Submitted by: Stephen Lehman
For the busy adventurer Location: https://goo.gl/maps/NWQqUdsrGQx Cost: Free Hours: Always open What to expect: beach, beautiful sunsets
Hello my fellow Indiana beach goers. I am beyond excited to write about Stop 7 in Michigan City! Stop 7 was one of the first beaches I frequented when I moved into this area back in October of 2013. It’s easily accessible (assuming you land a parking spot) and its just far enough away from the city to feel secluded. The location link above will lead you to the boardwalk leading to the beach at Stop 7. There are three public parking spaces, one of which is for handicap tags only. Otherwise, you would have to ride a bike or some other form of transportation to this location. Parking is pretty scarce from Stop 2 all the way to into Michigan. It’s mostly private property, but back to the point. As you walk down the boardwalk, you will be met with this gorgeous sight:
I arrived just after a short rain storm. The sky cleared up and I knew I was in store for an incredible scene. Every time I head to a beach, I always feel rushed to beat the sunset, only to be reminded that just because the sun disappears doesn’t mean I’ve somehow lost all opportunities for a good photo. All the images in this blog were taken after sundown. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but for about an hour after sundown, blue hour takes place. It gets its name from the blue tint that is produced by the indirect sun light. I took my time walking down the boardwalk to the beach. The air was crisp and I knew that as soon as I came over the hill, the wind would cut right through me. Slowly, I walked to the top of the hill. The wind wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be, so I continued with excitement towards the beach. The clouds were immaculate that evening.
The shelf ice, mixed with the glowing colors of the sky and water made everything feel dreamy. There are times when I’m out that I feel like I’m in another world completely. It’s usually my phone buzzing or hunger that brings me back down to earth. I try to leave my phone in the car when I can. It helps me escape from work life and such. I hate being alone, but when I’m exploring outdoors, I would almost prefer it. I walked down to the beach so I could see the shelf ice a little closer. It was still in its infant stages. The shelf ice has been minimal this year compared to the last two where almost the entire lake was frozen. On my way back to the boardwalk, I couldn’t help but snap a photo of the NIPSCO skyline. Sometimes it’s industrial nature can be alluring. NIPSCO helped frame the near perfect blue hour sky.
As I made my way back to the boardwalk, I noticed some water had puddled on top of the wood. I’ve seen photographers use standing water in a vast array of creative ways. I decided to give it a go. The photo below is what ended up happening. Once I snapped that photo, I knew I had a keeper. In post-production, I messed with blues until they looked just as I wanted them to. The black in the foreground is actually beach grass extremely out of focus. That is one of the perks of having a prime lens. If you don’t know, a prime lens has a fixed focal length (no zoom) and is able to extremely wide apertures. If you have questions about the basics of photography, I would love to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me here: Contact Stephen.
Just before I left, I noticed how beautifully the benches would frame a shot. It made me feel like I walk off the boardwalk and into the dune grass to see what I might see. Life is full of choices and the majority of the time it’s better to take the “off-road”. Of course, that thought makes me think about the famous line from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by…” As cliche as it might sound, it is most definitely something to consider when making choices. Are you taking the easy road for the simple fact that it’s easy or should you take the harder road to achieve something greater? You see, these are things that go through my head when I’m out at our beaches or exploring our dunes. Don’t hesitate to go outside, even if it means being uncomfortable. After all, the “road less traveled by” is rarely comfortable.
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