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.

low res - Polar Plunge 2014 - Bend-48

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?

low res - Polar Plunge 2014 - Bend-25

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