“I got lost on a trail in Nepal during the dead of winter. I was too busy taking photos that I lost track of time and direction. I slowly made my way through the dark by moonlight and luckily made it to the village around midnight,” Los Angeles photographer Aaron Yuan says while recounting his worst experience behind a camera. It’s clear evidence that he is determined to go that extra mile to get that extra special shot, but you only need to look at his portfolio to understand that…
Picking up a camera as a teenager, the now 35-year-old thanks a technophobic teacher who forced him to learn how to use a manual film camera and make his own prints, giving him a greater understanding of the broader art of photography. “My teacher was not a fan of digital photography so he barred us from using digital cameras in the class. To be fair, the technology wasn’t great back in the early 2000s so his dismissive attitude towards the digital medium was totally warranted,” he says.
There’s a certain stoic calmness to his photos that may be due to his laid-back approach – giving the moment time to reveal itself to him before he pulls the trigger. “When I have my camera with me, I tend to wander aimlessly but thoroughly through an area, slowly but surely navigating through each of it’s nooks and crannies,” he says.
“I love shooting unique and bizarre landscapes. Some of my favorites are Joshua Tree, California and Vestrahorn, Iceland. The alien-like vegetation and unusual terrain are awe-inspiring and make me feel like I’m discovering another planet. And when sunset finally arrives and fills the sky with shades of purple and magenta, I can’t think of a better way to end a day.”