Behind The Photo – Chris Covington
With the amount of effort it takes to shoot a photo outdoors it seems like a real shame to just have it go by in the flick of a thumb on Instagram, never to be seen again. Seriously, in some cases it takes hours and hours of hiking in, rain storms, gear malfunctions and bear attacks to get just one Gram worthy image. Well maybe we overdid it with the bear attacks, but you get the point. And I know ‘likes’ aren’t the point, but with so much going into the tentspiration we post daily, it seems like a waste to just let it die after a split second scroll through.
So in this new feature, we aim to get the stories behind the photo to give you more insight into what led up to the split second shutter click. Our maiden voyage is with Chris Covington, who’s hammock hanging #Tentview just had us asking questions. So we got in touch with Chris via email. Below is our exchange…
Where was this photo taken?
This photo was taken at lower Crater Lake North in the James Peak Wilderness which is just South of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It is located within the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. There are 4 lakes in total with the upper lakes taking a bit more effort to get to. It’s well worth the effort though as they are beautiful with the upper most lake sitting at the base of the Continental Divide. Bring your fishing pole in the summer!
Was there anything particularly memorable about that day or was it just a day in the tent like any other?
It was a pretty typical camping trip for me. I spend a lot of time out in the wilderness, almost every weekend and I’ve been up here several times. There was a pretty good thunder storm that came through which always makes things a bit more fun! Also, a little fox kept me company the entire weekend which was nice because at the time this photo was taken, not many people camp up here. But other than that, just another day in the tent for me!
So then that is you in the hammock?
Yes, that is me in the hammock. I’m out by myself 99% of the time. I like to add the human element in my photos on occasion so unfortunately, everyone has to look at me, lol.
What photo gear did you use to get this shot and what were your camera settings?
I shoot with a Sony A7r III and a Sony Gmaster 24-70 f/2.8 lens. For this particular shot, I also used my Vello FreeWave Plus Wireless Remote Shutter Release, Sirui T2205X Carbon Fiber Tripod w/ a Sirui G20KX Ball Head. It’s a great light weight setup that works perfect for all the backpacking I do! I also used an app called PhotoPills which allowed me to know exactly where the sun was going to be and at what time it was going to be there.
The settings for the shot were: ISO 320 – 24 mm – f/13 – 1/30 sec
And how did you process the image?
The image was processed in Adobe Lightroom. It’s actually the only editing software I ever use.
And we obviously have to ask what kind of tent it is..
The tent is an REI Passage 2. It’s my go to tent for the warmer months because it’s light weight, durable, keeps me completely dry and is inexpensive! It sells for around $150 but I was able to pick it up on sale for $100. Great value! It’s also super quick to setup. I can have the tent w/ fly completely up in 5 minutes by myself!
Was there anything particularly difficult about getting the shot? The angle is really interesting. Like, it isn’t a straight #Tentview but it still kind of is. Was that the only angle you shot?
Yes, there were some challenges in getting the shot. First off, the tent was moved for the picture. It’s kind of hard to see, but if you look below my hammock you can see the lake is pretty close. In the James Peak Wilderness, camping within 100 ft of lakes is prohibited. I was actually camped a bit further back and woke up early to move my tent in position. I had envisioned this shot in my head for awhile, but I didn’t want to break any wilderness regulations to get it. And of course, by using the PhotoPills app, I was able to line everything up just the way I wanted to for sunrise! It’s the only angle I took because I really only had one chance to get it right and get the image I had in my head.
Did you get any other shots that day?
For sure! The area is really beautiful and super photogenic. Here are a few more from right around that location.
Where can people see more of your photography?
All my photography is pretty much exclusively on Instagram @cov.chris. I appreciate anyone who cares to take a look!
My name is Chris Covington and the outdoors/mountains is something that has been instilled in me since before I was born. My mom is from Namche Bazaar, Nepal and my dad was a professional Scottish mountaineer. He met my mom while climbing in Nepal, and I was trekking around the Himalaya’s while still in her belly. She came over to the States with him and I was born in Boulder, CO. I’ve been climbing and backpacking around CO since I was a baby and have been fortunate to have traveled the world and climbed many mountains throughout my life. The most notable would be Denali (Mt McKinley) the highest mountain in North America. Back when I was 11, my dad and I made a world record attempt at becoming the youngest person to ever climb Denali. Unfortunately we were hit with some very severe weather and never got to actually summit. I was on the mountain for a total of 27 days and honestly couldn’t think of a better place to be! I’m far removed from my ‘Big Mountain’ days, but the wilderness has never left my heart. I spend as much time out here as I can (almost every weekend) and I’ve combined that with a somewhat new passion… Photography!