Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day one with the Canon 5D Mark ll

Day one with the Canon 5D Mark ll... My consensus? Totally awesome!
Yesterday was my first time out shooting with it and the files look pretty amazing. I'll let you know more of my thoughts on the camera when I get some more use out of it.

I also purchased a new lens, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS. The lens is pretty huge and it's slow too, so handheld in low light it's pretty much useless... but with a good steady tripod and some nice scenery, you can get some great details with it.

Here are a few photos from yesterday-
Mt. Hood at sunrise. Canon 5D Mark ll, Canon 100-400mm lens

Mt. Hood at sunrise detail. Canon 5D Mark ll, Canon 100-400mm lens

Mt. Hood at sunrise. Canon 5D Mark ll, Canon 24-70mm lens

Snowy trees. Canon 5D Mark ll, Canon 100-400mm lens

Columbia River Gorge, looking west at sunset. Canon 5D Mark ll, Canon 100-400mm lens

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Awesome views from Mt. Defiance, Oregon

For the past week or so, Hood River has had a strange weather phenomenon called a "thermal inversion". Typically, it's always colder in the mountains and the lower in elevation you go, the warmer it gets. Well not right now. Down in Hood River (elevation about 100 feet) it's been bone chilling cold and cloudy... pretty darn miserable to be honest! But you go up in elevation (to around 5,000 feet) and break through the cloud layer, and it's like a totally different world! Sun is shining, temperatures in the 50's... amazing.
I've been snowboarding a few times during the inversion and it's amazing... the snow is like slushy spring snow that you only get in May and June, and the sun feels sooo good.

The other day I had the idea to try and go to the top of Mt. Defiance to see if it would be above the cloud layer. Normally during the winter this is totally impossible without a snowmobile, or lots and lots of snowshoeing. Well I wanted to do it on my dirtbike, so I gave it a try. Amazingly the snow was just hard enough that my tires could get some grip! Of course it was pretty slick still and I took a few bad falls, but I managed to stay alive. :)

All I can say is WOW, that view was incredible! From the peak of Mt. Defiance I could see views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Saint Helens, all towering above the cloud layer! I could even see the Columbia River down below too!

Of course I brought my camera up to try and capture the view. The photos aren't as good as they could be, because the light was pretty harsh still from the time of day. But I plan on going back up and possibly camping out up there, so I can shoot the sunset, then star trails, then the sunrise... we'll if my wife lets me... :)

Onto the pics:
My dirtbike looking great in all the white. This was in the middle of the cloud layer, the fog was thick! All the white is actually not snow, it's "freezing fog" that has covered everything in sight. Pretty cool looking!

This is the road to the top. There was tracks of a few snowmobiles and a snow cat tractor thing. Just around that corner is a super steep hill that my dirtbike couldn't quite make it up because of the snow, so I just walked the last part.

Beautiful Mt. Hood towering out of the clouds-

Mt. Saint Helens with it's flat top from it's eruption on May 18, 1980-

Mt. Adams-

Mt. Rainier in the distance-

Even a section of the Columbia River was viewable through the clouds!

This is a long exposure shot (20 seconds) of the clouds rolling though, with Mt. Saint Helens in the background.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Backside 360 video

I'm so behind on blogging recent photos and stories! Our good friends Taylor (he's a great blogger but horrible at updating!) and Matt visited from San Diego recently and we had an amazing time with them... never wasted a second because our time was short. One day Taylor, Matt and I went snowboarding in beautiful "June-uary" snow, which means slushy spring snow in January, which is really rare.
Taylor shot this little video of me so I thought I'd post it. Next time I'll try to get a grab in for more style points. :)

Lots more photos hopefully coming soon!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A sunny day at Mount Hood Meadows

Bethany and I had a fun few hours at Mt. Hood Meadows on Thursday. Beautiful weather and warm temperatures, so I brought my camera along. :)
The super wide angle ones of myself are with a 15mm Fisheye lens.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mt. Hood viewed from top of Mt. Defiance

I think I'm going to go back up here tomorrow and camp out, so I can shoot the sunset, then star trails, then the sunrise. Such an incredible view!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yeah!!! Here it comes!!!

A few months ago I added my name to the waiting list at Pro Photo Supply in Portland to get a Canon 5D Mark II but they are getting them in slowly, and the list is huge. I called them recently and they said I miiiiight get the camera sometime in February, but they couldn't guarantee it. So I ended up calling a dude at Adorama who a friend referred me to, and he was able to promise we one within 2 weeks! At the same price, and free shipping! Awesome...

