The following post is part of an ongoing series entitled HIGH LIFE. Each week ELEVATION will present a multimedia profile on an inspiring individual who is achieving great things and working hard toward a better future. In this series, we will explore fascinating vocations, passions, and ways of life in diverse places around the globe.
Las Vegas-based photographer Al Baker is a fascinating dude. He’s the kind of guy who puts his mind to something, then succeeds at the highest level. As a young adult, he was an elite pool player. He was ranked on the World Masters list and competed in various national and world billiards competitions. However, in 2014 Al’s father presented him with an old Canon Powershot camera. Suddenly, a whole new world came into focus (pun intended). Al sold all of his billiards equipment and used the proceeds to purchase more sophisticated cameras and photography gear.
Al grew up in Punta Gorda, a city on the Gulf Of Mexico side of Florida, not far from Ft. Myers. He relocated to Vegas in 2017, a move that just made a lot of sense. He had previously competed in billiards events in Sin City, and, an avid hiker and climber, had fallen in love with nearby natural wonders including Zion National Park in Utah and Death Valley on the California border. Of course, these splendors also afforded Al the opportunity to hone his craft as an adventure and landscape photographer.
In recent years, Al’s majestic nature photography has attracted a sizable social media following. He has been featured by various prominent Instagram photography, travel, and lifestyle accounts. In 2019, he was one of the winners of the #52WeeksOfNature photography competition hosted by surf and outdoor adventure brand HippyTree.
Click through the slideshow below to see some of Al’s nature photos.
Although Al’s outdoor portfolio is awe-inspiring, recently he has gained notoriety for his indoor photography. Largely confined to his home during the pandemic, Al decided to participate in a social media trend called #OurGreatIndoors. Conceived by prominent nature photographer Erin Sullivan, #OurGreatIndoors challenges photographers who normally capture the sprawling beauty of forests, oceans, and canyons, to instead turn their focus inside. Participants must create scaled-down adventure and landscape scenes with household items such as cardboard, baking ingredients, and saran wrap.
Over the past month, Al has painstakingly produced a remarkable series of microcosmic photographs featuring tiny figurines exploring a miniature, manufactured world. From hikers in Red Rock Canyon to a canoer on Lake Mead, Al’s work captures the beauty and profundity of the natural world within the space of just a tabletop. Enjoy his work, including some behind-the-scenes content, below.
Where to find Al Baker
Al does much of his traveling and photography work with his girlfriend Sydney, who happens to work on the frontlines in an intensive care unit in a Las Vegas hospital.
To learn more about Al and view his incredible portfolio:
Additionally, you can listen to Al discuss his motivations and ambitions in the brief video below.
Al Baker encourages ELEVATION readers to learn about and contribute to the Access Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on outdoor exploration. According to the organization, one in five rock climbing areas in the United States is threatened by private land development, environmental degradation, and other issues. The mission of Access Fund is to keep climbing areas open and conserve the climbing environment. Learn more and donate HERE.