Saturday, May 31, 2008

out of the woods and into the light (cheesy title!)

I have a ton of catching up to do with blogging! Bethany and I have been working on a project that is getting close to being done. We're really excited about it and can't wait to show everyone. I don't like to talk about stuff before it's finished though... so more news on that later.

Today was another absolutely gorgeous day in Hood River! When the weather is nice here, you can't beat this place. It's so refreshing and just makes you feel so alive... and struck with guilt if your inside working on a computer. I tried to sit at the computer and edit photos but that lasted about 10 minutes, all I could think about was going outside and exploring on my dirtbike. So yes, I ditched work and went out and played... 3rd day in a row. I've been staying up till 4AM to make up for it though. Living like a bachelor till Bethany gets back from Santa Barbara, tomorrow!

I was riding in a kinda new area today, the east hills. It's a bit further from home (10 minutes instead of 5) so I ride here less often, but the trails seem to be a bit better and more challenging. Anyway I was cruising along a trail through these gorgeous fields of wildflowers that were all different colors, then the trail led deep into the forest. Like, really deep! The trees were huge and thick, not letting any light through. It was so dark that my headlight was actually lighting the way for me, and it wasn't even close to dark or even sunset yet. So cruising along, climbing some big hills in the trees, then I see a clearing coming up... well, quite the clearing it was! I came out of the trees and was at the top of a mountain (I think the Mt. bikers call it "Puke Point" because the hill climbs are so gnarley), greeted by this incredible view of Hood River Valley, Mt Hood, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Defiance, and even Mount Rainier in the distance. INCREDIBLE!!!

This is a pic of the forest, not the super thick part, so light was getting through here and it made a good photo.

This is me, dirtbike, and Mount Hood on top of Puke Point. I look huge and awkward because I wear a chest protector under my shirt.

This is Mt. Saint Helens at sunset... beautiful.

Lots more pics to share later, but it's 2:30AM and I have a really busy day tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lake Pukaki, New Zealand

Bethany is out of town for a week visiting some of her good friends in Santa Barbara... so I've had quite a bit of time to get work done these past few days, and ride my dirtbike of course too.
I've also been looking through some of our trip photos... and wow... I have forgotten some of the places we went and things we saw!
Check out these 2 photos of Lake Pukaki (near Mount Cook) on the South Island of New Zealand. Can you say amazing???

Where the heck am I?

Here is another where the heck am I. Not sure if this will be really hard or really easy, guess it depends if you've been there or not.

10 points to the first person to guess correctly!

PS- My comments are now moderated... so maybe people have already guessed or maybe they haven't... take a shot and guess!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mt Hood & Mt. Adams

These are the two beautiful mountains you can see from just about anywhere in Hood River. First is Mt. Hood, looking directly South. Second is Mt. Adams in Washington, looking directly North.
I rode my dirtbike for about 4 hours today and saw some amazing views of Mt. Saint Helens, no pics though!
Both of these pics were taken 2 days ago at sunset, standing in my parents backyard/sideyard. Canon 40D with 70-200mm lens @ 200 mm (320mm with 1.6X conversion factor)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a spider in nepal

I just spent 8.5 hours setting up my G5 computer with my 24" screen and everything. Setting it up was the easy part... updating everything to be current was not! I clean installed (wiped the hard drive) OSX Leopard, Photoshop CS3, Lightroom, and many other little applications I use often. Installing and updating them takes forever!
So it was a productive day, but not all that fun.

When all the installing was finally finished, I couldn't resist looking at a few of my recent travel photos... this one of a spider in Nepal kinda stood out to me, so I worked on it for a minute, and here it is! I shot it at sunrise, it was such a gorgeous morning on the Annapurna trek!

I cannot wait to start editing though all our travel photos!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Where the heck am I?

We are back in Oregon now, it's good to be back because the weather is absolutely gorgeous! Warm, no wind, snow on the mountains, crisp clean air... I could go on and on!

I used to do a series called "What the heck is it?" on my other blog, and I'm going to start it up again, and also do a "Where the heck am I?" series. I'm going to think up a way of accumulating points and have a prize for the winners! :)

So, 10 points to the first person to guess where the heck I was standing when I took this photo yesterday!

Lisa page was the first to guess correctly, the answer is IKEA! Congrats Lisa, you have 10 points! I'm not quite sure yet how many more points you need to get the prize, and I'm not sure what the prize is yet... but you're ahead of everyone else! :)
Also Munk guessed Portland IKEA, and that is the exact location, so 5 bonus points for you Munk! (is it Joe or James??)


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

morning alms

I just came across this image I shot in Myanmar. If you get up at sunrise, you'll see hundreds (thousands in certain areas) of Buddhist Monks walking the streets collecting their morning alms from people of the community. It's usually always rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! With a couple other sides if they are lucky. We talked to some of the monks and most said they love rice and never get sick of it, but one said he couldn't wait to be done being a monk so he could eat whatever he wants, and go out drinking with his friends. At least he was honest! :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

a flower in the frontyard

new toys... i mean, uh, tools!

During our travels we lost two 77mm lens caps. One is somewhere in the Australian outback, and the other is in Beijing China. I know exactly where it is (on a friends coffee table) but it would probably cost more to send it back than to buy a new one.

Our 16-35mm lens is un-useable, and Canon's estimate to fix it was almost as much as buying a brand new one. So we plunkered down the cash and bought the version 2 of this lens. It's supposed to be a huge improvement on sharpness.
Also bought the 50mm f/1.4. This lens will be great for low light portraits when we don't need so much focal length as our 85mm f1.2. It's also so small and light, so that is a bonus.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar

The news of Cyclone Nargis is unbelievable, we were just there in Yangon 3 months ago! 22,000 confirmed fatalities, but it will probably rise to 50,000 or more because there are 41,000 still missing.

We loved that country so much, and it was the people who made it so amazing. Please keep them in your prayers as they deal with this catastrophe.

These are a few of my photos from our first day in Yangon, Myanmar (aka Burma).

Saturday, May 03, 2008

photoshop cs3

I have finally upgraded to Photoshop CS3. While we were in Thailand, one of our Canon 5D's completely stopped working, and I took it to a Canon repair center in Bangkok. They ended up fixing it but it took like 2 weeks to order the parts, so we had to buy a Canon 40D to use in the meantime while we traveling in South Thailand. We haven't been able to look at our 40D photos this whole time because they aren't compatible with CS2, so we have a lot to catch up on!
Last night I popped in the CS3 DVD assuming it would be a nice and quick upgrade, but between the DVD and the internet download updates, it took more than 2 hours!

Anyway it's all installed now and good to go, so here is my first photo to go through CS3. Bethany's families house in Michigan is right on Lake Saint Clair so I looked out the window today after a storm passed through, and saw this beautiful rainbow over the water.

I also purchased Adobe Lightroom and it's supposed to arrive on Monday. I've tried it out before but didn't use it for long enough to have a real opinion... do any of you blog readers use it?

Friday, May 02, 2008

thoughts and snapshots

I decided to bring my other blog back from the dead. I use it for random stuff, and I don't care if it makes sense or not.

Check it out if you want. click ->>> "Blaine's Thoughts and Snapshots"

Here is a preview of some of the wonderfulness you can find over there-