Imagine standing alone on a moonlit night on the deck of a 730-foot lake freighter somewhere on northern Lake Huron, taking photographs. This was the most memorable of many memorable experiences during six months of gathering material for my book of photographs Sweet Seas. Portraits of the Great Lakes, just published in Canada by Fifth House. (Sweet Seas will be released in the US and worldwide in early 2013.)
Cuyahoga River (Cleveland, Ohio)
My five days on the Mapleglen, a Canada Steamship Lines vessel carrying grain from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Port Cartier, Quebec, was one of two ship-borne journeys that gave me a unique perspective on the Great Lakes. I also had the pleasure of sailing on the Grand Mariner as a guest of Blount Small Ship Adventures on a 7-day pleasure cruise around Lake Michigan.
Iron ore dock (Marquett, Michigan)
Between April and October 2011 I travelled – mostly by car –around all of the five Great Lakes (the 17th-century French explorers called them the “sweet seas”) in both Canada and the US. I snapped about 10,000 photographs which I culled down to the 160 you will see in the book. I also wrote two essays for Sweet Seas: one describing the freighter trip and the other addressing the environmental challenges facing the Great Lakes today.
Janet Head near Gore Bay, Ontario
MV Indiana Harbor (Near Sault Ste. Maria, Michigan)
Dune Grass (Beverley Shores, Indiana)
Sweet Seas portrays the diversity of the Great Lakes region: not only the water and the surrounding natural environment, but also the ports, the locks and waterways of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the towns, cities and industrial zones. It was a great pleasure to produce it, and I hope you will enjoy it.
Technical note: most of the photographs were shot between April and October 2011 with a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III 35 mm-format digital cameras using lenses in focal length from 12 mm to 400 mm.
To Buy the book:
List price is $39.95 purchase for $24.04 at Amazon.ca
Fifth House Ltd. Markham, Ontario
Mark Schacter provided a previous article for the Canadian Nature Photographer "Bring on the Clouds" you can view by clicking here.