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North Shore Lake Superior Regional Event (September 11 – 14, 2023)

September 11, 2023 - September 14, 2023

Leader | Travel and lodging | What to expect | General Information




Event Overview

Monday, September 11, 2023 at 4:30 pm to Thursday, September 14, 2023 at noon.

Registration and Meet & Greet

Monday, September 11, 2023 at 4:30 pm in the meeting room at the AmericInn Silver Bay, MN (aka Black Beach Inn)

We will based out of Silver Bay, MN. Situated on the shore of Lake Superior within the heart of Minnesota’s most breathtaking North Shore scenery you will be within easy driving distance of towering cliffs, cobble beaches, waterfalls, and the historic Split Rock Lighthouse.

Craig Blacklock has photographed this coast for decades and taught numerous workshops at these same locations, so you are sure to be at the right place at the right time.

$625 NANPA Members/$825 Non-members

Maximum Number of Participants: 10


Craig Blacklock

Craig working on LIGHT WAVES project using hybrid camera system with 35mm digital camera mounted on a 4x5 inch field cameraa with a 300mm lens.

Since 1976, Craig Blacklock’s artistic career has been intrinsically linked to the interface of land and water in wilderness areas—most often Lake Superior. Over those 46 years his photography evolved from large-format color landscapes depicting what these places looked like; to black and white nudes creating an emotional connection to the landscapes by expressing what it felt like to be within their environs; to increasingly abstract imagery untethered from context. In his recent Light Waves photographs, the shoreline of Lake Superior and the sky above are seen only indirectly—reflecting as an amalgamation from the complex mirror of the water’s surface. In videos produced from these stills, images flow from one to the next like the waves themselves, with no distinct boundaries.

Blacklock’s work has been shown in over 35 solo exhibitions, including at the Museum at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Phipps Center for the Arts, Mill City Museum, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Minnesota Center for Photography, and Tweed Museum of Art. His 19 books have won numerous awards, including three gold awards from Independent Publishers, a worldwide competition. Blacklock was the 2018 recipient of the George Morrison Artist Award. Feature stories on his work have appeared in numerous national and international magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, American Photo, Lake Superior, and Minnesota Monthly. Blacklock has taught photography workshops and provided keynote lectures to camera clubs since 1982. His websites include:,,

Black & white photo of a waterfall. Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

Travel and lodging

The base for this event will be at:

AmericInn Silver Bay (aka Black Beach Inn after 8/1)
150 Mensing Dr
Silver Bay, Minnesota 55614

Check in time: 4 pm
Check out time: 11 am

NANPA is holding a block of rooms for event participants:

  • (8) Standard rooms with 2 queen beds
  • (2) Standard rooms with 1 king bed

The rate on each room is $184.95 + tax per night.  Total with taxes per night is $211.47.
The rate includes a complimentary breakfast from 6am to 10am. (The hotel will have breakfast available for our group starting at 5 am). The pool area is open from 8 am to Midnight daily

To book a room at this discounted rate:

  • Call the hotel directly at 218-226-4300 and ask for room block for NANPA Photography Association Group Block.

Deadline for reservations in the NANPA room block is August 31st, 2023.


Transportation to and from the hotel to the event locations is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.

    • Duluth, MN (KDLH) regional airport, one hour and twenty minutes south
    • Minneapolis / St. Paul (MSP), major airport, about 3.5 hours south


We will be starting each day from AmericInn Silver Bay (aka Black Beach Inn). Ridesharing is encouraged to reduce the size of our vehicle presence and improve the traveling/following experience. You are welcome to either drive or ride with someone. This is also a great way to meet people and make new friends during the event!

Note that NANPA does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.


All meals except Thursday brunch are on your own. The group brunch location for Thursday will be announced at the meet and greet.

Photo of a lighthouse on top of a cliff on the water. Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

What to expect

Monday, September 11, 2023 at 4:30 pm to Thursday, September 14, 2023 at noon

Registration and Meet & Greet
Monday, September 11, 2023 at 4:30 pm in the meeting room at the
AmericInn Silver Bay (aka Black Beach Inn after 8/1)
150 Mensing Dr
Silver Bay, Minnesota 55614


NOTE: Views of the Lake Superior shoreline are generally to the northeast and southwest. Sunrise opportunities abound, but there are few locations to see the sunset. That said, the colors over the lake at sunset can be quite nice. Sunrise 6:41, sunset 7:28. Weather conditions and the flow in the rivers will dictate when and where we go, picking from these potential locations, shown in order from southwest to northeast.

  • Gooseberry Falls State Park:
    • Waterfalls, bedrock and cobble beaches.
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park:
    • Historic and very picturesque lighthouse atop a cliff, bedrock, and cobble beaches.
  • Beaver River in Beaver Bay:
    • Waterfalls and spectacular overlook of Lake Superior. Great views in both directions right from the Highway 61 bridge.
  • Black Beach Boat Launch, Silver Bay.
    • Pebble and black sand beaches, headlands.
  • Tettegouche State Park:
    • Waterfalls, Palisade Head—a massive and picturesque rhyolite cliff,
  • Shovel Point:
    • Atop a sheer cliff face with tremendous views, rounded boulder and cobble beach, and unique vegetation.
  • Temperance River State Park:
    • River, Waterfalls, Pebble and bedrock beaches.
  • Oberg Mountain:
    • After a somewhat strenuous hike up a switchback trail to the top of Oberg Mountain you will be treated to numerous panoramic overlooks of Lake Superior as well as the forested Sawtooth Mountains inland. Watch for early fall colors.
  • Cross River:
    • Waterfall with the view from Highway 61 bridge.
  • Cascade River St. Pk:
    • Some of the prettiest waterfalls on the North Shore.
  • Grand Marais & Artist’s Point:
    • Small town with great restaurants and galleries. Artist’s Point.
  • Columnar basalt and basalt point.

