Through the lens of Mark Mesenko: Western Montana’s striking beauty

If Mark Mesenko ever leaves home without his camera, he's missing the next remarkable photograph.

If Mark Mesenko ever leaves home without his camera, he’s missing the next remarkable photograph.

“I love to chase the light on Montana’s ever-changing landscapes. My camera lives in my lap, and I experience anxiety when I leave home without it.”

Beautiful scenic photographs shown on www.skybluewaterspress.com were taken by Mark Mesenko. More of Mark’s stunning images of Western Montana are available on his website. I know he would appreciate a visit.

Mark Mesenko is an award-winning photographer and a fourth-generation Montanan with roots in Anaconda and the Bitterroot Valley. He is firmly bound to the landscapes he captures in his photographs.

Mark’s love for photography began at 10, when his grandmother bought him a Kodak Instamatic 110, a couple of boxes of flashcubes, and a photo album. He joined an after-school photography club and learned the basics of darkroom processing. Most of his early photos were of family pets and Hot Wheels cars, but Mark was also intrigued by trick photography. An appreciation for rural life came during summers spent on the family ranches and farms in the Bitterroot Valley, which remain a favorite subject today.

Take me to Kevin's books: One Woman Against War, Summer of the Black Chevy, Jerry's Riot

 

Here’s what Mark says of his photography:

I love to chase the light on Montana’s ever-changing landscapes. My camera lives in my lap, and I experience anxiety when I leave home without it. I need to capture and share the fleeting moments that command my attention—and that means I often careen onto the shoulder of the highway or make instant U-turns when I’m driving. (You must sign a release to ride with me.)

Early on I focused on shooting photos of wildlife, especially birds, and that evolved into a greater appreciation for the environment around them. But I still can’t explain the desire that wakes me at 5 am and trudges me out on finger-numbing mornings or marches me to mountaintops just before dark or leads me on seemingly aimless journeys that ultimately reward me with an image.

I credit my mom with my love of old barns—in my younger days, she asked me often if I was born in one. Now I feel compelled to preserve these structures with this wonderful medium. Someone must do it.

I think of my images as windows on a world that most people aren’t fortunate enough to see. I’m grateful for these glimpses into inspiring beauty. Gazing into one of these images—or even through one—can evoke a Zen moment. I thank you for sharing these moments with me.

And thanks, Mark, for sharing your talent with us.

Photos by Mark Mesenko capture the special beauty of western Montana.

Photos by Mark Mesenko capture the special beauty of western Montana. Here he shows a country home in the Bitterroot Valley near Stevensville.