Adirondack Morning, New York, 1994

While on assignment in the Adirondack mountains of New York I found a great location for a shot of the iconic White Face mountain. Having just photographed someone who restores beautiful wooden Adirondack guide boats, I thought it would a good place to shoot someone standing in the boat fly fishing with the mountain scenery behind at dawn.

So, after asking and securing the guide boat for a photo shoot, I then went about and found a fly-fishing guide who said he would meet me at 5am at the pond.

So, on the designated morning I carried the guide boat to the location and waited for the fishing guide. He never showed up and so as disappointed as I was, I still took shots of the guide boat in the beautiful setting. As it turns out, I’m glad that the guide never showed as this image made the cover of the National Geographic Traveler magazine.

And after shooting the image, I then got into the boat and rowed around the pond, and absolutely fell in love with the boat, and ended up buying it! That was an expensive morning for me.

Since the Nat Geo Fine art galleries started, I have wanted this image to be part of the collection, not only because it might help to pay for that boat, but more importantly because it is one of my favorite images, and I’m thrilled to share it with photography collectors.

Location: Adirondack State Park, New York
Photograph Date: 1994
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200
Available Sizes: 70cm to 100cm

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About the Photographer

Michael Melford

Michael Melford originally wanted to be an engineer. But after taking an art history course at the University of Syracuse, New York, he found his way to photography, which combined what he calls “the mechanical-chemical aspect of engineering with instant art.” Since then, he has won numerous awards from The International Center of Photography and World Press Images, among others. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic. He lives in Mystic, Connecticut.

Q & A

You've just completed your 18th story for National Geographic. What does it mean to work for “The Big Yellow”?

It’s everyone’s dream, and it did not disappoint. I came to National Geographic through National Geographic Kids magazine, from that to the Books division, then to National Geographic Traveler magazine, where I worked for 15 years without cracking the door at “Big Yellow.” Then, about twelve years ago, out of the blue, I got the phone call. Two other photographers had turned down an assignment to go to Acadia National Park. I jumped on it and began working nonstop for National Geographic.

One of your inspirations is Ansel Adams. What excites you about his work?

Ansel was not only an artist, he was a technician. He pre-visualized his images. He was, to me, the landscape photography master artist, technician, and craftsman, and he remains so today. Digital photography makes it easy by giving you the tools to make a picture look any way you want. I think Ansel would be all over digital. He was the predecessor of it all. Not only did he have a vision of landscape and the American West, he understood light and the technical aspects of it.

Is there a larger mission behind your photos, Michael?

National Geographic’s goal is to get people to care about the planet. That says it all for me, too. I want to try and capture how beautiful the world is. I am not a journalist. I’m a landscape photographer and want to share with people what I see and how beautiful it is, in the hope of preserving it and making people appreciate it.

National Geographic Image Collection Interview With Michael Melford By Simon Worrall

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