lake superior

Whitefish Point, Michigan

It’s one of those rare places on Earth: the point of something, as far in as you can go, surrounded by water and stories and wreckage.

Whitefish Point, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, is just such a place. The home of shipwrecks (and a museum) on ol’ Lake Superior, it’s only bested by Copper Harbor to the west.

Whitefish Point: Little Details

Imagine a beautiful white sandy beach bordering a lake far too cold for swimming, with driftwood everywhere – like the bleached bones of some mammoth sea creature. From the beach, you can look north and see Canada, just gentle bumps on the horizon, with Superior everywhere else.

Whitefish Point: Wrinkles in Time

Whitefish Point is one of those places that make Michigan Michigan.

A few months back, I landed on a monograph by Edward Weston, one of the greats. I appreciated his landscape work (even more so than Ansel Adams), and especially his detail work of the seascape in California. The textures, the tones, the detail. He had a knack for capturing objects like they were organic, or even human.

Whitefish Point: Wave Crest

So I gave that mindset a try with the driftwood at Whitefish Point, along with a few photos of the scenery.

I didn’t try to match Weston’s color so much as his attention to detail: the little grooves and bends of the driftwood, the feel of the sand, the man-made desolation.

Whitefish Point: Smoothed

Using the Fuji X-E1’s black and white film emulation mode, specifically with the red filter, I was looking to grab the sky in a dramatic way, too. It was a warm day that day, but there was a breeze, and it felt like some storm could ruin everyone’s beach day at any moment, sweeping south from Superior.

But no storm came. Just gulls and the wind from the lake.

Whitefish Point: Water V