Following My Own Path…Literally.
How it Began…
I remember the first time I said out loud “I’m going the hike the Appalachian Trail”, I was sitting in my photography class, flipping through a Ansel Adams photo book of the National Parks. Day dreaming of being out in those wild places, my photo teacher, Mr. Daly (one of the best teachers/person I’ve had the privilege to meet) asked me what I’m doing after high school. I replied jokingly “I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail and living in the wood for 6 months.”. He replied with “Really?! That’s the best response I’ve heard all year!”.
Since I was a child I have always been close to nature and the great outdoors, either from traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains with my family or recently setting off on my own trips. In 2014 I was a junior in high school and while my peers were stressing about which colleges they were wanting to apply for and SAT scores, my heart wasn’t set on going back to school just yet. I wanted to do something other than follow the norm, (yeah I’m that guy) I have been dreaming on thru-hiking for about 3 years, the trail has always fascinated me. I decided that once I graduate it’ll be perfect timing for me to set out to hike 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, on my own in the woods, sounds wonderful doesn’t it…I can’t wait!
As I take off for my hike on March 1st of 2016, I will be bringing along the usual gear to hike the AT (I could go on and on about the gear I’m using, maybe some other time) but the one piece of gear I’m bringing as well as many others is a camera, but in my case a camera not only to take snap shots with but to take portraits of thru hikers, landscapes and people along the trail. Over the past 6 years I’ve grown deeply in love with photography and the art of making a photograph, not just taking it. I’m almost as big of a nerd with photo gear as I am with hiking gear…
“It is my intention to present – through the medium of photography – intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators.” – Ansel Adams
As many set off for this journey wanting to just finish the hike, as many do. I want to create something that will last more than 5-6 months. So I decided to create a photo book showing the beauty and people on and off the Appalachian Trail, through my eyes. Not only displaying my photographs but telling stories along the way from either my self or people and hikers I meet. I believe if I start this hike with a bigger plan, such as making a book, it’ll give me more of a reason to get to Katahdin. Only 97 days 2 hours and 20 minutes till I start, but who’s counting right?
I have taken and own all these photographs.
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