January Featured Photographer: Hector A. Diaz of Beacon Transplant
Publish Date: 2020-01-15
We are excited to introduce our first Featured Photographer of the year, Hector A. Diaz of Beacon Transplant. We hope you admire his work as much as we do! Have a read to learn more about the man behind the camera.
What is your name and where can people find your work?
Hector A. Diaz, @Beacon_Transplant on Instagram. No other website or social media account. One is enough for me! :)
Describe your perfect staycation in Dutchess, or your idea of a fun weekend in the County
One of the main reasons we moved to the Hudson Valley, specifically Dutchess County, is because of the beautiful surroundings and the “vacation feeling” it provides. So, staycations are our absolute favorite pass-time. In fact, sometimes, we still feel like we live on vacation! Waking up to go enjoy a delicious brunch at one of the many awesome spots on or near Main Street in Beacon (like Beacon Daily, Beacon Falls Café or Beacon Bread Company, etc.) is how we love to start our staycations or fun weekends. Afterward, strolling down Main Street and visiting our favorite shops is the way we’d walk off those oh-so-worth-it calories. Then, we’d get back in our car and go explore Dutchess County. There’s always something new or beautiful to discover! Driving through and getting to know neighborhoods is one of our favorite things to do, as well. So, walking through other beautiful towns like Rhinebeck, Red Hook or Wappingers Falls will always scratch our staycation itch. Or, if we have proper shoes on, it would be time for a hike through one of the countless, beautifully scenic destinations in Dutchess County (e.g., Fishkill Ridge Trail, Madam Brett Park, Long Dock Park and its Riverfront Trail, Dennings Point Trail, etc.) Once our hunger works up again, visiting one of our favorite dinner spots would be next on the itinerary (Café con Leche in Wappingers Falls for authentic, delicious Puerto Rican home-cooking, Brothers Trattoria in Beacon for decadent Italian, El Azteca Mexican Restaurant for amazing Mexican cuisine in Poughkeepsie, Meyers Old Dutch or Dogwood in Beacon for awesome burgers and delicious pub fare, Schatzi’s in Poughkeepsie for all-around deliciousness, and so many other choices). Ending the evening with a good movie night at the Beacon Theater would round out the perfect staycation or fun weekend. Best part, though: heading right back home to cuddle in beautiful Beacon Hills, which is only minutes away. Ahhh!
What equipment do you use in your photography?
A question I get asked a whole lot, actually! Truth be told, most of my photography is mobile photography. That’s right: I mainly use my phone’s camera for most of my photography (an LG V40 ThinQ – it’s awesome!). Other than my phone, my trusty point-and-shoot is my next go-to: a Canon Powershot G9X, which takes awesome photos. I connect it to my phone, transfer the photos and edit them right on my LG V40, as well. I do have an old Canon EOS DSLR that was gifted to me, but use it very rarely. Most people are surprised to learn this. But, as they say, the best camera you can have is the one you have in your hand. The equipment shouldn’t matter much, it’s how you use it. ;)
What is your favorite place to photograph in Dutchess and why?
The entire town of Beacon, NY is my absolute favorite place to photograph in Dutchess County. The variety of scenery, its gorgeous natural beauty and its awesomely photogenic qualities all continue to impress and amaze me, even after almost 6 years of living here. You have everything in one town: mountain views, riverfronts, creek sides, woods and forests, in addition to a charming and rustic town ripe with brick facades and lampposts begging to be photographed.
Do you have somewhere on your list that you want to photograph in Dutchess, but haven’t gotten there yet?
Although I have countlessly photographed Bannerman Castle from afar (mainly from my train ride to and from the city for work), we have yet to actually go to the island itself to view it up close and personal. (I know! Bad Beaconites we are!) So, that would be #1 on my list.
Give us a few photography tips
Well, what my best friend, inspiration and favorite person in the whole world (my wife) advised me was this: “For anything you photograph, first picture the scene in a frame, hung up on display somewhere, then ask yourself: ‘Would I buy that? Would I want it hanging in my home?’ If so, and it looks that good to you, then shoot it.” I think that has been the best photography tip ever given to me, and one I would impart to others. Secondly, the famous quote “I’ve found photography has little to do with the things you see, and everything to do with the way you see them” couldn’t’ be any truer. Every photographer’s “eye” is different. So, there really aren’t wide-sweeping, general rules to follow. Just gotta go with what stirs you on the inside when you’re shooting, and be sure to do your best to translate that into your photos. If there is ONE technical tip, I’d say: “Leading lines!” There are leading lines everywhere you look. Find ‘em and capture them in your photos to help direct the eyes of the viewer to where you want them to go.