Exploring the Volcanoes | Skillshare Projects

Riley Russill




Exploring the Volcanoes

Hey everyone, my name is Riley and I am 17 years old. I have recently discovered photography and its something I enjoy immensely because of the experiences and relationships that can come out of it. I have met so many awesome friends through the common interest of photography that I always feel inspired! If you any of you would like to follow my work on Instagram my handle is @yoriles.

So the idea behind my project was to really capture the scale of my surroundings. One of my favorite things to photograph is tiny people in a landscape setting. In addition to landscapes I enjoy portraits quite a bit. The photos from my project were taken this last weekend from an outing with one of my friends. We have gone out and shot multiple times in the past but it had been a while so it was an enjoyable experience. 

The location I went to was on the outskirts of Albuquerque, NM called the Petroglyphs National Monument. We arrived around 4 in the afternoon and it was extremely cold so! I have hiked around and explored the area a little bit already so it was a perfect setting because of my familiarity with it. 

One of the first pictures I took was of my good friend Jonah as he was walking on the trail to one of the Volcanoes. I really liked how the sky was partially cloudy but that there was just enough light peaking through the clouds to showcase the blue New Mexico skies.


The second picture I took that really caught my eye was from the top of the Volcano looking down on the trail we had taken. The trail provided was a great example of a leading line and the volcanic rocks really helped to frame the picture as well.


The third picture that I really enjoyed was a portrait of Jonah. After reaching the top of the volcano we took some more pictures and watched as the light started to fade and the sunset started to go down. I asked Jonah if he wanted to get a quick portrait. As soon as I had asked he pulled out a bandana and put it over his face. One thing that has always helped me in photography is adding an extra element that wasn't there in the first place. So in this instance the bandana was perfect. I also really liked how the smoke coming out of his bandana blended in with the cloudy sky.


The last picture that stuck out to me from the entire shoot was probably one of the most basic and perhaps cliche pictures most people are familiar with, a picture through a phone. To me the colors of the sky and the last remnants of snow on the ground made for a perfect natural frame of my iphone itself. I have been trying to play around with depth of field a lot lately and this was a perfect moment to do so.


In addition to the story and consistency behind each photograph I hope the pictures themselves demonstrate a good example of how effective the VSCO editing app really is. I have been using it for over a year now and it always seems to deliver. Also thanks a bunch Joe for providing this class! I learned some neat shortcuts from your editing techniques on VSCO!


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