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Storyteller Spotlight - Archer Shoots

Chris Archer

Archer started his art career drawing, but felt compelled to pick up a camera when he moved to the vibrant landscape of Maui. Ten years later, he mastered the art of putting himself in the right place, at the right time. 

Tell us a little bit about how you got your start?

I got into photography about 8 years ago, living on Maui brought out a different creative outlet for me than what I was used to doing. I am an artist, using pencil and ink to capture scenes in the city of Chicago was very different than the moving and colorful scenes here in Hawai’i. I grew away from drawing and turned my direction to photography and then time-lapse and video. 


What's your favorite part of the creative process?

My favorite part of the creative process is trying to predict what the weather, clouds, winds, tides, etc are going to do over the next hour to 8 hours. Trying to put myself in the right place in order to capture it unfold. 

 How did you get into time-lapsing? What do you look for in a good timelapse?

I got into time lapse photography after shooting Milky Way photos for awhile and wanting to see the motion for myself to share with my mother who lives in Michigan and would only believe the time lapse to be real if I was the one who shot it and promised her it was real. 


What I look for in a good time lapse, although it isn’t always an option, is a scene without objects in the foreground that can move a lot with the wind. If the objects are too close or will move too much, I will try to find a place with little to no movement . To me they will be distracting to the rest of the time lapse. I also try to fill the frame. Make the entire scene visually appealing. A good foreground such as rocks or beach always seem to work well because they don’t move, allowing the eye to more easily focus on the movement of the night sky or clouds. 

My relationship with Haleakala is very special to me. I have been up there quite a bit and have experienced some truly remarkable times both at the summit and inside the crater as well. Some of the darkest night skies and quietest places in the world. It’s surreal and recharging to witness the ever changing environment from a place like Haleakala.

WHat's Next? what are you excited about?

 Last year I took my hobby to a profession and I have to say it was one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. Being able to say yes to opportunities and spend more time learning new techniques and skills in photography has really helped me improve and broaden my creativity. I enjoy challenges and every chance I can get to practice something new is an invitation I will accept every time.