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.