Posted by: kerryl29 | April 4, 2016

Photographing Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: A Photographer’s Guide

I previewed this about ten days ago, but the Photographing Michigan’s Upper Peninsula ebook is now available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo.

ebook cover

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula consists of more than 16,000 square miles of very lightly settled, mostly undeveloped land that is an absolute treasure trove for outdoor photographers, particularly during the fall color season (typically from the end of September through the middle of October, varying by specific location and the vagaries of each year’s timing).  Undeveloped forest lakes, gushing waterfalls, unspoiled Great Lakes coastlines, lighthouses, wetlands, rivers and seemingly infinite tracts of forest as part of a true North Woods environment; the UP holds all of this and much, much more.  For the outdoor photographer, this is about as good as it gets.

Creating a truly comprehensive guide to a place this large and this rich in photographic opportunities would be impossible, even after a full lifetime of exploring, and my co-author Andy Richards and I make no claim to have done so.   What we have done is create a guide covering dozens of our favorite spots as a means to assisting other photographers in their attempts to find locations that will get their creative juices flowing.

Included in all of our listings are comprehensive driving directions, GPS coordinates, suggestions for the best times to visit and, where appropriate, detailed individual locations notes based on our personal experiences.  Years in the making, the book runs 177 total pages and covers locations across the Upper Peninsula.

Here’s a sample of text, just to give you an idea of the contents:

Au Train Falls, Alger County, Michigan

Au Train Falls, Alger County, Michigan

Au Train Falls

The Au Train River—which feeds the falls—is dammed just above this location and the kind of experience you’ll get at the falls varies dramatically depending on the amount of water that the power company is releasing from the lake just upstream.


N 46 20.33 W 86 51.11


Au Train Falls is located in western Alger County, approximately 12 ½ miles from the junction of M-94 and M-28. Take M-94 west from the junction for about 11 miles to County Road 533 (Au Train Forest Lake Road) and turn right (north). In 0.2 miles, turn right on Power Dam Road and follow it—perhaps 1/2 mile—until you reach a gate. Park there and walk around the gate and down the road. A bridge crosses the river at that point.

Timing Considerations:

This waterfall area lies down river from a dam—you’ll see it on the south side of M-94 as you drive in, just prior to the turn onto County Road 533. There is an odd “timing” issue here. How much water is flowing through is entirely dependent on the power company that runs the dam. Most of the time, the flow is highly restricted and—as you might imagine—the site is entirely transformed when the floodgates are opened.

Kerry’s Notes:

Unless there’s just a trickle of water coming down river, it’s still worth paying Au Train Falls a visit. When the flow of water is limited, you have almost full access to the entire river bed as long as you’re wearing waterproof footwear. There are countless intimate cascade shots available here, and they’re all easily accessible. There are also a series of eminently workable cascades downriver from the main falls area, below the bridge, all of which can be accessed by wearing a pair of knee-length rubber boots unless the river is really flowing.

The area described above refers to what is known as “Lower Au Train Falls.” This means, of course that there’s an “upper” falls as well. That waterfall—which drops about 40 feet—can be seen from a pullout along Power Dam Road only about 500 feet above the gated area. The base of the upper falls can be accessed by descending into the ravine. It’s a bit precarious, so take care if you choose to make your way down there. It should be noted that full views of the upper falls are tarnished a bit by the presence of a huge drainage pipe that connects the dam with the power plant downriver.

The above is just one example, of many dozens, but should suffice to give you a sense of the layout.

If you have any questions about the ebook, please don’t hesitate to contact me.



  1. Congratulations, Kerry. I am looking forward to reading and absorbing the beautiful images.

    • Thanks very much, Ellen!

  2. Gorgeous!

    • Thank you!

      • Hi again, Kerry! Would you be interested in composing a short guest post on something to do with writing or travel (or pets or dance or libraries or public speaking) for my blog?

        • I’ve sent you an e-mail.

  3. beautiful place

    • Thanks–yes, the UP is quite beautiful.

      • deserves comment , it is a very good photo

        • Thank you!

  4. […] No; in my opinion, it’s not.   And I concluded as much when I wrote about this location in Photographing Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the ebook that Andy Richards and I published a few years ago.  Like most locations of this sort, […]

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