Why I Photograph the Outdoors

Why do I photograph the outdoors and my adventures? Because of moments worth capturing.

By: Mayson + Save to a List

As I stare through the viewfinder, the road lies before me curving around the next bend - lined on both sides by gravel and greenery. The road leads my eye off into the distance to the snow covered mountains looming over the landscape to dominate it for miles around. The sky is clear, the day is pristine, the temperature mild, and the scene enthralling. I adjust my shutter speed to compensate for my moderate depth of field so that I have as much of the scenery before me in focus as I can manage before I depress the shutter to hear the oh so sweet click of the shutter on my trusty Nikon D7100.

While looking at this spectacle and capturing this moment, I am reminded of why I love the outdoors and why I love photography. Nature has always had a special place in my heart. Whether I am hiking, backpacking, or camping, I simply love to be outdoors - being immersed in nature, exploring and adventuring. Finding myself in the thick of nature's raw beauty is where I feel most at peace and relaxed. My mind is devoid of trials, tribulations, and worries over work, or school, or Facebook. No files need to be flipped through, no essays written, no posts about a funny cat video shared. The only thing on my mind is the outstanding picture before me I can't get from my window at home. The sounds of cars driving by, horns honking, phones ringing, or people typing on computers entering data have long died away. Now my ears are filled with the sounds of running water from nearby streams, birds chirping high above in the trees, and at times nothing but the stillness of the outdoors. This is a far different place than the manmade cities we all live in hustling and bustling at all hours. This is a landscape of allure and sublime grace. Trees, mountains, rivers, valleys, and more covered in shades of green, grey, red, orange, yellow, and brown set against a pure blue sky. A much different aesthetic than that of stucco, metal, bricks, pavement, and other manmade features of our cities and suburbs. 

This difference from everyday life is why I love being outdoors. Shedding myself of the day-to-day grind of nine to five with all the responsibility and stress that comes with it is liberating to say the least. When I am outdoors I feel all that melt away, I feel at peace. My mind, body, and soul are engulfed by nature and its amazing charm. Life is much simpler, as is the landscape that nature provides in all its astonishing grace. I find myself without a care in the world and not worrying about if it is quitting time yet. I excitedly look forward to the next hour, curve in the trail, or overlook where I'll see the mountains towering above or valleys far below. 

All of this and more is why I love being outdoors. Nature is just so inspiring and stunning that it is hard to ignore. It fills my heart and makes me so happy to be outside. Whether my experience goes according to plan, or not, it is an adventure worth having, worth remembering, and worth capturing. I photograph for this very reason. My love for the outdoors and my love for photography feed off of one another. In the outdoors, faced with scenes displayed before me like the one I described earlier, I feel compelled to photograph these moments worth capturing, because this scene at this very time will never exist in the exact same way again. By photographing it I have immortalized it and can share it with other people who were not there, or do not have the opportunity to see it for themselves. Every time I find myself outdoors I am constantly reminded of why I photograph and it is for that exact reason, because of the beautiful moments nature provides that are moments worth capturing.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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