Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Head Space | Canadian Adventure Photographer

This Sunday my usual partners-in-crime (Patrice Bance and Jay Kilgannon) made our way up to the Robertson Glacier for some early season kite-skiing. Problem with having to book a few days off so far in advance is that you never know what the weather is going to do. Sunday morning we arrived at the Burstal Pass parking lot in this season's first serious storm. Close to 3 inches on the ground and near white-out conditions. The last few days I had been mentioning I would likely have an 80 lb pack due to the fact that we were overnighting it and I had the camera gear. Patrice brought a luggage scale and sure enough the total was 76 lbs (I must be nuts).

 Patrice and Jay make their way up the Robertson Glacier moraine

 Even with the snow and wind blasting us in the meadows pass the tree-line I felt really good. I am still trying to take it easy on the back but lately I have had a lot of energy. My wife recently went on a diet and I'm sure my eating habbits have changed enough that I'm feeling better. A trip like this is so much more enjoyable when you have the energy and regardless of weather, it was amazing to be out where we were.

Enjoying a fire, dinner, and red wine at -13 Celsius.

On Sunday afternoon we set-up camp at the lower drainage from the glacier and hiked up to the moraine below the actual glacier. With gusts of up to 60 plus km/hr we figured it might be better to try for Monday. Back to camp we went and had some time to get in a large meal and a few other nice luxuries that were worth packing in. Sleeping under a tarp with a bivy wasn't bad even at -13, it was more the uneven ground that tore me from my sleep at 6 am. I figured building a fire and waking up was better than a screaming back.

I left the trees around 9 am to take some shots of the nearby peaks in morning alpen glow, perfect blue-bird day and no wind. Even without the wind we could still make some great turns. After a long boot-pack through the boulder strewn moraine we made it to the base of the glacier. Unfortunately at about 500 ft elevation gain one of my bindings broke so the boys carried on up to the base of the Robertson col to start their descent.

On the way down after a well-earned ski descent on Robertson.

Even the short ski made up for the long and rough trek into the glacier. I felt good and rhythmic in my movement. I had no place to be at the time, my life as I knew it did not exist, managing my way through the rocks and snow. The only thing from the other side of my mind coming through was my family. I love being out in the mountains and pushing myself and tend to think more about my wife and kids now. My wife is very supportive of what I do and that gives me great energy when I am out there. My kids are great and I am very proud of them and appreciate the good and the bad times, just happy they are here. Getting out is always good but getting the full experience because your head-space is there, that is living.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Constantly Evolving

The last two months have been both very busy and extremely stressful. I don't have a problem with that though as this time it is due to some big changes. I spent some time on another project in August so in trying to catch up with my photography work I went through a series of events (personal and professional) that forced me to re-evaluate my life and what I felt I should be doing as a career.

Again it was driven home that photography should be my primary career / lifestyle yet something had to change. Talking to a friend in the industry (whom I greatly admire) it was evident that I needed bigger challenges, better resources and of course, larger budgets. Strangely enough, and part way through re-designing my business plan (and of course a few key referrals) I managed to pick up a series of large commercial clients and delivered on some very serious work. Just yesterday I sat down with the VP of likely the most prominent communications agency in Canada and at this point am looking forward to potential work with them. Very excited to say the least but feeling very comfortable with the idea of the pressure and professionalism needed to produce a higher level of work.

So in the near future  our website will be changing to reflect a higher commercial value with the kind of images I love to capture. I am also specializing in only a few key sectors but won't be breaking off from current clients and magazines that I am currently engaged with. I am looking forward to the new changes and the chance to share some great images. In the mean time here are a few that have made the rounds or been accepted as key images in large commercial campaigns.

8th Avenue Place reflects another amazing Calgary sunrise.

Light Painting west of Crossfield on a cold fall evening.

Runner on pathway for a large community builder in Alberta.