Wind and Waves at the St. Joseph North Pier

Heading Up North To Catch the Waves

Thursday on social media I was seeing photos and videos of Lake Michigan alive with activity with a north wind. My friend Trevor Mahlmann and myself went up to the St. Joseph lighthouse to see just how strong the waves were. If you are not familiar with Trevor he has a cool lighthouse project he is working on right now. You can view one of those posts here. I had an idea in mind heading up there for sure that could be pretty cool. The waves would have to be pretty high for it to come about though.

The Waves and Wind Were in Abundance

One thing that I noticed when I stepped out of the car near the pier was that the wind was very strong. It nearly blew my baseball cap off so I switched to a stocking cap to protect my head in the wind. The thing about these photos is that you cannot get them if the wind is not strong coming from the north. It was a good sign, and we knew that we would be in for a show. When you get out and see just what the wind and waves can do it really is something else. These were small waves compared to what an ocean can produce. I can only imagine watching some of those huge waves in action.

Taking the Drone For a Spin

The first thing that I did was to take my drone up and over the action. As I started to go out over Lake Michigan I decided to turn on Facebook live again. You can see that video here. I really like showing people some of the cool places I can go with this drone. It was not easy getting the drone out to the end of the pier. The strong wind made the drone work, and I wasted about half of my battery just getting out there. Once out there though I was able to take some time to have some fun with the scene. I was almost immediately rewarded with a nice wave as I set up my over the top shot. In fact I was not quite in position, but I think that it worked just fine. That photo is the one immediately above this paragraph. The shot at the top of the post was one that I had to wait on for a while. There is no rhyme or reason as to why the waves do what they do. They just suddenly make a big splash so to speak.

One other interesting thing about the photo above is the two distinct water sources. The very dark water is the water from the St. Joseph River. The lighter colored water at the top of the picture is Lake Michigan. I love it when I can find a place where two bodies of water meet. It makes things just a bit more interesting to me.

What Was He Thinking?

After I was done flying the quadcopter I got my 400mm lens out to try some photos. As I was making my images from shore I noticed a man running out to the end of the closest pier to me. I wondered just what he was thinking. As he stood there with his phone pointed at the pier a huge wave hit it. At that point I think he rethought his plan and made a run for the end. I thought his jog away from the waves made for a good photo so I placed it here.

A Wave of a Good Time

After watching my friend Trevor travel to a few lighthouses now it was great to go out and photograph one with him. I am not nearly as pretty as his last assistant, but I hope that I was okay for just a short trip. Due to our schedules we had about an hour to spend at the lighthouse. Traffic on the way there ensured that we could only visit the one lighthouse, and that the Michigan City Lighthouse would have to wait for another day. One thing that I have found out in the past week is that I love how my quadcopter can help me make some interesting pictures of the lighthouses that I encounter. I will have to visit a few more of these before this year is over. I have one in mind for sure that I need to visit. I will have more on that in a future post.


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