The Dreamy Daisies and Lupines of the Northshore of Lake Superior

 In Lake Superior, North Shore

I just came back from a 45-day, 800-mile kayaking expedition and found the ditches of Cook County full of flowering Lake Superior lupines (or lupins or lupinus) and daisies. I love these flowers almost as much as I love bloodroot (my favorite). To me these late spring and early summer bloomers make everything on the northshore of Lake Superior feel dreamy. One of the best parts of living in Grand Marais is that we have abundant wild flowers that bloom throughout the spring, summer and fall. Although I don’t post many macro photos of wild flowers, my family tends to believe that my macro work is among my best (I prefer my winter shoreline photos).

Photographing lupines can feel difficult. It’s hard to capture the feeling of all the color. I like to isolate the different colors against a green background or just fill the entire frame with color. I typically shoot lupines with a 105mm macro lens, but I also pull out my 70-200mm or my 300mm lens to really compress the space between the flowers and make it feel like the color piles on top of itself.

For daisies, I like to center one flower or use two flowers with parts of them leaving the frame. You might can it a habit to constantly frame daisies that same way, but the variations of the flowers, focus and depth-of-field make every picture feel slightly different.

Here are a few photos that I took — the first since being off the expedition. I hope that you enjoy them. Are lupine your favorite flower, too? How about daisies?

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  • Mike Houge

    I love the color & texture of the lupines but blue flag iris and cone flowers are fun to capture also. Thanks for sharing. Hoping to be able to get to your fall call this year, only time will tell.

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Mike. I love blue flag iris, too. I just found some that will end up with an unique capture if I can get there with the right light. Hope you can make the class. It’s always a good one.

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Rosebush Creek waterfall on Minnesota's north shore.Portrait and senior photo in Grand Marais, MN