Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gifford Pinchot, Mt. Adams - Dirtbike ride

Sunday was an incredible day! I went on an all day dirtbike adventure with Jerry Justus. At almost 70 years old Jerry is in incredible shape and more active and healthy than anyone I've ever seen at that age. I believe he's been riding motorcycles all his life... so his knowledge and experience with them is just phenomenal! Jerry has been super kind to teach me a few of his tricks and share some advice, which I've appreciated soo much. This is only the second ride I've done with him but I look forward to many many more. As he said on Sunday- "I don't plan on stopping anytime soon"

We started at 8:30AM when we loaded my bike onto the trailer and headed across the Hood River bridge to Underwood Washington where we picked up Jerry's long time friend Nik. It was my first time meeting Nik but it didn't take long to realize Jerry has great friends because Nik was super nice and fun to talk with. Small world story- Turns out Nik is a retired photographer and when I asked if he had heard of Brooks Institute of Photography he's like- "I graduated from there in the 70's!" (or maybe 60's?? I can't remember)
So Nik and I had a lot to talk about when it came to photography and techy stuff of course, haha.

This was my first time riding the Gifford Pinchot National Forest area so I was glad to have someone in charge like Jerry who knows the trails really well. I would have been lost within minutes by myself!
I think all in all we went either about 45 miles or 75... I know it's a big difference but I can't remember which one!

Anyway enough talking. I brought my Canon 5D along with my 24-105mm lens in my backpack so here are a few photos I took along the way. Sorry no action pics... haven't figured out how to make that happen yet. Riding while taking photos is impossible.

Driving up with the bikes in back

Jerry sharing some awesome dirtbike stories while driving

Our parking spot

First part of the trail you ride through thick forest and then come out to a clearing with this incredible view of Mt. Adams

Quite a few riders up on top. I was definitely the minority having a Honda bike. KTM's seem to be the most popular for this kind of riding!

My "new" 2005 Honda CRF450X... only my second ride on it!

Jerry checking out the map during a lunch break. I forgot to pack a sandwich so Jerry was nice to give me a granola bar.

A few gorgeous views of Mt Adams. There are amazing trails all throughout those trees!

Jerry and Nik checking out the map during lunch.

Since Jerry and Nik were in charge of the map I picked yummy huckleberries while they were navigating the route. :)

A really huge cliff that the trail passes right by. See Jerry and Nik?

Lots of trees!

Nothing better than a fresh huckleberry shake after a looong day's ride! You can get these from a little sandwich shop that's located at the Trout Lake Chevron station. MMMM

These next 3 photos are the view from Nik's beautiful house on the bluff of Underwood, Washington. All I can say is WOW. I told Nik and his wife if I had a view like that I'd never leave home. They agreed it's hard to ever leave it. Mt Hood is towering above the Hood River Valley looking directly South, with of course the Columbia River dividing Oregon and Washington states.

Mt Hood and the west side of Hood River

This last pic shows a boat pulling a water skier, it was so quiet up there I could hear the boat cruising on by. Paradise! It's a new personal goal to own a piece of property up there before I die... Just if I had a million or two burning a hole in my pocket, haha. :)

Can't wait for the next ride Jerry and Nik... thanks!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately! We've been keeping super busy catching up after shooting 11 weddings in the past 8 weeks!

But you can also blame my lack of posting on my newest purchase, a 2005 Honda CRF450X. It's quite an amazing bike!
I rode 70 something miles in the Mt. Adams wilderness yesterday with a couple dirtbike friends. Amazing time! I'll blog more later... for now here is a pic of my new friend!

Gotta run we're off to hike on this beautiful day in Hood River!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

About time Canon!

It's finally announced... the Canon 5d MarkII!

This camera was over 2 years overdue... and while I've been super happy with my 5D's for a long time, they are getting old and tired. The new 5D will be a welcome addition to my arsenal of cameras. :)

Some awesome new features:
-21.1 Megapixel sensor (full frame of course)
-ISO 50 through 25,600!
-Full HD Video and sound capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution for up to 4GB per clip
-Live View Function (silent mode shooting in Live View)
-RAW and SRAW1 (10 MP) / SRAW2 (5 MP) (awesome for weddings)

Somewhat disappointing:
-3.9 frames per second capability. This camera should be faster, no doubt!
-Same old 9 point autofocus system (slow)

At only $2,700 this camera is an amazing deal. The original 5D was $3,300 when it first hit the market!

The reviewers are saying this camera will have the finest and most detailed files of any consumer/professional camera to date, including the 1Ds Mark III which costs $8,000! The reason being the updated DIGIC IV image processor along with the 21.1 megapixels which is same as the 1Ds Mark III.

My biggest complaint: They don't shipping until end of November!

Read more here

Also announced was the Canon 24mm f/1.4 L II USM lens (version 2)
I've been wanting to buy this lens for a long time... glad I didn't buy the version 1 right before this one came out. I think I'll pick one up now!
Read more here

I can't imagine using the 5D MarkII @ ISO 25,600 with a f/1.4 lens... thats got awesomeness written all over it.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The new Canon 5D!?

Canon has been taking FOREVER to update their 5D model... and just about every Canon shooter is getting super sick of it because as of right now Nikon has some better Pro/Midrange cameras out like the new D90 that shoots in HD video too (super cool).

But recently everyone is talking about this "Destined Evolution" teaser that Canon released on their website(s).
Check it out here- http://www.canon.com/moon/en/
Also here and here

What does this mean!? I personally think it's going to be the 2 years overdue replacement of the 5D and it's going to blow away everything Nikon has put on the market and will put on the market. Just my thoughts... :)

Whatever it is... can't wait to get my hands on it!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A fun day caving on 8-29-08

A fun group of friends/family went for a little adventure last Friday out at the Ice Caves near Trout Lake, Washington. Holly had a hand drawn map of some secret "undiscovered" caves that nobody knows about. We surprisingly actually found them after tramping around in the woods for a while. The caves went back super far! We walked in one lave tube cave for a good 45 minutes before we came to the end. At some points we were on our hands and knees squeezing through because they got small and tight. Good times.

I took only 2 photos with my Canon 5d, the rest are digimon snapshots.

Holly took her caving seriously... one piece suit and everything.

Me hunkered in one of the small sections.

Amos chillin

Me chillin

Lindsey and Bethany getting through a small section

Afterward we had a campfire in my parents backyard complete with hot dogs, chips, and schmores!

My brother Colin dominating some greasy chips (interesting beard eh?)

I love lots of ketchup & mustard on my dog

Amos also blogged about the adventure here

Now better tasting!

I bought 2 boxes of Post "Banana Nut Crunch" and noticed this when I got back home. "Now Better Tasting!"

What's up with that? Does the box on the right really taste worse? And what did they add to the cereal in hopes of making it taste better!? (probably more sugar!)

Random thought of the day...