Saturday, December 17, 2011

The End Is Near

That's right, the end of the year is almost here but not before I take a big break. As usual this is the busy time of year but this year I have taken a little more time off and am looking forward to working on some personal projects. Also there is much needed family time and some days of just doing "nothing" and getting some rest.

This last year has been a little crazy to say the least. We have worked with some great clients, built some new partnerships and relationships. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with 36 other photographers who came out to learn a little bit about lighting and working with clients. And then there was the plane crash (see July)with Nathan that changed a lot of things for me.

Over all it was a good year and I am grateful for everything. I am also very excited about this coming year. There will be new 2-day workshops this year, and I have a few partnerships for some huge projects in the new year. The business will also be changing a little, We have developed solid relationships with new commercial business and we will be moving into a new field (for us)of photography.

I hope everyone has an awesome Christmas, we will see you in the new year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Day On Spray | Adventure Photographer

The last month of contracts is almost complete. Most of the work we intended to have done for December is pretty much done so now it's time for personal projects, stock and just good solid adventure.

Today was our first day out on Spray Lakes in Kananaskis and it was great. We were able to get out on the ice around 11 am and spent a few minutes testing the ice. The ice has an average thickness of about 5" but is open in some places along the creeks. There is about 4" of fairly cold snow on 1" of slush but still enough to get an edge with the 12-five in 20km/hr wind.

Great way to start the season, it's shaping up to be a sweet season. Hope La~Nina' gets here soon...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Good Start | Canadian Adventure Photographer

Even with a few shots to the cores (rock damage to our bases), I really can't complain about yesterdays' climb. Patrice and I skied into the Highwood Pass and climbed the huge North face on Mt. Tyrwhitt. The snow was cold and light but unfortunately with no base to it, our skis penetrated too deep and the occasional rock or tree would catch and we'd take a tumble.

It was amazing to climb something just to ski it and even having the kites with us and intending to use them to gain our elevation, climbing was enough. The wind wasn't favorable either and without a substantial base, it was probably going to be hard to get enough safe lift out of the kites. The light was not great as well but I managed to squeeze a few shots off of Pat doing his "free-heel" thing. Regardless of the slim conditions, it was great to get out and a nice note to start the season on.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Telly | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Last Thursday I went out for a late night shoot in Calgary at the King's Head Pub. The band was Telly and when Tim (their Keyboardist) messaged me I had a hard time saying no. I photographed these guys at Beer Fest 2010 and I loved their music and watching them play. It's almost like the Doors and Skinard got together for a party on stage. Rob (the Lead) and the boys really get into it and the music really is good.

It was a quick set and although I don't do a lot of band work any more, sometimes it's just good to get out and shoot.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Passing Through | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

click on image for a better view.

Tonight was the second night for working on my long exposures. Again it was very cold and clear but this time I stayed close to home. I tried a few other locations but I came back to this one which is just off of RR12 west of Crossfield. Once I started post on the image I found that not only had two aircraft flown through my shot but I also got two meteor shots on the left side of the frame (heading West). I love doing this kind of work, and I had a movie on my ipod to kill the time....

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Many Layers | Canadian Adventure Photographer

Click on the image for a better view.

Well I have been very busy with Hockey Team and Sports Photos but now there is a little bit of a break. I was getting extremely restless today so I forced myself to head out into the cold tonight and work on my long night exposures. I stopped in at a location between Crossfield and Carstairs that I have wanted to shoot at for some time. The problem with this kind of shot is it requires a few hours to achieve so you really need to be sure of the composition.

The frame is made up of 57 individual frames all exposed for 60 seconds each. Once they have been combined in layers you get a 57 minute exposure. The reason for going this route is to cut down on the noise created in the image from the long exposure heating up the sensor. I love making these kind of images but I need to find something to do while I wait.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Raise The Roof | Calgary Alumni Game

This afternoon I had the pleasure of shooting the Crossfield "Raise The Roof" fundraiser with the Calgary Alumni Players. It was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time. I am definitely not a hockey photographer as this was the second time shooting on ice. It is a sport that takes a lot of time to develop and experience to make a good image. I did manage to get a few decent images like the one here of Crossfield's own Chris Schulze stopping Calgary Alumni Archie Henderson (who is 6-6' and 220 lbs).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Til Next Season | Insomniac Night Photographer

Click on the image for a larger view.

