Jac-Cen-Del senior captures the moment
HarleyJo Kennedy Photo
How would one describe their ideal high school senior year? Would you describe your ideal high school senior year the same as you would for your child?
There is a young man, Carson Hughes, a senior at Jac-Cen-Del (JCD) High School and he is many things. He leads the conference in assists with JCD’s varsity soccer program. So, yes, he is a team player.
He also participates in varsity basketball and baseball. He is an honor student. Hughes is also involved with friends, his girl-friend, family and school. But he also takes time for a very consuming hobby.
Photography is not just a hobby in passing, but one he has dedicated hours to daily. During the summer, many high school students seek time to sleep in and enjoy hanging out with their friends. Friends are important! Especially when they will soon part ways with for colleges in different areas of both locale and studies.
Hughes gets up before dawn and heads to the Versailles State Park. One of his favorite sites to set up his tripod, camera and then wait … wait until the light is perfect. The shadows create borders and nuances that only his eyes can bring into focus in his pictures.
Many evenings, Hughes can be found once again, at Versailles State Park. He describes dawn and dusk as the optimum lighting opportunities to create details in his photos that turn wildlife into art forms one could only hope to imagine.
Hughes describes being at one with nature enough to capture a pair of yearling fawns multiple times! So quiet and at peace while photographing them, the fawns almost walked up face to face with him, as he sat with his camera and tripod.
Huges and his family have traveled west to capture wildlife and landscapes beyond what is offered here. Hughes is so enthralled with the diversity and scope of subjects in the United States, he cannot imagine traveling outside the USA to create photographic art of nature.
Hughes says “I just want to bring what I love doing (taking photographs of nature) into a product that others can enjoy and bring into their homes.” He uses diverse methods to capture that “money shot.” But Hughes is not in this for the money.
Of course, he does sell some of the magnificent art he creates. He is setting up a booth at Bricktoberfest (September 16) and will have prints and framed prints available for purchase. Carson Hughes photography can also be found on Instagram and Facebook.
Hughes accepts both cash and Venmo. But the money is not what he does this for. Money earned does provide the capability to frame, print and create more art. But Hughes and his family insist this is a hobby.
Hughes balance and commonsense approach are evident in his art, but also in his daily approach to life. He realizes he will never have another high school senior year. So, he devotes himself to achieving successes in multi-layered approaches.
Success is defined as his enjoyment and fully experiencing every detail of his senior year. Success is also having ample time to spend with friends and family.
Successfully capturing his first waterfall is another type of success. Hughes is a fan of the details captured when photographing wildlife in the rain. More successes! One simply must look at Instagram: carsonhughes_photography or on Facebook: Carson Hughes Wildlife Photographer to find a plethora of successes.
One of Hughes favorite tools for his photography passion is his kayak. He says “it allows me to get in real close to wildlife.” And from his photos you will appreciate the closeness and stillness he achieves.
Hughes only started his photography in 2020. It quickly consumed his focus and became an art he is mastering.
Original photographic art he created, he once thought of as “terrific.” With a better trained, more critical eye, he now demands more pristine details and nuances. When starting, Hughes describes shots achieved with binoculars and his cell phone.
Hughes first camera came in 2022. A DSLR digital. In July 2022, Hughes got his “big lens,” a spotting scope! This spotting scope facilitates capturing wildlife in more detail and from a greater distance.
Hughes has many goals with his photography passion. The Smokies, a return trip to Yellow Stone, and many more hours at Versailles State Park. However, his immediate focus is his scholastic career.
A career in engineering is paramount. His ideal career will be as a civil engineer in a National Park. He is applying to several colleges and working toward improving his SAT scores from last years testing. Hughes smiles selflessly and states if I can raise my SATs to 1300 Taylor (University) gives scholarships. Of course, Purdue is a top four contender, also.
Of special purpose to being a civil engineer in a National Park would be the wildlife and scenic nature to photograph. Hughes demonstrates how to get the best shots by lowering to a crouching stance to “get to eye level with your subject.” This avoids unsightly shadows and lifts the subjects face to highlights and a more detailed focus.
When asked if he has “studied” photography formally, he explains that “yes” he studies hours and hours. Hughes pours over his past photographs to improve and enhance future projects.
Hughes describes when he started with nobody instructing him. He sifted through Instagram, articles in the library and any resource he could attain. Hughes learned from mistakes with his own photographs and improvements he has made over the years.
One special photograph hangs in the Indiana State Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch’s office. Hughes won the 2023 Indiana Agriculture Photo Contest. His print of a buck walking through water at the Versailles State Park is entitled, “Wild Connections.” After its year-long showing, it will come home to a very special location in the Hughes household.
One can order through Hughes on-line sources or look him up at Bricktoberfest. An already accomplished artist, Hughes shares his “pet peeve” in his humble, good-natured style. He hates to have people state “oh your camera takes such good photos!” To an accomplished artist like Hughes this is like saying “Michael Jordon had a good basketball.”
Hughes has dedicated many, many hours to his art. He packs equipment in and out of parks and niches where he captures the best lighting and frames of still life. Many more hours are spent developing and editing the photographs to bring forth every detailed distinction and create a piece of art that is actually museum quality.