Your leader will have visited the areas prior to the event and the field trip locations will be based on what is most photogenic at the time, weather conditions, etc.  These will be announced on Monday afternoon during the meet and greet.


Waterfall with fall foliage. Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

General Information

We will be based in Silver Bay, Minnesota during this regional event.

Please keep in mind that this NANPA Regional Event is designed to be a photo tour, not a photo workshop. In other words, there are no formal instruction sessions planned, there are no assignments, you will not be receiving any handouts or the like. That being said, your leader Craig has experience teaching photography and is available to answer questions and give you guidance. If you need help, please advocate for yourself and speak up and ask for help – Craig is happy to help. Be aware that many of your fellow participants may also be accomplished photographers in their own right and may be able to help you too.  Part of the regional event experience is the camaraderie that comes from sharing experiences and lessons learned among participants.

This tour is open for 10 participants to give each plenty of time with the leader and to retain flexibility based on weather and the best opportunities.

This event is designed for all levels of photographers – amateur, intermediate, advanced and professional – interested in improving their photography skills or looking for location guidance to capture images of this part of the north shore of Lake Superior.  If you are new to photography, be sure to ask Craig for help. He will be available to answer questions, explain techniques and in general help you improve your photographic skills.  If you already have plenty of photography experience, he will ensure that you’re in the best locations at the best times for those perfect shots.

Please know your camera before you arrive and bring your manual, just in case we need to look up something.


Please note that we will be hiking over rough bedrock and cobble beaches. Sturdy footwear is a must. The three-mile Oberg Mountain hike includes a climb on a switchback trail, and the walk up to the top of Shovel Point includes some sections of steep stairs. If you are unable to do those two hikes, your leader can offer you an alternative location.


Weather can range from the high 70s to below freezing, and there is often a cold wind off of Lake Superior, so bring layers that can keep you warm and dry. Sturdy hiking boots, gloves, or mittens a sun hat, and a warm hat.


  • Your normal camera equipment with wide to moderately long lenses. We will probably not be working with wildlife, so no need for any real long lenses unless you want to try your luck with peregrine falcons.
  • Be sure to bring extra batteries, charger, and your camera manual.
  • Tripod built for outdoor use.


  • Headlamp with red filter if you wish to do night photography, also useful for early/late hikes.
  • Laptop or tablet to review your images and (optional) a portable hard drive to backup images
  • Energy bars or other snacks


If driving into a Minnesota State Park, vehicle permits for cars are required. We strongly recommend you purchase your vehicle permit before leaving home, as park offices can be busy places and may not be open when you arrive. If you need to buy a vehicle permit at the park and there is nobody in the office, you can buy one online following the instructions on the self-service kiosk. Visit the website to purchase your vehicle permit online in advance.

Year-round vehicle permits

  • A $35 year-round vehicle permit provides unlimited visits to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for a full year from the month of purchase.
  • When you buy online, you will receive an email with a temporary permit to use until your year-round vehicle permit arrives in the mail.

One-day vehicle permits

  • A $7 one-day vehicle permit provides entrance to as many parks as you’d like to visit in one day. A one-day overnight permit is valid for the date of purchase through 4 p.m. the following day, so you can stay overnight with a one-day permit.

If people want to take a tour and get close-ups of Split Rock Lighthouse, they would need to pay an admission fee to the MN Historical Society at the site.

  • Pastel sunrise along a shoreline. Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

    Photo credit: Craig Blacklock

Regional Event Cancellation and No Refund Policy:  

NANPA will not offer any refunds for registrations for this event regardless of when the cancellation is made or the reason for the cancellation. NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. NANPA will offer refunds if NANPA has to cancel the event. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend. Registrants may purchase event insurance as part of the registration process through NANPA’s partner, Allianz. More information on this option will be shown during the checkout process for the event registration.

NOTE:  If you do not purchase event insurance at the time that you pay for your registration, you will NOT be able to go back and purchase it with Allianz later.

If you choose to purchase travel insurance separately, you can do so with your own insurance carrier, or NANPA members can receive a special travel insurance rate through USI Affinity/Travel Insurance Services.

COVID-19 Policy

NANPA is committed to the health and safety of all participants and leaders at any of our events. We have taken steps to reduce the inherent risks surrounding any public location where people are present. We ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety precautions and requirements prior to your trip. Masks are discretionary unless required by a particular venue, location, or governmental authority. 

You should evaluate your own risks when determining whether to participate. By attending this event and signing the NANPA Regional Events Liability Release you acknowledge and agree that you assume the inherent risks associated with your attendance.

Most importantly:
If you have been feeling sick or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days, PLEASE STAY HOME. If you have been exposed to someone, especially someone in your household, who has tested positive within the last 5 days, PLEASE STAY HOME.

NANPA follows the CDC rules and the rules of the state in which an event is held.  Those rules currently are:

NANPA will let you know if anything changes prior to the event.

We thank you in advance for your adherence and support as we work together to keep everyone safe. 

Thank You to NANPA’s 2022 Regional Events Sponsor


September 11, 2023
September 14, 2023
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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USA States/Territories
Type of event
On Location
Cost range
$625 - $825


AmericInn Silver Bay
150 Mensing Dr
Silver Bay, MN 55614 United States
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