I was excited to finally get out a few days before full moon especially on such a clear night. I couldn't get into the location I wanted as it is now fenced in (need time to get through that one) so on my way back to town I stopped near a few old buildings and grain bins. Turns out they are still in use and the equipment that was parked there was in perfect position.

This shot was taken at 10 pm at night with an exposure of 40 seconds. The WB is set to tungsten as it gives a cool tone as opposed to the muddy red from the auto WB. Everything else was also done in camera. It gives a weird scene, almost looks like daytime with the shadows but nothing in the shadow side is filled in. And hanging out in the dark with the 'yoties gets the blood pumpin.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Deja Vu | Canadian Adventure Photographer

I knew I had been here before, maybe years ago but the feeling was rushing through me like hot acid in my veins. All at once the familiarity combined with the fear that I was way off route and this may not have been the first time caused my knees to almost buckle. But I couldn't lose it right now, or it would be a 90 foot fall on to an 80 degree rock face with the rope only good for retrieving my body. I yelled down to Jordan that I was off route (he agreed...) and there was no way to down climb or pass through the featureless roof above me. I tried to stay calm and focus on the task at hand, I needed to get some protection in (an anchor of any kind) as soon as I could. Strangely the familiarity I felt was nagging me to look about 6 feet to the left below the wall so I gave in and leaned as far as I could. as I leaned out I began to see a piton creeping out past a small flake so I quickly and deliberately side stepped a dime sized crimp and moved within reach. It felt good to clip that sling to the pin (piton) and then clip the rope and especially for the blood to rush back into my extremities. I could now move past the simple 5.6 bulge with confidence and some classy moves. Keeping my shit together again made a potentially bad situation manageable.

At the next belay I reflected on what happened and remembered I had been off route there before when I had done this climb (East Face of Chinaman's Peak, 13 pitches 2100' face climbing) with another partner about 7 years before. Maybe that was a good thing as in the back of my head I knew there had to be a pin close by. I also thought about how far my run-outs seem to be since the plane crash and wondering if it is just confidence, the need for speed (fast is safe), or an appreciation for the risk. Not sure right now but it turned out to be an amazing climb and it was great to get back in to that vertical world where everything in my life gets put into perspective. I always appreciate that focus when I am up there and I think maybe I even need it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Thin Veil | Canadian Adventure Photographer

Tonight I pulled out my camera for just a couple of minutes. I was at the ponds in Crossfield with 7 students that were taking my last lighting and creativity workshop and we were just lighting for the last few minutes of light.

As usual on the prairies in our area the skies were amazing. Another Chinook day and a little bit of wind to break up the water along the pond. I was a little sad as I shot this, knowing that we have had an even longer fall than usual and being spoiled by that, I knew it will be gone soon. Like a little gift as someone you have had the pleasure to get to know for the last few weeks is leaving but wants you to remember them until next year. It's been a beautiful fall here in Crossfield, and the romance of life has revealed itself even if just for a moment. More than enough to appreciate, for this moment, I am content.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rundle On Fire | Calgary Adventure Photographer

This morning I left Crossfield about 4:15 am in hopes to get relaxed before shooting sunrise at Vermillion Lakes in Banff. Well I hadn't been there for 5 minutes (6:45) when I saw the sky beginning to light up and the fire-red highlights glancing the bottom of the clouds.

Normally I move around a bit a try something different but as the sun started to hit the horizon the clouds just burst with a brightness that almost looked neon. I just recomposed this shot and took frame after frame in order to get the fast moving clouds in the right spot. Love it.

