Randall Hodges, 47, expresses his spiritual connection with nature through his camera while hiking and backpacking the wilderness areas of the West.
His goal was to hike 24,901 miles, the earth’s circumference. He hit it on New Year’s Eve on Ebey’s Landing Trail on Whidbey Island. It took him 27 years.
His photos have been in galleries, magazines, calendars, greeting cards, post cards and newspapers.
He owns Randall J Hodges Photography, 317 Main St., Edmonds; www.randalljhodges.com.
Talk about hitting your global goal.
After snow backpacking to Artist Ridge for three days, I knew my mileage count was very close. Back in the car on the way home I realized we had put in 29 miles during the snow adventure, only leaving 2 miles for me to hit my lifetime goal of 24,901 miles.
I asked my good buddy Bryan if we could make a stop at Ebey’s Landing and do the loop hike of 3 miles on Ebey’s Bluff, so I could hit my mileage goal. He said, “Sure thing” — as long as I bought him a beer.
So we hit a local convenience store and I bought us a couple of Scuttlebutt’s 10 below (which seemed fitting as our snow adventure had temps below that) and we hit the trail. On the spot of the 24,901 mile, we stopped for a photo and I raised a toast to commemorate the big event. A goal 27 years in the making. What a moment!
How many shoes did you wear out doing this?
I go through two pairs of hiking boots a year. Last year I hiked 1,200 miles. So I would say 50 pairs.
What are you wearing?
How did you get started in photography?
I have always loved to hike and I always carries a camera, my two big loves put together. I have now been a full-time professional for 16 years.
What’s the most photos you have taken in one day?
On the best days I can shoot up to 500 images, and my most successful days I have been able to keep over 100 of them. Nailing 20 gallery images in one day is very good day indeed.
If you could take a photo of anyone alive or in history who would it be and why?
Ansel Adams. He paved the way for all photographers, and I believe he helped make photography an art form.
Favorite place on Earth and why?
I change my mind on this all the time, but right now I am going to say the Lake O’Hara Region of Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada. Some of the best hiking and photography on the planet, and a very fun place to backcountry camp.
Three non-photo items in your photo tool-kit:
Toilet paper. Rum. Hand warmers.
What’s the most common mistake people make when taking photos?
Not using a tripod, and putting to much sky in their photos. More foreground.
Fill in the blank: People would be shocked to know…
I can play guitar, drums, bass and sing.
What’s your most proud moment?
Wow, that is a very tough one. Hitting the mileage goal is one, walking away from my job as chef 16 years ago to pursue my dreams in photography is another, but topping them all is probably opening the Randall J Hodges Photography Gallery.
What is your pet peeve?
That’s an easy one. People who litter, especially on a trail or in the wilderness.
Cocktails at sunset, then night hiking out.
What’s your best advice for photographers?
Take an out-in-the-field lesson with a professional to learn to technically run your camera correctly.
— Andrea Brown