He Saw, She Saw The Art of Autumn

While every season offers photographers reason to grab their cameras and head outdoors, fall’s lessened crowds and vibrant hues ignite inspired new perspectives. // Photography by Stacy Niedzwiecki and Steven Huyser-Honig
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Trap Hills Vista

“Trap Hills Vista”
Photography by Steven Huyser-Honig

“I was intrigued by the alternating horizontal rows of gold and grey interrupted by the white trunks and smattering of green seen from the crest of this ridge while hiking a loop trail to Cascade Falls.”


Married and the mother of two active boys, she’s the busy owner of a freelance graphic design studio. He taught middle school science and math before taking some shots to complement his wife’s newspaper articles and later embarked on a new profession.

She resides in Rockford outside of Grand Rapids, with childhood roots to an 80-acre farm in upstate New York.

Now in Grand Rapids, he’s a native of suburban Chicago whose first Michigan ties were forged by family vacations.

As one was heading out and the other about to start, Stacy Niedzwiecki and Steven Huyser-Honig met through the Glen Arbor Art Association’s Artist-in-Residency Program at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. While these seasoned photographers savored the two weeks they each independently spent focusing, unhurried, on the region’s artistry — and their own — they also became friends over a day afield together.

“Steve is thoughtful and deliberate; I’m very random,” Niedzwiecki reflects. “He was following along behind my car on the road when I spotted a lovely pastoral barn scene. As I excitedly pulled over, grabbed my gear and ran out into the meadow, I looked back to see Steve, down on his knees in the low grasses.”

“It was a unique opportunity to experience our different responses to various situations,” agrees Huyser-Honig. “And it was fun to see that though we had very different approaches and styles, we both came up with compelling images that reflected our unique artistic vision.”

Each new fall season throughout the state creates scenic new frames of opportunity for both photographers, whose autumn inspirations can be enjoyed here and amongst others on their websites, stevenhuyserhonig.com and stacyn.com.


Mallard Duck

“Mr. Mallard”
Photography by Stacy Niedzwiecki

“In fall, it’s a treat to see the iridescent-green head of a mallard reflecting in Rockford’s Rogue River.”


Solitude

“Solitude”
Photography by Stacy Niedzwiecki

“I stopped in my tracks alongside a road with high traffic to witness the sunrise and fog swirling over Silver Lake near Traverse City. The blend of a single tiny island, mysterious fog and mix of autumn colors was breathtaking.”


Gala of Grass

“Gala of Grass”
Photography by Stacy Niedzwiecki

“Small details of grasses backlit in rapidly setting autumn sun at Pyramid Point in Port Oneida, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore made for such interesting visual texture  elements and color.”


M-22 Barn

“M-22 Barn”
Photography by Stacy Niedzwiecki

“Just south of Empire on M-22, the interesting row of yellow trees directly above this iconic barn attracted me immediately, while the field served as a beautiful anchor point.”


Costume Party

“Costume Party”
Photography by Stacy Niedzwiecki

“My kids found these unusual leaves beneath one of our own backyard trees; I suspect they were in the very middle of their metamorphosis.”


Autumn Reflection

“Bond Falls Reflection”
Photography by Steven Huyser-Honig

“I’m intrigued by reflections — they present a chance to see more deeply into a scene and appreciate what is often overlooked. Although Bond Falls in the western U.P. rivals Tahquamenon in scale and beauty, I’m glad that I explored more fully the series of smaller cascades and ledges above it, where I discovered this subtler, simpler hidden gem.”


Silver Lake Dunes

“Silver Lake Dunes”
Photography by Steven Huyser-Honig

“I have a personal connection to Silver Lake in Oceana County, where we rented a cottage for a month when I was a kid. I think it was that experience that led me to make Michigan my home.”


Fall Fantasy

“Fall Fantasy”
Photography by Stacy Niedzwiecki

“I was attracted to the twisted vine element and moss-covered boulders at Townsend Park. The golden light shining through the mist made me half-expect a fairy to appear.”


Frost Rimmed Leaves

“Frost-Rimmed Leaves”
Photography by Steven Huyser-Honig

“I found these one early morning on the path to Lower Tahquamenon Falls. The day was warming and the frost was melting fast; it felt like a gift to capture such a fleeting experience.”


An exhibit of her fine art canvas pieces can be enjoyed at the Lake Express Muskegon terminal through 2013’s travel season (lake-express.com; stacyn.com). More of his work can be perused in his book, “The Michigan You Love: Favorite Images from Steven Huyser-Honig’s Michigan,” available through stevenhuyserhonig.com and regional retailers.


Lisa M. Jensen is editor of Michigan BLUE Magazine.

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