• Sunrise Fog Hayden River Yellowstone Wyoming by Jay Goodrich

    Sunrise and moonset over the Hayden River Valley of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming during morning fog and triangle shaped cloud formations.

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.

If I sit here and ponder my life to this point, I recognize something. One finite thing. ALL of my dreams have now come true. I believe that could be the most profound and truthful statement that I have ever made. Dreams are powerful things. They drive many of us. Possess many of us. Allow us to lose a bit of our daily realities – if for only for splits seconds of time. Dreams are meant to be…just dreams though. Having some way of visual follow-through for a dream seems more of an impossibility than an easy accomplishment. Like all dreams though, the goal is to never let them turn to nightmares.

I traveled to Jackson, Wyoming for the first time at the young age of 18 for a winter break ski trip. It was my first trip with friends and without parents. That seven day trip was my first experience skiing bottomless powder to the tune of 18 inches a day for the whole seven days. At the time I had only been skiing for about 4 years. It was a new and wonderful experience. That is the day in my life where a piece of the dream puzzle came together. “Wouldn’t it be awesome to live here?” A blanket statement which more often than not has more negative connotations then positive ones. Shrugged off for years, always in the back of the grey matter arena. Half a life of travels, girls, kids, homes, and even careers later, I found the one. The one girl who drank the Kool-Aid I set out, the one girl who rode faster, skied alongside me, made me help in the creation of two wonderful, yet equally crazy children, and in very much different, yet similar ways, dreamt the same.

She glued the fallen pieces of my often hand grenaded life back together and then added in a bit of her own creative thinking. And managed to become the final piece of a puzzle that was truly only a pipe dream. She went out and got a job in Jackson, Wyoming. So Cinderella, the slipper does truly fit. Now, a life full of hard, cold realities has to be modified so we can move into the dream full tilt. Crazy. And once this aspect is complete, then what? Well, like most who live their lives through dreams, something else pops up. It could be something so tiny at this point that its clarity falls off of the edges. But one day, one day soon, when all your dreams are black, it will come rising to the top to fill the unsatisfied void. In other words, it never ends. It continues. Our dreams can become our goals and our goals then become what we live and work to achieve.

So now that I have the dream career, have the dream lifestyle, have the dream family, and finally have the dream location. Where I am headed? I see many stories yet to be told. Many of which are just cloudy specks out there in the black microcosm. You will inevitably be part of the roller coaster, all you have to do, is drink the Kool-Aid and come along for the ride. I’ll see you in Jackson, Wyoming 83002.

And the Winner Is…

Boundary Bay Canada Snowy Owl Stare by Jay Goodrich

Heather told me I was crazy. No one was going to be able to guess the location from this last post. Yet the first comment from Robert Levy was pretty close. Then comment after comment got closer and closer. I was in fact in Canada, and in Vancouver earlier that day, but when the image of Jade and I was taken we were in the wetlands of Boundary Bay photographing snowy owls with our friend Art Wolfe. Jade was playing her usual hard to get, but amazingly she managed to sit next to me for close to an hour. Not bad for a six year old. I guess a weird looking white bird that can spin its head around three hundred and sixty degrees can grab the attention of even Princessa.

Reifel Refuge Barred Owl Napping by Photographer Jay Goodrich

Last Monday began in Vancouver, migrated to the Arc’teryx outlet store, then went to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary where we discovered and photographed a barred owl, and finally finished in the marshes of Boundary Bay photographing snowy owls. Not too bad for a single day across the border. Jade has now traveled out of the United States over five times. Here first trip was when she was 11 months old and discovered that sand on the Caribbean in Mexico was not to be touched by bare feet.

Oh, and the winner…David Clumpner was the first person to successfully guess Boundary Bay. David, if you want to pick an image from our stock site or portfolio site, email that selection with your shipping address to me, we will get a 16 x 24 print out to you in the coming weeks. Thank you to everyone who commented. We will be thinking of additional ways to give more stuff away in the very near future.

 

  • Private Residence on San Juan Island by Jay Goodrich

    Private Residence on San Juan Island © Jay Goodrich

Tell Me What We Did and Win A Free Autographed Print

Ok, this is pretty simple (not in the slightest). Insert Dr. Evil laugh here. Tell the world how you think I created this image. We want as many details as you can think of from lighting, capture, to post processing. Remember too that architecture photography is all about moving furniture. Start there. You can even click on the image to see it larger, that may help. The person with the closest guess and most details will win a free 16 x 24 print of their choosing off of my stock or portfolio websites. You have one week! Begin.

  • Looking Out at the View by Jay Goodrich

    Jade Goodrich takes a look at Heather Meadows at sunset near Mount Baker Ski Area Washington.

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?

