Explore to Photograph or Photograph to Explore?

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

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. 

Published: December 22, 2016

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Sam Loomis


I like to do way too many different things. Here are some stories of mine.