A breath of fresh air

Taking a break from day-today life to photograph natural beauty


After my exam on Saturday morning, I needed a break and a chance to reconnect, relax and find clarity.

I needed to get away for the day, away from campus and my apartment. I needed to spend time with just my camera.

I needed to photograph something for me, not for a story – not photographing the usual day-to-day photos for the newspaper.

I had to return to what I love to photograph most: landscapes and nature.

I decided to go explore someplace new, a place unseen by me, except through others’ photographs.

I decided to go to Letchworth State Park, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away from North Campus.

The trip was filled with winding roads surrounded and an abundance of color from the landscape.

When I arrived, I grabbed my camera and headed into the park. I was instantly hit with an amazing aroma. The smell of autumn alone made the trip worthwhile.

Not long after I left the parking area, I saw I didn’t have cellphone service. I was completely shut off from the outside world and was one with nature.

I started my adventure on some trails, but it didn’t take long before I veered into the woods and went further off the grid. The sounds of squirrels scattering through the trees above and the crunching of leaves beneath my feet was truly peaceful.

A little while into my adventure I stumbled upon a dried up riverbed. I was taking some photos, messing around with lens flare on a wide-angle lens. I started to feel as if there was someone, or something, staring at me. I turned around and saw a deer looking directly at me about 100 yards away. I didn’t want to startle the deer and slowly switched to my telephoto lens and began to walk toward it. I was able to get this photo before the deer took off into the woods.

Back onto the park’s main trails, I took this photo of the lower falls region of the park. Tourists heavily photograph this section of Letchworth, as it is one of the main attractions. I really enjoyed the scenery around the waterfall. The trees were near hitting their peaks in color and the sound of the water was pure bliss. It was awesome to have the sounds of nature replace the sounds machinery and civilization for a day.

When I was headed back to the parking area, I heard a noise disrupting the serenity of the wilderness. The sounds became louder as the source drew closer. I headed toward the commotion and was astonished at what was there: a hot-air balloon floating through the ravine. Although the hot-air balloon was an average size, it seemed massive at eye level, just 100 or so feet away. This moment solidified the entire day as a success.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com