Sunsets Inspire Lake City Photographer
Susan Barnowski with some of the images she’s captured of Lake Missaukee sunsets. Through a special process at The Wooden Gallery in Traverse City the photos have been made to look as if they were painted. (Photo by Lynn Elliott)

Sunsets Inspire Lake City Photographer

The Missaukee Sentinel
March 11, 2005 | Volume 15 | Issue 16

Sunsets Inspire Lake City Photographer

By Lynn Elliott

LAKE CITY–During the summer months, and even all occasional winter day, Lake City photographer Susan Barnowski can be found waiting anxiously for the twinges of color heralding the coming Sunset. Camera at the ready, Barnowski takes full advantage of the view afforded her and husband John by their waterfront property on the shores of Lake Missaukee to capture images of brilliant, flaming sunsets.

“I basically shoot anything, but sunsets are my main interest right now,” Barnowski said. ” Lake Missaukee has the most beautiful sunsets.”

The Barnowskis visited Lake City for several years, John since the age of five when his uncle built a cabin in the area. They have been married for 38 years and both hail from Royal Oak . But, after living in Troy for 35 years, the couple finally moved permanently to the home they had made on the beach and visited for 15 years.

The breathtaking sunsets they were frequently treated to combined with Susan’s life-long love of photography to inspire her. Barnowski traces her interest in photography back to when she was just five or six years old, when her parents gave her a camera and turned her loose.

“I tortured my family and my poor little kitty, taking pictures all the time,” she recalls. “I always liked taking pictures. Then in 2002 my children gave me a digital camera and I started taking pictures all the time, especially once we moved up here permanently to live on the beach.”

Some of the images Barnowski has captured include swirling skies full of vibrant, flaming colors over a placid, dark-blue Lake Missaukee; to an interesting shot taken when the ice was beginning to recede. In that particular photo, she was able to show the setting sun still suspended brightly in the winter gray sky as well as reflected an the thinning ice and an expanse of water opened and ready for Spring.

“My family and friends started complimenting me a lot and encouraging me all the time, so I decided to try my hand at being a professional at something I loved doing so much,” said Barnowski.

As a result, Barnowski has accumulated an impressive collection of Lake Missaukee sunsets, some of which have since been converted through a special process at The Wooden Gallery in Traverse City to look as if they were painted rather than photographed.

Further encouragement, and some helpful criticism at times, came from the owner of The Wooden Gallery. Some of Barnowski’s work will soon be available at The Wooden Gallery, while other pieces can be seen and purchased at the Marina Restaurant in Cadillac and the Lakeview Motel and Gift Shop in Lake City. But, whether the photographs sell or not, Barnowski has found her eye to appreciate beauty and the satisfaction that comes through artistic expression. Using a camera instead a brush, Barnowski appears to have found her medium.

“There are nights I have to ask ‘Are you ever coming in?’” – John added.

“It’s wonderful to look out at the beautiful lake and see a sunset like those we get here,” the photographic artist explained. “Every night is a new picture.”

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