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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cold Duluth Harbor

Image and text by H. Brian Rauvola
Steam from the relatively warmer water of Lake Superior rises due to the arctic air above. This may not look like all that much, and it really is not, but it was another test of my Gigapan system. 252 image stitched this panorama resulted in a 4.87 gigapixel image. For the FULL version of this image, go to where you can zoom into very small regions of the image.
Click for full resolution Gigapan
I used a Gigapan Epic Pro robot to capture the images using a Nikon d800e (36 megapixel) and a 300mm f4 Nikkor with a 1.4x teleconverter (420mm total.) The capture took 30 minutes and the processing with my 32GB RAM and SSD drive system took just under 1 hour.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Football Playoffs

Photos and text by H. Brian Rauvola

Shoe String Tackle:

Just out of Reach:

The Two Harbors Agates and the Proctor Rails matched up for a second round section 7AA playoff game in Proctor. The Rails prevailed in the match that was tighter than the 27-12 final score implied as Two Harbors had the opportunity to take the lead with under 4 minutes left in the game.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Le Festival des Montgolfieres -- Duluth's first hot-air balloon festival.

Photos and text by H. Brian Rauvola
Though conditions were not optimal and no balloons took flight, Duluth's first hot-air balloon festival was a success.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Spin Collective

The Spin Collective is a Duluth based group of fire dancers. If you have a chance to see them perform around town, do it! These women are amazing!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

CAF AirPower History Tour - Duluth International Airport

The B-29/B-24 Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force brings together the aircraft, pilots and crews from over 70 CAF units across the country to create the AirPower Squadron – an ever changing assortment of military aircraft touring together to bring the sights, sounds and smells of World War II aviation history to audiences across the United States. The premier bomber of WWII,  FIFI is the last flying B-29 in existence.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Last Place On Earth

“After 31 years of fighting Big Brother they have succeeded in locking our doors. So we can’t even sell you a shirt, can of pop, or cig. We will return to court on Tuesday trying to re-open. Also Monday the Feds will start the process of putting the owner away for 900 years!! You can enjoy everything we sell at other stores, just not here. We’re sorry our Constitutional Rights disappear, losing our freedom daily. Legalize Hemp & Cannabis!!!! Thanks for your support. PEACE and LOVE” – Jim and Crew L.P.O.E

Monday, July 29, 2013

Portrait of a Leader: Duluth Mayor Don Ness

Photos and text by H. Brian Rauvola

With no hint as to the motive, the question was posed to the Mayor, "What are your most cherished accomplishments?" With little hesitation, the reply was twofold: 1) reducing the City's retiree health care unfunded liability by $186 million, and 2) stopping the sanitary sewer overflows into Lake Superior (the plan, according to the Mayor's official website, went under budget and ahead of schedule.)

The reason for this question was to gain insight and inspiration for a unique, high(er) end portrait session encompassing aspects of the Mayor's tenure of which he is especially proud. The obvious choice seemed to be down in the storm drains!

It was posed to the Mayor as "Ultimate Portrait," and through a bit of scouting and negotiations, you are seeing the results. The top image is a 6 image composite, 5  light-painted images stitched into the background panoramic captured before the Mayor arrived, and one of the Mayor once he got on scene. Lighting was one mini soft box on a Q-flash with a reflector camera right.


The next image is also a composite of light painted background images plus separate exposure of the manhole and light from it. Mayor Ness was lit with the same Q-flash/softbox located high camera right with a reflector camera left, plus 2 speedlight kickers, one directly behind the Mayor and one at an angle from camera right.

Thank you to Matt Moses for the initial contacts with the right people and the City of Duluth employees who made this session possible, especially my main contact Program Coordinator Todd Carlson.

A big thank you also goes to the assistants during the session: Dick Anderson, Deb Carroll, Crystal Detlefsen, Matt Moses, and Joni Tauzell.

Local videographer Al Skomers of was also on hand throughout the process and has produced a video of the experience (shown below.) A special, "thank you," goes out to Al for volunteering his services to capture this!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tall Ships have Arrived

Photo and text by H. Brian Rauvola

The 2013 Tall Ship Festival is underway in Duluth and what a majestic sight it is! Here, crew members of the Peacemaker hoist up a sail in the morning hours today. This is the first trip this Tall Ship has made to a festival in Duluth.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Annual Park Point Sandmodeling Contest Summer Beach Bash and Water Safety Expo   

This event was sponsored by City of Duluth Parks and Recreation, YMCA and Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant.

