Archive for May, 2009

Home, Spring park shoots are over!

27May09

My Civic with 43,223 bugs making a new home on the front bumper7246 miles (4584 miles on the road), 47 days, and 7 terrain park shoots, and 43,225 dead bugs on my car later my season is finally over and I’m finally home back in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This year’s Spring terrain park shoot season was shorter than last year, but the amount of travel between shoots really wore on me this Spring.  It was nuts actually, and home never looked so good.  My own bed, my own space, not working on my slow laptop, and having my golf clubs, being able to sneak out for some golf in the work day, everything, all the comforts of home…finally!  However, it was all completely worth it.  I got a lot of great action shots with a lot of the usual people but also some new faces.  I got to spend some time with some good friends I don’t get to see a lot, visit new places, see family, oh and to find out that 4th gear in my Civic tops out at 130mph!

Also in this trip I did a lot of fun portraits, spent some time working more on capturing the lifestyle side of things and shot a lot with a Holga which was pretty fun.  Shooting film, the mystery of wondering how things are going to turn out, especially with the thought of a very inprecise piece of camera equipment, adding in the mystery of how cross processing is going to turn out made for some fun stuff.  I just sent it all out to Panda photo lab in Seattle, WA and I’m really excited to see how it turned out.  I’m really anxious to see how it all plays out with the good ol film.  It’s been at least 5 years since I shot any film.

Once I hit the road back home, I was all in, from Bend, OR to Hood River, OR to take a few portraits, then finally home to Salt Lake City, UT.  Did it all straight through, starting at 10am in Bend, then arriving home in Salt Lake City, UT at 3am.  I probably should have stayed the night in Boise but I was determined to sleep in my own bed ASAP, so 17 hours later I was there, at home, in my own bed and was worth every second on the road.

I’ll have a bit more later with some random photos from the spring in a few days.

Poachers at park shoots

21May09

A lot of you have probably seen the video floating around about our recent poacher experience at the Poor Boyz Productions shoot at Mt. Bachelor but for those that haven’t, check out the video in this post.  I’ve had a lot more poacher problems during the Spring terrain park shoots so far this season then normal.  One of the things is that we have been in zones that are actually still open to public, and in other situations just drunk dudes looking for glory even with the mountain closed.  For those of you that don’t know what a poacher is, it’s someone that is not invited to a private, closed photo/video shoot that shows up, ignores everyone there telling him not to hit the jumps, rails, whatever and hits the features anyways and usually injures themselves badly due to being a complete idiot.

Poacher Getting OWNED at the PBP Mt. Bachelor shoot – going about 180ish feet.

This has been a pretty big problem this season, so far without any real consequence to myself and the crews I’ve been working with but poses a bit liability issue and brings up the necessity for myself and the film crews to be insured for liability.  These poachers, had they been hurt worse than they were could have shut our shoot down, one that everyone had spent a lot of time preparing for, traveling to, etc between the film crews, myself and the athletes.  Add in the potential for the negative impact to the resorts building these massive park features for us and then it just boils down to putting these shoots on lockdown.

So far we have had three poachers at the two separate shoots I’ve been shooting at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon.  The first one was by far the worst as he was the one that dodged park crew in the in-run trying to stop him only to send it about 180 feet to flat.  This hero won a trip to the hospital and a broken pelvis and broken femur.  He was also dumb enough to try and get up and claim it after he exploded however he crumbled with all the new broken bones he had.  The second also won a trip to the hospital.  Number two got himself a concussion but being the hero he was, rejected help from patrol.

The third was a fun one.  This guy who was blackout drunk said he was going to “slay the pipe bro” which was above the cannon box setup we were shooting on.  OK fine right?  Yah he was planning to hit the cannon box setup similar to what he watched on the X-Games slopestyle course.   Blackout dude decides to drop with no speed, basically fall off the cannon box to flat, ruining the perfectly groomed deck (looks better in photos without bomb holes) and then talking more shit than you could imagine anyone would to a group of about 15 people when he’s the only one on his side.  Blackout was really concerened that “you guys are messing up my wave” and “screwing my vibe broooo….”  This was followed by numerous hand gestures that were considered gay even when I was in high school, on the deck, below the deck and more in the parking lot at the security guys as well as the mountain manager (mind you the mountain manager is about 6’4″, 250lbs ish) before gettting into his truck and likely getting a DUI on the drive home.

Got a poacher?  Kick them out or kick them in the balls before they dodge the park staff trying to stop them on the in run, then crash, burn, get broke off and get your shoot shut down!  Or just watch them eat shit, laugh at them and hope they don’t have a fender bender chasing lawyer.

Powderhound Magazine Cover

13May09

Skier: Max Kuszaj - Alta, Utah

After shooting with my current roomate Max Kuszaj since the start of my career 9 years ago we landed first cover.  Max is the first pro I began working with way back in the day when I used to work over at The Canyons Resort as the staff photo/video guy there.  This shot is one of those sunset powder shots I’ve been trying to make work for the past few years.  Alta is such a good zone for these types of things as there are so many zones that are quick to get to, which is so important with shots like this as they take so much setup time and gear.  Powderhound magazine is a ski magazine out of Australia which I’ve been working with for the past few years.  Hopefully this is the first of a few more this season!

Spring Park Shoots, round 5 – Day 28

07May09

All this fits in a Honda Civic Coupe!After 4 days off spent editing my season in Seattle, WA it’s time to finish up my season at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon.  Unfortunately with a few days off, that means I’ve unpacked, meaning I have to re-pack all that gear into my tiny Honda Civic coupe.  I’ve gone from not bringing enough gear on trips, to bringing EVERYTHING, to realzing I’ve brought too much.  Maybe next year I will get this right!

Duct tape solves every problem - The Ranger with the Alien Bee reflectorAnother thing I’ve learned along the way is that duct tape fixes everything.  Of course, I already knew this but I didn’t think it would work in this case.  A the Poor Boyz Productions shoot at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, OR Ian Coble loaned me his Elinchrom Ranger to use for a few days after he had left the shoot to head back home to Seattle.  For the last jump of the shoot, I needed another narrow beam reflector to really pump out the light in order to light up some trees in the background of the shot.  I only had the wide and that just wasn’t cutting it.  I did still have the 50 degree sports reflectors for my Alien Bees and a bit of tape went a long way to save my ass and work things out.  I’d usually MacGyver this one up and make a reflector out of aluminium foil however the AB reflector and a few strips of tape were a hell of a lot easier.

Anyhoo, I’ll have a bit more from the road as I try to keep burnout from setting in.  2 and a half more weeks and my Winter will be over and I can relax for summer!

Power Outage and need to work? No problem!

06May09

Laptop running at full steam with my NiMH power pack to run my Alien Bees.I’m on the road in between shoots with some downtime so I’m editing quite a bit for a few more days.  A storm rolled in and took out the power in the middle of my editing day but no problem!   My solution?  I’m on my laptop so it doesn’t use much power.   I take my power packs for my Alien Bees and run both the laptop and the cable modem and wireless router.  I’m going to be sitting in the dark soon doing all this but i can keep working so it’s pretty sweet.  The 11 amp hour NiMH battery in the power pack should be able to keep the laptop going all night, who knows with the router and cable modem but I’m pretty stoked I have these sitting around, just in case as an extra power supply I can use, as needed.

I’m out to Mt. Bachelor in a few days to continue with the Spring terrain park shoot season with shoot number five with Poor Boyz Productions.




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