A Little Northern Inspiration

August 17, 2013

bryan hansel northern lightsI get a lot of my creative inspiration from nature and the North shore of Lake Superior is a favorite spot. Went to college in Duluth and a drive up the shore was a something we did to escape for a few hours after a big exam or sometimes when we should be studying for one. Even years later, I still enjoy just being anywhere along Highway 61, north of Duluth but the further north the better! There is nothing like that cool, clean air along the big Lake, especially when you are escaping the hectic lifestyle of the Twin Cities.

I play around a bit with photography myself and have for years so I especially enjoy looking at great photos. I first heard of Bryan Hansel a few years ago when  client took one of his workshops and came home with some amazing photos that we framed for her. Then another client did the same thing. So I looked up his info on the internet and started following Bryan on Facebook. At first I just liked looking at his pretty pics and was a little jealous of his “good luck” finding. He always seems to have just the right angle and light for his photos.

But as I read his posts, I realized that his “good luck” looks a bit like hard work! He doesn’t just “happen” upon the beautiful scenes you’ll see all over his website and facebook page. He puts a ton of thought and preparation in scouting locations and putting himself in the right spot at the right time. And sometimes Bryan chases pretty pictures at the drop of a hat, or in this case, the buzz of phone. (See below)

Now, I’ve got to find some time to venture north and take one of Bryan’s photography seminars and find a little of my own “good luck” shooting some pictures. Anyone want to join me?

Here is, in part, what he wrote on Facebook:

Last night just before I went to bed, my northern lights app on my phone started to go off (I use Aurora Buddy for Android), so I gathered up my gear, which was scattered around my office (I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to organize) and then went to one of my favorite places to photograph the northern lights, but nothing was going on. The moon still had an hour before it was going to set, so I drove up the Gunflint Trail to check out an idea I had for Milky Way photography, waited for the moon to set, got the Milky Way shot and then drove further up the trail to see if I could see the northern lights. 

They were out and I shot this picture. I’ve shot this location in winter for northern lights and always wanted to do it in summer, because the treeline is so nice. The lights were pretty dull to my eyes, but the camera captured the greens. I dig the clouds in this one. Please, share.


–Tami Phillippi. Tami is a professional custom picture framer and owner of Frame Minnesota Eagan. She and her staff love to consult with clients and help them chose just the right treatment for displaying art.  




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