Adventure photographer Thomas Slatin highlights portrait photography from New York City and adventure photography from Upstate New York
Thomas W.P. Slatin shares his writing and photography work through his award winning blog, which can be found at www.tomslatin.com. Slatin continues his “Decade in Review” this week, discussing his work from 2019. One of his biggest accomplishments of 2019, as Slatin recalls, includes his photographs of the Fownes Factory. Slatin states, “My proudest achievement from this year was getting permission to explore and photograph the Fownes Factory in Amsterdam, New York. I spent the good part of the day exploring and photographing the enormous complex, which was eight stories in height and occupied an entire city block. Continuing, “Unfortunately, there were not enough minutes of daylight left to photograph this immensely large property, as I still had two separate buildings that I was unable to explore, specifically the power plant and an adjacent building.”
Slatin has many photographs of which may be referred to as “favorites” from the last year. In addition to his work as a renowned urban exploration and adventure photographer, Slatin is also known for his stunning photographs of people.
“One of my favorite photographs from 2019 is a portrait of a homeless man in New York City. Having made several trips to New York City in 2019, I talked to this man several times, and bought him lunch as he told me about his life and adventures,”states Slatin.
Thomas Slatin’s favorite landscape photograph from 2019 was taken in Port Aransas, Texas. It is a black and white digital photograph of a pier that extends into the ocean.
One of Slatin’s favorite places to document through his photographs is Maine. In a recent interview, Slatin recalls taking a trip to a small town in Maine which had a lot of abandoned houses. Slatin discussed, “Many (of the houses) were simply too unsafe to enter, so I did not make the attempt. I happened to find one house that was clearly abandoned for a very long time, and I went inside for a closer look. Unfortunately, the only safe place to stand was on this staircase inside the front door, as all the floors had simply rotted away. I quickly took an amazing photograph of the top of the staircase, looking down.” This photograph is included in the gallery of photographs included in this article.
When asked why photography brings him so much joy, his response is that it is “the answer to my curiosity, which has remained a consistently insatiable desire of mine to venture into the unknown, if only to photograph places and things that people don’t often think about, and of course, never visit.”
Slatin’s father, the late Dr. Harvey L. Slatin, gifted Slatin his first camera at the age of eight, when exploring and documenting interesting places was just as much of a passion, as it still remains to be for Thomas Slatin. Slatin through his discussion about this zest for exploration states, “My desire to explore and photograph abandoned places began when I was around the age of 8, definitely beginning when my father gifted me my very first camera and showed me how to use it. I immediately took it with me to explore my first property with my camera in tow, along with a childhood friend to explore an old abandoned barn across the street from his parents’ property, which was filled with antique relics of days long ago.” This is one of Slatin’s earliest memories as an urban exploration and adventure photographer.
Slatin began documenting his experiences through writing during the same year, as the two -writing and photography seemed to perfectly align to readily recall his explorations for years to come, and to share this work with others. Slatin continued, “I started writing around the age of 8also. I had always expressed an interest in documenting my life, even from a very early age. If there was ever a tale to be told, I believed that my life would be most interesting, and I would be sure to share it – just as I am doing now as an adult continuing my life’s work as a writer and photographer.”
Slatin’s favorite location from 2019 includes an old church in Upstate New York. These photographs may be found on Slatin’s blog, and the accompanying photographs with this article.“The church itself is a historic landmark, though my high school friend and I were given permission to look around at the parts of the church that aren’t generally open to the public. We visited the apartment upstairs where the pastor used to live, and photographed an old fan, a vintage scale, and an antique stove which still had two antique tea kettles on top of it.”
As a photographer who has mastered his work in photography, Slatin recalls being thrilled to have mastered the process of taking photographs using a very high ISO, and then processing them using software to balance the light and remove a lot of the digital noise that commonly occurs with higher ISO captures. Slatin concludes, “This was especially useful for photographing in very low light without the aid of a tripod.”
Thomas Slatin continues to share his adventure photography in the coming weeks. Be sure to check back to see his photography work and read the interviews where Slatin continues to share and discuss his work. This provides the opportunity for readers to explore different places vicariously through the photographs which Slatin shares with readers.