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Todd Reed: 50 Years Seeing Michigan Through a Lens

Todd Reed of Todd and Brad Reed Photo's avatar Todd Reed of Todd and Brad Reed Photo

This entry consists of one of over 350 Michigan images that will be in Todd’s new book, Todd Reed: 50 Years Seeing Michigan Through a Lens. “Todd’s Destiny” was made during a November squall of the Ludington Lighthouse. It will be printed on Performance EXT Metal for OUTDOOR or indoor use, which is specially engineered for extended life in the elements with a final size of 48 inches by 72 inches. “Like a giant teapot in a tempest, the Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse is almost completely engulfed in a roiling sea at the height of a November 1, 2020, storm. I observed this storm for more than three hours, photographing during times of peak waves and peak light. The light in particular changed dramatically. This was one of the rare moments when the waves were the brightest and the storm clouds the darkest. I watch and wait a lot, yet try to remain always ready to trip the shutter. The power and beauty of a Great Lakes storm blows out of the water all of my other favorite photo quest experiences. The adrenaline rush of photographing in the face of 70-knot winds as 25-foot waves rush ashore in a November gale powerful enough to sink a ship is an experience so intense that all my senses become immersed in experiencing the storm and focused on capturing the absolute peak photographic moments. When workshop students and visitors to our gallery ask what I like to photograph the most, my short answer is always “storms.” My more complete answer would be Great Lakes storms, particularly Lake Michigan storms, because I have lived nearby most of my life and because I have spent much of my life experiencing storms on Lake Michigan in the Coast Guard and on the Lake Michigan shoreline with my camera. I am at home in a storm. I understand and remain aware of the risks at all times. The Coast Guard taught me how to maintain situational awareness and constantly reevaluate the risk while on a mission. I have stopped short of capturing some magic moments with my camera because it was time to retreat from waves or lightning to a safer location. Staying alive means I get to chase after the next big storm. It also means no one else had to risk their life trying to save mine because I was careless. I am never ashamed to wear a life jacket or carry along a rescue heaving line to try to help save someone less prepared. Semper Paratus!”

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth:
  • Medium: Photography
  • Width: 72 inches
  • Year created:
  • Height: 48 inches