I slowly sink into the thick mud of the swamp as the rolling morning fog floats lazily by. I rearrange my composition through my viewfinder and smoothly press down on the shutter release. I turn slightly and take a tentative step forward, nudging the painfully aggressive crayfish away from my bare toes as I carefully test the swamp bottom below me, avoiding the deeper spots. This is where I am at peace. Me and my camera, in the remote biosphere of life hidden away in the world’s largest subtropical wilderness, known as the Florida Everglades. Also, my backyard.
I’ve been roaming this veritable wilderness all my life but only recently did I realize that this haven presented some of the best landscape photography in the world. Soon enough, my principal concentration in photography became the Everglades. I do experiment with other formats, styles, and genres, but I seem to always gravitate towards these swamps. Or maybe that’s because I live only fifteen minutes away. I tend to relax by driving out to the Everglades, kicking off my shoes, grabbing my camera, and trekking straight out across the slough. Escaping from society for a few hours tends to clear my head better than anything else does, and it also inspires me to create some of my best artwork.
I love photography for the way it satisfies the technical, left-brain part of me while still stimulating my artistic, right-brain side. I think photography best exemplifies how art can play a role in our technology-filled lives by blending together expression forms in society and I this is what sets me apart from other applicants. I have the homeschooling background which has given me the tools I need to look at something from an analytical AND creative perspective.
Besides photography, I've been water skiing for more than fifteen of my seventeen years, trained by my father, who also skied competitively when he was younger. I've come a long way since I was only two years old, on my ski, and I've added a slew of titles to my resume, including US National Champion, Colombian National Champion, Panamerican Overall Champion, Latinamerican 2nd place, and 3rd place at the 2012 Jr World Championships. I'm currently ranked third place on the international rankings, and I like to spend my summers volunteering at ski camps, helping young children learn the same basic skill sets I learned at my father's hands so long ago.
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