Being raised near the Adirondack Mountains, I grew up with the opportunity to see its beauty on a regular basis. I spent a week or two every year, as well as countless weekends, camping in the central Adirondacks. Those camping trips were the beginning of my love for the outdoors.
At the age of 19, I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. A good friend owned a 35mm camera and I noticed how the prints from that camera were so much brighter and colorful than the instamatic I was using. I was no longer satisfied with the camera I had and bought a Nikon FM. Before long, I owned a few lenses, which allowed me to take almost any photo I desired.
After two years in Florida, I moved to Lake Luzerne, a small town in the southeastern Adirondacks. I began to spend all my free time in the mountains hiking and fishing. I also started taking pictures to record these excursions and the good times with friends. The pictures I took were very private, not something I thought about sharing and not something I thought anyone would be interested in seeing. They were, after all, personal images of my life and the places I had been.
After fighting a serious medical condition in 2003 and 2004, the urge to get back in the outdoors was never stronger. I started hiking again and I wanted to make it to the top of some of the Adirondack high peaks and other places I never saw, even though they were basically in my back yard. It was also about this time that I bought my first digital camera. Although the quality of this digital camera wasn’t up to my Nikon, it did allow me to take more pictures without worrying about cost. It was the ability to take as many pictures as I desired that allowed me to practice and concentrate on increasing the quality of my photos.
Towards the end of 2007, with the encouragement of friends and family, I entered the annual photo contest in Adirondack Life magazine. I was thrilled to be awarded first place in macro photography for a photo of a feather with water droplets. That recognition resulted in my first showing at the Widlund Gallery in North Creek, N.Y. for the month of January 2009. A few years later, I was fortunate to again win a first place award in the Adirondack Life contest, this time in the wildlife category, for a photo of canada geese taking flight.
I have since been approached by a major publishing company to purchase photos for a calendar, a large hotel chain to purchase photos to hang in every room, and The Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown to submit photos for a showing with other well-known photographers.
I still spend countless days, in every season, in The Adirondacks – in the woods, on the water, and sometimes just on the roads. My camera is a constant companion as one never knows what they’ll encounter. There are always new things to experience if you’re open to them and new things to see if you allow yourself to see them.
I hope you enjoy the images and scenes that I’m lucky enough to witness on a regular basis.
- Tony Beaver