My name is Lucas Downs and I am photographer from Kentucky attending Clemson University.

I have been interested in photography for several years now. When I was younger, I used to always take pictures of sunsets on my iPhone 5. Once I started college, my love for photography grew tremendously. I discovered just how much I loved to hike and camp, so it became natural for me to bring my camera along every adventure. Working really hard to develop and progress my skills, I have branched out with many different photography styles from landscapes to senior pictures and capturing a variety of events. I am also employed by Clemson Athletics which has given me the chance to shoot a variety of sports, expanding my area of expertise.

However, I am always drawn back to nature and landscape photography because it has a sense of mystery that I cannot find anywhere else.

The Blue Ridge Mountains are the basis for my photo project with Olympus. These mountains awaken a sense of mystery and awe that intrigues me. I am currently working to capture this raw beauty to showcase to the world. I want to illustrate these beautiful mountains and invite others to enjoy the magic that they bring.

I hope to inspire others through this project and awaken the sense of adventure found within, all while sharing what I am most passionate about. These mountains on the East are not as grand as mountains out West, however there truly is something special found in their hills.

I have selected the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, the M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO, and the M.Zuiko 40-150 F2.8 PRO as my camera kit for this project.

This camera has amazing image stabilization that allows me to shoot handheld without worrying about image blur. The wide angle is perfect for capturing people in the environment and to capture the mountains as a whole. The telephoto lens will allow me to capture the details of mountain layers with the perfect aperture to showcase the mountains in the ideal light, around sunrise and sunset.

What stood out most to me is how lightweight this camera system is in comparison to my personal full frame set up. I had the chance to test out the camera for the first time this past weekend and I was blown away by its performance. The colors I was able to capture are so vibrant and lush. While hiking, I barely felt the weight in my backpack, a huge plus.

My mentor for this project is Olympus Explorer Tyler Glass. I chose Tyler to be my mentor because of his excellence in landscape photography. My project is centered around landscapes and so I believe that he is the perfect person to help me succeed.

I had the opportunity to meet Tyler last fall while chasing the seasonal colors. His style of photography, along with many others I follow, have been my inspiration and have helped shape my own photography style. 

Great Sand Dunes
This is a great example of why Tyler would be a great mentor. It shows layers and people in an environment!

I am excited to get out and explore and to have a platform to share my story to the world.