2014 Polar Plunge: Bend, Oregon

low res - Polar Plunge 2014 - Bend-47Had the opportunity to visit Bend this last weekend to shoot the 2014 Polar Plunge to support Oregon Special Olympics.  This was my second time at this low res - Polar Plunge 2014 - Bend-19event – and to be honest, it’s just a heck of a lot of fun.

This year, the rain broke just about the time plunger registration started – making for a great morning.  And, as expected, the water was a bit chilly.

Part of the event is the costume contest – though not required – it probably helps as a bit of distraction to the near icy waters.

Considered labeling this next one “More Beard!”.  Smile

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For this event – I have the opportunity to be in the water so as to photograph the plungers as they race in and race out of the very cold river.

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To stay warm – I wear extra thick socks and a very good pair of chest-high fishing waders (Thanks, Jim!).  They’re actually quite warm and keep me dry.  On the camera – I use a Kata rain bag and usually keep a lens cloth in my hand (in the bag) to brush off any drops that may get on the lens.

The Kata bag is a great cover and though it can accommodate up to a 70-200mm lens – I was using a 17-55mm for this event.

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There are also plenty of Search-and-Rescue folks out to help “just in case”.  This fellow was kind enough to wear one of the Contours.  In this photo – you can see that the camera is wet.  The cool thing about the Contours are that they’re water resistant to a meter and should be good with “incidental” water.  And though I do have a waterproof case for it – I was hedging that splashing plungers constituted “incidental”.  I’m still not completely comfortable using these camera yet – but the more footage I get – the more I dig them.

And what’s a Plunge without a Polar Bear?

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Merry Christmas!

It’s a busy season with bunches of bustle – but I just wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!

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And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”  [Luke 2:8-14]

Help-Portrait 2013: Corvallis

I just wanted to give a shout-out to a very talented team that helped pull together the 2013 Help-Portrait event here in Corvallis.  This is the fourth year for the H-P event in Corvallis (and the third for me).  And every year it seems to get a bit better and this year was no different.

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And just in case you were wondering what was going on behind the curtain – here’s most of the team that post-processes and prints the images.

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Of course, an event this size doesn’t happen without a lot of folks behind the scenes.  In addition to the team above (and the folks who worked earlier in the day and missed the team photo):

This year, just for fun, I set up one of the Contours on a time-lapse with an image every 3 seconds.  So, if you’d like to see how the day went – here’s an inside look at the event compressed to just over 5 minutes.

If you’d like to learn more about Help-Portrait – you can find out more here – and if you’d like to learn more how you can connect with an event in your area – you can find out more here.

2013 Worldwide Photo Walk: Corvallis

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On Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to go out with a local group of photographers for Kelby’s annual Worldwide Photo Walk here in Corvallis, Oregon.

A huge thank you to Kat Sloma for leading this year’s event!

The weather in Corvallis was expected to get near 70 mid day but I was glad to see some early morning fog downtown near the river.  And by late morning it had all but burned off.

Just to be honest, I typically find it difficult to shoot in downtown Corvallis.  It’s probably because I’ve been here near 20 years and I’ve walked the streets many times with a camera (the downtown really isn’t all2013 Photowalk - low res-9 that big).  And just about every time I pull out a camera down there those “been there, done that” storm clouds start raining on me again.

That said, below are a few more from the morning in no particular order.

Earlier in the morning, I clung to the fog.  Later in the morning, it was the light shining down the east-west streets that caught my attention.

When it comes to photo walks – there’s always discussion on gear.  This year I kept it light.  Really light.  OK – maybe not as light as the mobile-photography folks.  But much, much lighter than I’ve been in years past.  This year I had just the X100s – and in a jacket pocket I had two extra batters, one extra memory card, a lens cleaning cloth, and one little dinosaur that came in a Photojojo package – just in case it got boring out there (figured I could capture him in various Corvallis locations).   Smile

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Burnt Lake

On Labor Day I had the chance to get out for a day hike with Jim up to Burnt Lake in the Mt Hood Wilderness.  It was just a 6.5 mile or so round trip – but I took more gear than any one person should be allowed on a day hike.  Fortunately, I had the f-Stop Loka backpack and it performed flawlessly down the trail.

And in no particular order here are a few photos from the outing.

Not too much later after this first photo – Mt Hood was mostly blanketed by clouds.

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We found Lost Creek Falls.  I great little spot.  The greens were quite lush – but I sort of liked the B&W treatment on this one.

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Late-morning light peaking through trees on the trail.

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Hot Air Balloon Launch Time Lapse

As an experiment – I set up a Contour POV camera for stop motion capture (1 frame / per second). Then I stitched the images together at 10 frames per sec to put together a quick time lapse of the hot air balloon launch from Saturday morning at the NW Art & Air Festival. Enjoy!

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