For this month's Explore More feature, we connected with photographer Jack Leonard Birt. We learned so much about his passion for photography and how he captures his adventures. Keep reading to discover how Jack Leonard Birt lives the Compas Life.
Do you have a nickname?
My nickname is JJ
Where are you currently living?
I live in the great state of Ohio! I'm from the village of West Liberty where not much really happens day to day, but is a nice little village and community.
Where is your favorite place to shoot?
To be honest, anywhere I can get someone to do portraits with. My favorite place ever is when I went to Maroon Bells in Aspen Colorado. I recommend Maroon Bells just to see how beautiful this earth is. The Bells are located in the Elk Mountains which are twin peaks that are covered in snow for most of the year. It's a beautiful way to spend a day or even a few hours to see the Bells.
What kind of car do you drive?
2012 Chevy Cruze and it is hella great on gas! I've had it for all of my road trips and haven't had to do any major work to it for the three years I've been traveling.
Where is the best place you’ve ever camped out?
I camped out in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming this summer and it was in total isolation. We had no cell service and it was just the most amazing scene I'd ever experienced! There was a huge lake right in front of us and we pitched our tent right by a thirty foot cliff which overlooked the lake.
Do you believe in aliens?
Yes! I feel like there has to be some type of other life forms out there because of how extraordinarily big the universe is. I don't feel like anyone can truly comprehend how big this place is. It's insane! I've captured a few moments of our milky way galaxy through my camera and I have to say it is surreal.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Hmmm... I would say the best place I've ever eaten at was in a little town called Meeteetse, Wyoming at a restaurant called "Restaurant!" Haha! They sold buffalo burgers. The population of Meeteetse is around 300 people so it was a super small place. The places to eat there were all locally owned and were very friendly.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
You make your life whatever you want it to be. These words are so meaningful to me because it has given me the opportunity to not just have a 9 to 5 job and allows me to seek out what I'm truly meant to do. It was a risk for sure, but a good one. Plan A should always be your dreams and Plan B should ... well don't have a plan B just focus on plan A.
What word or phrase would you use to describe your photography style?
Lifestyle, portrait photography. I love capturing moments of the people I enjoy having around me in my life, and the beauty they portray. I also love being adventurous with friends and having those moments in between show. Being able to capture them and tell a story to everyone who enjoys my work.
What is currently spinning in your “digital" record player?
theartofcremation by Bones
What is your favorite piece of gear you are using right now?
Sony a7,24/70mm lens. Also, the Nikon F3 film camera. I highly recommend the the 24/70mm due to the aperture and sharpness of the lens. This is my absolute go to when shooting portraits. The Sony a7 is something I'm new on as I used to be a Nikon guy, but really wanted to have something more functional and lightweight. I'm focused more on the moment than trying to carry a heavy camera or mess with a bunch DSLR settings. Sony is just so much easier to handle and has made it so much easier to carry on my hiking trips.
Where is your current bucket list location to shoot?
My current bucket list is to go back into the Adirondack Mountains in Northern New York, but I also really want to travel to Western Canada! That would be insane, but I have to get my passport first! I'd love to go to Alberta as I've seen some amazing places to take landscape and portrait photos there. Also, the mountain peaks are so much more vast than the ones in United States. I'd love to just find more untouched landscapes to explore and roads less travelled to shoot portraits. This way it's much more of a personal unique story for the people looking at my photos. I want my followers and fans to look at my portraits/photography and leave with an impression of dramatic feelings and the sense of adventure.
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Check out Jack's work on his website and Instagram.