Over the shoulder of Nikki Smith and the 2020 Open Aperture participants
OPEN APERTURE PHOTO CLINIC
2019 participants
Jason Hinds
Photographer (he/him/his)
Do you know what it feels like to turn your brain off and just be? For me, that usually happens when I’m doing something that involves finesse with all four limbs. From driving a manual transmission car or riding a motorcycle to rock climbing, there’s no greater feeling to me than being able to disconnect from all distractions and allowing my body to take over. As someone who tends to overthink everything, these moments of pure existence have quite literally saved my life.
portrait of Jason Hinds
IMAGE BY NIKKI SMITH
An artistic shot looking at Atim in between to giant boulders, stepping forward
IMAGE BY JASON HINDS
After I told a couple close family and friends about the camp, a question was posed to me, “Why not you?” I sat with it for a day or two. Did I have a DSLR? No. Had I ever taken a photography class? Nope. So, why me? Do I have a generous support group who allowed me to borrow any equipment I needed? Yes. Did I have access to the internet to learn the basics of digital photography? Indeed. Do I feel like I have a creative eye? Sure. What could an amateur photographer with borrowed equipment and a YouTube University degree bring to this melting pot of a photography camp? I wanted to find out. Then it hit me. Why not me?!
Honestly, I'm not yet sure how exactly I can leverage this opportunity moving forward. What I do know is that I want to highlight Black, Brown, and POC faces in anything I do. At the moment, I’m just honing invaluable skills passed down to me from the talented individuals I met there. From jugging up a rope and hanging off the side of a cliff looking through a lens to editing, this camp opened my eyes to a new space to tinker, make mistakes, and learn.
Atim in the air, leaning on Cody's shoulder
IMAGE BY JASON HINDS
In the distance, Atim and Cody stand on a rock taking in the view, with gear and packs on, ready for their next climb
IMAGE BY JASON HINDS
three climbers on a rock wall during the open aperture photo clinic
why open aperture matters