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Wordless Wednesday: Model T

Model T in front of old Ford Motor Company

6 Ways to Get into the Christmas Spirit in Michigan

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Christmas music is on the radio. I’ve already watched a few cheesy Christmas movies. Ribbons and garland decorate the lampposts. All we need now is snow (which it doesn’t look like we will be getting before Christmas). Here are some ways to get in the Christmas spirit around Michigan.

The most obvious place in Michigan I can think to celebrate Christmas is Frankenmuth. A charming downtown full of unique shops, you’re sure to be able to cross everyone off your shopping list here. Dine in one of two restaurants offering family-style chicken dinners. You will find every decoration you never knew you needed at Bronner’s, the world’s largest Christmas Store.

My presents are already wrapped and are waiting for Christmas under the tree.

Drive through the beautifully lit Wayne County Lightfest (top). This is a tradition for my family and even though we go through it every year, it is always so much fun to see the lights! The lights stay up until New Years Eve so there is plenty of time to make your way out to Westland to see them.

Stroll through downtown Rochester and experience The Big Bright Light Show. All the buildings downtown are completely covered in colorful lights throughout the month of December. It is really unlike anything else I’ve seen before and is worth a visit if you haven’t checked it out before.

Get some of your holiday shopping done at Christmas Market. Eastern Market in Detroit has 7 dates this year to shop for Michigan-made gifts for everyone on your list. On the west side of the state, check out Kerstmarkt in Holland. Open select weekends before Christmas, Kerstmarkt is reminiscent of a European Christmas Market.

Village Tree

Explore a mansion traditionally decorated  for the holidays. There are few beautiful houses around the state that are open for tours around the holidays. Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester is open for tours this time of the year. They even stay open later select nights so you can see the estate lit up in holiday lights. The Ford House in Gross Point Shores is open to tour all year, but it is especially beautiful around the holidays. If you plan to visit, be sure to get there are early as tours sell out fast. The Manor House at Concordia University Ann Arbor is open for touring one weekend a year. Its a unique experience featuring a festival of trees and a traditional Christmas Market.

My favorite has to be Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village (right). Walking through the Village at Christmas time is like taking a trip to Christmas past. Sing carols on a horse drawn wagon ride. Watch historic cooking demonstrations. Ride a Model-T down lantern-lit streets. Listen to carolers and musicians playing all types of music. And the night ends with fireworks and a Christmas Carol sing-along. I look forward to it every year now.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. What did I miss? Tell me in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit

Wordless Wednesday: Webster House


Returning to the Village

20180429-20180429-DSC_0018This past weekend, we made our first visit to Greenfield Village of the season. At this point, it almost doesn’t feel like spring until I get to soak up the sun in the Village. It was hard to believe that our last visit had been for holiday nights just a few days before Christmas. Now, the grass was green, the trees were beginning to bud, and everyone seemed to be glad to get to be able to get out of the house.

The first thing that caught my attention on this visit was that the train whistle sounded different. When we got closer, the reason for that became clear. It was a Day Out With Thomas and the train had been transformed into Thomas the Tank Engine. I’m sure if I had watched the show this decade I may have recognized that whistle at once, and I’m sure all the kids I saw with their Thomas balloons were very excited to get go on a ride on the famous train. This special event definitely seemed to bring young families to the Village.

We made a stop at the Cotswold Forge and the light coming in the window illuminating the blacksmith tools really caught my eye. It took a few tries to illuminate the shadows enough so as to not have a lot of noise. Being that this structure was built in the 17th century, I thought black and white was appropriate.

If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit


Railroad JunctionThey say the best camera is the one you have on you, so I have been making a point lately to leave the DSLR at home and to work on my iPhoneography. Will my phone ever become my serious camera?  Not anytime soon. But, this practice is good because I don’t bring my DSLR with me everywhere I go and there are times when all I have with me is my camera phone. I want to be able to get the most out of those photos.

Just like you would never shoot your serious camera in auto mode, to get the most out of your phone photos, you have to get away from the native camera app. I use the Lightroom Mobile app (which is free and you don’t have to have Creative Cloud to use it), but there are other quality shooting and editing apps out there. Before taking the picture, the app lets you adjust your exposure, white balance, and your focus point. On the iPhone 7, Lightroom is able to shoot in RAW which is awesome because after the fact, you are able to get more out of your photos. After you take a picture, Lightroom Mobile allows you to do basic edits of the image and then you can save it to your camera roll and share it out on social media.

