Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years eve 2014

If you could be anywhere (of course you will be somewhere) where would it be? So many amazing choices this year, but we have decided to be chilling in Utah somewhere near a frosted landscape of white. I have seen many memorable New Years fireworks in my past home town of Steamboat Springs Colorado but only recently have I experienced the fireworks displays of the Wasatch mountains of Utah. Which one is better...................  Hopefully for you, the one you are at this year!
As a photographer I tend to battle with this more then most people because I can only photograph one location a year. And the next problem is where to get the most bang for the click? I've been shut out due to fog, rain, "dud" fireworks and even once driving around too much. So this year I hope you all enjoy a great display of lights, camera or action with some really cool people.

Prints available at

                                                               HAPPY NEW YEAR!





Monday, December 29, 2014

Five day photo challenge?

I couldn't wait to be nominated by any of my photog bro's for the "black and white five day photo challenge", so I decided to create my own and stiffen up the challenge a bit. I feel as photographers one photo a day is not very trying and even more so choosing photos that had already been produced meant time in front of the computer instead of behind the camera. I decided to create all five of my B&W images from my most recent back country trip in the Wasatch mountains of Utah. This was my first Winter visit to this spot in Big Cottonwood Canyon but I knew where I wanted to end up, I just wasn't positive of the route I would take. Fortunately I found a trail right across from where I chose to park and a skin track was already in place.
This was only 2 days after Christmas but everyone up here was enjoying the "gifts of white" under and in between the trees like it was Christmas morning all over again!
My goal today photographically was to find some scenes that would transfer over to clean black and white relics of the untracked Winter landscapes amidst a bustling back country playground. By the time I hit my summit the sky was beginning to fade but the trees were ever so frosted and the lack of tracks made for some great moments.
I often look for defining lines or an element of surprise to add dimension to an unfinished composition, like the animal tracks here in this pristine "pow" field.
If I was shooting skiing this would have been an epic spot to leave some marks, but the sheer pleasantness of no other skiers was absolutely perfect for my assignment today.

Worried that no one would know I was here, I was forced to leave something behind for the next visitor of this little paradise.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A chilly ride on the Divide.

First morning back in Colorado and I had the pleasure of snow biking with my brother and his Winter biking buddy Steve. Turned out to be a little cooler then the expected 22 degrees on Rabbit Ears pass at 6:00am, more like 9.............I was hoping it would become bearable enough to take out my mini rig (Fuji XT1) and get a few images without losing a digit or two as I knew we were headed to a great overlook. If my guessing was correct, we would arrive there just before sunrise.

The trail in was groomed the night before so there was no trail busting ahead and we barely needed head lamps to see on our way in too. My hunch worked out as the sunrise was a mere 10 minutes from our arrival. I had only been to this point before skinning in on skis.The bike was twice as fast, but this was only a quarter of our loop today.
 The views are real nice looking over towards the Never Summer range and Rocky Mountain National park.
 And to the north we have the iconic Rabbit Ears structure and past that is the Wyoming border.
Rounding out the aspects, we have a half moon sitting over my two riding partners as we finish warming up our extremities. Total time in the saddle was 2 hours for the epic "dawn patrol". Thank you to my patient Winter biking buddies!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Night riding Salt Lake City Utah

We recently came into a little warming trend after some cooler Fall weather so I brought out the night light (helmet mount) and discovered a scenic little section of the BST above Salt Lake. These were my finds.
There are numerous spots like this to view the valley, but this one had all the elements I was looking for this evening, single track, sexy curves, mountainess views and city lights! I was hoping to get a little further across the trail but that was it for a 30 second exposure.
Without another rider I was hoping to create a shadow of myself with the glow of my head lamp somewhere in front of me. The sexy curve was real nice too. Funny thing happened while I was making these, the editor of CyclingUtah magazine was up there on a night ride himself and asked what I was doing? He asked if I could send him over a sample or two and perhaps he would run it in their POD (photo of the day). Never know who you'll meet on the trail.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dirt biking Stansbury Utah

Got to explore the mountain range on the other side of Salt Lake (west) otherwise known as Stansbury. This is where Deseret Peak is located and offers some amazing views back towards the great Salt Lake. The Stansbury Front trail was our in and I'm glad we chose the dirt bikes for this trip, because the climbs and the size of the rocks in the trail would not have been enjoyable on the pedal bikes.
The landscape changed a lot over the course of 20+ miles (out and back) but this section called for a snack break.
No one but me noticed this quick view of Deseret Peak on the way up this rocky section so I made our tour guide (Joe) and my wife ride it together on the way back down. The parking for the trail head is up the canyon another mile and from there you can summit in less then 4 miles (one way) to Deseret Peak.
Heading back down valley you get a back side view of the mountain range where the Bingham Copper mine sits and the southern tip of the great Salt Lake with the town of Tooele in the valley below. That's pronounced To-ill-uh (Tooele) : )

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wasatch Bike Park jump session

