Posts Tagged With: photography

Just Add Water

I’m not a huge fan of wine. The swirling, the sniffing, the swishing – they’re all unnecessary distractions that keep you from actually getting down to the business of drinking.

My girlfriend is half Italian. She studied abroad in Italy during college, has Italian citizenship and currently guides cycling trips through Italy’s wine country a few months out of every year. She knows wine. She knows how to pair wine. She digs it.

Paddleboarding Lake McDonald

Just add water

You see my problem, right?

Sunday night we hopped in my car and headed up to Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park for a little sunset paddle. I brought the paddleboards, she brought the dinner and drinks. And by drinks I mean wine.

Already craving a beer, I pushed out from shore, watching our paddles cutting cleanly through the water as we pointed our boards north and headed for the middle of the lake, the glassy surface perfectly reflecting the surrounding mountains and setting sun.

Paddleboarding

Lauran, her wine and her paddleboard

No people. No boats. We had the lake to ourselves as we sat down on our boards and busted out some salami, pesto and cheese sandwiches followed by a bottle of white wine. Before I knew it, the sandwiches and the bottle of wine were both gone. Not a crumb or drop to be seen. What the hell just happened?

You might assume that I cheated on my first love, beer, and now consider wine my main squeeze. You’d be mistaken. In all seriousness, I realized that all you have to do is add water. That night, sitting in the middle of Lake McDonald, surrounded by pure, mountain water, I lost track of everything else. There were no distractions. I wasn’t thinking about whether I like or dislike something, There were no other thoughts. I was simply enjoying the moment.

Water has that affect on me. Or maybe it was because we were drinking the wine out of the bottle?

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Oregon Coast-ing

With our hoods up and hands stuffed deep in our pockets, we made tracks down the beach towards the tide pools. The sand was damp, spilling over the soles of my sandals, making me wish I’d worn shoes. The wind whipped at our backs. The driving rain soaked us from behind. Jeans were a bad idea.

Fifteen minutes later I stood on a rock, as far from shore as I could possibly get, looking out over the Pacific Ocean. The tide slowly came in around me, doing its best to cut me off from shore. The wind – gone. The driving rain – done. And that sun that was nowhere to be found 15 minutes earlier was now steadily drying me out.

This is the Pacific Northwest. More specifically, this is the Oregon Coast. Rain, wind and clouds. Sun, humidity and heat. If you’re not liking the weather, wait five minutes. Chances are a complete wardrobe change will be required.

I met my family in Lincoln City, Oregon this weekend for some much needed beach time. Here’s a look at a few of my favorite shots. If you’d rather ride the Instagram train, find my photos here.

Flying Montana

Portland bound over Montana

Kaden Lincoln City Oregon

My nephew Kaden exploring the beach

Sunset

Sunset

Beer in Lincoln City Oregon

10 Barrel Brewing Apocalypse IPA with a view

Sunset

Sunset

My nephew Kaden at sundown.

My nephew Kaden at sundown.

Sunset

Sunset

Lincoln City Oregon

Nature’s tunnel to the beach

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Sunsets

What is it about sunsets that are so fascinating and appealing?

Looking through my Instagram photos, a collection that features a variety of different subjects, there’s clearly favor shown to the shots of sunsets by those doing the viewing.

Is it based solely on the visual stimulation created by the complex combination of Mother Nature’s colors? The oranges, reds, yellows and blues making magic on the horizon.

Or is it something more emotional? The satisfaction, uncertainty and excitement that goes along with knowing that another day in this thing we call life has come to a close, with another about to start.

Sunset

Sunset. Columbia Falls, MT.

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Multi Sport Season

For most people there are four seasons: Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall. But when it comes to the state of Utah, there is one season not mentioned in the previous four that rules them all – Multi Sport Season.

By definition, Multi Sport Season is the short window of time when the cool, yet dry, weather of late Winter pairs with the warm, long days of Spring creating the unique opportunity to experience silly good skiing and quality mountain biking and/or trail running in the same day.

Disclaimer: I totally made up that “definition.”

I may be biased, but I’m pretty sure no other destination, city or state, offers the quality and quantity of Multi Sport days like Salt Lake City and Utah do. Sound off if you disagree.

