A black-capped chickadee Adamczak came across in April 2021.
William Adamczak Captures the Beauty of the Snow-Drenched Adirondacks
The Siena professor has a passion for nature photography—and sharing his shots with those who can't see remote vistas in person.
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The secret to capturing images of animals in their natural habitat, like this shot of a short-eared owl, Adamczak says, is to spend a lot of time out in nature, no matter the weather.
If it seems like William Adamczak is always in the right place at the right time, that’s because he makes sure that he is. The nature photographer, who splits his time between Milton and Bolton, says that the key to his stunning Adirondack landscapes and up-close-and-personal wildlife shots is, basically, that he’s outside a lot. That, and he’s not afraid to brave the elements, which can sometimes get unruly up here.
“My big things are shooting the night sky—so the Milky Way—a lot, but also bad weather,” says Adamczak, who moonlights (daylights?) as a professor of business analytics and actuarial science at Siena College. “I like to get out and catch those lightning strikes or the foggy mornings, cloud inversions…things that aren’t your everyday shot. As far as wildlife goes, I get out early and often with the camera always nearby. Opportunities sprout up when you’re not even really looking for them.”
A Scotia native, Adamczak became interested in the outdoors as a teenager while he was on a two-week backpacking, caving, canoeing and rock climbing trip. Shortly after, he became an Adirondack 46er (someone who has hiked all 46 of the park’s 4,000-foot mountains). “At that time, I had this mentality that if people want to see these views and this beauty, they need to come out here for themselves,” he says. “Slowly, over time, I came full circle on that. Some people can’t get to see this.” Hence Adamczak picking up nature photography.
If you’re physically unable to catch a sunrise from atop a 4,000-foot peak, seeing Adamczak’s images of it are the next best thing. He’s been carrying a camera with him on his excursions for only the past three or four years, but has mastered the art of capturing unique moments. His winter shots are especially difficult to nab, but especially worth it. “It can be rough, because I’m the one breaking trail after two feet of snow,” he says. “I’m that guy that likes to be up there early, so chances are, there’s not someone in front of me. “But you get a different look to the world in winter—even though it’s more monochrome, there’s just a different beauty to it.” And thanks to Adamczak’s photography, it’s available for all to witness.