It's great to have time for my personal work and even better when I can spend it with people who are just as passionate about photography as I am. It's been a few months since I last saw Paul Zizka but every time we get together it's like I never left. He pulls over, parks, says, "hey!" and runs off to start shooting, knowing there will be time to catch up later when we go for coffee. What a great morning!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Edmonton | Creative & Lighting Workshops

Our host, Tammy Deren during the last minutes of light on day two.

This weekend I spent two days in Edmonton with a handful of extremely talented photographers. And by handful I mean 10 very fun ladies who are not only bursting with energy but very creative and passionate about their business.

Tammy Deren (Smiley Eyes Photography) was our host as well as Hope Walls who provided a wealth of experience in the business of portrait photography. Tammy and Hope were a lot of fun and their circle of photog friends made it enjoyable to teach and work over the two workshops.

Although this will be the last of this kind of workshop, I look forward to getting back to Edmonton to work with the girls on other projects and potentially some other types of workshops. Thanks again guys for having me up there, you created a lot of beautiful work with your new mad-skillz!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pure White | Calgary Adventure Photographer

Here a two of my favorite images from our trip to the salt. I have been switching my camera color space (in camera) to monochromatic when I am shooting in bright open daylight and I love the results. In this case I shot the bobber from behind facing out on to the speed track with some sky in the back ground at an almost natural exposure. What I got was a simple scene that relies on the limited tonal range and contrast between the pure-white sand and the bike and sky. It is simple and that's what I love about it. The image becomes a simple graphic with a simple story.

In this shot with the European team riding their sidecar back to the start area, I wanted something a little more artistic but once again, simple. I decided to drag my shutter a little to get some blurr out of the sand to show movement but I also over-exposed the shot by 2 stops. What you get is the blown-out highlights taking over in the frame and with very few mid tones, the white contrasts with the black. All this done in camera with no photoshop, it still makes a stunning image when it is so far from a natural color exposure. It is nice to still make an interesting image so far from the generally accepted technically perfect settings in camera.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lightning | Canadian Editorial Photographer

Dana Tyrell and I at the end of our editorial portrait session.

Last night I had the pleasure of photographing Tampa Bay Lightning center Dana Tyrell for ArdrieLIFE magazine. Our original location had to be cancelled because of the rain so indoors it was. My buddy Maros Hana was able to come and help with the lights last minute and we had Dana finished in less then an hour.

I generally shoot what the magazine wants and then if I have time I will do some alternate setups so I get a chance to shoot my ideas. It's very cool when my concepts get used and my editors decide they want something that looks different. I had a new idea I have wanted to try for sometime so I did an alternate with Dana as well. Make sure you get the winter issue and see what we ended up doing. Dana is a cool guy, we had a lot of fun on the set and he was totally in to getting some funny shots for the inside of the mag.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Salt | Canadian Adventure Photographer

Chris Taggert, Derek Pauletto, Keith Smith, and myself - day two at Bonneville.

I just got back from a 4 day trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah where I was a part of a team doing research for next years BUB Motorcycle Speed trials. This place is amazing! The salt is pure white and with clear skies and temps reaching over 40 degrees it is like standing on a giant mirror. The speed trials this year were very cool and we got a good chance to see how things work and what our team needs for next years attempt.

At this point I will be working partly as photographer/publicist as well as have some small engineering/creative input on the build for next year. Derek Pauletto of Trillion Industries invited the four of us to come with him and we all have some kind of input into how this will play out for next year.

The salt flats are a strange place, perfectly flat dry sea bed with mountains shooting right up hundreds of meters along the perimeter. The salt is actual salt like you would find in your table shaker (maybe a little bitter) but is compact like wet sand. This makes a perfect surface with lots of room to go fast in any vehicle. I did take some shots of the racers as they came by the pits. There is no way to get out to the race run-way without previous cred, so I just cranked out some monochromatic images. I should have a few up in the next day or so, check back soon.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One Hundred | Calgary Adventure Photographer

*At the belay above the third pitch.