I recently did a comparison between two photos of the same thing, one of them was shot with my D3100 (which is not a high end camera by any means) and one was shot with my iPhone. While the iPhone camera has come a long way, and apps like Lightroom Mobile allow you to be more creative with your images, it still does not measure up to a DSLR.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Spring in the Village


I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for Greenfield Village to open up again for the season. We had a beautiful day this weekend and we had to head over for our first visit of the season. One of my favorite places to visit is always the glassblower shop. The people who work here are amazingly talented and they are so fun to watch. We also rode the train and got an interesting lesson in the history of gasoline (it was more interesting than it sounds, I promise) from the driver of a Model T. It is always fun to step back in time at Greenfield Village! I can’t wait to spend more time there this season!

Photographing glassblowers is tricky because it tends to be dark in the glassblower shop and of course, they are moving around in there so a fast shutter speed is key. So, I popped on my nifty fifty and had to deal with the limited focal range. I set my ISO to 1600 and opened my aperture to f/2.5, that gave me 1/160 shutter speed and allowed me to freeze some of the motion.

Thanks for stopping by! To plan your visit to America’s Greatest History Attraction, visit If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Carolers

Village Carollers

Holiday Nights

Village TreeThis Christmas Season, I was finally able to do something that I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember, attend Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village. Its a staple of the Christmas Season in Metro Detroit and I had never been! Holiday Nights begins at 6:30 and goes until 10:00 and those three and a half hours flew by! We rode a Model T and had a Christmas singalong on a horse drawn carriage. We  saw Santa and his reindeer. We listened to carolers, a fife and drum corps, and warmed up around the fire and enjoyed music from Michigan’s Troubadour. Some of the historic homes were open and were cooking period appropriate holiday meals and you can sit fireside and watch dramatic retellings of classic Christmas stories. The restaurants were open and additional tents were around serving holiday treats and warm beverages. They even have ice skating available, but I didn’t think that was the best idea with my camera, so we skipped it. The night ends with a singalong and fireworks. We went on one of the coldest nights we’ve had so far this winter, but between the warm houses and the various fires set up around the village, it didn’t seem that cold. I was truly surprised by how much fun we had. I think Holiday Nights will become part of our Christmas traditions for years to come! If I’ve talked you into checking it, be aware that tickets sell out weeks in advance, especially for Fridays and Saturdays before Christmas, so when they go on sale, I wouldn’t sit on the fence too long or you might not get the day you want.

About the Photo:
Honestly, I didn’t do too much to this photo. The painted look it has came from the fact that my lens was a little fogged up. Apparently when its that cold, putting your gloved hand over your lens (something I tend to do in crowds to protect my lens) fogs it up. Between that and the poor high ISO performance of my entry level camera, it actually gave the photo an interesting look. This was shot in RAW with basic edits done in lightroom.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens, hand held

Date Taken:
December 18, 2016

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For more information about Holiday Nights, visit The Henry Ford.

Wordless Wednesday: Fall on the Farm

Fall on the Farm

Fall in the Village

Baling Hay

Fall is probably my favorite time to visit Greenfield Village (America’s #1 History Attraction) in Dearborn, Michigan. From the harvesting of the farms to the historical fall cooking in the houses, in my opinion, fall is the best time to experience the Village. And probably the best part about in the village is the food! I love eating at The Eagle Tavern! When you sit down at The Eagle Tavern, you sit down to a meal in the 19th century. The servers wear period clothing, there are not electric lights, and the recipes are the same that would’ve been enjoyed in the 1850s. All ingredients are locally sourced and the menu is seasonal. Which means, if you enjoy good fall cooking like I do, you can’t go wrong with The Eagle Tavern at harvest time!

About the Photo:
During my last visit to the Village, it was hay baling day at the Firestone Farm. The workers were using period appropriate farm equipment and the hay was flying! With this shot, I tried to capture the workers, the equipment and the hay in the air.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 55-200 kit lens, handheld

Date Taken:
September 26, 2015

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. To plan your visit the Greenfield Village visit

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