Still photography. It’s a medium which I rarely claim to do professionally (I typically stick to video) but one which I deeply love. You can say a lot with one photograph. That sounds like a cliché thing to say, but when I really break it down, it can become clear and practical. How much can I say in a photograph?

Every photographer looks at it through their own lens. There is a story behind each photograph involving the process it took to capture it. The historical context behind the photo, the framing, the lighting, the style, the characters, the equipment used, are all variables one can manipulate to craft and tell a story in one single still frame. It blows my mind when I think about the amount of depth available in a single photograph, and what’s really difficult is putting all the pieces together as a photographer to create an image that intentionally spans this depth.

Often times the depth of a photograph is revealed in the emotional quality of the viewer – it can be something that mere words struggle to capture. This is a process into which I’ve only dipped my toes, and it excites me to think about what’s possible.

Last year I snapped this photo with my drone. The photo itself isn’t the most artistic one I’ve ever shot, but I am proud of it and it has a story and context that means something to me. I have a long history with this bridge. It’s my favorite place to run in Charleston, SC, and I found myself constantly drawn to this piece of architecture for the 3 years I lived there. I explored it with a boat, with my feet, my eyes, my car, my bike, and with my camera many times over. This is one of the final photos I took of the bridge before I left Charleston, and it happens to be my favorite one. In fact, I’ve used it as the featured image of one of my stories already this year.

My dad, who has always supported my photography, encouraged me to submit it to the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) bridge photo contest. Every year they run a contest for bridge photos of different categories, and they create an annual calendar using the winners’ photographs. I found out recently that this photo was one of the chosen winners, and I was honored.

It made me wonder what about the photo stuck out enough for it to stand above the thousands of other submissions? Maybe the judges picked up on my story behind it.

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