From making turns at Alta to hittin’ the singletrack on Antelope Island, here’s what this year’s Multi Sport Season in Utah has looked like to me:

First Tracks in Main Chute. Approximately 11 a.m., Friday, April 26

First Tracks in Main Chute. Approximately 11 a.m., Friday, April 26

Trail running Salt Lake City

Trail running on Jack’s Peak. Approximately 7:00 pm, Friday, April 26

And one more example, just for good measure:

East Castle Alta Ski Area

Topping out on Alta’s East Castle hike. Approximately 10 a.m., Saturday, March 16

Biking on Antelope Island

Mountain Biking on Antelope Island. Approximately 2:30 pm, Saturday, March 16

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Spring Skiing

Give me blue skies, spring conditions on the slopes, and a pair of skis and I’ll be the happiest guy on the hill. This past weekend I got the chance to ski Snowbird with former Hot Dog stunt skier turned photographer/videographer, Bob Legasa. Was I nervous to be skiing with one of the stars of a cult classic? Hell yeah. The man threw down more classic tricks during that movie than I have in all of my years of skiing. Don’t get me wrong, I was still dropping spread eagles and daffys all over the place. After all, that’s what spring skiing is all about. And as you can see from the smile on my face, I was having a blast. From hot laps down Peruvian Basin and creamy turns on the Cirque to aprés beers on the tram deck and shots from the one-and-only Shotz Ski, we did spring skiing right.

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Boots and flip flops - There is something seriously awesome and wrong with this photo.

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

A big thank you to Bob, Scott Evans (Shotz Ski) and Eric Wilson for a killer afternoon. Where are you getting your spring turns in this year?

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Boston in Black & White

City sunsets are pretty sweet.

I just got back from a last minute trip to Boston. Seriously. I found out I was going Wednesday around 3 p.m. and was boarding my plane bound for Beantown Thursday morning at 8 a.m.

While spontaneous travel may be frowned upon in some circles (over planners, human resource departments, etc.), I find it to be one of the best ways to truly experience a destination. When you have no time to plan, or even pack for that matter, you have no choice but to go with the flow, taking whatever comes your way. And so went my first trip to Boston. I had my backpack, my cell phone, my girlfriend and a long weekend that just happend to be chocked full of signature Boston events. From catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park and watching the Boston Marathon to hittin’ the beach at Cape Cod and almost getting in a fight with a  guido on the north end, I feel like I got a good taste of Boston.

Loved difference in the styles of buildings.

For those of you wondering, yes, Boston is worth a trip. Whether you’ve got a few days or a week weeks, the city offers plenty to keep you busy. Boston is overflowing with charm, character, history, pride and great beer. It’s a city that you’re stoked to get to, happy to be in, and sad to leave. But most importantly, it’s a city you’ll always remember.

Anyways, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll shut up and let you browse the slideshow below, taking a look back at my trip through the lens of my phone’s camera.

Lauran enjoying the beach on the Cape.

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Five things I’ll always remember about Boston:

  1. Fenway Park is life changing.
  2. Regina’s Pizza on the north end serves up the best pies this side of Italy.
  3. The Boston Marathon is inspiring. I almost want to run a marathon now . . . almost.
  4. The pride that the people of Boston have in both their city and sports teams is amazing.
  5. Bostonites can drink.

Has anyone else hit the streets of Boston lately? Sound off. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Slackcountry Saturday

I woke up Friday morning to an unexpected storm that proceeded to drop 12″ of the “Greatest Snow on Earth” on the Wasatch Mountains. This welcome, and much needed, taste of winter was then followed up by 50-60 degree temperatures. Yup, just another spring weekend in Utah. Question – What does one do with such a sweet little gift from Mother Nature? Answer – Take full advantage.

At 9 a.m. Wes, myself, Lauran and Ski Utah Powderhound, Matt Baydala, caught first chair at Canyons Resort with our sights set on 9990. From the top of 9990 we made a boot pack beeline for the infamous Square Top whose steep slopes offer what most consider the best skiing in the Park City area. Honestly, there’s no better feeling in the world than when you’re standing on the top of an untracked run, with your best friends, getting ready to drop in. It’s unbeatable. And believe me, the turns we made on Square Top did not dissappoint. Long, consistent vertical paired with deep snow is always a good combination.

