Elmwood graduate Trevor Lee shares his Yosemite experience
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer
Saturday, 19 April 2014 08:31
Hay bailer, truck loader, "manny," high school wrestling coach, scrap yard worker, Special Olympics coordinator.
|Trevor Lee has traveled to 40 states, and most recently spent 10 months at Yosemite National Park. (Photo provided)
Add adventure photographer to the list for 2005 Elmwood High School graduate Trevor Lee.
The 27-year-old just returned from a 10-month stay at Yosemite National Park where he let his adventurous side run free and his camera run wild.
"While I did have a 40-hour/week job (in employee recreation), I spent every waking hour exploring and sleeping in Yosemite," he said.
"I probably saw more in my time there than people have who have lived there for 10 years, "he said.
There is plenty to see. Many tourists who make the trip are only able to see a fraction of the park. It's comparable to the size of the state of Rhode Island.
Lee took in the high country, where animals are more populous than humans. He also experienced and photographed snow-covered mountains, babbling brooks and adventurers themselves.
His mantra: "Beauty isn't meant to be seen, it's meant to be experienced."
"But with that said, I try to capture the images the best I can for those people who may not have the chance to see it," Lee said.
His career in adventure photography has been an evolution. He started out studying communication, but later focused on photography after he got his first camera during his sophomore year of college. His passion led him to attend the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Massachusetts.
After graduation, he returned to Ohio and began work as a wedding and portrait photographer. He also worked for Wood County Special Olympics as a coach and coordinator.
"Through all of that, I was always working toward my photography career," Lee said.
He got his first glimpse of Yosemite on a road trip with his brothers to the west.
"We only spent three or four hours there, but I pretty much fell in love with it."
Following the road trip, Lee said he felt a pull driving him back to Yosemite.
While working and experiencing life in Yosemite, Lee's photography career began to take off through the help of Instagram. Instagram is a social media application designed for sharing photos and videos.
"My Instagram is really where I was able to start meeting more people who shared the same interests as me and were adventurous as well," he said.
People found and met Lee through his Instagram account, "trevlee." Families, couples seeking adventure and nature enthusiasts sought him out as an unofficial tour guide.
His photos have also garnered national attention. He has been featured in Outdoor Magazine and was named one of Esquire's 20 Coolest Instagram Travel Photographers.
Landscape photograph is his forte.
"I kind of fell in love with landscape photography, but I don't like pictures of landscapes themselves. I like to have people in the photos.
"Without a person in it, there is no scale to understand how grand the picture is," he said.
Just taking in the experience is what it's all about for Lee.
"A lot of photographers never take the camera away from their face and they never experience it for themselves," he said.
"There is a right time to take photos and there are times to just sit back and enjoy what you are experiencing."
His adventure travels have also taken him to the mountains of Colorado, Redwood National Park, the coast of California, the Great Lakes and more. In all, he's conquered 40 states so far. He plans for his next adventure to take him to Europe.
"It's not about the adventure itself, it's about exploring it with others.
"Once you get hooked on new adventures and hooked on new experiences, you constantly are trying to "one-up" for the next experience," Lee said.
While Lee is back in Ohio, the adventures have continued. Just this week, Lee and his brothers headed south where they found an old, abandoned bridge near North Baltimore. There, they setup hammocks and watched the sunset.
"Everything can be an adventure if you want it to be," Lee said.
On Instagram: trevlee
Last Updated on Saturday, 19 April 2014 10:57