Blue ice in Straits of Mackinac attracts photographers looking for perfect shot
Omar Abdel-Baqui, Detroit Free Press Published 6:00 a.m. ET Feb. 27, 2018
It's a natural phenomenon of epic proportion.
When the calming blue hue appears on ice — which is currently occurring in the Straits of Mackinac — residents look on in awe and photographers get to work.
"The blue ice is incredible, when it shows up, it's like these mountains of ice just appear on the shores out of nowhere," said Tori Burley, a photographer from Mackinaw City. "They're huge, I haven't seen a photo that truly does them justice on just how giant they are."
Jeff Caverly, a photographer from Essexville, said two years ago he and his brother were on the way to Tahquamenon Falls and were at a loss for words when they saw the blue ice under the Mackinac Bridge in the afternoon light.
"We grabbed our cameras and took a hike out on the ice to explore," said Caverly. "The ice had piled up and there were great views everywhere."
Burley said she advises photographs to try to shoot at sunrise or just before sunset to get the perfect shot.
"The lower light gives the ice the best blue glow and makes it pop a lot more in photos," said Burley.
What is blue ice and how does it form?
When lake ice is clear with no bubbles, it allows for short wavelength light to penetrate and scatter in the water below and reflect back through the ice, said Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Field Scientist George Leshkevich.
He added, "In deep, mid-lake water, where chlorophyll content is low, the reflection of the water can make the ice look even bluer."
If you want to see the blue ice, you'd better be quick. As the seasons change and temperature rises, the ice in the Straits of Mackinac is beginning to melt.
"The crazy part is how they can disappear so quickly after showing up. Just a day or two and you can completely miss it," said Burley. "It's amazing, and it doesn't happen this big that often, which makes it even more exciting."
For the full story complete with photos, please visit: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/02/27/blue-ice-straits-mackinac-attracts-photographers/374782002/