After another ride up 9990 followed by a scenic boot pack to the top of Dutch’s Draw, we clicked into our skis and headed across the ridge for Main Mac. A quick side step brought us to the top of a completely untouched, untracked, and unblemished bowl. Naturally, it didn’t stay that way for long as one after the other we dropped in, arching long, deep turns down Mac’s shoulder.

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Now fully in “powderhound” mode, we slapped on the skins and headed for the zone known as “Powder Puff.” The gradual yet scenic route climbs along a ridge offering views of West Monitor to your left and Canyons Resort to your right. Once you reach the top you’re treated to a panoramic view of the Wasatch range. From the Jordanelle Reservoir to the Cottonwood Canyons and their four resorts (Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude), you can see it all. Dropping in on Powder Puff, we were rewarded with top-to-bottom turns full of face shots. Feel free to disagree, but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing better than being the first one to get to the goods.

Looking to finish strong, Wes and I hopped on 9990, took the boot pack to the top and dropped off the back side towards Desolation Lake. A quick skin brought us to the rim of the bowl that surrounds Desolation Lake. After ripping skins, we dropped in on a north facing, treed run that was so good we had to do another. Following another quick skin, we dropped in on an open face that funneled into a north facing aspect offering perfectly spaced trees and the deepest, softest snow of the day. Skinning up for the last time, we hiked out of Desolation basin and up to the shoulder of Square Top where we skied our final run, again untracked, back to Red Pine Road and from there back to the base of Canyons Resort.

Start time: 9 a.m.
End time: 3:30 p.m.
Total Runs (not including groomers): 6
Total Tracks Crossed During Runs: 0

Sitting on the deck of the Umbrella Bar with PBR’s in hand, turns were re-told, runs were relived and laughs were shared. It had ben an amazing day to say the least. We had just skied fresh powder from first chair to last skin  . . . on April 7. Some folks will never experience such a feat. But to those who live in Utah it’s just another slackcountry Saturday.

If you need visual proof of the tale I told above, check out the edit that Matt put together.

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Groomed to Perfection

Have you ever wondered what happens when the lifts stop spinning at ski resorts? Or how that corduroy looks so perfect every morning? Most things don’t happen overnight, but perfectly groomed runs do. Justin Olsen tells the story of how it goes down through this sweet time-lapse video. Enjoy.

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My Top Photos From the 2009-2010 Ski Season

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  So, instead of using the written word to eloquenty describe to you how great my winter was at Solitude Mountain Resort, I figured it would be best to use photos.  No, I’m not being lazy and not wanting to write.  I’m actually doing this for you!  I want you to be able to SEE the terrain, SEE the snow and SEE the mountains, so that maybe, just maybe, you can feel what it’s like to ski in Utah and ski the “Greatest Snow on Earth.”

I’m not a professional photographer.  In fact, my skill with the camera would be more aptly described as a work in progress.  However, I did get to shoot a lot of photos this winter.  Some were good.  And some were bad.  Yet, no matter how many bad photos I took, the feeling I got when I captured an image that I knew was a winner made it all worth it.  Will my photos make it on the cover of Powder MagazineSkiing Magazine or Freeskier Magazine?  Probably not.  Nonetheless, here are some of my favorite photos I shot this season:

After being behind the lens and experiencing the pressure of having to get “The shot,” you would think that being the skier in a photo shoot would be less stressful.  I beg to differ!  In fact, I would say I was more nervous as the skier.  Not only do you have to concentrate on skiing, but you have to try and look good at the same time.  How’s my line?  How’s my form?  So many things to think about!  Here’s a few photos from this season where it all came together:

Jealous, huh?  Maybe wishing you’d spent your winter in Utah?  Or perhaps you’re regretting not skiing enough this season?  All reasonable feelings to be having after seeing pictures of Utah’s famous powder.  I believe Dolores LaChapelle summed it up best when she said, “Powder snow skiing is not fun.  It’s life, fully lived, life lived in a blaze of reality.”

Got any great powder shots from this winter?  Comment below with links to your favorite ones!  After all, I showed you mine, now you have to show me yours!

Check out Solitude Mountain Resort’s photostream on Flickr for more great photos!

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