My journey capturing memories: nature through a lens

Nick Skinner

photo by Nick Skinner

The first decent photo I ever took was on Mackinac island on June 21st, 2016, at an ancient rock formation called Sugar Loaf Rock. I took it by stretching my arm and phone as far above my head as I could to snap a picture of a small ledge. The photo makes it appear that the rock face could tower over a person when in reality the face in the picture is smaller than an iPhone 5. Mackinac Island is a very significant place in my life and is known for its scenic views and rock formations so it’s fitting that my first good photograph was there.


As I climbed up the rock face I pulled out my phone and reached it as far above my head as I could to take a photo, I was not expecting it to turn out as good as it did. I began to get into photography when I got my first phone in the 7th grade and ever since it’s been a recurring hobby in my life. Taking my first photography class in high school helped me understand different techniques and really appreciate the art itself. I learned how to use different settings to create cool effects and photoshop to enhance my photos after they’ve been taken. When I took journalism I was able to use these skills to take the perfect photos for my article. I will continue to sharpen my photography skills and I believe this hobby will stay with me for a long time.

photo by Nick Skinner

I was in awe when I stumbled upon this scene, a great blue heron was perched on the abandoned osprey nesting platform. The lighting was just in the right position to cause a perfect reflection of the heron in the tower over the water. It was a perfect photograph waiting to be taken on November 9th at Kensington Metro Park where I've been going since before I could remember so I didn't hesitate to take out my camera.

photo by Nick Skinner

When my family would take our yearly trip to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, we would go to the same beach every evening to get ice cream and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan. On the evening of September 24th while I was there I noticed some type of flower peeking out of the sand, there were so many people at the beach I had to get down low to get the perfect photo.

photo by Nick Skinner

It was a stormy day on July 24th and you could smell the rain coming, the storm clouds were rolling in over the Great Smoky Mountains. I knew I only had a limited amount of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery so I decided to capture the iconic smoke coming from the hillside. Mountain ranges like the Smokies are one of my favorite places to take photos as they offer absolutely breathtaking scenes and very memorable photographs.

photo by Nick Skinner

The sun was starting to pierce through the cloud cover, sending god rays down onto Lake Michigan. The reaming cloud cover above me looked close enough to touch on the cold evening of September 27th. The whole scene was perfectly placed in between the mainland and South Manitou Island, I didn’t hesitate one bit to capture the scene before the storm started to roll in. Lake Michigan is my favorite place for lakeside photography and has been for a while.

photo by Nick Skinner

As I hiked my way through a valley beneath the Smoky Mountains on July 26th, I came across an interesting site by the side of a river. The river had eroded the dirt around a tree and exposed its vast root system. The roots now formed an almost cage-like structure sticking out of the ground, it reminded me of the mangroves of Florida so I decided to capture the interesting sight. Phenomena like these are why I believe nature is the greatest artist, but it is up to us to capture it.

photo by Nick Skinner

Making my way further down the river, I took a moment to stop and enjoy the sound of the rapids and the rushing water. I had been in the Smoky Mountain National Park some time by then and I was getting ready to head back to my cabin when I noticed how peaceful the rapids looked. I decided to capture this peacefulness so I could take it with me.

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