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Jackson Wyoming 83002 – Dreamer, Drifter…

Jackson Wyoming…this is all going to make sense momentarily, just bear with my rampant train-of-thought diatribe (maybe a bit harsh but such a cool word). There are times in my life when I struggle. I fight failure. I look at myself with question. And wonder when it will all get better. In the same breath, I am a dreamer, drifter, and quite often a dumb-ass. I would say that overall, I move forward without hesitation and often press the damage control button right after tossing the hand grenade into the room of nay-sayers. I often speak my mind without any type of purity filtration and maybe that keeps the world slowing down some radical, out-of-control anarchist. I know that those who drink my very special brand of Kool-Aid keep coming back for more, so I may be on to something, although I find it extremely hard to isolate the statistics.

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Thank You Joe McNally Thank You

So there I was staring down the barrel of over 14 hours in modern aluminum tubes dubbed “airplanes”. Crossing the sky at over five hundred miles an hour at 30,000 feet. If you know me, you know that I don’t sit still for five minutes. I don’t even sleep like a normal person. Six, seven hour tops. I was going to have an aneurism or some other kind of psychotic episode. Drooling like my son as he gets ready to cut a new tooth. This was no biggie I had been there before. I had gotten hammered, hung over, and drunk again, that never worked. I tried to sleep, that never worked. I tried to sit patiently, that never worked. I figured out what did work on long flights was actually, work. Pile the list from the task master sky high and then before you knew it they would have to take me off of the plane kicking and screaming because there was just one thing left on the list.

Earlier this year my flight to China was this exact scenario. I chose to do something never before accomplished by me, read an entire book. That book was The Hotshoe Diaries by Joe McNally. I read his stories. His connections to the human connection. Every step of the way sprinkled with humor and, well, Joe. During the whole read, I never wanted to stop. I was actually entertained and being trained…although I didn’t know it. I had no way of verifying anything he wrote about. Not yet anyway.

Jump ahead four or five months. Back home in Washington. Up in the Cascades near Mount Baker Ski Area. A hike. A hike in a shitload of snow. Dinner with the wife and kids on a half snow submerged picnic table and then…time to play. The kids went running. I went running. And Heather sat reading a book. That was until I saw something unfolding. A scene of sorts. A girl. My daughter. Staring. Staring at a view of where her father had skied all winter long. A place she has openly discussed going when she knows how to ski better. Heather Meadows. The Baker backcountry. The Cascades. Only one problem. The sunset was fading by some low clouds on the horizon. What to do?

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The Water Olympics Workshop

Oh yeah it’s one of those scenes…I can here you now, nice colors Jay, I like the textures, interesting perspective. This scene is not what you think my friends. What you don’t see in this image is the devil, pure concentrated evil. I am speaking of the 666 variety. Just lurking below the calm waters of of Lake Crescent here in Olympic National Park exists a serpent. Last weekend I was leading a workshop there with a great group of 25 photographers and all of them were just as unsuspecting as you are to the events that were about to transpire. Hell even I wasn’t on board.

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Work–Workshops–and Travel

Many of you have been wondering where the heck I have been. It has been how many weeks since my last post? I know, I know, inconsistency is not good for Google, SEO, PPO, CPS, NPS, LLC, INC, and whatever other abbreviations you can come up with. Seriously though, I have been working like a crazy man. 21 days of photographing skiing, 14 days of teaching workshops, and then image mastering–tons of mastering, keywording, descriptions, titles, and headlines. And let’s not forget the proposals for upcoming projects. Days are just flying by, I can’t believe it’s almost April?

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2010 in Review

Jay has assembled a collection of his work from the past year. Images were captured on location throughout Washington, Colorado, California, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming.

My friend Jim Goldstein has a project on his blog every year where he asks people to submit their favorite images taken during the previous year. This year he inspired me to take it a little further. I finally created my first film, video, or what ever you would like to call it. I know there are plenty of mistakes, but I tried to go a little further and tell a little bit more of a story. Maybe I achieved success and maybe I didn’t. Either way I guess we all need to start somewhere. I hope you enjoy. One thing this project has taught me though is that I am pretty impressed with the capabilities of today’s software and computers. As a kid I never imagined that this would be possible from my office above the garage.

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Come On In The Water Is Fine

Have you ever fallen for this little game? A friend or fellow loved one jumps in the water of a pool, lake, or river and without a flinch surfaces and spouts those words? Your brain tells you as the words are coming out of their mouth, “warning, danger, do not proceed.” And as if your body is in some disconnect at that very moment with your brain, you realize that you are headed straight for the easiest of laid traps. It is only as the tip of a forward reaching toe or finger breaks the surface tension of the water, do you realize that the private parts of your body are about to suffer and suffer greatly. Just like Chevy Chase in Vacation. All in the name of lust for Christie Brinkley. Sucker.

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Vancouver 2010 – The Olympics – Part 1

Since age 10 I have been enthralled with the bobsleigh. That was the first time I was old enough to realize what it was. I watched every segment of the sport on TV during the Lake Placid Olympics of 1980. I built my own toy bobsleigh run out of clay, cotton and plywood, built bobsleighs to accompany it, and pretended to race all of the different colors of the competing countries. Fast forward to 30 years later and a childhood dream has come to pass. Last week I got to photograph and spectate the 4 man bobsleigh in Whistler, British Columbia. I can tell you that it was the best sporting event I have ever been to, period. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling that 1000 plus pounds of athletes and machine passing at 95 miles an hour generates, within a proximity so close, that I could high-five them. Pure insanity. Try to capture it on film, well on sensor I guess, and it is just plain ridiculous. This is the coolest idea since sliced bread. These are the guys who never let the runners of their flexible flyers rust. With all of this excitement and emotion built from the past 30 years of my life, I decided that one image I had to have was of the final turn, the turn where the riders experience 5 Gs. To put it in a different perspective, that is 5 times the force of normal gravity, and the average person passes out at 9 Gs. Again, did I state this was crazy. I slowed my shutter and tried to maintain focus on the sleds as they went through this turn at light-speed. If it weren’t for digital, I would never have been able to come up with this image. A USA sled coming through the final turn at the Whistler Sliding Venue. I don’t need to play with those homemade toys anymore.

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Happy Holidays

My wife told me to take her credit card to the store and get a bunch of lights to decorate the house. I decided to spare no expense, since it wasn’t my dime. I think there is a dog house in there somewhere that will be my home until it is time to clean it all up. Just kidding! We hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season. I can hear my daughter downstairs right now singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, so that is my que to go and have some “egg nog” –  translation = tequila. Oh and the house isn’t actually ours, it’s a house in West Seattle whose owners obviously love the holidays. Taken with my iPhone.