The beauty of sunrise

North Pier Lighthouse at Presque Isle State Park


I was tired. But instead of rolling over in my bed, I dragged myself out and headed North to Presque Isle. I was hoping the sunrise would be nice. There were clouds but that only enhanced the beauty of the morning.

That’s just like life. Clouds will pass over us and sometimes even dump on us, and keep dumping. But then we come out on the other side of what happens to us and we’re better for it. We learn lessons from the failure and hurts and we’re better individuals. So don’t dread the clouds (unless they’re snow clouds lol) and get through it. Don’t let people get you down. Let your colors shine through. You’ll be a better person for it. And yes, I’m speaking from experience.

~ melissa michelle

Take care of yourself

Alpha Pass


I had a particularly difficult day. My stress level is high and I’m tired. So I went to my photography which relaxes me. As I look through the photos I almost feel like I’m in that place again – the smells, the coolness of the air, the path in front of me, water rushing beside me, the sounds of nature . . . . Are you picturing it too?

In this busy time of year, keep what’s really important close to your heart. Breathe deeply. Take care of yourself.

~ melissa michelle

Taking time

Little falls at Alpha Pass


Life sure gets busy. And stressful. Tis the season I suppose. I took some time for myself this morning, well me and my camera, and headed out to McConnells Mill State Park. I love nature. You can breathe deep and rest your soul. It was just what I needed.

The above was near where I parked at Alpha Pass. I hiked down the path and cut across to the waterfall. I traversed the rocks further down to capture this photo. The leaves are blanketing the ground, which adds some color to the photo.

I’ll post more from this morning’s hike later in the week. Make it a good one people and remember to breathe deeply every so often.

~ melissa michelle




Sometimes there’s no clear path. Do I go right or left? What exactly is at the center and how do I get there? They say happiness is in the journey. But what if you don’t know what journey you’re supposed to be on? I feel like this often, especially right now. Should I stay or should I go? Do I continue or reverse? Life is so very short and I don’t want it to pass by me.

I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life. Sometimes it’s best to move on and leave the past in the past.

No matter what labyrinth lies in front of you, don’t just stand there. Take a leap, take a chance, move forward and course correct if you need to later.

~ melissa michelle

The elk herd

Black & white elk herd


I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this photo. I liked that you could see many in the herd but the sky was blah, the foreground was blah, and I almost deleted it. Then I converted the photo to black and white. What do you think? My eye is definitely drawn to those horns! It was fun being out in nature and usually I like a lot of color in my photos. I think this one works for some reason, and, it shows off those bulls.

Enjoy your weekend, make the most of the precious time we have to enjoy nature and friends.

~ melissa michelle

Something different

Pittsburgh, PA

So I got to photograph with other photogs in Pittsburgh, PA. It was totally out of my comfort zone, as I’m more comfortable in nature but it was fun to try something different. I enjoyed talking with other photographers and learning from their techniques. This is a photo I was pleased with from the workshop. A bus turned through the intersection causing the light trails. I thought that was really cool!

It was a good experience and fun to do a shoot with other photographers. But don’t worry, I’ll post nature photos again soon! Let it be a lesson though – it’s good to try new / different things!

~ melissa michelle

Peek a boo . . .

Bull elk looking back


Here’s another photo from my weekend photographing the elk. There was a female not far behind and he was keeping his eye on her. I have many more to post but I just haven’t had the time. Life has been busy, more than I want it to be. But I will promise to get more photos up this week.

Make it a good week!

~ melissa michelle

Another adventure

Bull elk posing


This past weekend I was on yet another adventure – this time to Elk County in PA. We hiked all over the place and enjoyed spectacular views of nature and many elk. This bull elk posed for me before joining his friends to bed down for the day.

I can’t express enough how important it is to get outside and enjoy nature. Of course you must keep your distance when it comes to wildlife (I used a 400mm lens for this shot). Respect nature and she’ll put on a good show for you.

~ melissa michelle

Fungus but also beauty

Mushroom in the back yard


Here’s a favorite photo I took a couple years ago. I laid down on the ground with the camera and snapped two photos – the one above and one other of a mushroom about a foot away that was turned inside out. I just loved how this one was arranged with the flowers. It was picture perfect. So even though it’s fungus, I see beauty.

Due to work and getting things done around my place at home, my photography time has been limited. I want to make more time but other obligations need to be taken care of first. With that said, I have several trips coming up, one being a photography workshop in Pittsburgh which I’m absolutely excited about attending! Photographing the city at night is going to be quite the experience! I’m hoping the shooting location will be near a bridge so I can get that in the photo as well as the city! Stay tuned.

Don’t forget, while you’re running around taking care of life, look around at nature for just a minute and you’ll feel better about life.

~ melissa michelle

Playing with shutter speed & filter

The dam at McConnells Mill


McConnells Mill is one of my favorite state parks to visit any time of the year. I can visualize my next photo and know exactly what I want to capture. This morning I wanted to use my variable neutral density filter. I moved it to pretty dark (maybe 8 or 9) so that I could leave the shutter opened longer, 30 seconds for this exposure. That’s how I can get the smooth, swirling water flow. It’s just something fun to photograph.

I’ll post more from this morning’s shoot this week. But for now, enjoy the rest of the weekend and have a good week.

~ melissa michelle