Open up the brain and knowledge base for a few minutes. Dust off the 40+ year old hard drive and bam. Light it like Joe would. Make him proud. Show him that I learned something. One of camera flash at +3 TTL. One AV setting of -1 2/3. One full CTO gel. One angry wife-book had to be put down to hold the flash. And one bribe. “Jade there is an extra desert cookie for you if you hold that pose.” One shot. The first shot. Beginners luck, maybe, but because of Joe McNally I had the brain power to create my sunset. Thank you Joe McNally, thank you.

  • Reflections in Lake Crescent by Jay Goodrich

    Mosses dominate the forground of reflections in Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park.

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.

It wasn’t mere minutes after this wonderful, peaceful scene was created on my sensor, sent through the buffer, and written to my flash card that the world was about to change. I moved in closer to the water to create abstract reflections of those branches in the right of this scene. Some great compositions. And then in an instant. FUCK! Yes, I managed to knock my brand new 1D Mark IV and 70-200 f2.8 IS II lens, tripod, ballhead, and shutter release into the lake. I mean that unseen fucking serpent took it–I can’t blame it on my own stupidity now can I. Not just a little, but into the depths, complete submersion. Listen to the needle drag across the record here.

My alter ego, (Tyler Durden from Fight Club) wanted to beat the crap out of me, but he resisted in this case, so the 25 severely concerned witnesses didn’t have me committed. After going fishing to bring the whole rig out, Art and Gavriel helped me dry it off. What the heck was I going to do? There were still two days left in this workshop? I decided to go for it and press the shutter release to see what would happen, and to my surprise, the damn thing took a picture.

Arms raised like I had just won the SuperBowl. YES! A true testament to a Canon professional body and lens. After toweling off the exterior, I went in. Opened the battery compartment, flash card compartment, lens off, everything completely dry. Looking through the lens no water, nothing. This can’t be happening to me. I never have this kind of luck.

And then, after about 2 hours, the scene from the Empire Strikes Back came blazing into my life. “Chewy, let’s make the jump to lightspeed.” Han Solo pulls the lever, and in the true spirit of his luck, the ship shutters and slows, as if to say, I am just too tired my friend you are out of credits once again. The lens fogged, camera produced an error message, and menu went blank. “But, but I thought I fixed the hyperdrive?” Laser blasts all around. FUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK! No water anywhere inside? What the hell? Again?

After kicking the tires, scratching my head, and other various body parts, trying to figure it out, it came to me. Wait, wait, I went from the clear blue warmth into the cool, moist, shaded rainforest of the Hoh. Temperature gradiant and just enough moisture left in those seals? What if I open everything up and put this puppy in the hot car, in the sun for a few hours?

Hours later as we walk down the water’s edge of the Pacific on Second Beach, my thought process was about to be tested. Had I come up with a legitimate solution? Was I worthy of the “Professional” title in front of my name? “R2 what do you mean the hyperdrive was disconnected?” The flick of a little lever and…The stars all of a sudden align and blur like a long exposure. Hyperdrive fixed once again. Click. Time to photograph the sunset.

I am now off to the desert to lead a group in Zion, where this no water–no water, just rocks…

2010 in Review

Photographer and writer Jay Goodrich 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.

  • Powder Turns by Jay Goodrich

    Mark Kogelmann gets some powder in the Mount Baker backcountry.

Jackpot, Lotto, We Have a Winner, Once Again

Just wait a week and things will definitely change. Last week I wrote about the skunking Mother Nature delivered to us a Mount Baker, but this week was an entirely different story. Mark Kogelmann and I spent all of Friday partaking in some of the best conditions of the season on Mount Baker. 36 inches of new snow in 48 hours. I remember when I lived in Vail and a 8-10 inch storm was to die for, now I don’t even ski if that is all we receive and at Baker the tend is usually to serve up monsters. Last week Mount Baker received some 5 feet of new snow! What is not to love. When that happens, I am out there burning a whole in my brand new season pass and shooting photos to highlight this season. Not too let the whole cat out of the bag, look for more images taken this day on the new website when it launches on 1-1-11.

  • Wet weather at Mount Baker Ski Area by Jay Goodrich

    Mount Baker Ski Area does get rain as well and then it is well...time to go home

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.

Ah lust. We all experience it at one point or another in our lives. If you are a skier you experience it every fall as the highest of peaks see glimpses of white. As new ski movies surface, and as resorts give you a break on the early purchase of a season pass that lust grows more and more. Dreams of cold smoke powder hitting your face as you glide effortlessly towards the lift ready to return for another run of heaven.

This is where the record needle scratches across the platinum vinyl and the fantasy sex dream with Christie ends. Abruptly, and most forcedly.

This is day one for me at Mount Baker. 10” plus inches of new snow and snowing heavily. The blowing blustery wind of a winter storm. In the skier world we were about to “get some”. Silly kid, tricks are for kids. Looks were inevitably deceiving on this very first day of the season. What looked like perfectly untouched powder quickly became a mission to not tear an ACL and lose this entire season. After run one, Mark and I whole heartedly agreed to stick to the groomers for a while. Oh, and that was only about 30 minutes before every inch of Gore-Tex, wool, and fleece we owned became so wet that you could ring it out. And it wasn’t mere seconds after this that the freezing cold came rushing in on that train of liquid.

