Lowes – Craftsman Tools Campaign

At long last we are finally able to share with you the images we shot earlier this summer for Lowes Home Improvement for their current Craftsman Tools Campaign.

This year marked the introduction of Craftsman Tools being sold at all Lowes locations.   We had the pleasure of once again teaming up with the good folks Kreber in a collaborative effort to create images for an Ad campaign,  POP, in store signage,  web and social media outlets over the course of several days.  During this time we photographed several people in a woodshop location working on various motors and machinery and also several people in a home garage environment with Craftsman tools.

As always it was a fantastic shoot with a great team!    Many thanks to all our wonderful clients from Lowes and Craftsman Tools for the opportunity.    Also thanks to Kreber for their collaboration and all their amazing support crew for doing a wonderful job of handling the production and coordination of this fantastic project!   Always a pleasure to work with such a professional and capable operation.   I look forward to the next one!!

 

Garden & Gun Magazine – Captains For Clean Water

I had the distinct pleasure to shoot with Garden and Gun Magazine recently.   Garden & Gun is an amazing publication with not only great editorial content but is also coveted among photographers as a publication that “get’s it”.   They have a history of working with really amazing photographers and giving them the creative freedom and support to do their very best work.    It was truly a pleasure working with them and I hope we have many more opportunities in the future.

For this assignment I was contacted by Margaret Houston the photo editor to shoot for an article featuring Captain Chris Wittman.    Chris is a fishing guide in Florida (Stillwater Charters) who heads up an organization called  “Captains For Clean Water”.   After being briefed on the article and what CFCW was all about,  I jumped at the chance to hop a plane back to Florida from Utah to shoot for G&G and do my part to  support such a worthy cause.

Captains For Clean Water is a Grassroots Nonprofit Organization Advocating for Clean Water & Healthy Estuaries Across South Florida.  They started out as a group of fishing guides that “had enough” of Florida’s poor water management practices. Given the destruction seen firsthand, they were convinced that if everyone knew what they knew, the problem would have been already fixed. They discovered, the solution has been delayed for decades because of a lack of political will and public awareness.


On average, billions of gallons of nutrient-laden fresh water flow into our lower estuaries via the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers every day. The concern to our estuaries is not just that these unnatural discharges contain pesticides, herbicides, fungicide, high nutrient loads and bacteria which have led to public health warnings; the volume of the fresh water alone is enough to disrupt our fragile marine ecosystems. The nutrients, and other pollutants, enter our waters through agricultural and urban areas in the center of the state, mostly north of Lake Okeechobee. Thankfully, with cooperation of farmers throughout the state, they have slowly been able to reduce phosphorous and nitrogen loads that enter the water supply, yet nutrient levels remain much higher than natural lake and river water.

Here’s what it’s all about…

Under normal circumstances, Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farmers may not contribute substantial nutrients to this water supply. When we experience heavy rains, however, sugar and other farm lands south of Lake Okeechobee flood. That water is then drained into ditches and ultimately pumped into Lake Okeechobee. This practice is known as back-pumping, and it adds fair amount of fresh water and nutrients to the lake. Back-pumping doesn’t happen on a daily basis, only during periods of heavy rains. The practice is justified in the name of reducing flood risk in largely agricultural areas south of Lake Okeechobee, however it is arguably a violation of the intent of the Clean Water Act and works mostly to the benefit of agricultural corporations operating in the EAA. And it is just one example of the many Lake Okeechobee water mismanagement issues facing our state.

The excess nutrients in Lake Okeechobee discharge water works to fuel toxic algae blooms in our marine (salt and freshwater) environments. The nutrients also have the potential to “fertilize” an already present red tide organism. These recurring fresh water discharges can create two deadly options for marine life in our estuaries: die in the fresh water discharge or be washed out to sea into a supercharged red tide bloom.

The murky, turbid Lake Okeechobee discharge water also kills seagrass, oysters and other life on the sea floor. It blocks light from reaching the seagrass and prohibits photosynthesis. Prolonged exposure to low salinity also kills grass, oysters, and other marine life.

Our seagrass beds and oysters are the foundation of estuarial marine life and an incredible natural filter. Without them, our estuary ecosystems face an uncertain future.

For many years we have witnessed, first hand, a decline in the lower Caloosahatchee, Pine Island Sound, and Indian River Lagoon estuaries due to this long term water mismanagement. While we drown in fresh water, Florida Bay is suffering from a lack of it, causing the water to become too salty to support critical sea life.

Our state needs land in the Everglades Agricultural Area necessary to clean the Lake Okeechobee discharge water in an attempt to restore natural sheet flow to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. This will take large tracts of contiguous land for the construction of storm water treatment areas that will substantially reduce phosphorous and nitrogen levels in the water. Nutrient reduction is critical so we do not simply send our problem south.  For more information,  head over to www.captainsforcleanwater.org or pick up a copy of this month’s Garden And Gun Magazine and you can read the article!