 Little Kingdom (below) Making of the Minion (above) and the largest beetle I have ever seen (left).  Also below - the cold water challenge and the making of the Kingdom

The day included sand modeling by kids of all ages, hula hooping, beach cleanup and water safety.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lake Superior Art Glass

A complete torch-work glass studio with the gallery featuring glass artwork of all types made by artists in the Midwest. This includes stained, fused, torch-worked, furnace worked and more!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Rose Garden on London Road offers so much beauty, relaxation and of course, many many Roses for everyone to enjoy.  It is a place for families, for someone who just wants to absorb beauty without driving far and for people who come to read in such a beautiful place.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

June 2013 was the 10th Annual CHUM Rhubarb Festival on London Road.  There was plenty of activities for the whole family
including a kids fun run, kids activity tent, music, speech students
sharing their talents and of course food.  Any kind of rhubarb food that you could think of from rhubarb crisp to rhubarb brats and pies galore (made from each of the churches belonging to CHUM).


Music in the Rose Garden

Photo and Text by H. Brian Rauvola

The Windjammers played for this Thursday night concert at the Rose Garden. Each Thursday this summer at 7:00, a local band holds a free concert by the gazebo!

Sailboat Regatta

Photo and text by H. Brian Rauvola


Each Wednesday in the summer, we are treated to the sailboat regattas on the lake. Just another reason why we love it in this town!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

All Pints North Summer Brewfest 2013

The 2nd annual All Pints North Summer Brew Fest celebrated beer brewed in Minnesota (plus a few selected regional and national craft brands) by members of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. This year's event at Bayfront Park was completely sold out! Beer samples flowed from 40+ craft brewers and local food trucks and food vendors were on hand when you needed to grab some grub.

"The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild was founded in 2000 to promote Minnesota breweries, create an open line of communication between brewers, and showcase local craft beer at our events throughout the year,"

Musical Kegs or life size Bean Bag Toss for anyone? 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

New summer activity opens at Spirit Mountain

Photo and text by Michael Jordan

Cyclists can now ride the trails down the mountain and take the NEW “Spirit Express II” Chairlift back up to the top with their bikes. The new flow trail begins near the Spirit Mountain Adventure Park and ends below at the NEW Grand Avenue Chalet.

When you're inside the Chalet, be sure to try out the Lake Superior Grand Ave Ale brewed specifically for the Riverside Bar & Grill (open year-round).

Chalet location:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fishing pier and boat launch at Boy Scout Landing closed for the summer


Photo and text by Michael Jordan

Currently there is one dock, two boat launches and a fishing pier. During the summer starting after 4th July weekend improvements will be made to the storm water runoff, building an additional dock with two extra boat launches and accommodation for people with disabilities. The fishing pier will also be moved further up river to help keep fishing lines and boaters out of each other’s way.

Work is expected to continue through the summer opening the new site in October.

Site location: 

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Radisson Opens its Doors After Flooding 3 Months Ago

Photo and text by H. Brian Rauvola

Mayor Don Ness (left) with his son, Owen, is amongst the Radisson employees and general manager Jeff Briner during the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday evening.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

We Remember

Photo and text by H. Brian Rauvola

A veteran looks at the names of local men who served in WWII just before the May 27th Veteran's Day Program at the Gary New Duluth Veterans Memorial.

2nd Annual Duluth Smelt Run

Photos and Text by Amy Egan

The 2nd Annual Duluth Smelt Parade occured on a cold, rainy day in late April. However, despite the weather many Duluthians joined the Duluth Puppet Troupe to celebrate the smelt run.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Brewery Opens in Duluth!

After months of buzz and excitement, Bent Paddle Brewing Co. celebrated their Grand Opening May 16 -18! This isn’t just another brewery though; this one has an amazing Tap Room!  

Taproom Hours
Thursday 3-10pm
Friday 3-11pm
Saturday 1-11pm

And make sure to swing by on a Thursday for Food Truck Thursday where you can sample some of the great local food trucks!