Well it's been a few weeks since I last posted. At the beginning of August I took a work vacation for two weeks in Carsland and that took up all of my time with just enough hours in the day to sleep. Last week was just about spending time with the family and catching up on some prior commitments. One of those commitments was a climbing trip with Nathan. Just a day out on Yamnuska but Nathan has never been on a multi-pitch technical Trad climb so we made our way up another classic route. The route is called "Easy Street" and is named that for a reason; it is one of the best routes on Yam for taking up someone green or for introducing them to the gear-setting system of Trad climbing.

*Enjoying the view from the 'BBQ ledge'.

Nathan did a great job on 'second' and climbed well within the needed speed for the route. It was the first time out together since the crash and it was good to see that the situational trust was still there. Traumatic accidents between people can go either way and it is good to know that the trust and confidence is still there.

Coming down later in the day I felt pretty good and almost 100 percent recovered. The energy is back and I think I'm caught up with rest. Time to get back to the business of photography and ramping up for a busy fall.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vertical Again | Calgary Adventure Photographer

Belaying Jordan from the start of the 4th pitch.

For the last week I have been dying to get back out on some rock. Taking it easy is good for the physical but not for the mental. I have been miserable last few days and the thought of stiffening up while I sit around makes me grumpy.

This morning Jordan Ramey and I drove out to Mt Yamnuska to climb a classic route, something easy and fast would be good for today. Jordan has been on the mend as well and as ready as I thought I would be I would soon find out I am not. We needed about an hour to scramble up to the base of the route but 5 minutes in I was done, no energy at all and my left eye seemed to be building a little pressure. It took a little longer to get to the base of the rock but once I was in site I just dug down for what little energy I had.

Once at the route and somewhat rested I tied in and just scramble up the first pitch. Infact the whole climb is pretty easy but the chimney on the second pitch made us grunt just a little. It was a good lead by Jordan and the rest of the climb was pretty uneventful. We simul-climbed the 4th and 5th pitch and then I lead the greasy smooth bulge below the pumpkin. Ah yes, need to tell you about the pumpkin.

Jordan sniffing (?) the pumpkin.

The pumpkin was painted at the top of the last pitch in 1968 and has been kept there as a tradition. This is a classic route and been on my radar for years. was cool to finally get there today. All in all I am feeling pretty good and it was nice to get out and make sure everything that is still attached to me moves like it should.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recovering | Adventure Photographer

Well it's been almost a week since the crash and life is almost back to (normal?) the way it was. My left eye is healing up quick and I'll be fully mobile in no time. Nathan and I will be going back up soon and at this point I have no plans slow down nor do I need to re evaluate my lifestyle. I have been hearing a lot about how the sports, business and lifestyle I lead are high-risk but I have to disagree. Whats risky for one person may certainly not be risky for me. I've heard that flying in ultra-light aircraft is risky... ...personally I think driving the Deer Foot in Calgary at 4pm is risky!

I have learned that I need to be knowledgeable and gain experience in the sports I do and to be smart about the dangers associated with these sports. I love to push my limits to learn more about myself and how I handle situations. When I come back from these situations I find that the important things in my life rise to the surface and I am much closer to the reality of living fully. I no longer waste time with things that are negative or urgent, just enjoy the people and the passions that I am blessed and fortunate to have.

The footage below is the whole hard-cut from my HEROcam during our short flight. I will be posting some thoughts and experience about the flight but I am going to take a bit of time to think about it and get a bit of rest. I watch this footage everyday and think about the crash over and over again. It seems a little bit like a dream now but there is a strong sensation I remember from the last few seconds before we hit. I can remember an overwhelming sense of acceptance of our situation and that I needed to focus on minimizing the potential damage I would be suffering. Many people ask if I was scared, I was not. I was too busy trying to stay alive. Only after we crashed and I wasn't sure how bad I was hurt was I actually concerned. It is clear now that if either of us had panicked, there would have been a much different outcome.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ultra-Light Crash | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

This screen grab from the footage just minutes before we crash.


