Photographer finds beauty from above

The Munising Beacon proudly presents, once a month, another “Artist Profile”, a series highlighting local artists and community members that have a passion for bringing beauty into Alger County.

Have you ever ventured into the Gallery Coffee Company here in Munising and wondered who took the photographs that are displayed throughout the building? One of those artists, Patrick Hugener, owner of Head In The Clouds Photography, is the subject of this month’s “Artist Biography.”

Hugener grew up in Fenton, Mich. and originally spent 25 years working in grocery stores, starting at the bottom and working his way up to management. He spent a few years in Washington D.C. and Detroit before getting the opportunity to move up here to become Assistant Director of a grocery store in 2014. Going for hikes to explore the area and seeing the sights that Munising has to offer inspired Hugener to take pictures.

“At the time, I had a Samsung S4 and I took pictures of waterfalls, houses, even the shoreline,” said Hugener.

In the fall of 2015, Hugener got a Canon SL1 with an interchangeable lens.

“I started learning the exposure and aperture settings, what the shutter speed is, the ISO, and just composing, spending hours out there. I’d be in front of a waterfall, I spent all night just fascinated by the aurora,” recalls Hugener.

Besides taking the actual photos, Hugener enjoys the stages of the photography process and landscape photography is his favorite genre of photography to capture. He likes to visualize how the final composition will be and from there it’s time to go out and set up the shot. Then it’s time to make sure the light is right. If it is then the exposure, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings are set to capture the photograph. From there, the editing process begins and once all necessary changes are made, a final image is produced. What started as a hobby evolved into his photography business Head In The Clouds Photography.

“I think one of the biggest things is when I bought a couple houses from Amy at ReMax. She had followed my photography too. When I got my drone she was looking for someone to do aerial shots. I guess the partnership with Amy may have been one of the first things that caused me to start the business and we still do that kind of stuff together.”

Growing up downstate, he didn’t really have a chance to wander around in nature like he can here in Munising, much less a chance to take the photos he takes. He always has his cameras and his drones with him. If he sees something interesting he will pull over to try to capture it. A certain shot comes to Hugener’s mind when thinking of a day he had been travelling on M-28 going towards Marquette.

“I don’t even realize what I got until I get home but the first shot I got that day was a raccoon being flown away by an eagle. I mean, it was road kill, it was a dead raccoon, but still, a 15-pound raccoon being flown away by an eagle, so it was a once-in-alifetime kind of shot,” said Hugener.

Other than the landscape and the unique photos that can be taken up here, Hugener loves the sense of community in Munising. The closeknit aspect of this community isn’t something he grew up surrounded by and loves the change. He is thankful that the community has embraced him and his photography. Not only may you catch some of Hugener’s work if you’re wandering around Munising but you can also view and follow his photography, as well as contact him, on his Facebook business page, Head In The Clouds Photography.”