How about we call it? Agreed. In the lodge, collecting our bits and pieces with many other lost souls, we listened as the words rang out from our newest arrival, “Come on in the water is fine.” Exactly my friend, exactly.

All is not lost though, because I thought of my long departed grandmother. My guardian angel if you will. The grandmother who I would have taken a bullet for if necessary. “Life is like a roller coaster, there are many peaks and many valleys, when you hit a valley, know that a peak is shortly on the way.” Thanks Gram. I will always remember your words of wisdom. Tomorrow, is yet another day.

  • Sunset Over Shuksan by Jay Goodrich

    A late autumn sunset leaves alpenglow colors over Mount Shuksan in the Northern Cascades of Washington.

The 25th Anniversary of Outdoor Photographer

This month I have the honor of being part of Outdoor Photographer Magazine’s 25th Anniversary Issue. I am so grateful that the editors chose to use two of my Top Locations for Nature Photography and two of my Pro Tips for this issue. Although, I have not been part of the OP contributor list for 25 years like my friend and colleague Art Wolfe, I feel it is a great honor to be with such talented company. You can read many more of the contributions made by other friends and colleagues of mine by visiting the Outdoor Photographer website.

I want to congratulate OP for their 25 years of publication geared toward all of us who are inspired by the natural world.

Image Mastering with Grant Kaye

Grant Kaye came to us for a One-On-One image mastering session . It is essentially a way for any photographer out there to get to spend an hour or more working on their images with Jay from their computer to his. Grant is a photographer from Truckee, California visit his website to see more of his amazing work. Here is an email from him regarding his experience.

Lahontan Lake State Recreational Raw by Grant Kaye

I recently discovered a unique and affordable educational opportunity offered by renowned nature and architectural photographer Jay Goodrich. Using  Skype or iChat, Jay will work with you step by step in mastering one of your own images for only $95. The day before our session, I sent Jay a gallery of images from my last two weeks of shooting, and he picked one that he thought would benefit the most from his expertise and approach to processing. The image, was a long exposure shot at dusk after a heavy rain at an eroded shoreline of Lahontan Lake State Recreational area outside of Fallon, NV. While pleased with the composition, I wasn’t quite able to get it to “pop” in a way that conveyed the gloomy, melancholy – yet beautiful – feelings I experienced when making the exposure.

We decided to use my preferred editing suite of Camera Raw in Photoshop (he prefers Lightroom), and after working through some technical difficulties due to my internet connection, Jay brought up my image on his screen, shared it with me on mine, and began to tailor the lesson specifically to my needs. While I have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of digital image processing, I could tell after a few minutes of watching Jay’s workflow on my image that I stood to learn a great deal by observing a master of his craft attack an image of mine. After going through the standards and basic techniques of white balancing and subtle exposure adjustments in Camera Raw, the real performance began in Photoshop as Jay deftly removed dust and then selectively enhanced color and contrast, all via curves adjustment layers expertly applied through selectively shaped masks. As he worked, Jay shared the reasoning behind his adjustments as he made them, answered my many questions, and gently reiterated his objective of utilizing the different processing techniques with the overarching goal of keeping the “statement” of my image in mind. We discussed what I was trying to say with my image, how I wanted the viewer to view it, and how he could tailor his processing steps to best meet those goals.

Lahontan Lake State Recreational Raw by Grant Kaye

As the session drew to a close, I was extremely pleased with Jay’s processing. I felt the resulting image spoke clearly and powerfully in ways that my original attempt did not. Jay sent along the PSD file with his adjustments intact so I can examine them more closely at my leisure.  In the end, I gained invaluable knowledge that I will now have in my toolset to apply to future images, and I even learned a few incredibly useful new keyboard shortcuts. We can all use more of those!

Screen Shot of Layers in Photoshop CS5 by Jay Goodrich

Craft and Vision Close to Home

Forest on the South Side of Rainier by Jay Goodrich

On Saturday I traveled to Mount Rainier National Park with Gavriel Jecan, Libby Pfeiffer, and Steve Reeves to photograph fall colors. We encountered a little rain, but the photography opportunities were perfection. Due to the weather it was a day of the intimate landscape and as many of you know, I love to create images of line, texture, and strong design concepts. It was hard enough to keep things in working order shooting with handfuls of towels and lens cloths, turning our cameras towards the sky would only have yielded a ton of additional work–on our lenses. The atmosphere that is created during days like these is well worth the price of admission though. What’s a little water right?

Moss Covered Boulders Mount Rainier by Jay Goodrich

In honor of Stuart Sipahigil’s new book Close to Home, Craft and Vision asked photographers to submit their images based on travels from this weekend, that you guessed it, were close to home. If you want to submit, add the hashtag #closetohome to your tweet. Here are mine.

The Forest Near Packwood, Washington by Jay Goodrich