I miss Duluth!!! After spending 10 years here, my job relocated me to Knoxville, Tenn. This week I was in town for a business trip when a colleague invited me to go wakesurfing on “The Big Lake.” I steeled myself for the inevitable shock of getting into the lake, but I jumped into the real shock of 70-degree water in the bay!
Lake Superior, clear sky, 80 degrees, and a boat full of fantastic friends had me feeling the loss of moving away from Duluth. The end of the evening rolled in and it was time to go home, except I knew I needed that one picture to capture the moment. It was a Perfect Duluth Day! Can’t wait to be back.
I enlisted drone pilot videographer Riley Goss for help on this one. I knew the water was crystal clear and he would be able to see me underwater from above. I place the fish cam in 15 feet of water or so, in a trench between two outcrops, and then make a couple short dives to adjust it. Best part: the amazing tracking shot @1:10, where you can see what a beautiful underwater playground there is here at the Ledges. (No audio.)
Thomas Spence’s photos of the landscapes and wildlife of the North Shore have been published and featured in regional and national magazines and TV shows. His Instagram feed is filled with the critters that we all know are around, but rarely get to see so up close and personal. He talks about how he got started with his photography and the patience required to get shots like these.
TS: I have been taking photos with a DSLR for about seven years. I used to carry a point-and-shoot around on trips and gatherings, just to capture the moments with friends and family. I never really was into scenery or wildlife with a camera growing up. In 2007 I gave up a loooong drinking career and needed a new hobby. I wanted to take better photos and I wanted to capture two things. Waterfalls with that silky smooth look, and northern lights. I bought a little Canon digital point-and-shoot and was able to figure out how to do long exposures on it. I learned that camera and was able to get some northern lights photos and the waterfall look I was trying for. I was hooked. In 2011 I took a road trip through the Smoky Mountains and south to Kennedy Space Center. It was that trip that I decided I needed a “real” camera. I think I bought my first DSLR in 2012. Lake Superior, the surrounding State Parks and Superior National Forest soon became my daily haunts. I was mainly doing landscape photos, but I see incredible wildlife on a regular basis, so I knew I needed a long lens to add to the camera. I found myself going into the woods to search for wildlife a lot more once I had the “reach” with a long lens. I live in a great place on the Sawbill Trail in Tofte. When I leave home, if I turn left, I can be on Lake Superior in minutes for sunrise or sunset. If I turn right, I am in Superior National Forest where I see Moose, bear, wolves, lynx and more on a fairly regular basis.
There are a thousand ways to let your inexperienced children get themselves killed before they are old enough to know better. Letting them chase around and harass wild animals such as Canada Geese in Chambers Grove Park is as good as any. Check out this link to why letting your cute little 3-year-old daughter chase 50 wild geese in circles is an all around bad idea before you lose your mind over the stranger advising you against this activity, you silly lady.
The Slice follows the recreation group Mesabi Outdoor Adventures as members try out the new Red Head Mountain Bike Park, built on former Iron Range mineland near the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm, about 60 miles northwest of Duluth.