Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bethany learning how to snowboard!

I had a totally awesome day teaching Bethany how to snowboard at Mt. Hood Meadows. We both bought season passes so we're trying to get our moneys worth and going up whenever we can, so today we had a lazy morning and headed up there at around noon. Good thing it's only 30 mins away from home. :)

Bethany is a great skier and has been doing it most of her life, but she's only tried snowboarding a couple times in high school. The conditions were perfect to teach her today, so we headed up with her board and man was I amazed how fast she picked it up! The first run was really slow going and took forever, but that was basically because I wasn't putting much effort into teaching her and I was just thinking about how I needed to grab her skis so we could go ride the fun stuff. So we got through the first run very slowly and the second run something just snapped, and she improved leaps and bounds with every new run... I couldn't believe how fast she picked it up! After just a couple hours she was linking her turns, stopping, and rarely even falling. I was one proud husband! :)

I tried to teach Bethany dirtbiking with a borrowed Honda XR 100 last month, and that didn't go over so well. She got into 3rd gear, was cruising along pretty well, then panicked and smacked into a fence with big wooden posts. She had a bruised up leg for a long time!
I'm glad the snowboarding is coming along better. :)

Here are a few snapshots I took today...

Beautiful clear weather with fresh snow on Mt. Hood-

Riding up the chairlift. We're both sportin' our $2 fleece lined beanies we bought in Nepal. Love them!

A couple action shots.... isn't she adorable!? I think so. :) I love the panicked look on her face... pure concentration!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jimmy Wolfe and his collector cars

I've only known Bethany's "Uncle Jimmy" for a few years but he's quickly become one of my favorite people to talk to and spend time with. He's 90-something years old and sharper than ever with an incredible memory, great health, and an extremely kind personality.
Jimmy lives by himself in Altoona, Pennsylvania during the summer months, and comes up to Michigan to stay with his niece Shirley (Bethany's Grandma) during the winter months.
Jimmy lives to talk talk talk about anything really, but most of all, antique cars. He has some of the finest (5 to be exact) restored vintage cars in the country. You take a look at these things and they are pristine... like new! Jimmy bought them all used, at different times in his life, and just restored them in his spare time, and whaalaaa... now he has an impressive collection of some extremely unique and rare cars! Of course there are guys like Jay Leno who have out of this world collections but that's not fair, because Jay has deeper than deep pockets and Jimmy is your typical working-class average Joe.
Anyway, Jimmy had the opportunity to trailer 2 of his favorite models up to Detroit to display the the Ford Headquarters building in Dearborn, Michigan for the entire winter. His 1956 Ford Crown Victoria Skyliner and 1931 Ford Deluxe Roadster seem to be quite a hit at the display!

Anyway with all that said, it was such a treat to take a few photos of Jimmy and his passion for the cars!

A funny blog review

His blog-
(Click images to see them larger)

Google Translation-

Gotta love the Japanese! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from Blaine & Bethany

Merry Christmas from Blaine & Bethany!

A couple days ago we all went and saw a live performance of "White Christmas" and had the best seats in the house at Detroits historic Fox Theater... center of the first row! Thanks to Bethany's Dad. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Uncle Jimmy

Today I got to photograph Uncle Jimmy in Detroit... the sweetest, cutest, most genuine old man ever! Here is a snapshot in the car ride to visit his classic cars on display at the Ford Headquarters... more photos to come later! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Congrats Nik and Jamie

I've been following (best I could at least) Nik Daum and Jamie Sinz's blogs for the past 6 months and wow, they have been on some amazing travels! 6 months of travels to a TON of different places!
I gotta admit, I'm quite jealous because they both did an incredible job of blogging & telling stories with lots of detail and awesome photos too.
If I could do our trip all over again, I would have journaled and blogged a lot more, and also shot more photos of all the everyday sights, rather than always just trying to shoot masterpiece photos with every shot. When I look at all of Nik and Jamie's photos, I saw almost all that same stuff, but don't have any photos of it!
Anyway Nik and Jamie, congrats on 6 months of travels! Your probably flying back to the states right about now... I know the feeling!

Make to check out their blogs, you'll be inspired to go travel!
Nik Daum
Jamie Sinz

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Cruz Island seen from Santa Barbara

I'm editing through a 1 Terabyte hard drive with RAW files I've shot from 2003 to present. A lot of these photos I totally forgot I ever shot! Kinda fun to go back and see all of them. I just finished going through 2003 and found this shot from December 2003, during my time at Brooks.
It was shot from the Montecito/Riviera area of Santa Barbara, which was recently all over the news because of the Tea Fire.
The sunset over Santa Cruz island was gorgeous that evening! I might be adding more old photos and random memories as I edit though all these older photos. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A little change of plans...

