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  1. #1

    Default AT portrait project commencing this coming season

    Hey all, this is my first post of many here. Anyways, I am a professional photographer based in Nashville and I started a portrait project last year documenting all the different types of folks who hike the AT and I am going to be gearing up to continue and hopefully finish it this year. Due to certain regulations, I can't shoot on the actual AT so I have been hanging out in trail towns, road crossings, etc. etc. getting to know folks and put them in front of my camera. Now, I shoot with a 4x5 camera and set up a white background and put folks in front of it so as to cut away all the distracting elements around and just focus on the individual. This promises to be a great project and the results I have received so far are better than expected and I hope I can drum up some interest and awareness on here and get some folks in front of the camera.

    Please, take a look at my work at www.hollisbennett.com and see the type of work that I make and hope to see you out there.

  2. #2

    Default

    Here are a few samples of what I shot in Erwin, TN last season...

    img192.jpgimg194.jpgimg196.jpgimg197.jpg

  3. #3
    Registered User Alpine Jack's Avatar
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    you can't shoot the AT? How come?

  4. #4
    Registered User Alpine Jack's Avatar
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    I was already intrigued by the first four.

  5. #5
    Registered User Kookork's Avatar
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    Looks quite professional to me, Nice job.

  6. #6
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpine Jack View Post
    you can't shoot the AT? How come?
    I imagine he's doing this to make money. Concessionaires have to have a permit to make money on our national parks, forests, and etc.

    Rain Man

    .
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

    www.MeetUp.com/NashvilleBackpacker

    .

  7. #7
    AT 9,500 Miler
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    Your models look too clean. It doesn't look like they have been out hiking.

  8. #8

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    Hey,"I know that dude"!

  9. #9
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    I'll try to keep a dress t-shirt in reserve.

  10. #10

    Default

    To answer some questions, no, not doing this to make money. In fact, it costs about $4-6 per shot with the size film I am using. The reason that you can't shoot on the trail in the way that I want to is because it would diminish the 'wild and scenic' nature of the trail. In all honesty, are you really going to want to crest a rise or turn a bend and see some guy with a tent and a big white background off the side of the trail? Probably not and I actually agree with this rule. Im not trying to infringe upon the experience of the trail for anyone, I just want to document the individual nature of the folks that hike it. Finally, the reason the folks look so clean is because that was in Erwin, TN so, not too too far along and they had had an afternoon to rest and recover. I can't wait to shoot at some of the road crossings further north and then compare those to the shots from Springer Mtn. in the spring, should be pretty interesting.

  11. #11

    Default

    Hollis,
    I think this is an amazing idea and I believe you could stand to make some money off of it. It would be an awesome coffee table book. I would buy it for sure.

  12. #12

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    There was a photographer in Salisbury, CT doing the same thing in 2006....

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    ........ next thing you know they'll be photographers sitting on the trail taking pics just like they do in marathons hawking 8X10 full color prints for $39.95.

    When thru hikers start wearing number bibs and timing chips we're all in trouble!

  14. #14
    CF97 > Everything Else.
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    I assume those are 4x5 color negs that are scanned -- thus you can see the outline of the negative carrier?

    You have some great images.
    "... I know it is wrong, but I am for the spirit that makes young men do the things they do. I am for the glory that they know." --Sigurd Olson, Singing Wilderness.


    AT '12, LT '13, CT '14, PCT '15

  15. #15
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Blue View Post
    Your models look too clean. It doesn't look like they have been out hiking.
    It's not that they look clean, it's that they are wearing their AT "costume" (go to the ADZPCTKO around the time the people starting off the PCT; same thing). It is not that it is just new clothing, but that long hiking does not quite fit them yet. It is something new, exciting, and the clothing and equipment is bought to fit the role. Besides looking brand new, it is the look they have: An extended outdoor lifestyle is new and it is a part they are playing.

    Show these same people in NH after many weeks and miles on the trail. Not only will the clothing and gear look less shiny, but the look these people have will reflect that the AT is now their home. It is not a place where they are visiting, but where they live.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    Im not trying to infringe upon the experience of the trail for anyone,
    Thank you for that.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  17. #17

    Default

    Yes, those are 4x5 color neg, hence the film borders. I agree with the comments on them looking new and fresh, they are. What you say about shooting folks near the end of the trail is exactly what I want to do, show the change and transformation that a summer out in the woods will do to a person. As for making money, if I can, I will. Photography is my career so, I need to put food on the table somehow. Essentially, this project is something I really have wanted to do. I have too many commitments to thru-hike any time in the near future so, this is a good substitute. Hope to see everyone out there!

  18. #18

    Default

    Why not just set up at one of the many hostels? I enjoy the photos from the hostels on trailjournal.com.

  19. #19

    Default

    Yeah, thats where those images I uploaded are from, the hostel right by the bridge in Erwin.

  20. #20
    Registered User Kookork's Avatar
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    I Love your work. It looks like pro job. I dont mind they are not dirty or tired or worn down.

    Personally I dont mind if during my thru I bump into someone with a white board to take my photo. It is 2100 miles long trail so one corner of it is not going to hurt the scene for me.

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