As spring and summer approaches, natural spaces throughout Dutchess County come alive with blooming flowers and verdant hills. Take inspiration from April's featured photographer, Zachary Gawron, and explore stunning Hudson Valley destinations with a new perspective. His landscape photography captures iconic settings through several seasonal transformations, and applies a balance of intentionality and spontaneity.
The perfect staycation for me is finding a new place in the county to go hiking, either with friends or by myself. There always seems to be another place I haven’t experienced yet, so it’s always a new adventure. I’ve done all the top spots: Vanderbilt, FDR, Valkill, Poet’s Walk, Stissing Mountain, Mills Mansion, Nuclear Lake, the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park and the connecting Dutchess Rail Trail. And after that, going to a restaurant or brewery around the area is the perfect ending. Some of my favorite spots to hit are Mill House Brewing, Sloop Brewing, Lola’s Cafe, Rossi’s Deli, Terrapin, Hyde Park Brewery, Billy Bob’s BBQ, Plan Bee Farm Brewery and Quinn’s in Beacon.
I’ve always been a Nikon person. My current camera body is a Z6 and my go to lens is probably my 24-85mm. I also use a 50mm, 85mm, and a 70-300mm. For editing, I use Adobe Bridge/Lightroom. I’m hoping to eventually expand into drone photography sometime in the future as well.
Stissing Mountain is my current favorite place to go hiking and take photos in Dutchess County. It’s relatively close to where I live, so I love going to the fire tower and grabbing some shots of that gorgeous, panoramic 360° view. If I’m lucky, I can sometimes get a few pictures of some birds flying by.
I’m always up for new places to take pictures, especially if it doubles as a hike. I’m planning on going to Mt. Beacon later this Spring and hoping to get some shots there.
Go out and explore. Next time you go on a walk or go on a hike, don’t just take a picture of the view. Look for an interesting angle or composition. Trust your instinct. A lot of my favorite shots have happened by accident and that’s what I love about photography. It brings in the world around you and let’s you appreciate it in a whole new way, sometimes in a way you haven’t seen before.
Zachary Gawron is a photographer, filmmaker, documentarian and marketing specialist. He currently works at Marist College as the Assistant Director of Digital Content Production, and once served as a video editor for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library Pare Lorentz Film Center. Follow him on Instagram at @zachgphotovideo