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Scarsdale High School Student Starts Photography Business

By Jeanne Muchnick

SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- A passion for photography coupled with an appreciation for nature has lead to an increasingly busy business for 17-year-old Jonathan Gruen who now sells his vibrant landscapes via his website.

The Scarsdale high school senior said it all started June 1 when he purchased a Canon 70D and a kit lens and began shooting. "I loved hiking in these amazing locations, but couldn’t capture the beauty," he said. "Landscape photography fills that void, and gives me a way to express myself."

His favorite shots are long exposure photographs where the sensor stays open for an extended period of time, resulting in the blurring of motion.

"The blur of water or clouds conveys a sense of motion and a passage of time and really brings the photos to life," he said. "Unfortunately, in our busy lives it’s easy to forget to appreciate the beauty around us. I want to get that beauty across in my photography."

And though the self-taught artist likes exploring areas in Westchester to shoot, one of his favorite spots is Minnewaska State Park in Kerhonkson, N.Y.

"It’s only a little more than an hour drive away, but because of the scenery it feels like you’ve traveled to another continent," he said.

Gruen said the reaction to his work has been surprising, especially since he began it solely as a reason to explore and enjoy the outdoors. It was, in fact, only when his friends and family began encouraging him that he started taking the business part of it seriously. That's when he turned to online courses and started experimenting and practicing more.

"Nowadays I can see myself spending hours a week working on the business side of it and going out and shooting sunrises and sunsets multiple days a week," he said.

First, though, he needs money for gas, new lenses, and so on. Said Gruen: "As soon as I make money I spend it on something I need for photography or another photo trip, because I dream that one day this will be a career."

Go to www.gruenimages.com/ for more information.