Chris Celentano

Chris Celentano

Chris Celentano (@cdcphotography88) is an outdoor enthusiast and photographer that puts his unique spin on every photo he takes. Chris strives to challenge himself every day and find details in photos that others might have missed. His passion for nature seeps into his work and how he lives his life.

house at night on top of hill under milky way with glowing windows

What made you want to become a photographer?

I wanted to capture the immense beauty of the region I call home. I felt as if it was severely under-appreciated; I would say that that feeling still holds true to this day, 12 years later.

Why do you enjoy using Lume Cubes? Do you have a favorite piece of gear?

Lume Cubes allow me to push my creativity even further. They force me to think outside of the box, or at the very least make it easier to think outside of the box in the pursuit of creating compelling images. Of all of the Lume Cube gear that I have, my favorite piece of gear is probably the new Lume Cube 2.0. But dang, that Panel is pretty amazing too. Not to mention being incredibly versatile.

Who are you inspired by?

I have too many inspirations to list. I spend a fair amount of time studying other photographer’s work and analyzing what might make it different, better, or more compelling than mine and why? From there, I try to identify the small details that might answer those questions and work try to tackle them in my own work, thus providing a constant source for improvement.

If you weren’t a photographer? What would you be instead?

Well, I actually have the opportunity to answer that as more than just a theoretical question. Besides being a photographer, I am also a project manager and a sea kayak instructor. It keeps me extremely busy but also allows me to garner inspiration from multiple places.

What is your go-to camera?

The Sony A7RII.

You have done a ton of different landscapes, have you ever experimented in different types of photography?

Absolutely! I would say that landscape photography is near the forefront of my brand and is primarily responsible for allowing me to expand into teaching outdoor photography workshops the last several years; I do consistently shoot several other types of photography as well though. My main “bread and butter” is definitely a commercial outdoor adventure, but I also shoot a fair amount of real estate and portrait photography. It keeps things interesting, keeps me versatile, and provides a wide variety of inspiration and cross-over.

lake under cloudy sky at dusk lake glowing under night sky

Any advice for new photographers?

Never give up. I would say the biggest set back a person can have is in allowing social media to discourage you. Just because one photographer has 150k followers does not mean that your work is any less valuable than theirs. Heck, I find many photographers with tiny followings that have more talent than their counterparts with thousands or millions of followers. That algorithm is not your friend guys. Play the game if you like, but don’t let it be your everything.

What is your preferred editing software?

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC 2020.

What is the best part of your day?

Waking up and planning my day.

You have a pure passion for being outdoors and putting yourself in extreme scenarios to get the shot, what is one time that you “went out on a limb” and didn’t get the results you were looking for? What did you do next?

I would say that I am out on a limb often. The places that I shoot are often extremely remote and harsh. The weather and conditions are pretty unpredictable and as such, I may not be able to capture what I had originally envisioned. I always come into a shoot or project with certain goals and visions in mind. With that said, I am always prepared to roll with the punches and have the equipment and skills to succeed even when things do not work out in my favor initially. An example of this would be any number of backcountry snowboarding shoots I have been on. It is exceedingly rare that we get a bluebird day in the mountains where I live so when the conditions are “ like the inside of a ping-pong ball” I seek out creating images that play to the conditions at hand. The detail and close-up images become the name of the game when visibility is lacking or non-existent. You have to think on your feet and be versatile. The same holds true for when I am out after sunset and it doesn’t pan out. I have lost count of how many times I have used Lume Cubes to create a compelling image and save the day when the sky didn’t show off the way I had hoped.

Coffee or tea?

I would say neither for the most part. Coffee is a 100% never. I will occasionally drink chai tea. 9 times out of 10 I have water.

What’s your favorite photo you’ve taken and why?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I cannot honestly say I have one singular “favorite image.” I have lots of images that I am happy with but always pick them apart and analyze ways I could have shot it better. That’s the beauty of photography in my opinion; you capture a fleeting moment in time and then can spend the next 10 years trying to recapture it to no avail. While this can be a frustrating existence, the benefit is that you are constantly improving your craft and seeking out your next “best” photo.

green light circle around person standing on rock in night sky

Where is the next place that you want to shoot with Lume Cubes at and how would you use the Cubes?

I really want to go shoot some sand dunes at night with my collection of Lume Cubes. I want to shoot with a combination of stationary Cubes and drone-mounted cubes in order to get that perfectly even and unique look that I have only ever been able to create using those techniques.

Describe your photography style in 5 words.

Compelling, unique, bold, adventurous, inspiring. (I hope :) )

If you could go on an adventure-photography trip anywhere in the world with one other person… where would you go and who would you take (you don’t need to know the person… celebrities are fair game)?

I would probably want to go to New Zealand with my wife, Heidi, and my daughter, Piper (she’s pint-sized so I would have to sneak her in too). They are my primary motivation for existing, my biggest supporters, and my most important adventure companions. Piper has been adventuring and backpacking with us since she was 4 days old.

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