A photographer living and capturing light in the northern part of New York sparked the perfect name for a business.
Mark Fink, owner of Northern Light Photographic Services, works two full-time jobs as the IT department at the Town Hall in Poughkeepsie and a professional photographer. His subjects consist of landscapes, architecture and travel.
Fink began his journey as a photographer in 1984 when he was 20 years old following in his father’s footsteps, who was a journalist. He graduated from Montclair State University where he took some photography courses, but was not a fine arts major. He took photos for a local community newspaper in New Jersey and little by little worked his way into making photography his career.
“Photography was something that my father did as a hobby and I kind of just picked up on it as I was fascinated by it,” Fink said. “My motto is, ‘I don’t take pictures of things that blink.’”
After college, he did some real estate photography around Rockland County and got into doing airshow photography for magazines. He had the opportunity to travel to Paris, London and Singapore.
Fink and his wife, Cathy, moved from Oneonta to New Paltz after she got a job in Poughkeepsie. While she was in an interview, Fink decided to explore New Paltz. He drove to the end of Main St., made a right onto Huguenot St. and fell in love with the town.
Within the last two years, Fink started doing aerial photography by using a drone, which he describes as using a really tall tripod. Fink uses a drone with a Micro Four-Thirds camera attached to it and primarily does crop surveys for local farmers. However, he finds that he’s drawn to and mostly interested in taking photographs of the sky and matching it with a foreground.
“Sometimes you’ll find just amazingly, like just now while driving into town, the really beautiful sky, but on the road it’s not a pretty foreground,” Fink said. “With the drone, you can put it in the air and it kind of minimizes the foreground and really emphasizes the clouds in the sky. That’s what I really love about the drone photography.”
Within the Hudson Valley, Fink has taken photos of Minnewaska, Mohonk Preserve, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the Walkway Over the Hudson and the FDR Bridge.
Fink describes his photographs as a mosaic of images. He shoots multiple images and merges them together. In the editing process, he uses Adobe Lightroom to develop the raw file, PTGui to stitch the photographs together and SNS-HDR to combine all of the multiple exposures.
“I’ll shoot several overlapping images, multiple exposures as well so I can maintain the details, the highlights and the shadows, combine all of those together, print it out and get something close to what you’d see with an artistic flare,” Fink said.
The printing process takes time to complete. Although Fink uses a third-party through his website to handle the labor, sometimes he still does it himself. He first has to let the paint dry for at least 24 hours, put a varnish on it, let it dry and then stretch it across the frame.
Fink’s photographs are on display in Main Course, Justino Chiropractic & Wellness Center, Mike Artega’s gyms in Highland and Poughkeepsie, HealthQuest in Vassar and a law office in Poughkeepsie.
“Everyone should go to the different places that my work is hung up in, like the gyms, the chiropractor, Main Course restaurant and look at them,” Fink said. “It’s nice to have a place to hang out on the walls.”
To check out more of his work, go to his website at www.northernlight.net.