photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

Me and Ernie

As I was going through my image library in Lightroom tonight, I came across a photograph of Ernest Borgnine and I on the set of a movie we were working on in 1999.

I hadn’t looked at the image in a long time and it brought back a lot of memories.

It made me think of two other images I made in the same small area up in northern lower Michigan.

The first image (of my friend Tom covered in stones) was made at Pyramid Point in Leelanau County Michigan, near where I grew up.

We were walking along the beach there one beautiful summer day and I asked if  I could make a portrait of him covered in smooth beach stones.  He reluctantly agreed and we made the image you see below.

That day – like most days back then – my camera was loaded with my favorite film for landscape photography – Fuji Velvia 50.

At the time, it seemed like it was everybody’s favorite film for landscape work.

Although the golden late afternoon light looked good on my friend’s face in the original color scan, I ended up liking it better as a black and white image. So I converted it in Lightroom and warmed it up a bit.

photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

© David Moenkhaus

Tom in rocks – Leelanau County, MI

When we were done with that shot,  I rotated my tripod a few degrees and made the image below.

photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

© David Moenkhaus

That’s super clear Lake Michigan water on a calm summer day, and the thin black strip that seems to be floating on the horizon is South Manitou Island.

In the photo, the tiny white dot (almost exactly in the center of the island) is the lighthouse seen below.

photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

© David Moenkhaus

South Manitou Island Lighthouse

Latitude: 45.00755
Longitude: -86.09397

I made the image above of the lighthouse from aboard the tall ship Madeline while

working on a movie with Ernest Borgnine called “The Treasure of Sawtooth Island  in 1999.

In the shot below, we were on a tugboat just offshore from Leeland, Michigan on a very overcast day.

Ernie’s screen time in the movie is pretty short but he was a blast to work with, his stories were great and he was a gentleman.

I really miss that guy.

photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

© David Moenkhaus

The young, swarthy gentleman holding the now antique-looking, Arriflex 35mm BL II motion picture camera is me.

The gentleman on the right is Ernie Borgnine, of course.

Nikon 35ti  Kodak Ektar 100 color negative

South Manitou Island - Leelanau County Michigan

South Manitou Island – Leelanau County Michigan

I’ve learned over the years that when an area on a map is green, it’s usually part of a preserve, park, or other natural area, and I always try and go there.

In this case, the green area on this map is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a big part of my childhood.

I’ve also spent a considerable part of my adult life there too and it’s a special place to me.

All the images in this post were made in a little triangle – South Manitou Island, Leeland Michigan and Pyramid Point.

This part of Lake Michigan also happens to be famous for being a very difficult area to navigate during bad weather and therefore there are many shipwrecks in the area.

Click on the map below for more about the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve

Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve

Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve

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