Grain Silo Timelapse – Rapelje, MT

The sky in central Montana is force that plays different characters on different days. Today it was playful in a way it hasn’t been in several moody weeks. Watch until the end, and you’ll see the shadow of another storm begin to slide across the sky.

This is my first time-lapse in Rapelje, set up while I interviewed Laila, the manager of the Stockman Cafe. I’m looking forward to making more. With time such an important part of the story, I’m thinking that they may play a big part in the film.

Check out the film’s website HERE.

Rapelje, Montana

Stills from my first trip to Rapelje filming my short documentary on the 24 Hours of Rapelje, the town’s famous mountain bike race. Special thanks to Sally Orr for giving me tour of the area, and helping me lay the ground-work for the film!

Roadtripping Acadia National Park!

This has been one of my favorite projects, yet. Acadia is beautiful and all of the activities we filmed were fun. It didn’t hurt that the conditions were about as good as they could be during the shoot. This series is part of the Trip Films National Parks films and can also be seen HERE.

Update: Here’s the full episode.

Driving Park Loop Road

Climbing the Beehive

Cycling Acadia’s Carriage Roads

High Tea at Jordan Pond House

A Day in Bar Harbor

Summer update: sunny Acadia and Georgia’s brewmasters

beehive cliff trail hike climb grip travel acadia national parkIt’s been a busy summer with a bunch of projects flying off the shelves. One of my favorite has been filming an episode of Arteries of America’s new video series that will be showing on Trip Films over the next few weeks. Arteries of America, hosted by Ashley Johnson, visits Acadia National Park. She is a natural travel host and Acadia, as always is a gorgeous backdrop for such a beautiful woman.

We got all of the footage for a five-part episode/series in one fast-paced day, hitting most of the usual stops. Ice Cream and shopping in Bar Harbor, Park Loop Road, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond House, the carriage roads by bike and sunset on Cadillac Mountain. Ashley seemed to have as much fun hosting as I did shooting. Her talent in front of the lens meant I could really focus on work behind the camera, capturing some great footage.

As these videos air, I’ll be posting them here.

 

jailhouse brewing brewery paulie and me georgia craft brewers guild o'dempsey's

Left to right: Paul (Paulie) Warshauer, Glenn Golden (Jailhouse Brewing), Randy Dempsey (O'Dempsey's), Mark Broe

Paulie & Me has also been ramping up, with a trip to Atlanta to film a teaser episode. It was a trip of waffles, southern craft beers (of which there are VERY few) and southern hospitality.

As with all trips, this one seemed to spiral out to the edge of control. Mark Broe, the new brewmaster led us on a trip to Jailhouse Brewing, where the universe’s strange sense of convenience also placed two of the founding members of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild. Contacts were made, beers drank, ideas planted.

Lost Photos Project

Blueberry Slides waterfall, White Mountains National Forest, Maine.

Recently, I’ve been forced to switch hard drives, leading me to the unenviable task of cleaning up my files. I knew that some day this would happen. What I didn’t know was the treasure chest of unlooked-at photographs that were buried in there. I had folders of pictures from trips around Maine that I knew existed, but had left behind as new projects came up. In most cases, the images hadn’t even gone through the usual process of digitally organizing them. Embarrassingly, some entire folders hadn’t even been looked at—or hadn’t been looked at in so long that they appeared new to me!

I’ve decided to go through them, organize the images and post them in my flickr account. Some of the real stand-outs will also go to my stock agency for sale.

Water trickles from a fountain in a park in Bar Harbor, Maine.

The first two batches to make the transition are from a trip into New Hampshire’s White Mountains and a drive through Acadia National Park (both with my parents.) Both sets of photos yielded pictures that reminded me of the effect of a great image to transport the viewer to another part of the world. Some photos came up that surprised me. There have also been pictures that have sparked my love of photography again.

Over the next few weeks, I will be sorting through many of those “lost” files. As those pictures go up, I’ll be posting about them here.

Animated Map of Paulie & Me Brewery Tour

This is the animated Map I built to show the progression of “Paulie and Me” on their microbrewery tour of the US.

I built this using photoshop and Final Cut, rather than a dedicated graphics or animation program. The results are pretty good for never having done anything like this before.

This map is embedded in the official Paulie and Me TV show teaser.

Bike Passion on the Silver Screen: Taking in the NEMBA Mountain Bike Film Festival

The dim heart of the Regency Theater swirls with energy as over one hundred mountain bikers greet each other in anticipation. The food and beer lines stretch along the back wall. Mountain bikers oogle raffle prizes including day-passes from Highland Mountain Bike Park, bike care-kits from Pedros, Two Fox suspension forks, CrossMax wheel-sets from Mavic and Back Bay Bicycles, and the Grand Prize, a Kona Tanuki mountain bike. 

This is the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) Mountain Bike Film Festival and the anticipation isn’t just for the Red Bones BBQ or the beer donated by Harpoon Brewery–or even the prizes–it’s for the films. While screenings of big name films happen all over the country, this is one of the few that celebrate the making of mountain bike films at the amateur level. These are videos made by mountain bikers about their own rides and adventures.