Wow it's been an interesting last couple days! Thursday and Friday night I was up all night and only got a couple hours of sleep as I was working on getting everything done and wrapped up before we left for a month. So I was kind of in a daze this whole time to begin with...
The plan was to take a road trip from Oregon to Michigan so we could visit Bethany's family for Christmas. The advantage of driving was that we could make stops along the way to visit good friends along the way. Galloways and Lisa in Jackson Hole, Katzes in Wisconsin, and then Amy in Denver and Natalie in Grand Junction Colorado on the way back. We love driving and always take lots of photos along the way.
Here is our car all packed up in our driveway just before leaving at around 10AM. Camping gear, snowmobiling cold weather gear, Christmas presents, clothes... you name it, it's in there.

Getting on I-84 heading east-

After 2 hours of driving East on I-84, we start to see flashing signs saying the freeway was closed ahead due to multiple car pileups and intense blizzards. DOH!! We optimistically pressed on thinking it would all be ok. And anyways, I love the challenge of driving in the snow. I've been doing it all my driving life and must admit I'm pretty darn good at it. I only get out of control when I want to be. :)

Well a few miles later right before Cabbage Hill (Deadman Pass) the freeway was barricaded off and there was hundreds of semi trucks and cars stacking up waiting for it to open up. We waited for a bit, considered a couple detours which would definitely not have worked out, and then drove to a nearby hotel/casino to try and find internet. We parked outside the hotel and found a strong WiFi signal. Score.

We talked about our options and pretty quickly realized that driving across the country in the middle of winter might not have been the best idea in a 2 wheel drive car, and not too much extra time to kill waiting for interstates to open up.
Using our random wireless signal and the Macbook pro, we did a quick search on airline tickets to check the prices. Initial results were as expected... $2,000+ for last minute round trip tickets during the holidays. With a little persistence and sidestep.com, we found a couple tickets on Northwest (straight flight!) for about $370 each if we flew the next day, and then flew back on the 26th. Thats just about $70 more than normal, not bad! So we bought the tickets right there in the car, and started driving back to Hood River to re-pack everything for the plane.

The line of Semi's stacked up went on for miles on the way back-

On the way back we saw the most incredible pack of birds flying in sync, tens of thousands of them, maybe hundreds of thousands! It was like straight out of the Planet Earth series! Didn't get a good pic, but did get a video. And this snapshot of us that doesn't really have anything to do with the birds...

Another curveball to the whole situation... Our flight out of PDX was @ 8:30AM, and there was bad snow and ice forcasted for the night, so we decided to book a park & fly hotel in Portland for the night. What a deal that is! $67 at the Ramada for the hotel room, 14 days of parking, and a free shuttle to the airport. If we were to park at the airport for 14 days, the price of that alone would have been $112!

So there we were at PDX the next morning, taking off to Detroit! Bummer we won't see all our friends, but it's an even better reason for all them to come visit us now!

Another awesome thing is that we'll be going home on the 26th (instead of January 10th if we drove), so we'll get to do Christmas with my family as well while everyone is in town. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas road trip

Bethany and I are taking off for about a month starting first thing Saturday morning. We're taking a road trip to visit her family in Michigan for Christmas, and we'll be stopping to see friends in Jackson Hole WY and Madison WI too.
I hope to be shooting a lot but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to update the blog... so hang tight. :)

Here is a photo I took this evening of downtown Hood River at dusk. I love getting out on the open road to explore the country, but I'm going to miss Hood River a lot. This place is so beautiful.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Published in Winter 2008 Traveling Sportsman Magazine

Every photographer loves seeing their photos published in magazines! I was excited to get the latest issue of "Traveling Sportsman" magazine in my mailbox and flip though to find the photos they had licensed from me a couple months earlier.
They originally contacted me to get photos for their article on Blue Water Jon, then the editor saw my website and wanted some more photos for other articles. :)

Here are some scans of the pages.

Cover (Not my image)-

This was an article on things to do in Argentina (the photo was taken in Kauai though)

An article on Veracruz, Mexico (the photo was taken in Colorado at a reptile center)

And a few of my images for the feature on Blue Water Jon-

Sunday, December 07, 2008

this kinda freaked me out...

The other day I was walking back to my car from our office and my car looked like this. I first saw it from a distance and was really really confused because the steam was pouring out of the hood area, like the car was totally overheated and spilling fluid all over the hot engine. The car had just been parked there for hours so I was kinda freaking out until I got closer and then noticed it was a just steam vent from the Full Sail Beer factory (in the background). The car smelled like fresh brewed beer for next couple days, it was great. :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

more eddyville photos

A few more shots from last weekend at Eddyville track. What do you think? Too artsy?!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Last weekend I got to go out with a couple friends and ride Eddyville track in Goldendale, Washington. Good time! My bike ended up acting up after a couple laps on the track (old chain that needs replacing) so I ended up taking some photos and just hanging out.
This is probably my favorite shot from the day. A bunch of fog had just rolled in so it was a weird feeling in the photos. I held the camera out towards the rider, just a couple feet from his bike flying through the air, and got this.

16-35mm lens @ 16mm, 1/500th second @ f/4

I hope to post more shots soon!