You’ve heard all about it – the “new normal”. Adventuring will look a little different than we’ve known it as we go forward. This summer will be the first taste, and it’ll take some getting used to. For me, as someone who has built a career on adventure photography, the impacts have already been felt. I’ve been brushing up on old skills and learning new ones, exploring locally, and pushing my boundaries to keep active and keep taking photos even with new restrictions.
I have always loved really getting to know a place. You don’t get an idea of Yosemite’s soul until you’ve spent a month there and had a chance to soak it in. You get a little of that insight of that feeling when you see it packed with people, but also when it feels like you have the park to yourself. This time of restriction has reminded me to return to places I’ve always loved, close to home, and spend time, day after day, becoming more familiar. It allows you to see them in a new light and different conditions and to photograph them in a way you might not have with a quick pass through.
I’m keeping things really local these days – finding places you can get out to and back on a single tank of gas is the responsible thing to do. Which has forced me to dig deeper locally and find the gems I would have never seen. Pre-COVID, it seems we were all about getting to that one spot you saw on Instagram. Finding those local spots allows you to skip out on the crowds and the long drives and allows you to have a little slice of nature all to yourself.
It has also been a great time to gain some new skills. Spending time shooting subjects I don’t often shoot has allowed me to expand my comfort zone in my work. Portraits, video, building graphics and gifs, brushing up on studio lighting skills have all kept me busy. Developing skills is always beneficial and will allow me to take on bigger, more exciting projects as things start to open, and restrictions are drawn down.
These are just a few of the things I have been doing as an outdoor photographer as we get into summer. I’m beyond excited to keep hiking and shooting, but will always be following my local restrictions and public health orders when going out. See you out on the trails – from a good 6 feet away!