Smith Rock and Bramble Outdoor's Daypack

Smith Rock and the Bramble Outdoor's Daypack (check out the  my new gallery page here)

It was a pleasure to recently be hired by a really cool and eco-friendly company, Bramble Outdoor, to provide some high-quality images of their new Daypack while multi-pitch climbing at Smith Rock.  I was thankful to have a number of good looking and adventurous friends who were excited to try out the new pack as well as scaling long beautiful and exposed routes in Central Oregon.  Bramble creates Gear for Going Places. They build quality goods for people on the move. Their purpose is to strengthen our connection to the places we play. Locally made in Washington the packs are part of the "Pacific Northwest Series" that Bramble has created. These awesome new packs will be released for the first time next Monday the 22nd and you can pre-order them here:

I want to first and foremost say thank you to Bramble Outdoor for allowing me the opportunity to try their new pack and visit one of my favorite places.  As well, I wanted to say thank you to the friends who made the journey to join me, scaling some new routes during the perfect light to help me get the images I needed.

Thanks to Julie Lanthier, Emily Linn, Bruce Henderson, Aaron Hartig, Keri Hartig and Adam Huskey for their time and energy.


Climbing in the Black Canyon

Climbing the last 20ft of Chipeta Falls, WI-4, above the Blue Mesa area of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Climbing the last 20ft of Chipeta Falls, WI-4, above the Blue Mesa area of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

Southwest Colorado has some of the best ice climbing in the continental United States.  Ouray, Colorado is the modern day mecca of the ice climbing community, having been the proving ground for folks like Conrad Anker and the Lowe's.  Most who come to this area of the state visit Ouray not only for the high concentration and quality of climbs but also for the high cliffs, hidden valleys and growing ice.  After spending last winters vacation in Ouray, I made it my goal to explore more remote ice over the coming year.  Thankfully I found Joe Roberts book, Colorado Ice.  Proving itself irreplaceable, Joe's book has become the staple for the local alpine and ice communities of SW Colorado as well as myself.  Scanning the pages I found that the climbs lining the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, exciting to say the least.  With most climbs in the area 50m +, these routes were much larger than most in the Ouray area.  So, with a sense of adventure we headed into the quiet canyon, not another car or person in sight to find our first climb of the week, Chipeta Falls, WI-4.  Here you can see the 30 degree finish about 100m up from the waters of the Blue Mesa area of the Black Canyon.

Packing for a Photo Vacation

A few months back my wife and I had to bail on a vacation we were planning to the Maldives.  We discovered the cost plus the time needed to get there combined with my wife's PTO made it less than ideal.  So, after a sad come-to-Jesus with our friends we started to talk about the top places in the world we would love to visit.  

Not surprisingly, we had a number of similar places we wanted to visit. So, we began to hunt for cheap flights and discovered that my dream location had direct flights from Minneapolis round trip for $600 a person.  Combined with my flight miles, we wound up flying direct international for 2 people for $400!  Needless to say, that trip starts this coming week and we are both ecstatic.  

We will be spending 7 days in a van driving across my dream photo location.   Starting to pack for a dream photo vacation with only so much room, meant a new Thule bag, numerous new memory cards as well as trying to figure out what to bring and what not to bring camera wise.  With a desire to take both film and digital photos, as well as capture video, it has complicated what may and may not fit in our new Thule bag.

Dream vacation equipment

Equipment above: 5dMarkiii, Rebel t2i, Pentax K-1000, Powershot S110, Yashica Mat 124g, Portra 160, Kodachrome 64, Velvia 100, Nisi ND1000, Nisi ND64, Nisi GND 0.9 and miscellaneous chargers, batteries, tripod, and memory cards.

Long Exposure Made

As of late, I have spent a number of days working out how to take long exposure photos.  To be honest, I became obsessed with photos of Iceland over the last few weeks.  With an impending vacation just around the corner, I had no idea how to create the smooth almost blanket like waterfall and ocean photos I saw from some of my favorite photographers.  I understood the concept of long exposure but how could those photographers not get over exposed even at f22 iso 100?  

Fortunately, the internet was working and I started scouring until I came across the details.  To my surprise, the process seemed like something I could have fun with and my next stop was a plethora of filter reviews.  Wow! Those things are expensive, in fact a good couple filters will cost you as much as a new lens and there is a significant delineation in quality.  In other words, do your homework if you want to start getting into long exposure photography, as you could pay a lot for a filter that reduces your photo's quality and ultimately doesn't provide the level of production you would hope to obtain with a significantly increased exposure.

So, with the help of the internet, I went with Nisi filters, a cheaper, well reviewed, glass slide filter.  Thanks to the Nisi slide filters I have been able to extend my exposures for significant lengths of time.  I have had the opportunity to use and test the Neutral Density Filter – ND64 (1.8) – 6 Stop and a Neutral Density Filter - ND1000 (3.0) - 10 stop as well as a Soft Graduated Filter- GND.9 - 3 stop.  

Don't worry a few weeks ago that sounded just as foreign to me but has as of recent, become one of my favorite tool to create beautiful photos.

Taking a long exposure at Iso 100  f/18  4.0 for 2 mins with Nisi ND1000 (3.0)

Photo taken of the Minneapolis Skyline from the long exposure above