CJ Chilvers says he was wrong about landscape photography:
Landscape photography is healthy. You hike miles. You look at gorgeous things. It feels good. It makes others looking at the results feel good too. Few things create such positive results for all involved.
Amen. As always, photography can serve as the excuse to do something you already love.
What I’ll miss about moving closer to the city? This.
It’s something I’ve learned while we’ve been out house hunting: I need trees, green space, a sense of privacy, nature, birds chirping, and clear seasonal changes.
I need to feel like the woods are only a short walk away. That there’ll be foggy fields on my way into work. That my home will be well shaded by trees.
I need light filtering through branches and boughs.
Farwell Lake, Michigan
There’s so much ugliness on display in the world lately.
It’s enough to make you think about building that bunker out in the backyard and waiting the whole thing out.
Artists, musicians, religious leaders, and poets will help us try to make sense of it all, over time. In the meantime, there are photographers on the front lines of these terrible events, witnessing first-hand the terrible things that humans do to each other.
As they’re doing that, try to get out and capture something beautiful, while there’s still time. While it’s still there.
There’s something magical about Utah. I call it America’s Surprisingly Beautiful State, just because the two times I’ve been there, I didn’t know what to expect. Photographer Quinn Hall captures the American southwest perfectly.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Quinn Hall – but I go by “strayfoto” across most social media. I work in environmental consulting doing GIS (geographic information systems – mapping) of fossils in and around the western states. Photography, although it’s paid a few bills in the past, is mostly a hobby, albeit one I’m quite passionate about.
How did you get started in photography?
I always had a point and shoot growing up, but I bought a Pentax ZX-50(?) in about 1997. A few weeks later I bought a Pentax ME Super at a pawn shop and I was hooked. Over the years I’ve worked my way though the Pentaxes, Leicas, bigger Pentaxes, and Hasselblads. I had a wet darkroom in my basement for about six years, but I moved and had to let it go. I’ve been about 90% digital since 2009.
What do you like about your photography?
I usually hate my own photography… Not really, but I can find things to complain about. I like the creative process most. It hardly matters what I’m shooting as long as I’m creating something. I like the post too – culling and editing, looking for something I may not have noticed in the field. Photography keeps me busy. I love a good project.
Your work really shows off the American southwest. Where do you get inspiration for your style/ideas?
I lead guided tours of Arches National Park during the summers and it’s interesting to see how people from all over the world photograph the park. Sometimes someone will look at a feature in a way I’ve never even thought of and I’ll use that and try to expand on it. Sometimes it’s the opposite – I’ll think “I’m going to go shoot over here just to avoid that crowd…” and it works because I end up seeing something most others don’t.
“For me, a camera is my way to…”
Stay busy. Create more, consume less.
What kinds of themes do you explore with your work?
I went through a Leica – lots of old cameras and Tri-X film. I spent a lot of time on “street” photography forums. In rural Utah there’s not a lot “street” style photography, but I think that time influenced my taste. I don’t mind people in my landscape/nature photos, and often find they add to the scene – in a national park a shot with people in it is more honest. I often go for form or composition over ultimate subject.
Any upcoming projects or shoots you’re working on?
I recently completed shooting a couple projects and I need to move those closer to a final product. I’ve been working on a project of shots I’ve taken while running and hope to push that a little further this year.