Between a packed class schedule and piano practice, Will Laycock, first-year Oxbridge Music and physics major, doesn’t have much free time. When he does, he enjoys using this time for photography, and he recently sat down with the Monitor to discuss his hobby.
“I don’t really like using words to express myself, so I use the piano, photography and sweaters instead,” Laycock said. “I love my close friends and invest most of my social energy improving those friendships, leaving a little bit for everyone else. I like reading about music and space and stuff and would always rather be on a walk. My favorite color is green, so landscape photography makes me very fulfilled.”
Laycock began taking photos on his own time the summer after his junior year of high school. For Laycock, photography is both a form of artistic expression and relaxation.
“[Photography] mostly calms me down and lets me think,” Laycock said. “It’s not so much the photography as it is getting out to do it.”
Laycock’s style of photography varies, but his favorite type of photographs to take are landscapes.
“Landscapes are my favorite pictures to take,” Laycock said. “For one, you don’t have to make landscapes come with you…[portrait photography] is great, but you have to have a lot of cooperation on behalf of someone else. [With] landscape photography you pretty much get to do all the work on your own…That’s something I really like, not because I don’t like other people or anything, it’s just something I do to relax, and most of the things I do to relax are by myself and sort of peaceful things.”
He draws inspiration for his photos from a number of adventures, but especially from the beauty of national parks. His favorite national parks include Yosemite, Glacier and Mount Rainier.
“I really like to get up super early sometimes if there’s some place I’m at that I think is super pretty, like Glacier National Park,” Laycock said. “I’ll get up before sunrise and make myself some coffee and just hang out and take long exposure photos while the sun rises. It’s pretty fun.”
Although Laycock doesn’t have a particular affinity for any specific photographers, he enjoys the work that a few post online.
“Andrew Kearns is someone I follow, and I love all of his photography,” Laycock said. “If you know Peter McKinnon, I love Peter McKinnon,” Laycock said. “I don’t have many specific people…I just like certain types of photos.”
While his photography is mainly for personal enjoyment, Laycock has also given his photos as gifts, entered them in contests and posted them on his own social media.
“I did some photoshoots in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, and I got 11-by-14 photos framed and matted for my mom’s birthday or Christmas or something, I can’t quite remember what occasion it was. I’ll post them [my photos] online. I also entered a long exposure subway shot in high school for a photo competition, but I don’t think I got anything. I do some sharing, but mostly I just like editing because it’s like art.”
Laycock likes to keep his photography pretty simple in terms of editing, but he utilizes editing tools to enhance their quality.
“I use Photoshop and Lightroom from Adobe…I don’t do any other film or animated stuff like that,” Laycock said. “I’d say I probably use Photoshop the most, more than Lightroom.”
Out of all the moments Laycock has captured, his favorite pictures also hold some of his favorite memories.
“My favorite picture is a picture of Benja in Chile because it’s very genuine; it’s just him laughing,” Laycock said. “It’s nothing special, but it just has a nice memory with me. Either that or this picture I took in New York, which was taken in Dumbo, Brooklyn.”