Hey there and welcome back for another week of the 2018 photo challenge! This week I went to a Michigan Cider Mill and snapped a few photos to break into the Fall season.

There are countless apple cider mills that are now open in Michigan, but my friends and I went to Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill in Plymouth, Michigan. It was a relatively small cider mill with a petting zoo, an expansive farm, a pumpkin patch and a wide selection of baked goods to purchase.

Michigan Cider Mill Plymouth Orchards Apples Photo

Bags of fresh apples for sale at Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill!

Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill History

Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill’s history goes back to 1977 as a woman-owned family business with Mary Emmett establishing the orchard as a “veritable touchstone for her community.” In 2013 the mill transitioned to become fully organic and it now boasts solar electric panels to produce up to 70 percent of the electricity it needs to function year-round.

My favorite aspect of the orchard was the baked goods with plenty of apples, donuts, fresh cider, apple pies and bread, caramel apples and honey combs. I spent my fair share on baked goods, drinking a half gallon of apple cider in one sitting and combining ice cream with heated apple pie for a delicious midnight snack. I’d highly recommend the doughnuts as well. The cider itself has earned various accolades including Michigan’s Best Apple Cider at the Great Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market and Greenhouse Growers Expo as well as a Best Cider Mill Donuts award.

Michigan Cider Mill Plymouth Orchards Farm Photo

A lot of land made for some great photo ops during the hay ride!

My Favorite Michigan Cider Mills

For my next trip I’ll have to go to Yates Cider Mill, the Dexter Cider Mill or the Franklin Cider Mill to Michigan pick apples, head into a corn maze or choke down some hard cider, but the Plymouth Cider Mill is a free family-friendly mill that’s good for a quick 30-minute adventure if you’re looking for something to do.

Wiards and Apple Charlies are my personal favorites as the best apple orchards in Michigan, but there are other Michigan Cider Mills and apple orchards in Northern Michigan that could give them a run for their money to get the Fall season off to the right foot.

Michigan Cider Mill Photo Edits

Michigan Cider Mill Plymouth Orchards Goats Photo 2

The goats were adorable, but were quick to nip at your fingers if given the opportunity.

In terms of photo edits for this week, the weather conditions provided for some beautiful photos of the farm animals and the property that I shot during the tractor ride.

Here are the photo edits that I made for most of my photos in this week’s challenge in Adobe Lightroom:

  • Contrast: +30
  • Highlights: +30
  • Whites: +30
  • Clarity: +30
  • Vibrance: +30
  • Saturation: +30
  • Yellow Saturation: -100
  • Blue Saturation: +80
  • Blue Luminance: -27

While most of my edits are in line with what I do every week, I did play with desaturating certain colors to provide a more subdued look in the farm animal photos while increasing the saturation to make the landscape photos more vibrant.

Michigan Cider Mill Plymouth Orchards Goats Photo

The desaturation of the yellows in this photo really draws more focus on the goat.

My new camera, the Pentax K3 II, allows for a variety of color settings I can set to adjust the colors in my DNG files without me doing any kind of tweaking post-processing. I really like the more subdued look when subjects are involved and it’s an editing style that a lot of photographers are adopting.

The clarity of my photos with the new camera body is night and day compared to my Pentax K-50; it cost a pretty penny, but it was worth the investment (I also didn’t have much of a choice as my K-50 body started exhibiting symptoms of aperture failure during my trip up North to Hale, Michigan last August).

What did you think of the photos from this week’s photo challenge? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment’s section below along with your favorite cider mill! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out last week’s photo challenge where I explored tonal contrast with my favorite model or next week’s low key lighting photography challenge.