Archive for December, 2009
Recently there has been a great deal of discussion between my wife and I about moving to a new part of the country. Where and whether or not we end up moving is irrelevant to this post, but our talks have made me think about living in Salt Lake City for the last several years and the potential for regret that is staring me in the face. One of the things that initially drew me to the city was it’s proximity to world class skiing and great access to the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains. The countless other opportunities within a half day’s drive were also a huge perk. Living here, there is rarely a week that goes by when I don’t get some sort of vision or idea for a new image or project.
The problem, though, is that when you live in an area long enough it is common to take it and the opportunities that exist locally for granted. Getting caught up in day-to-day life and the other aspects of running a business, it’s easy to put things off and direct energy elsewhere. Regardless of whether or not my wife and I move, our discussions are challenging me to cross more of those locally-shot ideas off my “to-do” list before those opportunities pass me by. After all, little in life is more painful than regret.
To quote fellow adventure photographer Dan Patitucci, “For many reasons we often dread going, but never dread having gone.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. The challenge is to get out there and grab the opportunities that exist in life right now. To stop putting them off and making excuses. I can let life pass me by because I’m too distracted to make my ideas happen, too bored with where I am at, and too focused on the future. Or, as they say, “seize the day” and take advantage of what lies before me. I choose the later. Today is that day to push myself to new limits. That day to try a new idea. That day to take a risk.
I will regret the opportunities I don’t take. Will you?
I am a huge fan of Seth Godin, a forward-thinking, best-selling author and self proclaimed “agent of change”. His daily blog is extremely thought provoking, and I cannot recommend his books enough, especially Tribes, The Dip, and Small is the New Big. This week Seth announced a free e-book he organized with wisdom from over 70 big thinkers. It’s truly insightful, and I recommend it for all who are inspired by a different way of thinking. Check it out (download here). It’s free, inspiring and well worth reading. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of shooting a new campaign for Wenger, makers of the original Swiss Army Knife. In addition to shooting images in Southern Chile during the 2009 Wenger Patagonian Expedition Race, images were also shot in Switzerland, the birthplace of Wenger. Below are a just a few samples of the work I shot for them.
In addition to making some of the best knives and watches available, Wenger also makes other outdoor gear including footwear, backpacks, sleeping bags, tents and luggage. You can check out their gear here.
Going-to-the-sun-highway. No, I’m talking about the famous road that traverses Glacier National Park over Logan Pass in Montana. Today’s images come from a remote ice climb deep in the Ghost River area of the Canadian Rockies. A few years ago after an extended backcountry ski tour on the Wapta Icefield in Banff National Park, I took the opportunity to meet up with world renowned ice climber, Raphael Slawinski on his home turf in the Canadian Rockies. Raphael is the type of guy who catches you off guard. A physic instructor at a university in Calgary, Raphael didn’t initially strike me as the climber type. I had heard him speak a few years prior at an ice climbing festival in the Coastal Range of BC and was well aware of his many climbing accomplishments but he didn’t have an over-the-top, I’m-so-core vibe one might expect given his reputation. Soft spoken and extremely humble, Raphael is my kind of climber.
I remember our initial phone conversation well. When debating locations for the shoot, Raphael asked if I had a 4×4. A simple yes and it became clear we were headed to the North Ghost, an area known for it’s rough approach. Raphael was interested in “Going to the Sun Highway” a route he had never climbed that only forms completely every few years that has several mixed lines around it. Rallying the jeep, we were off.
Shooting with Raphael and his friends in such a a amazing location made for a memorable day. Over the years I have photographed many ice climbers but never had anyone made it look so effortless. With each swing of his tools and kick of his crampons it became clear his home was on the ice. In all honesty I don’t remember much about Raphael’s first ascents and new routes I read about in my research prior to the shoot. However, his contagious passion for climbing and the wilderness have remained and will inspire me for years to come.
I recently found out my good friend Michael Clark’s new book Adventure Photography is now available through Amazon. As a small contributor to the book and a close friend of Michael’s, I had the privilege of getting a sneak peak at the book. It is packed full of information on shooting a variety of adventure sports and life as a freelance photographer. In addition it showcases loads of Michael’s award winning images making it ideal for both aspiring photographers or anyone with a passion for adventure sports.
Here is the book description from the publisher, Lark Books:
This beautifully produced guide by Michael Clark is the newest entry in the Digital Masters series, as well as the first book on a fast-growing photographic genre: shooting today’s popular extreme outdoor sports, from mountain biking and ice climbing to surfing, kayaking, and more.
Clark is one of the world’s most respected adventure photographers, and he offers sage advice—gained from years of hard-earned experience—on equipment, techniques, and the specific skills required to get in on the action. Learn to capture fast-moving subjects and deal with harsh conditions and horrible weather—even when you’re hanging from ropes and riggings in a squall. Of special interest is the Portraiture and Lifestyle chapter, which covers increasingly in-demand techniques.
The book can be ordered through Amazon here.
From the current issue of National Geographic Adventure. Shot while trekking near the base of the world renowned Cerro Torre in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. To read the full article pick up the December ’09/January ’10 issue.
From the August/September 2009 issue of National Geographic Adventure. Photographed in British Columbia’s Pacific Rim National Park — one of my all time favorite locations in the world. The entire article can be read on National Geographic’s website here.
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