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Bonneville Part 2… Collaboration with Smalldog Imageworks.

One of the great things about being a creative person and working in the industry that I work in is when your work inspires other creative and talented people who’s work you love and admire.   There are times when this brings about opportunities to collaborate with those people on projects that both inspire and benefit each other.  One such opportunity arose when Scott Dorman from Smalldog Imageworks  wrote to tell me how much he liked the first Bonneville posts I had made (as he is very much a fan of classic cars and bikes.)   This led to me asking him if he would be interested in working on producing a few more of these images with me as I am creating a whole series from this shoot.   He jumped at the chance and the result was the first 3 images here in this post. What is interesting about all these images is none of these  vehicles were actually in motion when I shot them.    I shot them and many other pieces with the final images in mind, but the actual scene when shooting was much more random with many layers of people and cars in the background.   When this happens and I will often have the final composition in my mind but knowing that there is no way to get it in one shot in camera.   Instead I will work to make sure I have all the parts at the correct angles and perspectives with many variations and options I need to make it a reality and build it later in post.  I incorporate a lot of this into my everyday work but Scott takes this talent and multiplies it times 10 and was perfect choice to bring these images into reality.  He’s a real pro when it comes to picking the right angles so the perspectives work as well as people, body positions, and adding motion, the flying salt, spinning the tires & moving the ground.  It’s no surprise that he is one of the most sought after retouchers in the business today.

 

Winter’s Here… Time to go Ice Fishing!

Winter is finally upon us!  Winter is finally here which brings with it all sorts of fun stuff…Things like heading to New Hampshire with friends to take in the annual ice fishing derby!   These folks are serious about their ice fishing.   What a great excuse to head out on the snow and frozen lakes to drink beer,  ride snowmobiles and have fun!

Miami Cancer Institute Campaign Rolls Out first 2 of 8 Executions.

Well after a long wait and much anticipation the Miami Cancer Institute has finally begun to roll out it’s ad campaign shot by Pete Barrett last summer.   Shown here are the first two in a series of eight ads which Pete and his team created for MCI working in close collaboration with Republica Advertising and Cortez Brothers Productions.  All post production and retouching of the images was done by Pete Barrett.  Pete also worked closely in collaboration with Saddington & Baynes out of London to create and later incorporate the CGI letter “C” element that is a recurring prop in all of the ads.  

This was a great shoot that involved a fairly complex production, something that Pete is very well versed in.  Working closely with Cortez Brothers Productions (who was also producing a series of TV spots for the client),   Pete and his team of roughly 25-30 people shot 8 different executions of final images that involved combining lifestyle shots of people in an environment with a large 3 dimensional letter “C” also in the shot which would be created digitally in a CGI environment.  This required shooting many elements to be layered and retouched into the image in post as well as capturing lighting, shadowing and size & dimension measurement info that would later be used in the creation of the 3D – CGI letter “C” element made by Saddington and Baynes ensuring that it would look like it was actually physically there in the space.   Still to come are 6 more ads which we cannot disclose at this time as they have yet to be released to the public but as soon as they hit the streets we will post an update.   Stay tuned!!

Fly Fishing on the Snake River – Jackson Wyoming.

So this spring we found ourselves all over the upper MidWest exploring the Yellowstone National Park region down on through Jackson, Wyoming and the Teton National Forest.   While we were there I had the opportunity to shoot several different fly fishing shoots both still and video on the Snake River.

The first shoot I connected with Reel Deal Anglers owner Rhett Bain who connected me with his head angler Brian Chamberland.  We were here during the spring time which presents several challenges.    The first is there is heavy snow melt pouring down the mountains so many of the rivers tend to be washed out,  running heavy and brown.   The second,  more dangerous challenge is this is the time of year when all the Momma grizzly bears are coming out of their winter slumbers with their new bear cubs and sightings are frequent.   These bears are quite beautiful when viewed from a safe distance but to  surprise them and wander between mom and her cubs could be a deadly mistake.

Given these factors we chose to do a float down the river in an area that was less blown out than other areas around.   We launched on the Snake just below the spillway from the  Jackson Lake dam one crisp May morning just before dawn and headed out to make some great images and video.    Unfortunately while the early morning light is great for photos it is not necessarily great for fishing here on the Snake as they have better luck later in the day when the light is directly overhead.    I opted for the better light for this shoot in lieu of actually catching fish in harsh mid-day light.

In the end while we didn’t actually have much luck bringing in the big one,  we did manage to get some really great images and footage.     Thanks to Rhett and Brian and our angler that Brian brought along as well!   If you are ever in the Jackson area and want to go out for a great fishing experience make sure to give them a call.  (just let them pick the time if you actually want to catch fish and not just make pretty pictures)  😉

 

When Life Gives You Lemons….