If you haven't already seen the footage on the CTV website it should be up here in a day or two. Been a crazy couple of days and now time to heal up and relax. I want to Thank (Mayor)Nathan Anderson for being extremely cool under the circumstances and keeping us more than just alive through the incident. I am forever greatful for our particular outcome and there is only a handful of people I know who I would go through that with again if I had to (and might). I am looking forward to writing about it in depth and sharing as much of the experience as I can. Have a great weekend!

(From Thursday)
As many of you know now, Mayor Nathan and I were in a serious Aircraft crash this morning. We are both doing fine and happy to have walked away from it mostly intact. We had not even been off the ground for a minute before we hit a dead space of air or down draft but I was smart enough to turn my HERO cam on and I have hi-def footage of the whole incident. I will post it as soon as I can. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wasootch Tower | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

On Saturday Jordan and I finally got out to Wasootch Tower to climb the North Ridge. We have both wanted to climb this Kananaskis obscurity for some time and although the weather looked sketchy, we drove out to hit it.

We started later in the morning thinking that it is generally a shorter day climb but that isn't necessarily how it went. The approach we took was the North scree-slope as I felt it was safer than the blocky crap I had scrambled in the NW drainage a few weeks earlier. It only took an hour and we were at the treeline where it meets up with the first ramp. The first few pitches were pretty straight forward as most of the lower climb matched up with one of the only topos available on the web. Once we got to the top of what we eventually found was pitch 3, we started to wonder about the route description on this topo. Using the guide, Jordan lead across a wide gully to a small cliff band with only two meager pieces of pro (one being a fir tree - we used a lot of trees on this route). Once we were both at the 4th (what should have been the 4th) belay I decided Jordan should lead as I wasn't sure we were on route and I wanted to know where I was going before I lead another pitch.

Jordan started out the 5th pitch fine but after he climbed up and out of site, his rope stopped moving and I figured I only had let out about 20 meters (not enough to get to another belay station). 30 minutes later the rope starter to play up the rock but then stopped. Then the 5 meters that had earlier gone up came back down, then 10 meters went up, then 5 meters down, then only the blue half went up... I yelled up to see if Jordan was ok and got a frustrated response. Apparently the area Jordan was in had no place to put in protection and could not find the route to a belay. 20 minutes later the blue half ran right out and I had to ask Jordan for an update and give him the news that he was out of rope length. An hour after Jordan had left the belay, I heard the best news; he yelled down that he had found the belay and was ready to bring me up.

Now this might sound like the makings for a potential epic but in reality Jordan did an amazing job. The topo description is severely lacking and the route is nothing but blocky-loose crap. The perfect definition of "Rockies Choss". This section is like the Bermuda Triangle of routes and in reality you could wander around up there for hours before finding the next belay.

After the setback we moved back into the ridge as the clouds cleared and gave us a sunny blue (but extremely gusty) backdrop to our evening finish. The last pitch had some fun moves on it and after all that loose choss I felt like I was far more deliberate with where I placed my feet and used my hands. Over all, as shitty as the rock was on most of the route, I had an exhilarating day and would definitely climb it again. Just not anytime soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Big One | Storm Chasing

Well tonight was perfect. This thunderstorm started to develop around 11am and had warnings on it by noon. Perfect conditions. We got out later in the evening and drove north to Olds were we met with fellow storm chaser Tremaine Lea on the highway. Sounds like Joe Vonesch got pummeled by hail but he did get a shot of a small twister coming down in Sundre. I got this shot between Olds and Sundre at the very end of our chase. The patterns were amazing and if you look, they come right down within 100 feet of the ground. Awesome!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Light Them Up | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Have been busy lately and not really sure what with. There seems to be an awfully lot to do but not a lot of real work. Tonight was more of the same and was stuck downstairs in the office when I took a break and came upstairs to look at the sky. I could see this great Thunder Storm to the NW and saw one lightning strike. I had to go out to see if I could catch a strike with my new intervelometer. I think I caught a couple of good ones (unfortunately the focus went soft so these will not make it to print). Saw that plane flying around the base of the storm as well. Man I'd love to try that.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gravity Thrills | Canadian Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Last Monday morning I met with Paul Karchut from the CBC and Meghan Ward (a lifestyle and travel writer from Banff)to give a little demo on Street Luge. I don't ride as much as I used to but still get out from time to time. This was a fun morning and I think Paul did a fantastic job with the interview. The show will be national on CBC (07:20 Calgary)on Tuesday am but the link to the new show page, blog, and audio interview are here:

Paul's video clip can also be see at this youtube link:

Thanks again to my bro Stefan Dalberg (Speed Specialists) and Paul and Meg for coming out.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not Finished Yet | Landscape Photography

click on picture for a larger image

Can you believe this is right in Crossfield? Yes it is, it is the pond just off of Limit Ave. I had just posted on my last blog tonight about storm chasing but had to go back out to catch the dramatic skies. And this spot is only 100 meters from my house. Love this place.

By the way, any image you see on this blog is available in a fine art print.

Tranquil | Alberta Storm Chasing

I was leaving the Farmers market tonight with the kids when we looked up to see this big beastie. Drove out to Limit Ave and watched it until the lightning got too close. Really great shapes and swirling patterns. Not long after this the wall of clouds in front of it to the east created a few cones. I'd be surprised if we didn't get a tornado this year.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Learning Again | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

This week I have been in the Bow Valley with a fairly new climber from BC. Richard is out here this week to speak to our church and has just taken a pastoral position in Kelowna after a couple of years in East Africa.

It has been great to get out and show Richard a few things, tour around the Valley, do some new climbs and watch him lead a few pitches for the first time. Yesterday was amazing as the day finished with an airy 4 pitches on Hi-lite on Kid Goat Crag. The past two days have also been a bit of a refresher and I can feel the confidence and focus coming back to my climbing. Two great days on the crags in the sun in the Bow Valley, Can't say much more.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Storm Scapes | Calgary Storm Chaser

click on image for larger version

Tonight I went out with the family after dinner to set up to photograph a potential storm. The great things was we found a textbook version of a perfectly formed (although small) Thunderstorm and when it merged with a second one they caused a funnel that didn't quite make it to the ground. Once the show was over my wife commented on the rainbow formed by the remainder of the storm. I was not concerned with it as I have seen many but I have to give her credit, she has an eye for design. I decided to pay attention and once I started shooting, I knew I had some cool images. It was good to have her "fresh eyes" along for the ride.

Nevada | Canadian Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Last month I had a few assignments for AirdrieLIFE magazine. One of the assignments was to photograph and get an editorial portrait of championship chuck wagon driver - Jim Nevada. I just like this shot for its pure simplicity. I had the idea in my head and in 5 minutes Jim was out of his work clothes and into something clean and casual. Jim (obviously the rodeo guy) is down to earth, hard working and willing to give me 30 minutes for the article. These are the kind of assignments I like.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Nice Place For Lunch | Adventure Photography

View from below pitch #2 - Wasootch Slabs are in the center.

Yesterday I scrambled and soloed a part of Wasootch Tower in order to get a good idea of what it is like. I am playing host to a climber coming out from BC and I was hoping to do a few semi-alpine / climbing routes while he is out here.
I made pretty good time as I was able to just break one hour from the parking lot to the NW arete above the treeline. I started in the main drainage but the rock down low is so blocky and dirty it was like scrambling up some sick pile of "Jenga". If you have ever heard of this game in the 90's, you would understand how crappy the scrambling is. I decided to move left over the arete down low and on to the outer scree slope in the trees. Still very steep but moving was safer and faster.

