There’s something about the scenery, vistas and landscapes in Mason County that catches Grant Klein’s eye, inspiring him to capture the beauty he sees so he can share it with others.
Klein is a fledgling photographer; more than a hobbyist, and perhaps someday a professional, as he devotes more and more time to the art form each year.
A land man for Western Land Services, Klein spends as much of his free time as possible walking through trails in Ludington State Park and gazing at the lake from Stearns Park beach, capturing images of the lakeshore.
The outdoors is comforting and serene, he said, and photography gives him an opportunity to experience and document it.
“It gives me an excuse to get outside,” Klein said. “Life gets kind of hectic, and it’s nice to slow down.”
Photography has been a snowballing interest in recent years for the Scottville father of three, but it first caught his attention while attending Mason County Central High School in the early 2000s.
“I’ve always been interested in mechanical things, but I always thought cameras were cool. I had those little 35-millimeter point-and-shoot cameras in school,” he said. “I took a photography class at West Shore … and that really took it from just snapping pictures of friends and things to actually thinking of it as an art form — putting thought into the images and not just haphazardly taking pictures.”
He took the class from renowned local photographer Todd Reed of Todd and Brad Reed Photography just as the dark room was starting to fade from relevance in the wake of new innovations in digital photography. He learned some of the ticks of working with film, and it ignited a passion for black-and-white imagery.
“I still shoot in film, and the process appeals to me. Developing the film and making the image is part of the fun,” he said, adding that he likes the feeling and style of black-and-white images.
“I like the timelessness of it … You see the light more,” he said. “You can ‘wow’ with a color picture because the colors are so intense, but with black and white it’s more subtle.
“And you’re paying more attention to the contrast and the shadows and the bright spots, so if you just have this flat, grey picture it’s not going to be very interesting.”
With most dark rooms out of commission, Klein had to adapt to continue using film. He processes his film images using a portable, black, film-changing bag at his kitchen sink.
See the full story and photos in Monday’s Ludington Daily News print and e-Edition