It’s not just a destination, it’s a journey. Death Valley is a unique and desolate place. The range of landscapes and climates that are in the national park are widespread. One of my favorite places to visit in Death Valley National Park is the Racetrack Playa. Traveling 40 miles north of the nearest form of civilization in the park, you reach the end of the pavement where one is greeted with a sign that reads: “HIGH CLEARANCE 4X4 RECOMMENDED”. From there you make the 30 mile trek down a very rough dirt road, around a range of mountains, passed Tea Kettle Junction, to a completely different valley and climate. Welcome to Racetrack Playa, an ancient lake bed where rocks mysteriously move across the dried playa leaving a mark of their travels. For those who make the journey to what seems like the ends of the earth, can sit and listen to nothing but their own heart beat while they sit and visit with these “moving rocks”. It’s a very unique place. It’s an amazing place. I’ve been twice now and it won’t be my last. These rocks and the mark they make upon the earth makes for amazing photography. Enjoy.

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Posted: December 1, 2011 in Photography
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As a fan of the world renowned photographer, Peter Lik, I have enjoyed watching his video series as he travelled around different parts of the country taking photos of the most amazing places on earth. A couple of months ago, a friend and I took a road trip into the interior of Oregon. While traveling on a distant back road highway that the Garmin had taken us on through some of Oregon’s beautiful country side, I spotted the sign for Proxy Falls. I was ecstatic to be following the footsteps of Mr. Lik. Proxy Falls, Oregon is an amazing site. I’m thankful to have stumbled upon this.

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Working with the weather in the Pacific Northwest can be rewarding as a photographer. For this shot, the weather nearly killed our photo outing. As we arrived at the parking lot of the trail head to this location, it was raining cats and dogs. Eldad tried hard to talk me out of the hike down to this dock in Bellingham Bay. I was persistent. Sure enough by the time we got to waters edge, the weather already began to break and allowed the sunset to shine through on the backside of the passing storm. With my Canon 1D atop my Manfrotto tripod, I dialed in my exposure using my Singh-Ray neutral density gradient filter over the brighter areas of the photo. I shoot shots like this using my Canon remote trigger.

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1st Try…..

Posted: September 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Here is my first experiment with astro time lapse photography. Yes, I understand that this is very short, BUT this is the work of two nights worth of photographing 1,300 frames. Each of these shots I set up after 10 pm on a clear night. The moon can be your friend or your enemy on shoots like this. In photography, I believe in shooting with what nature gives me at the given moment.

http://www.vimeo.com/29403211

On the first shot of this sequence, that is the moon moving across the sky as it lights up the landscape well after midnight. At approximately 9 seconds, there is a plane that travels through the middle of the sky leaving a contrail. As the contrail moves in front of the moon, it casts a moon shadow across the landscape.

I set my ISO to 1600 so that I can keep my shutter speeds relatively fast, otherwise you will end up with more of the star trail effect when shutter openings approach 1 minute or longer. At ISO 1600 and an f/stop of 4.0, I shot with a shutter opening of 30 seconds.

A creation from the dark depths of Super Rat Racing, Egg Salad was a Bonneville contender for 2011, accomplishing a top speed of 113mph. Carl Bjorklund, the fabricator behind Super Rat gives a brief description of his work of art in this short film showcasing the bike. Egg Salad is powered by a 500cc Rotax motor mounted in a Knight Flat Track frame. Carl hand built the metal faring that encases the motorcycle.

This short film is intended to show case this bike using footage that was filmed for a feature documentary about Super Rat and their first trip to the Salt for the 2011 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials. Look for more to come on this epic journey to the salt.

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
Edited with Final Cut Pro 5.1

For many years I have been in awe of time lapse video and photography. I started shooting time lapses 11 years ago by setting up a video camera on a tripod for an hour at a time and then speeding the footage up by over 1,000%. The results were fun, but by no means as spectacular as other forms of time lapse out there.

After delving into the world of photography many years later, I learned that time lapse is actually generally shot using still photography shot by shot over the course of sometimes many hours or days.

Now into the photography world I have enjoyed setting up quick random time lapses of random things. It is a cool way to tie both of my passions together by creating video with photography.

One day, a good friend of mine and fellow videographer, Michael Carey, turned me onto a few names such as Tom Lowe, Tom Guilmette, Eric Kessler, Philip Bloom among many others. These fellows are on the leading edge of time lapse photography. What these guys are doing with time lapse photography is simply amazing. Completely impossible to put into words so watch this video to see with your own eyes:

Watching the films that these guys have put together has turned me on to a whole new type of photography, and a whole different form of video. Astro time lapse photography. Where the camera captures over a period of time, the rotation of the earth and the stars traveling through the sky as if earth, our planet, is on fast forward through space.

I am now on a quest to experiment and learn this type of photography. This is a game of understanding the calendar, dodging weather, and avoiding light pollution. It’s also a game of determining the PERFECT camera settings and mapping out great shots. I look forward to sharing and explaining the settings of what works and what doesn’t. Follow along as I post about the trials and tribulations of such a journey.

There is something about shooting photography in the midst of mother nature’s fury that adds an immense amount of adrenaline to the moment. After spending the weekend in Winthrop Washington enjoying the warm weather of the eastern half of the state, we headed back over the mountains. With the many trips I have made through this pass I have seen the most unbelievable shows put on by mother nature here in the Skagit River Gorge. The ever turning weather in the canyon mixed with a sunset can be an amazing experience here. On this day we came around the corner to see this scene unfolding before us! With out hesitation the car was stopped and the camera was high atop the tripod. The wind was just roaring through the valley, across Diablo Lake and up the cliff that I was perched on. The wind hit me so hard at one point that it literally took my breath away. With the clouds virtually boiling, the light rays were dancing across the surface of the lake. Standing there with mother nature breathing her fury down while I capture all the glory is a feeling that I am at a loss of words on how to describe. I can honestly say that the most exhilarating moments that I have had while enjoying photography have been while facing mother nature’s magical elements. In turn, the most exhilarating moments that I have had while facing mother nature’s magical elements have been while capturing it all with my camera!