Anyway it just shipped out TODAY and I'm getting a bit excited, as you might be able to see. I'm going to keep my name on the list at Pro Photo Supply though too, because we need two of them and we'll keep our original 5D's and 40D as backups.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mount Hood at Sunrise - 01/10/09

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Some photos of Hood River lately

I was loving the snow we had in Hood River recently! Unfortunately it's all gone now though because the past few days have been really warm. Oh well, hopefully we'll get more! I was busy in the office working a lot, so I didn't get to photograph as much as I wanted, but here are a few fun snow photos.

My front yard when it was DUMPING snow-

The hills in Washington, viewed from my front yard-

The next 3 I took out the window of a car going 55MPH while making our way up to Mt. Hood Meadows for some snowboarding-

These 4 I took today down on "the hook"-

If I had an extra million bucks laying around, I'd buy one of these houses on the bluff in a heartbeat. Just for the view alone!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Not a bad photo for being asleep!

A couple nights ago I shot my first ever photo while sleepwalking! I am a notorious sleepwalker and sleeptalker... Just ask Bethany, she has TONS of stories! :)

Anyway I fell asleep on the couch late at night, and had a dream that because Christmas was over, the police were going door to door demanding that all Christmas lights be taken down. Our festive lights in the living room were on (which I really like) so I thought I'd take a photo to remember them while they were still up. So I did, all while sleepwalking!

I didn't think anything of it until the next day when I saw the photos on my camera, and I remembered it all.
When I sleepwalk, I usually am conscious and can think, hold conversations, etc, but I am still totally not awake because I make no sense at all. Then I'll go to bed, wake up in the morning and not think anything of it until I see a reminder of what I did. In the past I've done things like stuff all the blankets in a closet, put a clean towel outside the bathroom for Tom Cruise (who I thought was using my shower), move kitchen appliances into the bedroom and bedroom stuff into the kitchen, relocated lamps, vases, cardboard pizza boxes, flashlights, laundry baskets, pillows, and lots more.

So here is my first ever sleepwalking photo, I hope there is more to come!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Blaine's tree jib to air

I had a super fun day of snowboarding on Friday with great people, my sister Lindsey (visiting from San Diego), friend Sarah McAllister, and new friend Chad Hughes. I kind of knew Chad back in the Santa Barbara days but he and his wife Liza recently relocated to Portland, so it's been fun to get to know them better.
Chad brought a little video camera up and got some sweet clips of us playing around in the snow. This was one of my favorites.
This tree was hanging down at the perfect angle to jib and air off into lots of deep powder. Look closely and you'll see me ride away clean in the end. Good times! :)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Snowshoeing Tilly Jane on New Years 2008/2009

We had a great time doing an overnight snowshoeing trip to the Tilly Jane A-frame hut on Mount Hood. My sister Lindsey organized the trip and did a great job.

There ended up being 9 of us total, all great people who were tons of fun to spend time with. There was also another group of 3 who stayed the night up there too, we all had a great time eating, drinking, and playing games together around the warm wood burning stove.

Photos are always better than my poorly written words so here they come!

Self portrait on the way up. It was a total whiteout with crazy winds... I loved it!

I was of course the last one up the hill because I was always stopping to take photos. At one point Bethany waited for me, and got worried a bear ate me or something, so she sent our friend Jordan to turn back and check on me. A few pics of when Jordan came back to find me-

Bethany saw this photo the next day and described it as "the worst 10 minutes of my life" Haha. When I took this we were on a ridge that was really exposed. It was probably the strongest wind I've ever experience. It blew me right over many times. Bethany was such a great sport to stick through it until we got to the top.

These are a bunch of tree shots on the way up. This area of the mountain (Cooper Spur) had a really bad fire (Gnarl Ridge Fire) this summer that burned for months on end. It left all these trees looking like black toothpicks. Very cool looking for photos with the snow and black trees.

I saw a snapshot photo of the hut before I went up there, and instantly knew I wanted to take a twilight photo of the outside. I turned out exactly as I imagined it to! :)

This one I walked through a few times with a headlamp on, resulting in the light streaking.

Dinnertime... everyone huttling around the fire.

The next morning before our descent, group photos with my fisheye lens!

On the way down everyone either telemark skied or snowboarded... Bethany chose to sled down but it didn't work all that well, so she ended up snowshoeing most of the way!

And of course I brought my digimon snapshot camera, which actually is broken now because it got too wet. So here are a few of it's last photos.

Colin collecting snow to melt for drinking water-

Bethany and I when we reached the hut, great feeling!

My new favorite kind of dog, Hungarian Vizsla. When we are able to get a dog, it's totally going to be one of these! She was sooo pretty (Bethany too haha) and had an incredible sweet personality.

Lentil soup dinner that my sister Lindsey cooked for everyone. I tried to make it look gross in the photo, but it was really good!

Bethany and I's sleeping spot in the corner. Comfy!

Last but not least the super deluxe outhouse toilet!