At the Break Of Day

At the Break Of Day

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.

While There’s Still Time

Go make something beautiful.

There’s so much ugliness on display in the world lately.

Our oceans are dying. Our neighbors and protectors are dying. Political compromise is dying. Common sense seems to be dying.

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.

Photographer Interview: Quinn Hall

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.

Follow more of Quinn’s work at @strayfoto, or on his Instagram account.

Photographer Interview: Adam King

If you’re a landscape photographer, it helps to live in a gorgeous part of the world – like Adam King in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

I’m always a sucker for mountains, especially the Rockies, so it was great to learn about Adam’s work.

Where are you and what do you do?

I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I’m currently a second year student at Macewan University, taking my Bachelor of Science, hoping one day to get a job in the computer science field! All that aside, I also have a pretty serious artistic side that I like to express mainly through photography nowadays.

How did you get started in photography?

I remember taking my first photograph at the age of 8. I was in Drumheller with my family which is located in the Southern Alberta Badlands. This is an area which is known for its rich fossil deposits and important dinosaur related discoveries. Badlands are landscapes that are intricately eroded, steeply sloped, and largely devoid of vegetation. This area was so new and different to me I remember wanting to capture every little detail about the trip while we were there.

My family eventually noticed how much interest I had in photography and let me take some photos that trip. When we finally got the photos back from the local drugstore, I was given the photos that I had taken in a little scrapbook, which I still have to this day. I must’ve looked through them all a couple dozen times alone that first day. Ever since then, I’ve been interested in documenting and recreating important trips and events in my life through photography.

What do you like about your photography?

I guess what I like most about my photography is being able to return to a certain point in my life through a collection of photos. Getting back into the mindset of 13 year old me, for example, and figuring out why the subject of the photo was important to me is something I find myself doing often while looking at old photos. On a more superficial level, I feel really fortunate to live so close to the Rockies and share them with the world.

You live in very photo-worthy part of the world. Where do you get inspiration for your style/ideas?

I gather inspiration everywhere I can. My time in the National Parks of Alberta are usually spent just walking around (or hiking the side of a mountain) with one or two friends and taking photos of whatever I come across. One of my biggest inspirations when I first joined Tumblr a couple years ago was I really felt the artistic approach behind his work, and it really motivated me to attempt to recreate something similar with my own perspective. Other than that, there definitely isn’t a shortage of great Alberta-based photographers out there to follow.

I notice you do a lot of your landscape work in portrait orientation, which is not typical. Is there a method behind your technique?

I honestly lean towards it out of instinct nowadays. My preference for portrait orientation is definitely heavily influenced by my high school communication technology teacher. He was an outspoken advocate of experimentation with your art and remembering that you can turn the camera on its side and shoot that way too. Since then I find it easier to create interesting compositions with the added vertical space.

What kinds of themes do you explore with your work?

Documenting nature in all of its forms. Mostly landscapes of Alberta and British Columbia, however I am going to be posting some shots from my trip to London a couple years ago. Fitting an overarching theme isn’t something I’ve really thought too much about. I just find myself always drawn back to nature.

Something I want to do in the upcoming year is diversify a little bit and try out some portrait work. I feel like learning the nuances of a different theme and bringing those ideas into your photography can be really beneficial.

Any upcoming projects or shoots you’re working on?

As I mentioned above, I definitely want to try some portraits and see how I can integrate that in with my current focus. I also just started as a volunteer at @lensblr-network, helping the team find the best in original photography here on Tumblr. I couldn’t be more excited at this opportunity to broaden my artistic eye and share the best this site has to offer with such a wide audience. It’s a really great feeling finding someone that is more than deserving of recognition for their work and having a hand in facilitating that for them. I’ve already found at least a dozen of artists that I’ve really fallen in love with since starting that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have found!

Follow @adm-kng here on Tumblr for more of Adam’s work, or catch his stuff on his Flickr account