Getting out on the road and exploring what is out there is what piqued my interest in photography. More specifically, I realized that point-and-shoot cameras, as well as cellphone cameras, were inferior and incapable of snapping those awesome photos you see in magazines or social media. However, it is worth mentioning that smartphone camera technology has become surprisingly sophisticated and you can produce some quality shots with them. Hardware alone doesn’t determine what makes a great photo though. It takes technical skills, dedication to your craft, and a prowess that can only be polished by incessant trial-and-error. A quality camera can help quite a bit though.

This is a photo I took of myself at the Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona. Normally this is place is swarming year-round with hordes of tourists waving around selfie sticks, but when I arrived at 0300 to work on my night shooting, there wasn’t a soul in sight. This is one of the first shots I ever took with a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. I picked up a Sony Alpha a6000 and literally hit the road immediately after. I took over a thousand photos during that road trip but after reviewing them, I realized that most of them were complete garbage. This one of me and a couple others were probably the only ones that could at least be considered acceptable. Though I continue to learn and improve, I still consider myself as an absolute novice. However, learning more about photography has become another one of my hobbies, and I enjoy that it supplements all of my other interests.

Though people live vicariously through other peoples’ photos all the time, a photograph can never capture the full experience of seeing something spectacular like you would in person. So go on some hardcore adventures with some hardcore gear; take some badass photos of both and share them with us here at The Loadout Room.

All photos courtesy of the author, Matt Jin