Rainbow Power

copyright Kim Nixon


copyright Kim Nixon


copyright Kim Nixon

In the past I have described my home as having an almost romantic view of Lake Superior–just hold up a hand and block out the two sticks of the Shiras Steam Plant. Now I get to illustrate that. Last night while Mike and I ate chicken curry, I looked over his shoulder and saw a huge rainbow and all I could manage to say is go grab your camera. Quickly we determined we had to get past the electrical wires of our neighborhood and drive down to the waterfront approximately 4 blocks away.

The first capture is from the backyard, zoomed of course. The two photos that follow are on the shores of South Beach. This is where my electricity comes from, a coal power plant ran by the City of Marquette–the Shiras Steam Plant. We have two power plants here in Marquette this one and the power plant at Presque Isle. Both are a huge part of our landscape, skyscape, and the light plays off the stacks in many ways that capture the imagination. I even have photos of coal and limestone piles that I will share with you one day. The limestone is used by the local iron mines in processing pellets. They offload at the power plant(s) from freighters or what you might call barges that travel the Great Lakes.

As some of you know I have been suffering from a headache since Sunday September 28th. I first thought it a migraine, then the flu, and now I am thinking migraine due to the intensity. I know one thing, it most likely has to due with the barometric pressure and the low weather front that is hanging over head. Therefore I will count these photos in my Migraine Madness. I cannot believe, as weak as I was yesterday that I even managed to tie my shoes. But I did and I took 12 photos when normally I would have shot 100s. But I like these. I have some on weird slants that I need to re-angle somehow. I will poke around and see if I can figure it out and let you see some more magic rainbow light.


About kimnixon

Upper Peninsula Michigan Artist and Writer

Posted on October 2, 2008, in In My Own Backyard, Migraine Art, Ordinary Day and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I love these rainbows. The colors are so vibrant. I don’t have a DSLR camera, just a digital/video camera that does a pretty good job, but one of the things I’m dissatisfied with is the way the camera captures color. It’s not quite bright enough. Then, I don’t have photoshop, so I try to figure it out with Picasa and usually don’t end up feeling totally satisfied. Someday, I want to devote more time to photography. I find it to be so satisfying.

    Were you a natural at photography or did you learn as you went? Right now for me, if I take 100 photos, I usually end up with 2-3 that are really great, so I’m still working on it! I like to see what other people do because it gives me ideas and helps me look at things in a new way.

    Thanks for the link to your photostream. That picture of the hollow tree is really something. How did you do that?

  2. When I first started taking pictures I was using a Fuji Disposable camera and developing at Shopko. I upgraded to a DXG 5.1 for under 100.00. This camera had a veiwfinder that pulled away from camera and slanted-which I loved! The camera was a good step-up but I was not happy.

    Now I have a Canon s5 bought for under 350.00 at Dell when on sale. It is not a full DSLR. I could never hike the way I do with a full size camera.

    I do use photoshop. An old version. Usually it is only to do slight corrections with brightness in contrast when I have been in less than optimum condiutions. Sometimes I increse the hue. On the rainbow photos I increased hue by 18 on the double rainbow over the lake and on the stak without rainbow photo.

    I am a self taught photographer. Never had a class. I am a natural, I guess. Amd I ahte the way that sounds. Does it sound arrogant?? I point and shoot and get good shots. Then when my photos got some notice I thought–gee–I better learn something, now. So, now I am studying and learning. I am always trying things. Taking risky shots. Playing. I think that is what works–the playing.

    I see you playing in your shots. the love of the outdoors, textures, your family, that all comes thru in your photos. I also see you playing with light and contrasts. Youa re catching moments. Joy. I see lots of joy thru your children and your viewing of them.

    Digital cameras have made it possible for everyone to becoem a photographer. It has taken away the cost of film–yeah!

    Oh, you asked about the tree. Two years earlier I went to the tree and took a shot with a Fuji Camera. I loved it. I went back this August with my new Canon s5 and took a few shots, one with flash. The shot is looking up toward the sky fromthe rots of the tree. purposely put myself int he photo. Again, my Canon s5 has a screen that I can slant and such. I noticed by mistake that I was getting in my own photos so decided to go for it.

  3. I don’t think it sounds arrogant at all to say you are a natural. Something I’ve noticed is the balance between thinking too much about taking the photo and just point and shoot. One thing I have to do with a lot of my photos, is straighten them. It’s funny, but almost always, when I take a landscape photo with a skyline, the skyline is slanted. Lately, I’ve been trying to keep that in mind when I shoot, but I don’t want to THINK too much or I miss things that I wish I had (especially birds, nature, kids). I’m trying to think about how I frame a picture, contrasts, if my settings are going to make the picture work etc. I think the artistic part means that you are able to automatically do some of these things without having to stand and think about it. Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t know much about it. Just some observations. Oh, one other thing I’ve noticed is that it helps to just get out into the world. It sparks my imagination to see new places and I’m almost always thinking about what it would look like through the lens of my camera (How would I catch that picture? Where would I stand? WHY oh WHY don’t I have my camera on me?? LOL) That’s one thing I loved about the U.P. There are so many different landscapes up there not to mention all the great close-up possibilities. One thing I’d like to improve on is creativity within the confines of my home and yard (i.e. not feeling trapped just because I can’t travel).

    Anyway, it’s really fun to hear you talk about your photography. And thanks for the compliments. That made my day!

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