January Featured Photographer: Melvin Brinson Jr.
Date Published: December 14, 2020
What is your name and where can people find your work?
Hello, My name is Melvin Brinson Jr. I grew up in beautiful Pine Plains, NY, and currently live in Red Hook, NY.
My website is www.hudsonstills.com and my Instagram www.instagram.com/melvinbrinson
Describe your perfect staycation in Dutchess, or your idea of a fun weekend in the County.
Living in Dutchess County and being so close to the Hudson River, my idea of a fun weekend would be just getting outdoors. There are so many parks and trails located in and around Red Hook. Poets' Walk, Ferncliff Forest, Bard College, Rhinecliff, Stissing Mountain, Burger Hill and Tivoli Bays just to name a few. I recommend an early evening walk around Poets' Walk and then catch the amazing views and sunset from atop of Burger Hill. Lastly, choosing one of MANY great restaurants in Rhinebeck or Red Hook really puts a great finish to a Saturday.
What equipment do you use in your photography?
I currently own the Canon 6D Mark ii and the Fujifilm X-T4. The X-T4 is currently my main camera. I have a plethora of lenses both vintage and new, but my go-to lenses are currently the 7Artisans 25mm f1.8 (fully manual), 7Artisans 55mm f1.4 (fully manual) and the trusty and ever so popular Sigma 18-35mm f1.8. When I need tighter I use my Tamron 70-200mm G2 f2.8. I also always carry variable ND filters as well.
What is your favorite place to photograph in Dutchess and why?
If I had to choose a favorite place to photograph it would have to be Burger Hill in Rhinebeck, NY. I don't know what it is about this place as there is not much there but every time I go, I always end up with a photo I love. It's also the first location I went to when I started getting into photography so I'll always have a soft spot for Burger Hill. If you've never been, go! You'll feel it, too.
Do you have somewhere on your list that you want to photograph in Dutchess, but haven’t gotten there yet?
Norrie Point. I've been but never with my camera and regretted not having it on me. Something about the docks and the river there intrigues me. I believe there are some great photo opportunities there.
Give us a few photography tips:
Don't go into it with a plan. I actually don't even plan days or times to shoot because I find it puts an agenda on it and often gives me a mental block. When you inevitably run into that "I don't know what to photograph" situation is when I find I get the best photos. It allows you to try new things and get creative without thinking too much. I find that you do things you wouldn't normally do and you'd be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. So don't be afraid to stand out. It will separate you from the rest
Another tip I'd consider is don't be afraid of the sun. Lowering your exposure compensation can give you some seriously dramatic results using that harsh sun to your benefit. Give it a try!