GARNERVILLE, N.Y. -- Tom McGuire fell in love with photography reading National Geographic. Now, the Garnerville resident shoots images with the quality and detail that are hallmarks of the iconic magazine.
McGuire took up photography six years ago after retiring from his position with New York State as a therapist working with the developmentally disabled. His shots focus on landscapes, nature shots, animals and plants.
“I was always interested in photography,’’ McGuire said. “But at that time, it was every expensive and time consuming to pursue. I had always loved National Geographic and other nature shows on television, and that was my inspiration. When digital photography came along, you could edit your work on your computer, so that made it more viable to pursue.”
McGuire enjoys shooting early in the morning, “where the light is special.” His portraits, at sunrise and sunset, provide some of the most picturesque scenes of the Hudson Valley.
“I love the outdoors and hikings,’’ he said. “They allow me some great opportunities to take pictures. I love shooting pictures by natural light and since I am a very early riser, I shoot a lot of sunrise pictures and use that golden light to often photograph landscapes and animals of all kinds.”
McGuire started with a point-and-shoot given to him by a friend, Steve Ferrara. As he worked at his craft, McGuire purchased more sophisticated equipment and learned editing processes that helped him sharpen his work.
“It’s funny, when I look back at my earlier work, I see photos that I thought were pretty good at the time, but now I can see flaws in them,’’ McGuire said. “Especially in the editing process. I tended to over due it with contrast, sharpening, highlighting and color saturation.
“It takes time to learn to be a little more subtle in my approach,’’ he added. “I still have to check myself when it comes to over-editing. There is a fine balance you have to achieve that usually comes by trial and error, and experience.”
McGuire said as he has gotten older, physical challenges have made it harder for him to hike mountains, fight through thick brush and reach locations to get optimal shots. “I have a bum left knee, a right shoulder with rotator cuff issues and spinal arthritis,’’ McGuire said. “I’m also having a harder time with weather conditions, especially when it’s cold. I love to take pictures of bald eagles, but they are mostly out around the Hudson River where they can fish off of ice floes or from high tree tops. There have been times when my fingers go painfully numb in a matter of minutes, or seconds. I try to persevere through it because the results are my reward and I love making that great capture.”
McGuire started taking photography, as a hobby, but occasionally earns income from various sources. Readers can view and purchase his shots, in various formats, from Fine Art America. Click here to visit McGuire’s page on the Fine Arts America website.
“It’s not easy to sell your work,’’ McGuire said. “But if you are confident in your abilities, just keep trying. If you have talent, you will sell something.”
McGuire said he enjoys the whole shooting and editing process. What makes it more enjoyable is working in the Hudson Valley, which provides unique and varied vistas to produce his awe-inspiring images
“It is really one of the prettiest areas in the state, especially during a magnificent sunrise,’’ he said. “There’s nothing like seeing a new day arise over the mountains and skies along the Hudson River. I grew up in Stony Point very near the river and learned to appreciate it at a very early age. I heard tug boat captains who've been all over the world’s waterways say this is one of the most beautiful areas to navigate. I really love the Hudson Valley.”
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