by Matthew Kemeny
With so many of us consumed by computer and phone screens daily, it can be easy to forget the beauty of the world around us.
Fortunately, we have people like Aaron Nuffer, who use the power of photography to capture nature in its purest form.
Aaron is RouteSmart’s Client Success Manager, working primarily with our utility and postal clients. But, in his spare time, he ventures to remote areas of the United States to photograph breathtaking sunsets, waterfalls, snow-covered mountaintops, wildlife and other magnificent landscapes.
In our latest episode of Right on Time with RouteSmart, our podcast, I interviewed Aaron to discover the inspiration for his spectacular photographs. Click here for a sampling of Aaron’s photos.
The attractive attributes of landscape scenes provide the motivation for Aaron to capture photos and share them with the world.
“When I’m somewhere and I see something, I think, ‘I would love to share this with other people,’” he said. “That’s what inspires me to take these images and seek out landscapes. To me, landscape photography, once you figure out the technical aspects of working your camera and composing your image, it’s a pretty simple subject. There isn’t a lot of dynamic change going on.”
Some of Aaron’s favorite snapshots include Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Falls Creek Falls in Tennessee, Lake Superior fall foliage, Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, and Lewis River Falls in Washington state.
Aaron uses Google Earth, in part, to choose the locations where he wants to photograph. The tool allows users to view the landscape in three dimensions to get a feel of the landscape and the general area. You can also view images taken by other people within Google Earth.
“You can kind of virtually explore the area before being there in person to get an idea of what the landscape may look like and what to expect before you get there,” he said. “There are also apps you can download that give you the sunset and sunrise times, tell you the angle of the sun at any given time of the day, which can be useful in deciding how and where you want to take a picture, because lighting is very important.”
Working at RouteSmart affords Aaron the opportunity to travel quite frequently as he sets our clients up for success. He joined RouteSmart in 2005 as an implementation consultant after working as a geographic analyst for our technology partner HERE.
Since 2012, Aaron has served as Client Success Manager and works remotely from his home state of Idaho. In that role, he helps our clients achieve their route planning and optimization goals. “I oversee the client story throughout the process,” he said. “I work with business development at the beginning of the process. I work with the consultants throughout the implementation, and I work with (client) support after the implementation as the client continue their use of our software and services. I have this overarching role to ensure their success throughout all of the steps.”
The utility industry, specifically, has gone through major changes in the last twenty years from manual recording of meters to automated meter reading (AMR) systems. “The one thing that hasn’t changed is the need to inspect meters from time to time,” Aaron said. “The routes need to be set up and optimized.”
RouteSmart’s route optimization solutions, including Routing as a Service (RaaS), allows utility companies to balance meter reading workloads into uninterrupted geographic areas across cycle days. When the cycle days are balanced, companies can easily create daily routes that provide appropriate workloads for meter readers. With advanced settings, companies can minimize travel distances for traditional walking and driving routes.
“With the use of RouteSmart, you gain the ability to optimize your routes and reduce your expenses by making the work you need to do in the field more efficient,” Aaron said. “So, by reducing the amount of time that workers are driving from place to place, you can increase the amount of time they’re actually on-site doing the work they need to do relative to the on-premises meters.”
“The power RouteSmart has to help (our clients) achieve their goals is unsurpassed,” he added.
Aaron has worked with clients all over the globe, including in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. His favorite location was Australia, where he spent six weeks.
The experience gave him the opportunity to explore Down Under, from the gorgeous Great Ocean Road running along the southeastern coast to the many rainforests and trails. Of course, he brought his camera.
“I recall one time waking up early and leaving my hotel in Melbourne, before sunrise, driving out to a trailhead at a waterfall to take some pictures,” Aaron said. “When I got to the trailhead and pulled into the parking area, there was a group of kangaroos just hanging out in the parking lot. They kind of watched me as I got out of the car and hopped away into the trees. It was surreal – one of those experiences I’ll never forget.”