Monday, November 24, 2008

snowy roads and frozen cameras!

Yesterday I was riding my dirtbike all over the place just exploring the mountains around here. I never run out of new things to see, it's insane! Mt Defiance is one of my favorite places to ride up to because it's almost 5,000 feet high, and I can get there from my house in under an hour. The view from the top is so incredible. Yesterday was different though because Defiance got it's first snow this week, and there was a lot of it! This is my bike when there wasn't that much snow yet and I was cruising along no problem-

But another 500 feet up there was at least a foot of new soft powder snow, and it was impossible to get up this hill. As you can see from the tracks, I tried many times. I was so close to the top too! Looks like I need a snowmobile. :)

I've been wanting to shoot some star trails lately and finally was able to get out and shoot last night. I dusted off my old films cameras (Nikon FA and Contax 645), grabbed a few tripods, and headed out in the cold... brrrr. I set up the cameras at around 9PM and let the exposures go while I went down to the office and worked on stuff until 4AM... then headed back out to the hills at around 5AM before the sunrise. The shots on film might look cool because the exposures were like 7 hours long! But, it got so cold that all the cameras iced over, including the lenses... so that might mess it up a bit. :)

Here is one shot of Mt. Hood from last night. 20 minute exposure with my Canon 5D. Anything longer than that looks bad with a digital camera and the battery will die quickly too (hoping this will change sooner than later though).

Now I've got more work to do but am pretty tired after just 2.5 hours of sleep.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The beautiful Mount Hood at sunrise

I was wide awake yesterday morning at 6AM so I decided to go out and watch/shoot the sunrise. We're so blessed to live in a gorgeous area of the country where there are amazing mountain views everywhere! I drove 10 minutes south to Parkdale and took these photos from a random dirt road in the foothills.
The sunrise had some seriously intense colors!

This first shot is a 30 second exposure shot right when the first rays of sun were striking the mountain top. The long exposure saturates and warms up the colors, and also makes the clouds look kinda dreamy. :)

30 minutes later and the color temperature totally changes!

A backed out view of the gorgeous valley and Mount Hood.

Mount Hood has been in the news a lot recently because of new emerging details in the 2006 climbing tragedy that 3 men died in. I'm not sure what the new developments are... but I think 2 of the bodies are still missing up there.
I just watched this video and read this article, interesting but sad stuff! One of the guys' wife said about Mount Hood “A lot of people see this big beautiful thing, I can’t help but just see a beast.”
That is crazy, I can't imagine losing a loved one on the mountain and having such a negative view of it.
Anyway... mega rabbit trail... 4:38AM... time for bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Outsourced" the Movie

Bethany and I just watched a DVD called "Outsourced" about a guy from Seattle who has to go to India for work and deals with all the cultural differences. So so so funny, especially if you've been to India you'll laugh the entire way through. If you haven't been to India before, you'll just wonder what the heck they're taking about the whole time.
We laughed so hard at this part about Holi festival. The clip below is exactly what happens, but it's toned down in the movie... at least toned down from what we experienced in Kathmandu, Nepal.

And here is what we looked like after just a few minutes in the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal on Holi day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rangefinder Magazine Cover and Feature Article

Check out Novembers issue of Rangefinder Magazine... I have the cover photo, and they also did a feature on me for the first ever "young guns" issue. Sweet!

Jennifer Chen, Associate Editor, says:
"Brooks graduate Blaine Franger is a daring photographer who takes the mundane— like streets and trees—and transforms it into extraordinary captures. His image of groomsmen jumping in exuberance against a screaming yellow wall exudes off-kilter charm, only enhanced by the fact that the wall is the side of a muffler shop. Take a moment and look at the world of photography through the eyes of the next generation."

A PDF of the feature is available HERE
The printed magazine is shipping out this week. It is distributed to industry professionals and camera stores all around the world, but I don't think it's available on newsstands.

Here is the front page of the Rangefinder website-

Lastly, I've been working with a couple talented web designers to totally re-do my website which is embarrassingly outdated... We put up a new splash page today and we're hoping the new website will be done within 3-4 weeks!

Let me know what you think about the article! Is anyone going to actually bother reading it!? :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My mentor groups photos

Recently I started being a "mentor" for a local school in Hood River, so a couple times a month I get 1 hour with 4 dudes to do whatever we want. First week we just chilled at a restaurant and talked, this week I decided to bring my arsenal of cameras & lenses to give them photography lessons.
I gave them some inspiration with a slideshow on my laptop and showed them that photography doesn't always have to look like Deb's special portraits-

It was so cool to show them photos of long exposures, star trails, streaking lights, bugs... and watch their eyes light up just like mine did when I first started in photography. That was really my "big moment of realization" when I realized that photography didn't have to be just a click and the photo is done. I explained that as long as the light is low, you can open the shutter for long periods of time and the possibilities are endless with what you can do!
I was stoked to see them get stoked and want to go outside to take some photos for the first time ever with a SLR camera.
The photos they took were interesting... lets just say we've got some stuff to work on... but we'll get there! :)

Here are a few pics of theirs-

I even demonstrated chucking the camera in the air, and spinnys with a group :)

Monday, November 03, 2008

400th post!

This is my 400th post to my blog... I started this blog back in June 2005, seems like a long time ago!

Not much to say right now... except that I can never get enough of this beautiful mountain we have in our backyard. Its raining and kinda cold right now in Hood River so that means snow on Mount Hood! Woohooo!

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