Behind the Image: NAU Guest Blogger – Alex Gaynor » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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Apr 222013

Photograph copyright Alex Gaynor

One happy Tuesday my partner-in-crime Rosie and I elected the super scenic route. Our voyage began early morning in Flagstaff and took us through the windy desert back roads of California until an eventual connection with our un-pre-discovered destination in Joshua Tree Village. We set out to explore, get lost, find the one known as Kelsie, and avoid any direct route to the afore-mentioned destination. Upon arrival in Joshua Tree village, after 8 hours of lengthy lost getting, we stumbled upon a sunset roof recording of beautiful music. While we immersed ourselves in the quite appreciation of this music and warmth upon the roof, I took the opportunity to bathe in the photographically perfect circumstances.

As long-time friends reunited on this roof in the setting sun,I recorded the moment. Rosie’s hand blurs depicting her enthusiasm. This photo depicts the active love. Love dominates the air on this roof. The love is made from appreciating each other, life, and music.I have captured connection. Rosie (left) has engulfed Kelsie (right) in her dress bringing the two separate forms together as one. This one new form synergistically makes a greater whole than the two separate people.

The roof belongs to a house known as the Palm Vista Love Shack; a house that vibrates with music, warmth and connection. The residents, which make music as ‘The Collective’, synergize beautifully to create more than the parts.

Guitars, sunset, and beautiful voices serenaded us as I shot. I felt the setting influence my decisions in the editing room. This brought me full circle to display connection, emotion, and enthusiasm. I have captured a glimpse of the human condition.

I used a Canon T3i with a 50mm at f2.8, ISO 100, and shutter speed of 1/80 sec and shot with the setting sun to my back.Upon editing I altered the temperature warmer, applied a subtle vignette, and added a little clarity and contrast. I also cropped in a bit bringing the subject closer to the viewer. All these decisions further the vision and feeling of love, warmth, and connection. I dropped the saturation ever so slightly to take the edge of the red and further encourage a focus on the connection. The editing choices all set a distinct mood of warmth.

About the Photographer:
I am inspired by the outdoors, natural beauty, the human form, personality, ecology, and culture. I actively participate in culture through skiing, ultimate Frisbee, travelling, couch surfing, gardening, and cooking with other people. I prefer to shoot people above all; people are fascinating.

I shoot exclusively with my DSLR usually set in black and white in raw with a 50mm prime. I limit myself to specific equipment so I can fully explore and learn without gear distractions.

I aspire to tell stories that matter with my camera. The stories I hope will inspire others as I am inspired by the stories and artistry of others.

My work can be seen on my website.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at

  One Response to “Behind the Image: NAU Guest Blogger – Alex Gaynor”

  1. Love this picture. Such pure joy! Nice work, Alex.

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