Self Contained 2012

Whitefish Bay, Michigan  (2012)

I've just returned from nine days alone (with my dog) on the road exploring virtually the entire coastline of Michigan. Twenty seven hundred miles round trip from Philadelphia. Following the entire Eastern shoreline of Lake Huron along Route 25 up and around the tip of the thumb, down to Bay City and then up Route 23 to Cheboygan. From there I crossed the Makinac Bridge and spent four days on the North shore of the Upper Peninsula along Lake Superior, and then the last two days driving down the Western shoreline of Lake Michigan along Route 22 before heading home yesterday. Nine days of driving wherever the road led and the map looked interesting.

Every night was spent in a different State Park right on the beach with a sunset view like the one above. With only one exception on the first Saturday night of the trip every park was virtually empty and I had the entire place to myself. Lonely at times and a challenge for sure, but a meditative retreat in the best possible way. This was my sixth trip to the Great Lakes & North Woods area of Michigan and Minnesota.  Eighteen thousand miles driving what I consider to be the most beautiful coastlines of the United States. I always return from these trips renewed and uplifted.

I returned to find all of the work submitted on the final days of the Self Contained call while I was away. 250 photographers sent in almost seven hundred images and now begins two weeks of curating this project with a fresh set of eyes and a quiet mind. The work and the statements are beautiful and well thought answers to the theme and I will enjoy every minute of the selection process. Thanks and appreciation to all who participated this year.  Selected photographers and the winning entries will be announced on October 20th.