville.  Jeff has been published in numerous print and calendar publications such as: The Traverse Magazine, Michigan Out of Doors magazine, Michigan Natural Resources magazine, Family Christian Bookstores, Independent Bank and Midwest Living Magazine. 

    What happens when four photographers meet up in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?  The result is fun, inspiration, comradery and great memories that were made while capturing photographs while trekking through the wild and scenic U.P.

    During the first week of October of this year, I met up with photographers Aubrieta Hope, Craig Sterken and Neil Weaver to spend a week photographing the fall color season in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Our photographic journey took us from the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park to the Lake Superior shoreline along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Throughout our explorations, we photographed waterfalls, sunrises, sunsets, shorelines, rivers, and forest overlooks.  Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offered endless photographic opportunities and gave me a great sense of place in the North Woods.

    Excited to begin our journey, our first adventure was a hike up a steep, muddy trail to an overlook to photograph the sunset at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains. This sunset provided a great view and the evening kicked off a fun week of exploration and adventure.

    Over the next three days, we photographed vibrant sunrises and sunsets along the Lake Superior shoreline and took in breathtaking views of Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The Porcupine Mountains encompass almost 60,000 acres of spectacular wilderness making this a great photography destination.

    After photographing in the Porcupine Mountains, we worked our way east into the heart of the Upper Peninsula reaching Lake Superior in the Marquette and Munising areas. Our trip was rewarded with a stormy sky at sunrise with an impressive early morning lightning show out over Lake Superior. Our last evening of shooting together was at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which is composed of towering, colorful, mineral stained sandstone cliffs that extend 42 miles along the Lake Superior shoreline.  A spectacular final sunset on the beach made for a great final night of the trip.  

    Taking a great photo trip like this offered me some time to slow down and reflect about my photography. Usually, I like to photograph alone when I am shooting nature, but I thoroughly enjoyed having a group of friends on this trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Shooting together during this photo trip allowed us to share ideas, compositions, learn new skills, and to venture off the beaten path a little farther than we normally would have if we would have been photographing alone. I think it also gave each photographer a little more confidence and comfort to explore and relax while being away from home.

    Some of the most enjoyable times during this trip were the times between shooting the different locations or while waiting it out for the weather to change.  During these non-shooting times, it was great to have friends to talk photography, tell stories, and sometimes just make fun of each other!  The conversations also instilled a sense of excitement and optimism for what we were going to photograph next.

    As our weeklong adventure came to an end, I found myself looking forward to planning my next adventure in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  I hope to return this winter to capture some of the beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula covered in a blanket of fresh snow. Maybe, if the stars align just right, I can hopefully meet up with some photography friends again.

    The October weather in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is ever changing so we always take extra precautions to protect our photography gear. During our weeklong trek around the Upper Peninsula, we all carried our photo gear in f-stop backpacks.

    Craig and Neil both carried their gear in Tilopa backpacks which gave them room to pack their photography gear along with  extra jackets and rainwear.  Aubrieta hiked with her Kashmir UL backpack stuffed with camera gear, along with so many extra gadgets, it would have made MacGyver envious. I carried a camera and four lenses along with rain wear in my Lotus backpack.  Neil and Aubrieta are both F Stop Gear Brand Champions.  

    You can find all of Jeff's work on his WebsiteInstagram and Facebook

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