Behind My Favorite Photos

“They have no thoughts of the morrow. All they are thinking about is how to capture and communicate this experience. An artist is present. And from this stillness comes brilliance.”

Ryan Holiday

I think anyone who gets invested with photography has a new favorite photo every few months, at least. While developing the craft, taking note of your progress is an incredible thing to see. Usually when someone takes a photo, it’s what they’re passionate about. Trying to convey a sense of meaning that others don’t see until you lock that frame in. The fundamentals of photography when it comes to manual modes suddenly flows naturally. Manual mode is its own necessity if you want more control and you’d like to use a film camera in the future. Anyways, lets jump right into these photos and the main reasoning behind these shots!

Polaroid Lab

This has to be one of my favorites for 2020 looking back on this. Product photography has always been a challenge for me. When I visited NYC, I saw a studio box which creates this really sleek approach to anything you use it with. After I bought it, I kept testing new things. This photo came along during my time spent when we all were in quarantine. Looking back, I was very grateful to have this moment in life. It helped me pursue creativity and gain more insights through reading. With more time to think, along came this product shot. I hung up two of my film photos from Polaroid and healed out the tape that was holding it. Although, Polaroid didn’t notice this shot, I’m really psyched with how this one turned out. After a moment of persistence and patience between shooting and hanging up the film, I finally reached the one frame I was looking for.

Cascade Ponds Scale

My brother, his friend and I decided to visit the Adirondacks for an early morning near the summer. We never really spent time at the Cascade Ponds, but I’m glad that we stopped. Two people set out on their canoes and this is one of those moments I’ve been waiting for. The weather was a bit overcast but I knew it’d be better with contrast compared to a blue bird day. Once they were further out on the water, it seemed to be a perfect opportunity to try some scaled shots. Giving it a nostalgic look, I was ecstatic to have this scene open up before me. I was shooting in manual at the time with the shutter under 1/60th of a second and an f/stop of 16. My ISO was set on auto but I’d usually shoot any daytime scene around 100. Now, lets get onto another shot and go through the process of it!

Ghost Ranger

Pulling through with about eight to nine miles of hiking, we made it to the summit of Mount Haystack. I saw my brother shooting photos on the highest rock and behind him was the massive cloud that seemed to be erupting. This was a reminder of the beauty and strength of nature. While I was editing that night, I felt like color didn’t really give the scene any justice whatsoever. I decided to put on a black and white edit which was the best decision. It connected with the moment to give this dramatic feeling to it which I truly enjoyed.

Layering

This has been something I’ve been looking for with photography since I started. Obviously, this goes hand in hand with weather conditions too. The lighting that morning was incredible and luckily, I had my 70-200mm lens in my backpack. Once you notice that a frame was perfectly nailed, that feeling hits different. Throughout my last few hikes, I’ve been able to keep on finding these layered shots which has made me quite happy. Anyways, I should get through a few more shots I’ve enjoyed this year.

Abandoned Hospital

It’s not necessarily that this is one of my favorite photos but the story behind this. I remember when I was younger being absolutely terrified of this place. I saw a friend post an incredible shot of the staircase here on his Twitter and inquired about it. They began photography tours at the location and I had to go. I don’t know if I’ll speak about where this place is due to trespassers. Anyways, I saw this hallway and started shooting photos and thinking of ideas. This had to be my favorite and it was much better in B&W which made a more dramatic atmosphere.

Jennings Cottage

My brother, his friend and I made our way up to Tahawus in early December. We found abandoned areas we didn’t take note of beforehand. Seeing a cottage in front of a stream felt like a classic Adirondack scene settled in the wilderness. There used to be a bridge that crossed over to the house when people lived there. Obviously, being such old structures, the bridge wasn’t there anymore. It was a snowy morning and locking in this frame was a great feeling. I didn’t expect to see an abandoned cottage, let alone the conditions we had that day. It’s definitely one of my favorite scenes I’ve experienced in the Adirondacks.

Just the beginning

These were just a few of my favorites that came from 2020. I’ve already taken an abundance of photos from my first hike of the year, last weekend. I’m hoping to find more beautiful scenes to share throughout these treks to inspire people to get outdoors. Thank you for taking the time to read this and see my breakdown on some of my photography. If you’d like to see another blog post similar to this, feel free to let me know. Until next time, go find that mountain and make a memory!

-Alex

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