I had lunch at the shoulder (just below top of the first pitch) and enjoyed the view and stillness for an hour before I started back down. I did get a closer look at the route and as exposed as it is up high, I think it should be a lot of fun and go-off like a classic. Looking forward to coming back.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Caffeine And Cameras

This morning I again got out with a small group of landscape photographers led by Paul Zizka and met up at Lorette Ponds in Kananaskis. Paul has brought this group together as a chance to work with other photographers and motivate everyone to get out at the best times of the day in beautiful environments. This morning was nice, the sky was a little bare but the low angled light really lit up the trees for this shot. Definitely worth getting out and always great to connect with other photographers (even if it was at 5am....)

Monday, June 6, 2011

S800 | Sothern Alberta Fire Fighter

Here is one of the POV videos from my HERO cam mounted to my chest during the first run on a flaming propane training device at my S800 Practical test. For the drill, there are 4 of us on nozzles with each nozzle-man backed up by another FF. The two FF in the middle are attack while the two on the outside are safety. There is a leader in the center who is controlling the pace and guiding the line line of FF's towards the blaze. This creates a wall of water that forces the flames back and allows the leader to get close enough to shut-off the valve.
00:40 - tree is lit. From 30' I can feel the radiation inside my mask.
01:26 - Leader begins the tap-step-step (every tap on the shoulder)
01:34 - Leader asks for a 30 degree flow (I am wondering if I am melting the camera here)
02:06 - Leader asks for a 60 degree flow pattern
02:18 - Full fog
03:10 - I am now 6" away from the propane tree, gas valve gets turned off.
03:45 - I let out a yell of excitement! This is very cool.

No Glam | Calgary Lifestyle Photographer

This weekend I held my last Creative and Lighting Workshop until the fall. It was very productive and the students did an amazing job. On the Saturday we had a model from the city who does mostly glam and couture so it was fun trying to get her in to character at our "boneyard" location that had mostly car and farm equipment parts. I don't go near glamour photography but in this case it was easy for our Saturday student to work on technique while our model did her thing.

On Sunday we had another beautiful standin come to work with the rest of our students. We were very lucky to have sunny skies for these two days as Friday and today where nothing but rain. Everyone captured technically solid images and now have the confidence to work light into their portfolios. (Above is Tatiana posing amongst the barbed wire and sharp car parts)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Top 20 | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

I love my other job. For the last four years I have been with a rural fire hall in southern Alberta. Today I attended my last day of hydrocarbon and gas fuel fire training in Niscu. I had the chance to photograph most of it as well.

I have to say this is one of my top 20 experiences to date. There is nothing like being so close (literally 2 inches) to a burning propane flange that is expanding 820 times and close to 2000 degrees. The noise is like a jet and even though you are soaked from head to toe and watching the flames lick around your water curtain, you can feel the heat radiation working right into your protective gear. Fear, excitement, and a healthy respect for this beast. I just can't stop smiling!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rigging | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Jordan Ramey thinking this would be better to climb than just rig!

This morning Jordan and I headed out to Kid Goat near Yamnuska to test out my new rigging line and a few other rope techniques. Jordan is a recent addition to the Calgary area, coming from the States he has a lot of experience on big walls. We thought we would get rained out but once we started the long hike up and around the top of Kid Goat Bluff, the weather got a little nicer.

There was another party with several climbers on the wall (Barry Blanchard rapping in the green jacket) obviously being guided so we stayed off to climbers-right so as not to rain any debris down on their heads. We fixed a couple of stations along the 100m of rope and just worked out a simple but safe setup for me to use while photographing other climbers. I think I am just about there, it was a lot of fun and it is a good system for some future work.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Frequency | Alberta Lifestyle Photographer

click on image for larger version

I have been wondering lately if I should be closer to the mountains but my buddy Mike and I went out with the Jeep tonight to scout a few locations. I found some amazing features but when we got to the top of this coulee I was stunned. The right time and the right place I was so glad to have my camera with me.

