Photography student creates his own realities

by Kelly Kerrigan , Senior Staff Writer

When marketing senior Steven Tyson seeks to find comfort in life, escape reality and find serenity in the natural world, he takes a look through his camera lens. 

Over the past four years at San Diego State, Tyson has shot dreamlike stills and videos of nature in its most unique form. 

“Photography was just something I did because it was comforting and helped me forget about things I thought I should be worrying about,” Tyson said. “It’s an escape into a world I understand and have the ability to remember for the rest of my life.”

Tyson said since his freshman year of college, his art has become simpler, but he has added flares. Between balancing school and work, Tyson makes sure to utilize any free time he gets behind his camera in a valuable way. His photos feature natural beauties such as rainbows, flowers, mountains, the ocean and sunsets. 

“Knowing that I can’t be going out to the mountains every day of the week anymore gave me the inspiration to try harder, wake up earlier and really plan out where and when I wanted to go shoot,” Tyson said. “It has been more of a challenge balancing my social life, school and work with just getting out of town and exploring. Having more obstacles in the way has allowed me to really focus on what I want to achieve and not just waste my time as much.” 

His psychedelic photographs are eccentric and pull viewers into the natural world he captures. Often bright, colorful and chromatic, Tysons photos look how a Tame Impala song sounds.

He attributes a large amount of his inspiration to music and likes to recreate what a song would look like or how a song made his feel. His proudest project throughout college is a video he created to the song “Apocalypse Dreams” by Tame Impala. 

“I try going out to places I think looks were frozen in time, somewhere that looks like it has looked like that practically forever,” Tyson said. “I try my hardest not to incorporate aspects of modern human life into my photography.”

Now a senior in college, Tyson said if there is anything he’s learned it’s that it’s best to avoid popularity games.

“It is best to stick to people who care about you and don’t waste your time trying to be like someone else or a group of people so you can fit in or gain popularity,” Tyson said. “Do what makes you happy, and whoever wants to come along, that’s awesome. Enjoy your youth, and don’t get caught up in stuff that isn’t fun and enjoy the little things. Don’t stop what you’re doing if someone says something else is cooler, it probably isn’t.” 

You can find more of Tyson’s photographs on Instagram @steventyson.