The nature of photography is to freeze a moment in time. This is what most photographers do, and countless do it exceptionally well. For Toby Harriman, however, it is different. He would rather capture several frozen moments of time, and combine these images in a picture that says more than just a single shot. Rather than get tiny segments of a second, Harriman immerses his shots in minutes or even longer periods. Generous amounts of time for a scene are captured to show its many facets and nuances.
Harriman grew up in Aspen, Colorado, and spent much of his youth engaged in sports, leaving him mostly outdoors. He honed his camera skills using a Nikon 60D, basically practicing on his family whenever they would go on ski trips. Not until his senior year in high school did he finally take a formal studio photography class. At that point he was a hopeless shutterbug, passionately working digitally and playing with effects using Adobe Photoshop.
Not long after he travelled west to California. While in San Francisco Harriman began getting more hardcore into outdoor photography and became captivated with long-exposure techniques. While still experimenting with his craft, he one night ventured out to a cliff in the Marin Headlands and while bracing against 30 mph winds, began shooting 45-minute-long exposures.
This experience sealed his love for long exposure shots. As a young man of 23, his work exudes a maturity and skill far from his age. When he is not in San Francisco, Harriman can be found on the road scouting for new locations to shoot.
Harriman recently said the following in an interview,
“When I started out, there weren’t as many photographers my age. Now that I’ve connected with people through social media, I’m inspiring a younger crowd to get into photography. They ask me questions all the time, and I try to help as much as I can.
It’s interesting to see how people can learn everything through social media sites by asking people questions or picking their brains online. I watched an HDR tutorial from Trey Ratcliff. Once I joined Google+, a lot of people were really helpful. People will help you and tell you their process.
I also started going on photo walks and meeting local photographers and picking their brains to learn techniques. I’d go just to meet other like-minded people.”