Student Spotlight: Carl Wright
Carl Wright’s dual passions of photography and travel go hand in hand. Although he’s technically a junior, he recently transfer from Glenwood Springs High to Yampah Mountain High to get ahead on credits in anticipation of a year abroad. He recently sat down with the Post Independent to talk about how he caught the travel bug.
Post Independent: Tell us about your travels.
Carl Wright: My grandparents took my brother and I on a family trip through Europe when I was younger. In France, I realized I wanted to be more than an observer. I started looking at exchange options and stumbled on the McBride Internship. They’re the ones that took me to Kenya. After I got back from Kenya, I started to look into more long term options to go to a country with a completely different culture. It turns out that’s way harder to do than you would expect. Rotary International Youth Exchange was kind of the best option for that, so I sent in an application and a year later I’m looking at going to India for a year starting late summer. We don’t know a lot of specifics yet. I may not know exactly where and when I’m going until a week before I leave.
PI: Is traveling something you want to keep doing?
CW: I feel very strongly about keeping that in my life. It’s been in my family since I was really little. It’s a core item to who I am. You get into your own lifestyle in Glenwood Springs, and travel gives you a chance to see what other people are doing. In Alaska, the whole industry is based around fishing. It’s a whole different culture even though we’re under the same constitution. When you go to a different country, the whole way they perceive the world is different.
PI: How did you get into photography?
CW: I picked up DSLR before I went to Kenya– a Pentax K50. I got into shooting over there– the feel of the camera and everything. I got back, kinda took a break from shooting, and then probably about a year ago I started picking up my camera a bit more. Before it had all be candid photos, and from that point on I started trying to stage shots and arrange lighting and things like that.
PI: Was that a difficult transition?
CW: I think the hardest part was finding people to shoot. When you’re traveling, you don’t think twice about it. When you’re here, you have to think about scheduling and you know the person. You’re not just trying to convey the moment, you’re trying to convey who they are.
PI: Do you feel like you’ve grown as a photographer?
CW: Absolutely. I go back through my photos of Kenya and a lot of them are out of focus. I went for quantity instead of quality while I was trying to learn how to use a camera. In two weeks, I went from not knowing how to set aperture and shutter speed, to being able to use the camera in manual mode on the go. Imagine what I can do in a year someplace with so much culture after having so much more practice.
PI: What will you do when you get back?
CW: I don’t know. Probably college. I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I’m having to dip into my college account a bit for this trip, so maybe I’ll go to CMC for a few years to make up that deficit, then pick something to do with my life and go for it.
PI: Do you think that will be photography?
CW: I think I’d almost prefer for it to be a hobby. I want my love and passion for it not to fall into a chore. I want it to be something I can do when I’m stressed or bored, not something I have to do.