There is the old adage,   “When life gives you lemons,  make lemonade”     I find this is something that I have to put into play quite a lot in my life,  even more so now that we find ourselves on our ongoing “adventure of a lifetime” roadtrip across this great country of ours.    Traveling across the land hauling your life along with you is exciting but as you can imagine, it presents some challenges.

For all the prep and planning we do, life on the road can throw you curve balls when you least expect them and you have to just roll with the punches and see where it takes you.   Often times if you look for the positive you will find opportunities will present themselves….   There is nothing I like more than times when you find that you have mistakenly taken a turn down the “wrong road” or had a issue that waylays you, rather than becoming a problem… it puts you in a place you never expected, which turns out to be exactly where you were supposed to be.     What I mean by this, is an opportunity or an experience presents itself that you never would have, had if it had not been for that problem or mistake you made that got you there.   Some call it Kismet or even Destiny.    Whatever you call it,  if you keep your eyes open you find some pretty cool experiences and photos to be made.  See the photo below which I created on the one such incident…

Earlier this fall we were just wrapping up spending the last 6 months bouncing around the Pacific Northwest, up and down the coast from Northern California to Canada.   Now setting our sights on Utah,  I had mistakenly turned East too early, and instead of taking an easy cut across the mountains in a valley,  we ended up on a very narrow, twisty & windy road through the Shasta Trinity Mountain range.     This makes for a white knuckle ride when you are pulling a 42 foot rig….   31,000 lbs of fun as you make your way over hills and around narrow passages. Not only was it a scary drive on it’s own, but the skies were jet black as an impending storm was about to hit.  Just when I began to really curse myself, trying to decide if I should turn back or press on through, I decided to pull over next to the river that was following my path just before the skies opened up to dump rain on us.

What I saw when I got out that I could not see while driving, was the view down river to our rear.     Here was this AMAZING mountain river location with the most incredible light shining through the oncoming rain that was falling.   I am lucky that I always try to have my camera ready and I was able to capture this amazing scene as it unfolded before me.     The only thing missing was a fly fishermen to complete the scene which I then added in with Photoshop later.   It made for a killer book shot and will also no doubt bring in some decent stock sales opportunities down the line.     I call this shot,   “When a wrong turn puts you exactly where you are  supposed to be.”

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Another amazing opportunity that came from a bit of misfortune was when we were on our way from Park City Utah, to our March/April homebase of Breckenridge Colorado.  About 1/2 way there, in a little nothing town called Meeker CO, we had a mechanical issue with our tow vehicle which forced us to stop.   As luck would have it, there was a nice little RV Park just opening for the fishing season right on the river about a mile from where we broke down.       After checking in and getting the RV set up we set out to investigate our surroundings.   What we found was the little town of Meeker resembled more of a ghost town than anything.     It was during dinner that we asked the proprietor what there was to do in this town as we were going to be here a few days…  It was then that he mentioned that “every one is out at the dog races” for the weekend.

Turns out he was right because by the time we had finished with our dinner,  the little town was suddenly overtaken by teams of people with their dogs.    After talking with some of them I learned that this was the weekend the final races for the season where taking place about 40 miles away in the White River National Forest.   The exact directions I got from 3 different people were,   “Just drive down this road a mile and turn right at ‘the sign’ and follow that road 39 miles until it ends”   I thought to myself,    “Umm…. Ok.   that doesn’t sound weird at all” as I looked on the tiny road to nowhere on the map.   So the very next morning despite any reservations,   I set off in good faith driving the 40 some miles farther down this tiny road taking me farther and farther from the tiny town of Meeker into the wilderness….  all the while thinking, “this must be some kind of joke”.    After about an hour,  low and behold the road ended as I had been told it would and there in the middle of the woods was this mini winter festival of dog sled enthusiasts and about 100 dogs.   You knew you were here as you pulled up because of the sound… ALL the dogs are barking!   It’s quite exciting walking around and seeing everyone getting ready for the races.    I have never seen dogs so excited about getting ready to run.   As their handlers get them harnessed up and hitched onto one another they are loosing their minds, barking and tugging at their leashes.     They actually have to tie them off to their cars or they would just take off without them. All in all it was quite a cool experience & you won’t find a nicer group of people.   Everyone was interested why I was there and who I was shooting for.     I got a quick lesson on the happenings of the day and intros to the folks running the show from the Rocky Mountain Dog Sled club.   I even met a nice older gentleman named Mike who was having his 70-something birthday that day and heading out on the course racing his dogs.   He’d been racing for over 35 years and not about to slow down now.

As I clicked away watching group after group of dogs heading out onto the trail towing their various handlers on sleds and skis, (Skijouring) it struck me yet again how cool this is…   here I am stuck in the middle of nowhere with no-one who can even look at my truck until Monday and I find myself with this opportunity to shoot some amazing sled dog races, continue building my book and meeting some really great people in the process.  Turned out to be a great weekend!    I love my job!