Northern Michigan in Focus: Photographer Mark Lindsay - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Northern Michigan in Focus: Photographer Mark Lindsay

Posted: Updated:

These days everyone is a photographer.

Nearly everyone has a phone and is using it to capture everything from the mundane to the magnificent.

But for many, that's not quite enough.

In this week's Northern Michigan in Focus, we meet a man who goes to the extreme to get the perfect shots.

"It's a perfect beach day, that's what I call them, perfect beach day," says Mark Lindsay.

Howling winds, bitter cold, surrounded by ice.

"I wear spikes, I keep three or four under layers on, I have an ice rescue suit, I have a survival suit that I always have with me, rarely do I shoot in that without being with someone else and being tethered, but I do take all the precautions that I can possibly take to make sure I'm safe out here. It’s not to be taken lightly, I'm not a fool that way," explains Mark.

When no one else is at the shore, that's where you'll find Mark and his camera.

"In the elements, I am in my element when it's below zero and the winds are the highest. I really want to be covered in ice. I think you prepare yourself to shoot in condition you want to shoot in. I think winter is one of my favorite seasons. I love when the waves are up," says Mark.

It's days like these that make for shots like this.

For Mark, it's therapy.

"I chase the light, it chases me. The shore has been a great healing place for me to come and wander out in the beauty," explains Mark.

This journey all started with a walk.

"In 2009 I was out hiking along the Manistee River and I wanted to capture a couple of shots of what my eye was seeing. The camera I was using was not capturing it like my eye was seeing," says Mark.

So, he got a new camera.

"The first four months I overexposed a bunch of images," says Mark.

He joined the Traverse City Camera Club.

“I was a nervous photographer. I walked in to my first camera club meeting as a guest and my knees were knocking, it was, but really, it has turned into something," explains Mark.

Something spectacular.

"I typically shoot four feet lower or four feet higher, and once I learned to get down and actually change my perspective with my camera and actually let my lens do the work as far as getting scale or perspective, it shows you a complete other side of the beauty that most people will just walk across," says Mark.

Today, much of Mark's joy comes from not only taking these photos, but sharing them with others.

"The beauty that surrounds us also does include us, and I think it's important to realize that just by getting out in it, it does affect you and it does change you and it's changed many," explains Mark.

From France, to Saudi Arabia, to Missouri, he's bringing people to Northern Michigan without them having to leave home.

"The healing with other people, terminal patients, people who are missing something or who want to see something. Sometimes this is all it takes is a trip to the shoreline," says Mark.

A man whose hobby turned into something so much more, enduring the biting gales of winter, the frigid waters of Lake Michigan, sand covered in snow and ice, to make sure everyone can be a part of this majestic place we call home.

"It's became, it's definitely a passion. It’s something I’m chasing, I will never stop."

You can see more of Mark's photos here.