Category Archives: Picture

Equipment Does Matter; Equipment Doesn’t Matter

starburst and field of flowers

There’s a pseudo-debate in photography that has been going on for awhile, but it flares up now and then and it has recently. The debate goes like this: equipment doesn’t matter, because you can make good photos with whatever camera equipment that you have with you. The other side of the debate says, equipment does […]

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The Full Moon Shot behind the Grand Marais Lighthouse is in Jeopardy

grand marais lighthouse and full moon

In August, the full moon rises directly behind the Grand Marais lighthouse if you stand near the boat ramp in the campground and recreation park. It’s a popular shot to get and photographers come to Grand Marais specifically to get this shot. I’ve been in the location shooting the moon rising with up to 40+ other […]

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Photography is Exploration, Discovery and Reward

selfie night shot with headlamp

In January, I wrote about how I thought that Photography is Curiosity, Creativity, Math, Science and Imagination. It’s now March and I still feel the same (us creative types can sometimes change our minds quickly), but as I said when I wrote that article I feel that photography is much more than those five things. […]

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What Happens When You Stack Filters? Is it sharp enough? Is the color good enough?

Standing on fast ice next to Lake Superior. Minnesota

What a brutal winter, eh? But it has been perfect for photography. In Grand Marais, the sun rises over Lake Superior and it sets over Lake Superior, which is what makes it the perfect location for Winter Lake Superior Photography Workshops. And this time of year is when I start my first workshops of the […]

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Photography is Curiosity, Creativity, Math, Science and Imagination

Eight- to 12-foot waves break against the breakwater basalt near Grand Marais. The sun sets over the Sawtooths. Cook County, Minnesota.

One reason that I love photography is that it combines many different engaging elements, including some of my favorite aspects of life: curiosity, creativity, math, science and imagination. While photography is much more than just curiosity, creativity, math, science and imagination, when you start to practice and use these elements in your photography, your images will […]

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December Newsletter: Keep Your Hands Warm During Winter Photography

Sunrise over Lake Superior at Cascade River State Park, Cook County, Minnesota.

With the massive amounts of snow that we’ve gotten over the last few days, it’s hard to think back about November. November is always about changes. The land starts to freeze and then it thaws and then it freezes. It’s a fun, but challenging time for photography, especially because your hands start to get cold […]

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2014 Northern Nightscapes Calendar

northern lightscapes calendar cover

Over 2013, I shot the night sky more than usual and ended up with enough images to put together a night sky calendar. All of these images are of the night sky near Grand Marais. So, this year, there are two choices of calendars from me. You can get one for home and one for […]

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November Newsletter: The Prime Challenge

a tree over the clouds in the Smoky Moutains

Typically, October is a month of rest and recovery and calm in the northwoods. Grand Marais gets slow, the woods change from showy to a state of waiting for winter. It gets easy to find a seat in a restaurant and the weather is great. It wasn’t a calm month for me though. I ran […]

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2014 Northern Landscapes Calendar

cover of Bryan Hansel calendar 2014

The last year has been a good one for my photography. I’ve felt like I’ve really pushed myself to get outside and photograph more often, but I also feel like I’m making more images that way that I envisioned them. I think that’s reflected in this year’s calendar — although last year’s calendar was pretty […]

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September Newsletter: Basic Night Sky Lightroom Preset

person with headlamp standing under the night sky

August Wrap-Up August was a busy month in the Grand Marais area, it kicked in with Fisherman’s Picnic, then we had the Grand Portage Rendezvous Days and Powwow. That was followed by an extremely busy week for kayak guiding, which was followed by another extremely busy week of kayak guiding. And then, everything stopped and […]

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Free eBook: North Shore Impressions: Favorite Photos of 2012

North Shore Impressions

Over the last week, I’ve been looking back at the photos I took in 2012 trying to identify my best images of the year and my favorite images of the year. I also compared this year’s photos to last year to see how my style has changed (and it has changed!). My pictures in 2012 […]

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Northern Landscapes 2013 Calendar


My Northern Landscapes 2013 Calendar features images from the Grand Marais and Grand Portage area of Cook County, Minnesota. I took each of the images at some point during 2012, so all the images are fresh and some of the most liked of the year. Most of the images are of Lake Superior, but I […]

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Spring Waterfall Photography Workshop

Spring photography workshop on Lake Superior

In April when winter’s snowpack melts, it rushes down Lake Superior’s tributaries and over the numerous waterfalls.  The waterfalls thunder, the narrow canyons fill and the ground shakes from the excess water.  No other time of year allows for the dynamic photography of waterfalls along Lake  Superior.  Although we won’t visit the well-known and over-photographed […]

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The Grand Marais Photographer Newsletter April 2012

Lake Superior sunrise. Artist's Point, Grand Marais, Cook County

What a month March was in the northland. It got hot, the snow melted, it got cold, it snowed. The waterfalls are running, kayakers are kayaking and skiers are still skiing. It was an unusual March in Grand Marais. Usually, during March we photograph frozen shorelines and the breaking up ice pack, but this month […]

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The Grand Marais Photographer Newsletter March 2012

Cascade River State Park Sunrise

489 pictures out of about 1,500. That’s the number of pictures that I kept in February. Out of those 489, I had 70 that I considered worth flagging for adjustment. Out of those 70, I really love about 5 or 6 of them. Getting 5 or 6 photos that I love in one month is a […]

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January 2012 Newsletter – The Grand Marais Photography Update

Hovland Rock III - waves on Lake Superior

This year December seemed more like November, and November seemed more like December. Usually on the north shore, we get waves — lots of waves — in November, but this year it was relatively calm, and then December happened. Constant winds blowing across Lake Superior drove waves to Grand Marais and made for great photography. If you […]

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A Stream Inside a Circle

This photo is from the Kadunce River near Grand Marais, Minnesota.

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Lake Superior Winter Photography Workshop 2012

lake superior winter workshops

In February, Lake Superior starts to freeze. Thick sheets of pack ice get pushed up onto the shore making a maze of blue ice to walk through. This ice also makes an interesting subject to photograph — the deep blue of the ice contrasts with the splash of color during the sunrise and sunset, which […]

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