Outbound Collective logo

Explore to Photograph or Photograph to Explore?

If you find it hard to create time to be outside, create a reason to be outside.

By: Sam Loomis + Save to a List

Two years ago,

I would have never agreed to packing up the car, driving 7 hours from Rhode Island to northern Maine, waking up at the crack of dawn, hiking 9 hours over Baxter State Park's Mount Katahdin, then driving back the same day. I wouldn't have enjoyed leaving the city after a rough night to go look at the stars in Western Massachusetts' Berkshires, or in Colorado's Rockies. 

Looking back at Golden, CO from White Ranch Open Space Park

I hate to say that I needed an excuse to get outside,

but the camera has changed the way that I think about the outdoors. When I first got into photography, I would explore to photograph. I would get in my car and drive to go get the shot that I wanted and then return home, posting photos from the day's events. At first, I would use friends' cameras whenever I could, as well as my iPhone. Photography ended up taking me to these amazing places, and I saw things in a whole new way. If you've ever taken a picture of a beautiful mountain landscape with your iPhone, you can understand me when I say that it's hard to do Mother Nature justice. I think the challenge of taking a photo that looks as good as it actually looks in person is what I love. 

Now I have my own camera,

by my perspective has changed. I no longer go to places just to take a photo. Now, I photograph to explore. Instead of my one goal being to return home with a plethora of amazing shots, I go out with the mindset of exploring for myself. Photography is just the excuse to get out there. Being outside in a beautiful place alone, enjoying solitude, and on top of that snapping a few pictures to remember a trip years from now is what it's all about. 

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!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


Overnighter on the Sonoma Coast

Benjamin Canevari

10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Journey to Wyoming’s premier snowmobiling destination: Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Samuel Brockway

Hiking in comfort: a review of Danner Mountain 600 Evo boots

Meghan White