John Haywood has been capturing images for over 25 years. Photographing a breadth of subjects, while remaining true to his beginnings in the darkroom. At the age of twelve John took a Journalism class in high school, and was able to get his hands on a camera, he was instantly hooked. His first camera was a used Nikon FG, that he purchased at a camera show. Shortly after, he and classmate Ryan Osswald brought the high school darkroom back to life. They were often seen together photographing sports for the school newspaper, or at the Hudson Photographic Center in Hudson, NY, which was owned by one of John’s mentors, Scott Neven.
As time passed, John shifted interest to landscape photography, as he continued to teach himself as well as gain knowledge from others. During Summer recess his Grandfather, who was his biggest inspiration, allowed him to convert a spare room into a darkroom, where he spent almost every day printing and practicing with black and white. Eventually, he would graduate and move out, but he always kept his passion for photography. In 2007, John entered the digital era of photography, with the purchase of a Nikon D80 and dedicating his craft to his Grandfather’s memory. In 2011, with the encouragement of his fiancé Heidi, he would take the first step to realizing the long-time aspiration of publishing a calendar with his photographs. John Haywood Photography was born, and the Waterfalls of Upstate New York calendar was introduced. While the first year was far from a success, John persevered and the calendar has become a popular and sought-after item every year. His hard work and determination also earned him an invitation to become a Getty Images contributor.
In 2014, his love of waterfalls led him to meet author Russell Dunn. That meeting resulted in a lasting friendship and a number of projects including: Ausable Chasm in Pictures and Story and Ausable Chasm in 3D. John has also published a number of books for Dunn including the latest, Penultimate Paddles in the Piseco, Indian, and Canada Lakes Region; Southeast Adirondacks. They are currently working on a number of projects which includes 3D or Anaglyph Photography. This is where the viewer uses glasses, with red and cyan lenses, to achieve the 3D effect.
In 2015, John accepted an invitation to the Lake Placid Center for the Arts Gallery on Main Street in Lake Placid. At that time the gallery was a “temporary experiment”, which soon became a permanent fixture in the village, following it’s unprecedented success. The gallery features a number of local and regional artists, including painters, sculptors and photographers, as well as artists from several other mediums.
John spends as much time as he can hiking, exploring and photographing throughout the Adirondacks. He says, “I could go anywhere, but this is where my heart is. The air and water is clean, and everyone I’ve met is very friendly. It’s a whole different world here and I love it!” One of his favorite places to photograph is Ausable Chasm in Keeseville. John has spent countless hours, over the years, capturing a multitude of images, and has been referred to as a modern day Seneca Ray Stoddard, who was known to frequently photograph the Chasm in the late 18 and early 1900’s.
In this digital age, John likes to keep things simple when it comes to processing photos. While he will use exposure blending and HDR at times, to achieve certain “looks”, he prefers the dodge and burn methods he learned in the darkroom two decades ago. This is a feature found in post-processing programs, where the user can select the areas they want to either add or subtract highlight, midtone and shadow by hand. He uses this painstaking technique in creating all limited edition black and white photographs. After the decided number of prints are made, the file is deleted.
John not only displays his talents as a photographer, but also as a writer in being a contributor to Outdoor Project where he writes about the adventures he goes on.
Moving forward, John will continue his adventures in The Adirondacks and beyond, and will maintain his pursuit of waterfalls. He was once asked what he’ll do after he finds them all. He replied, “Keep looking”.