May 222016

Photo copyright Maxim Mascolo

College typically can feel too busy and can even distract people from what is important in life. I believe that it is important to go on frequent mini-adventures as an important aspect to maintain a dynamic productive workflow and lifestyle. About a month ago, after a long day of classes, I felt inspired to take a picture of the stars. That night I asked my friend Isaac if he wanted to come with me to take cool pictures with his laser pointer. That night I brought my friend to Lake Mary, 10 miles outside Flagstaff, AZ.

I like going into a project with minimal expectations because I want to see what naturally unfolds in my environment. My style of photography is, what I call, adventure photojournalism. Every time there is a camera in my hands, I feel as if time is infinite. My observant mind focuses on the subjects while my technical skills allow me to capture images in the moment.

For this image I knew that I wanted to be close to my subject while still capturing the stars in the background. We walked down the waters edge and looked up at the captivating stars. I had my Sony 7II on a tripod with a 24mm lens with aperture F/1.4.  I set the ISO to 100 and opened the shutter for 30 seconds. I told Isaac to just play around with the laser; he started by pointing the laser straight up. I opened the shutter and manually set off the flash to illuminate my tolerant subject. After 10 seconds he moved the direction of beam to the ground around him. When I saw the result I was pleased but still took a few more images, however this first image is my favorite because it was inspired in the moment. We ended up driving back into Flagstaff at 2 am. We were tired but excited that we had so much fun on our spur of the moment adventure.

The next day I cropped my image a little bit just to direct focus to the subject and submitted this as my midterm for intermediate photography. All in all I felt very happy that I could create such a dynamic image with little previous experience. I love the feeling of manifesting an idea, letting that idea soak in my mind and eventually making that concept a reality. As long as I keep an open mind each moment evolves in to a learning experience.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Maxim would love to hear from you!