Apr 302014
 
Carlson_Ashley_Blog

Photo copyright Ashley Carlson

As a born and raised Flagstaff native, or “Flagstaffian”, I have always taken the beauty of Northern Arizona for granted and even at times hated living here. All throughout my primary education I had this grand dream of escaping Flagstaff to see if the grass is really greener on the other side. A series of events and decisions led me to stay in Flagstaff to attend NAU and that is when I began to realize that Flagstaff is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. After my freshman year of college I made a life-changing decision that came in the form of a Jack Russell puppy. That huge bundle of responsibility and endless energy made me take daily ventures out into the woods and that is when I fell in love with the place I had lived in my whole life.

Many adventures later led me to discover this beautiful open field right behind Pulliam Airport. After dozens of hikes in this field, I finally brought along my camera to take a picture I have been dreaming of capturing for years.

Standing in the middle of the field with my Nikon D600, 8mm Rokinon Fisheye lens, tripod, and my dog, I began snapping pictures. With my ISO set to 320, with a shutter speed of 1/80, and my aperture set to 22 I was able to avoid capturing the stronger shadows that surrounded me and also keep everything in focus. That day the clouds were wispy and moving quickly due to the wind so I wanted to track the movement of the clouds in one photo. Using my watch, I snapped a photo every minute for about 15 minutes. I had to stop after 15 pictures because the sun was setting extremely fast but I took enough pictures to give me the desired effect I had envisioned. I uploaded all the images to Photoshop as layers and created a stacked image, which I then saved into Lightroom to do the final tweaks.

This photo has a deeper meaning to me personally than any other photo I have taken. The time lapse of it represents all those days I never stopped to appreciate the place I grew up in. The field and mountains reminds me how much I have grown to love every part of the outdoors. The overall image gives me the warm, fuzzy feeling of home and how I have fallen in love with my hometown.

About the Photographer:
As a Flagstaffian, I have grown up around the gorgeous outdoors. So, I tend to photograph nature most of the time but I also strive to always push myself and broaden my horizons to other forms of photography. Photography is not just a hobby, it is a form of therapy; it relaxes me but also makes me exercise my imagination. I try to find the beauty in everything in life, to find inspiration in everything from people to nature. As a perfectionist, I am never happy until I feel my art has been completed to the best of my ability. My goal in photography is to capture something that pleases the eye and that I feel is my best work.

www.thealcstudio.com

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/its-back-the-2014-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/.