Up North: Duluth photographer dives deep for perfect shots | www.WDIO.com

Up North: Duluth photographer dives deep for perfect shots

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: May 05, 2021 10:51 PM
Created: May 03, 2021 11:30 PM

Lake Superior's force and beauty draws thousands to her shores. After spending years capturing stunning moments from the beach, one Duluth photographer started diving deeper for the money shot. Now thousands are following his underwater adventures online.

"It's cool to see I guess other people enjoying it and maybe inspiring some other people to get out there."

25-year-old photographer George Ilstrup loves sharing his art with fellow Lake Superior fans on his Instragram account @georgeduluth.

The North Shore is one of his favorite scenes to capture, however a few years ago he grew tired of shooting from the shore.

"So the obvious next step was just to jump in the lake," Ilstrup said.

Now the Duluthian jumps into waves, kayaks through ice caves, or straps his gear to paddle boards in order to focus in on the perfect subject. 

"It takes a lot of preparation. I usually like to go out for sunrises so it just takes a lot to get the gear ready in the morning," Ilstrup explained.

To prep his equipment Ilstrup usually stakes out a spot an hour before golden hour at sunrise or sunset.

For shooting in the water he uses a special waterproof housing unit where he can places his regular camera inside. "Then you just need a thick wetsuit, and that's kind of it."

Waves, while fun to shoot, can be dangerous due to currents and their sheer force. He recommends knowing your limits and getting out when becoming too tired or cold.

"I'd say it gets a little more extreme in the winter months when it's really cold, and that's usually my favorite time to get in the water with all the icicles and cooler conditions."

To those willing to invest in the gear, Ilstrup says, dive on it.


Alicia Tipcke

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