Angwin local Stefaan Dick can almost always be found with his camera in hand. His personal photo blog is littered with striking images from PUC’s beautiful back 40, his year abroad in Spain, and any number of exotic locations he’s been lucky enough to travel to with family and friends. As a senior photography major, Stefaan has spent his last year as a PUC student diligently working on his thesis project, a photo book titled Recalibrate. The idea: to showcase the delicate balance between outdoor athletes and nature; portraying nature as the hero, for without her, none of what we love to do would be possible.
We asked Stefaan to share a few of his favorite images from Recalibrate.
“We are what we repeatedly do.” Many have heard this quote and know how the rest of the saying goes. It advocates achieving excellence through choosing constructive habits. I find myself, however, wondering about the first part of the quote: Why do we choose to repeat certain things?
Recalibrate is my answer to that question. Specifically, it seeks to discover the cause behind humans’ chronic desire to escape the daily grind by getting in touch with nature. I have asked outdoor enthusiasts what it is about being outside that urges them to repeat their actions. In an effort to express the freedom and holistic rejuvenation that athletes experience in the outdoors, I have taken on the challenge of photographing them doing what they love.
There’s a reason why people repeat John Muir’s words “the mountains are calling.” You could make this phrase about the rivers, oceans, forests, deserts, roads, or trails and the immediate relatability would still pull on the hearts of many. Being outside is a fix. Connecting with creation is a drug. Whether you’re feeling a hit of raw adrenaline or lost in a moment of stillness, the human emotions are addressed in a way that exceeds the power of any pill a doctor could prescribe.
This book is not about me. It’s not about an individual athlete. The following scenes and stories convey a deeper connection between people and their environment. It is about individuals losing themselves in a world divine, and athletes pushing the boundaries to find peace and direction.
You can learn more about Recalibrate and even purchase your very own copy by visiting stefaanconrad.com/recalibrate.