Posted by: David Vernon | September 8, 2010

Project Double Take 17 – Mackinaw River

“Where has the year gone,” he asked inquisitively – already knowing the answer. Wow.

Welcome to Project Double Take #17 – the Mighty (Little) Mackinaw River – one of just a handful of projects we’re squeezing in here at the end of the year.

I have to admit – I picked the Mackinaw River for a PDT for a couple of reasons. It is one of the quintessential rivers in Central Illinois – stretching 125 miles from start to finish (in the Illinois River – the other famous river around these parts). It is also very accessible in those miles – with countless places to photograph it along its path. One of the best reasons for me to pick it however is the simple fact I live just a stone’s throw from the river and for once I wouldn’t have to go all over hither and yon to find a spot (although I encouraged Stacy to drive all over kingdom come to find a shot).

And being a homebody, both of our shots were made close to home (for me). Stacy and I wandered out to Locust Road in southern Tazewell County where we inhabited one of the many abandoned bridges over the Mack. We also did it late on an almost full-moon night. And while we both made shots of the river facing the moon, we both ended up with lengthy exposures using the moon as our light source. I affixed my good buddy Sam the Fisheye to my camera and made this very sky-oriented shot facing due west and mostly up. Over almost 20 minutes the moon did a great job of lighting up the river and banks and showing me some stars. It also lit up the bridge rather nicely which was a good thing as there are many spots on that bridge where one can drop through to the river 5000′ feet below (it might be closer to 15′ but everything seems bigger in the dark).

Since Stacy and I both had shots we liked from the bridge, we decided – in an effort to showcase two different view – to head out again a few days later. And finally, standing under the bridge on Springfield Road, just a half-mile west of our Locust Road bridge, Stacy made her shot near sunset. I also made a similar shot – although mine was darker. We flipped a coin (not really) and she won – and she used her shot. Fate is funny that way (especially when I make it all up). You can head over to her place for her counterpoint to my story.

So go figure – 125 miles of possibility and we made our two shots just a half-mile apart and both just a mile or two from my home. Life is funny sometimes (no – no it isn’t. Sheesh.)

Hey – we’re also publishing PDT Special Project #2 next week – a little something we called “Out of Illinois”. I think we both really like our shots from this so stay tuned – good stuff ahead.

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