When the Farmington Valley Film commission contacted me about creating something to be the opener for their summer film fete, at first I struggled to generate ideas as to what would be suitable, and worthwhile to them, to me, and to whoever would be watching. Knowing that the only limitations on what I could do was that I had to film specifically in the valley itself, I thought, why not capture the beauty of the entire valley, and what better a way to do it than with a series of time lapses taking in not only the most magnificent of scenes, but the little aspects that make the valley truly a special place.
When I first started talking to people about my idea, there was a surprising amount of interest that came along with it. Because it would be so hard to bring everybody along, a few people had asked me to make a behind the scenes video to really give people an idea of how much work actually goes into something like this, which is why this exists in the first place.
The scariest part along the way was the pressure to truly portray all that the valley is... to all of us. Not only the epic landscapes, breathtaking skyscapes and the memorable landmarks, but something I tried to really key in on was the human aspect of the valley as well. The trees and the mountains and the lakes were all here long before we were, and will be here long after we're gone, but the only thing to represent the present, the now, is us. The environment we live in coinciding with those who inhabit it is what I was primarily focusing on throughout the project.
One of the greatest challenges I encountered was the weather. Given only a month to complete the project I had to quickly determine where and when I was going to shoot, given whatever mother nature decided to dish out to me. Whether it be thunderstorm and tornado warnings, or rain droplets and morning dew getting on my lenses mid shoot, or having only one clear night a week to go out and shoot the stars demanding that I work around the clock, mother nature never failed at adding an extra level of stress to the work.
My favorite part of the project was definitely the people. Not only those who came along with me to some of the shoots, but to those I encountered along the way. From some crazy kids jumping off waterfalls to people slowing down their cars in the middle of the road to have driveby conversations with me about cameras and lenses and all things photography, it was a pleasant surprise to me as to where I found some of my inspiration.
Often times we forget that we live in such a beautiful area, but what I have learned in the past month is that we are also what makes this area as beautiful as it is. The cohesive flow of life hand in hand with the breathtaking nature around us is what makes the valley truly thrive. My only goal for this project became to capture that very flow, that raw beauty of everything that we are amerced in.
I hope more than anything else that its enjoyed and appreciated by all who live here, and have ever passed through. It feels good to finally give back to the place I have called home for so long. But I'm still not sure that any medium of art can truly do it justice.