The new Wasatch Bike Park (indoor mountain bike park) that just opened here in Salt Lake City just added an air bag (stunt couch). Last night was the first night open to the public, so I set up a couple strobes and watched the talent get down.
The Founder Justin Randle has done an exceptional job with a great warehouse space not far from downtown Salt Lake. The is located at 815 W 2400 S and is making improvements daily. First off the entry has ample room for hanging out with bike rentals from and along with gear from The main room is the pump park with a technical area off to the left.
 These guys were working the whoops section of the pump park.
The largest room is considered the cross country room. This area houses the "stunt couch" or air bag for now.
 Yep, you can practice anything you like here!
I plan to be working on my fantasy jumps all Winter long.
I chose to cast a shadow on the back wall while using at least 2 strobes, so the set up was quite simple. I had one strobe on a small stand lighting the ramp from behind riders right and also creating a rim light from below while casting the "phantom" shadow with my second strobe camera right (CR).
Slight movements by either my main light or me and I could alter the shadow distance dramatically for different effects.
Lots of different kids here working on new tricks to take to the dirt.
Eventually, some pro riders dropped in and the back flip attempts became more frequent for the regular folk..
 This young guy was pretty fearless and I'm sure is hitting this wooden wall bigger then I will.
It really looks easy when you see it in person, but I know better.
Even though I caught him in an awkward moment, he did land this upright. That's the cool thing about still capture is "it's not always what it seems".
A couple more "backy" attempts.
You may have noticed that my main light was visible here in the center, perhaps for a commercial edit I would have tried to hide it behind one of the riders on the left.
This guy took home the biggest air of the night. As you can see he out jumped my "shadow caster" too.
He's back at it, but with someone else's bike. He'll be landing them soon.......
Thanks again to the guys and girl who helped make the first night a great success.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tomahawk Wisconsin in a day and a half.

I recently got my first taste of pure Wisconsin hospitality while visiting the other "land of thousands of lakes". I was greeted with warm temperatures (lots of hugs) and clear skies for my first of two nights on the shores of Lake Alice just outside of Tomahawk Wisconsin. Our gracious hosts JoAnn and George Nelson (my wife's sister) already had the fire pit locked and loaded, so we all sat under the stars after a light dinner and reacquainting.
It wouldn't be a cabin on the lake without a way or two to access all the great fishing one expects from this world class "Muskie" territory.
While the weather was still on our side and breakfast was checked off the list, it was time to see the lake.
Colors were definitely picking up around the lake but it was also very uncrowded as one might expect in the last few days of September.
My wife enjoyed many great moments with her mother Ann (90 years old) on the boat ride and the weather couldn't have been better.
George Nelson, the man behind the helm kept us filled with great views and some epic fish stories all day long.
We milked this boat ride all the way into a lakeside dinner stop and then we finished under a waxing crescent moon over glass like conditions for my last night out.
Of course, any tour wouldn't be complete without a ride on a 2 wheeler. Fortunately our hosts had a couple of nice rides for my wife and I to enjoy but there was a bonus bike also. This was a  vintage Schwinn 3 speed cruiser in fine working order.
One hot lap through the actual town of Tomahawk for some urban color and I was on my way back to the Rhinelander aeroport, as it was already starting to snow back home in the Wasatch mountains of SLC.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Moab's "The Whole Enchilada" and a "Pipedream" weekend.

Camp Kopischke under a milky way sky in Moab Utah relaxing before the mexican fiesta of mountain bike rides, also known as "The Whole Enchilada".
After a shuttle ride from the awesome folks of to the trail head near Burro pass we were greeted within the first mile of our ride with this aspen grove. This was definitely the peak weekend in the La Sal mountains.

While there were just the two of us (wife and I) in our group we ended up meeting some new friends from Salt Lake that were doing the same ride, at the same time, camping in our same spot!
This patch of Aspens just past Warner Lake had to be some of the tallest I had ever enjoyed while riding my mountain bike.
Yes we have life insurance, and YES she volunteered. And yes she made it to the next great overlook.
There are numerous overlooks like this along the upper portion of the Porcupine rim trail all with perfect breezes rolling over from Castle Valley. Just to get a perspective, our 28 mile ride started up in those mountains (above shadowy ridgeline) right at the saddle below the clouds in front of my wife's nose. : )
This is one of the first views you get of the Colorado river upon your exciting descent to highway 128 just past the entry to Negro Bill Canyon.
The next day we took it easy and explored the Pipeline/Pipedream trail and were finally greeted with some nice cool clouds.
The clouds were really starting to roll in now and the breeze was cooling us off as well. Now I was hoping for some real dramatic lighting with the interesting landscape we had before us.
Amazingly enough Moab has seen a lot of rain in the last month which brought back lots of flower blooms and greenery much resembling Spring in late September.
We made it down to town in time for a great lunch at and then watched the deluge rush over the sidewalks all throughout downtown Moab. But, like all good rain storms this one stopped long enough to make a quick dash to the natural swimming area just 5 minutes from town.
Great weekend getaway!