Thursday, October 28, 2010

Red Bull Rampage 2010

Every time I shoot a sporting event, I come away with a whole new appreciation for the athletes. Yes, the purpose of the Red Bull Rampage is to deliberately ride your bike off a cliff and look good doing it. I just had no idea what went on behind the scenes to make it all happen: Teams of people building just the right lines to impress the judges. Total strangers fighting gravity and forcing the best bikes in the industry up the cliffs the riders will soon come barreling down. Friends and fathers calculating precise moves perched atop high mountains and clinging to cliff ledges. Riders assessing the wind-whipped flags to decide if the weather is too fierce to ride. Promoters wondering if all of their preparation is any match for what mother nature has to offer in the storm clouds above. Webcasters anxiously trying to fill time for the live broadcast being viewed across the nation. Spectators on location awaiting the next rider and trying to guess what line they will take so they can decide whether or not that partially worn line underfoot is the line the rider will choose. Photographers scrambling back and forth following the chatter of the walkie talkies to get the million dollar shot.

And although we did scramble back and forth between shots, and split our time on the sides of cliffs and under canyon gaps, and went into each day with a new strategy to get a unique angle, when photographing any sort of event, it all comes down to people. The people we are photographing and the people we meet along the way. Everywhere we go we are capturing a little piece of history-just a split second in time. I've become very grateful for all of the unique opportunities we have been able to experience. And, I'll admit, I'm very grateful for the people that we meet along the way the generosity they show to us.
(A huge thank you to Jeff Strait for befriending us. His son, Kyle Strait, is pictured above shooting out of the Oakley icon sender.)

All I have to say about this shot is, he did not stick the landing across the 65 foot canyon gap. And it happened right in front of me.

The 3-D cameras were positioned right across the ledge from this shot. I'm anxious to see what their take on the Red Bull Rampage looks like.

All eyes were on Cameron Zink as he hit the 360 to claim the victory for 2010.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moab, Utah - Arches National Park

We took the trek out to Delicate Arch expecting to get a few great shots at sunset. What we did not expect, was the ginourmous crowd that had gathered out in the middle of nowhere with the same idea. So, we decided to go where the other photographers were not and got some unique perspectives.

If you stand underneath it, you get a very clear sense of why it is named delicate arch!

Just as the sun had set a group of about 20 kids appeared out of nowhere. I'll admit, it was quite hilarious. We had so many questions: Is this a school trip? (I want to send my kids to that school because I never got to do anything this cool when I was in school) Why didn't they get here before the sun set? (I can only imagine the process it took to get them there!) How will they trek the 2 miles safely back to their waiting caravans in the dark? (Oh wait, I remember seeing a flashlight or two) How did the chaperones stay so calm with all these kids running around near cliffs and underneath a potentially collapsible arch? (I don't think it helped when all the kids gathered under the arch for a photo and Sean yells: "Watch out! It's falling!)

As soon as the kids left, we realized we were alone. Sometimes you get the best shots when everyone else thinks there is no reason to stay and shoot. Or was there a good reason they were all gone? Shoot! I probably should have checked the signs at the ranger station to see if there are any creepy crawly monsters that come out at night around these parts!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Durango to Silverton via the Narrow Gauge Railroad

I was by far the most excited about this one particular day of our vacation. I've been wanting to ride this train again for as long as I can remember. When I was little, we took the trek up to Colorado where we stopped and took the tourist pictures at the Grand Canyon along the way and dipped our hands in the cold, cold waters of the Animas River to pan for gold once we arrived in Colorado. AND we took the train. The train that rides high above, crosses over and practically touches the water of the Animas. The train that needs a special narrow gauge in order to navigate the twisty little tracks up to Silverton. The train that has been in operation for 128 years. You know what that means, right? Yep. It's vintage. I love vintage, I love this train and I love adventure. I'm so thankful I was able to take such a grand adventure when I was so little because it left a big impression on me. It sparked an incredible need to explore more of the outdoors.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hunting, New Mexico Style

One full week of gorgeous, rugged scenery to find one elusive animal.


Friday, October 08, 2010

Home again

After 6 states, 1 train ride and 0 elk, I've just calculated this little brown dog has spent about 1/4 of his life on the road. I would say I think he's happy to be home, but this little guy is happy just about anywhere - just don't leave him alone or else he howls like there's no tomorrow.
Fall Vacation 2010 pics to come soon....