Maybe it's alright to be between the prairies and the mountains. This is such a beautiful area especially now that it has greened up. Even being as busy I am, I am still getting out and shooting a lot, I am loving the frequency of it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Boneyard | Adventure Sports Photographer

This morning I met up with Paul Zizka and Oliver Du Tre for another Coffee and Cameras. We met up this time at Yamnuska and hiked around in the rain for a few hours before heading to Canmore for Coffee. I am not primarily a landscape shooter so it is cool to go out with these two amazing photographers and learn a few things. While I am in between commercial work I might as well be getting out and learning something new. Unfortunately I just didn't get what I was looking for which was the grand cliffs of the Yam.

So tonight I headed back into the prairies to a previously scouted place to shoot into the sunset we haven't seen in about a week. This time I used the Gold Blue polarizer and reset the white balance for a more natural look. 2 stop ND grad was used for the sky.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More About Feeling | Places We Play

I hate to go away from a location that I photographed and not have any excitement about it. I am not sure if it was just so early last Wednesday or the fact that I nearly hit a moose but I just wasn't feelin it. I came back to this image tonight and processed it with the crazy color that I got in-camera from the sensor loosing its white-balance. I don't really care about reality with this one, I just like the feeling from it. It was windy, cold and muddy at this spot. The image feels lonely, isolated and somewhat barren. Negative emotions maybe but good or bad, I want to feel something. This image makes me feel something, and sometimes I can relate.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Are You Next? | Adventure Photography

While a lot of the work I do is for editorial (magazine and print) and commercial, I love working with private clients. Especially those people who want to share their stories and passions and who love to play hard.

You might think it would be a big deal or super expensive to have a professional photographer tag along with you and your crew on a trip but really it is not. And to have images that tell the story and are good enough to be published by world class magazines is awesome. Or maybe you just have a series of shots you can put up in your home or that giant one over the fireplace of you on that 11,000' peak last spring.

Either you are looking for images covering your favorite sport or pastime, a trip project, or just want to be a part of my outdoor stock work, give me a call and we'll put something together.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Way Early | Canadian Adventure Photographer

Yesterday started extremely early, like alpine start early except I only had to drive for 2 hours. After getting a close-up look at a Moose while traveling 100 km/hr (I think I found hair on my bumper) in the dark, I met with Paul Zizka and a few others for a sunrise session on Vermillion Lakes. It was cool to get together with other photographers for photography and coffee and thanks to Paul it may be a regular Wednesday thing. Always great to see Paul and Megan, as creative professional they do so much for the Valley and this side of the Rockies.

In the Afternoon I hit Heart Creek to hook up with climbers Brad Warne and Jordan Ramey to do a little early season sport climbing. I spent about 2 hours moving comfortably across the second pitch of the slabs while Brad and Jordan worked their way across. The sun was pretty harsh until we got a few breaks of clouds and the light was a little less contrasted and I could include the belayer in the shots. I am hoping my folding boom will be done soon and I can get myself another 6 feet out from the rock to get another good point of view. A good friend of mine is designing and fabricating a folding rig that can attach to a pack, and is super light so it's not such a cluster to bring climbing. Can't wait.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back Roads | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

It's about 1 am and I just got home from a trip out near Torrington, Alberta to have a look at a place I had found a few years back. I was able to find it again even in the dark so I was able to get a few images. I am hoping to come back here again for another full moon but it needs some more elements like maybe some moving clouds and about an hour long exposure. This shot was 10 minutes long and it was super windy as can tell by the trees and the grass.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vertical Again | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Ah it feels so good to be back.

Tonight Scott Henderson and I raced out to Wasootch to get a few warm-up pitches in and get a feel back for the rock. Scott and I had never climbed before and this was the first time in ten years for Scott to be on trad so it was fairly easy climbing.

It really just feels good to be leading on gear again and having my head in the right place. I also tested out a bag and lanyard system that I can use while on route. Simple and clean and fast felt good tonight and no real clusters at the hanging belays. A few more times out and I'll have the pro body and good lenses for photographing and not worry about managing them.