Photographer William Adamczak has a knack for capturing moody mountain views and sweeping scenes of the night sky.
The Saratoga County resident, whose work is on view at the Northville Library Gallery, took up photography about three years ago, with the thought that he’d document the lives of his young children as they grew up. However, he found himself drawn to capturing the landscapes and creatures around the Adirondacks and the Capital Region as well.
Adamczak, who is also an assistant professor at Siena College, has long been an avid hiker, becoming an Adirondack 46er at the age of 17. In the summer, he and his family often stay in Bolton Landing and he goes for early morning hikes around the Lake George area. In the fall, he usually hikes in the Adirondacks at least once a week.
“I’ll basically have a sunrise hike planned, I’ll have a sunset hike planned and I’ll find a spot or two to stop along the way between,” Adamczak said. “When we get Milky Way season up here [and] there’s a clear night, I have six, seven, sometimes eight different stops, I’ll make where, the first one is a long hike in, and then everything after that is relatively short . . . I make the best of the nights and the days that I have out.”
On the way, he’ll get photos of mountainous views and snapshots of animals.
“When I go, I actually take two cameras with me because I also do wildlife,” Adamczak said. “I was out one morning, doing sunrise photos on an island on Lake George and I had a lens with me that worked for wildlife and I had a lens for landscapes, and I had a beautiful sunrise happening in front of me. At the same time, I had a bald eagle fishing 30 yards in front of me.”
For Adamczak, getting the shot is only half the story.
“With landscape [photography] I think it’s interesting to think about the journey that goes into taking some of those photos,” Adamczak said. “Some of the winter ones, for example, where you’re out for sunrise on a winter day, think of the fact that you’re out there [hiking] in the bitter cold in the wind, hands frozen, and somehow you’re loving it. To go out and get these photos under these conditions, it’s kind of baffling. But one of the other things that you forget is . . . for every outing that works out, there’s four or five outings where you walk away with almost nothing out of it.”
Fortunately, many of those frigid and foggy hikes have garnered great shots, including some that have been featured in Capital Region Living and have won the grand prize in the most recent Adirondack Life Magazine’s photo contest.
His first solo show is up at the Northville Library Gallery, which is curated by the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network. Called “Getting Started,” the show features a dozen of his photographs, including a mix of his earlier work and more current pieces.
There will be a Meet-the-Artist Reception for the show from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday. The exhibit is open during regular library hours through September 30 at 341 South 3rd Street, Northville. See the standard library hours at northvillepubliclibrary.weebly.com. For more on Adamczak’s work, visit wadamczakphoto.com.