Cancer Survivor Photographs Beautiful Wildlife Images From His Car Window

They say that keeping a positive mindset while battling cancer can help one endure the grueling treatments. But what if your passion is photography, and your oncologist just told you your side effects include severe sensitivity to light?

A year after moving to Colorado, a “dream move” according to landscape photographer Scott Wilson, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Having lost his mother to colon cancer, Wilson was all too familiar with the treatment process. After having surgery to remove 13 centimeters of his colon followed by a 40-week chemotherapy program, Wilson’s healing could finally start. "Once my treatment began, my mind went to photography,” Wilson told Denver 9NEWS.

However, there was one problem. One of the side effects to a particular drug he took included very severe photosensitivity. As one can imagine, his passion of photography — “drawing with light” — had a major set back. “It was like being punched twice,” said Wilson on the combination of dealing with cancer and then not being able to go shoot photos.

To combat this new problem and maintain his positive mindset, Wilson would completely cover his skin in clothing and photograph nature and wildlife from his car — a “shaded studio” as he called it. Over the following year, he built up a portfolio of photographs captured from inside his vehicle while visiting many of Colorado’s highly accessible parks and wildlife refuges. This portfolio of images were then compiled into a book titled “Through the Window: A Photographic Tale of Cancer Recovery.” All proceeds of the book go to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, where already $36,000 has been raised through sales.

Check out the additional behind-the-scenes video above to listen to Wilson talk shop on how he captures his images and other considerations in wildlife photography. You can see more of Wilson’s work by visiting his website and Instagram.

Ryan Mense's picture

Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

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...make lemonade!

I need to remember stuff like this when I think my life sucks for some silly reason.