The ‘very best of mother nature’

Bar Lake woman photographs Northern Michigan outdoors

MANISTEE — Even as a child, Eve Hansen was a shutterbug.

“I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures and I truly believe we should all find our passions, and that is one of mine,” Hansen said. “It makes me feel good. I meet lots of wonderful people on my ventures taking the pictures.”

Raised in Bar Lake, Hansen grew up near what she calls “the very best of Mother Nature” in her backyard.

“I went to sleep by the haunting sounds of loons, and I woke to the wild noises of the woods such as flocks of ducks and geese,” Hansen said. “When you live on the water, two bodies of water – because I was only a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan – you get to see not only the smaller critters and the small life but then you get to hear the big sounds of the lake and the larger birds.”

This environment became the inspiration for the creation of a photography book entitled ““EVE” Woods Woman of the Northwoods,” which she has planned to release later this spring. An official release date and how to obtain the book will be announced at a later date.

Featuring 160 photographs, or what she calls “visual interpretations,” the book is divided into four sections, one for each of the four seasons, with photographs taken since last March in Manistee, Benzie, Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties.

“The idea of writing the book was always on my bucket list,” she said.

After a visit to her orthopedic surgeon for a foot injury, Hansen found the time to start compiling the book.

“I chose to put all my energy toward taking photography and writing the book. It took me 10 months of hard work,” she said.

She designed the front and back cover of the book as well.

Bill Ferguson, of Hokanson’s Camera and One Hour Photo in Manistee, assisted Hansen by printing all of the photos and helping to lay out the book.

“I really tried to encourage her because I think her photos are artistically laid out well,” Ferguson said. “The way she see things in her composition … you can feel what you’re seeing.”

He said there was “great care” given to each photo and its spacial relation to the poetry; the book contains 12 pieces of poetry.

With Ferguson’s help, the chosen photos were whittled down to those found in the book.

“I didn’t hide my opinions,” Ferguson said. “I’ve been around it a long time. I’ve worked with that as to what works and what doesn’t from a technical standpoint.”

She was very explicit in directing that very little Photoshop work be done to the photos.

“I think it was done to convey a sense of purity of the images and to show how pretty it is where we live,” he said.

When writing the poetry, Hansen asked herself what visitors to Manistee, or Michigan in general, would think of when they thought about those locations.

“To mind came the beach, the water, the lake, the wetlands, the sand dunes. Those are the parts of nature that I wrote about,” she said.

She believes the poetry compliments the “visual interpretations”.

“We all have a great appreciation and respect for the out-of-doors, therefore we tend to marvel at the beauty, and it has so much to offer,” Hansen said. “You have all the outdoor activities for each season.”

The book wasn’t just something for Hansen to do; it was created with a goal in mind.

The images may help those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, helping those affected to retain their memory, similar to how music therapy helps those with the ailment.

“When these people … see a pop of color, their eyes light up and they have facial expressions,” Hansen said.

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Posted by Sean Bradley

Sean is the city and cops and courts reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the entertainment and Reasons to Celebrate pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3109 or sbradley@pioneergroup.com.

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