Prizes donated by Kona, Mavic, Fox Shox, JRA, Back Bay, Highland, Pedros and many more...

Soon, the lights go dark and the films begin to tick off one by one. They are all short (rules require under 5 minutes, but most are under 3.) They all have limited production quality. They each shake, wobble and tilt in vertiginous ways. But what these films lack in production, they more than make up for in passion. As I watch beginner XC riders skitter through singletrack turns and freeriders send-it off dirt kickers, I realize that picking one to be the “People’s Choice” was going to be a contentious event.

Mike Feeney produced a couple of hard-charging freeride videos that not only included hucking decent-sized jumps and ripping scary ladder bridges at Highland MBP, but also rednecks jumping ATVs and starting a snowmobile on fire. “Badassalon 2008” and “I Didn’t Pump My Tire” head up the humorous entries with pellet rifles and a remake of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Marsha MacEachern’s “A Biker’s Playground” is a surprisingly emotional romp through the woods (and a lake.) I am surprised to see an animated feature, but Bryan McFarland put one together with some chill music. There is also an iPhone entry that has some of the best composed visuals in the festival. Two high school kids put together a strong contender for the People’s Choice award filming their mountain biking class riding homemade stunts. It is “One Speed Jasper” that barely edges out the other films for People’s Choice, however. This film used the GoPro HD camera famous for helmet-cam shots in so many adventure movies. Of course, the camera ended up attached to the usual places on the bike: helmet, rider’s chest and seatpost. What really made this film shine was that the subject wasn’t just the ride, but also the faithful mountain bike companion: the “trail dog.” In the true GoPro fashion of showing things from “your point of view,” the camera was attached to Jasper the Dog for a trail-dog’s-eye-view of a run through the woods chasing a bike. THIS is what makes amateur film shine. The footage shook like “Blair Witch Project” but it focused on a valuable part of mountain biking that often gets overlooked by the large production films.

After watching Highland Mountain Bike Park’s GnarEast film winner, a good film that centered around the central “story” of the park and ride bus that shuttles riders in to Highland from surrounding towns, they announced the raffle winners. Not everyone left with a Kona mountain bike or set of Mavics, but, I think it’s fair to say, we all left with a greater appreciation for mountain biking, whether it’s the camaraderie of riders gathering in the dead of winter, the glimpse into where video will be taking us in the future or the passion for riding that made these films happen.

2010 Claymore Challenge pt 1: Roadtrip

The hum of SUV tires on pavement sparks something deep inside me, long-since lost. the thrill of a road trip. For once, however, I’m not pushing the pedal down and moving the steering wheel. This time, I’m stuffed in the back seat, wedged in with the dusty riding gear of two free-ride mountain bikers. Their full-face helmets lie beside me like the heads of slain heroes upon piles of body armor, gloves, and spare inner-tubes. My backpack filled with lenses crowds my feet, and I carry my camera in my lap. The truck sways as we pass cars and the heavy bikes stacked on the most jury-rigged bike rack I’ve ever seen sway with it.

Ghetto Rack

Road-tripping with freeriders involves risk to life and limb, even before getting to the destination. Check out this rigged rack set up. Are you sure the bikes are going to make it?

I’ve spent a lot of time on the open road. In Montana, where it’s two hours at eighty mph to the next sizable town, time in the car is measured in CDs listened to, tanks of gas or mountain ranges crossed. Here, it’s just two hours of trees, back-road corners and pockets of open farm land to Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield, New Hampshire. We are traveling to see the Claymore Challenge Slopestyle Competition and the atmosphere in the truck is shivering with energy. Will and Zander will ride between rounds of competition. I am here to shoot photos.
Traveling with these guys takes me out of my element. The element of the solitary traveler. We stop at a country store for some snacks, and before I know it, Will is talking to an older gentleman about the color of the buildings in town and our business being there. I never would have attracted that kind of attention. Will relishes it. Though pleasant enough, the old man is dealing with some sort of dementia and Will keeps the conversation going until Zander comes out of the store with a foot-long breakfast super-sandwich. I make a mental note not to be so stand-off-ish in my future travels.

Traveling with more outgoing people often results in getting to know the locals. Unlike me, Will Carrol will talk to anybody. We had a lively conversation with this guy in front of our breakfast stop.

We meet up with a few of Will’s other friends at Highland. The park, built out of an old ski mountain, is in full swing. The lift whisks riders up to the top so they can charge back down. Riders pump the dirt jumps. The pro riders practice throwing huge tricks on building-sized jumps. Spectators already line the fence. Will and Zander disappear for their first runs and don’t reappear until after the competition has begun. In fact, they see only a few minutes of the competition all day, coming in for an update, then zipping off again. It’s hard to underestimate the call of the trails.

Riders putting on armor and getting ready to rip up the slopes.

Highland Lodge, Highland Mountain Bike Park, New Hampshire.

Will and Zander admiring the artwork and filling out ride forms in the Lodge.

Lift Service, Highland MtB Park

Tires

During a break in the competition, I head over to Sherwood Forest, where a stash of immaculate dirt-jumps are hidden, and shoot a few lines. Perfect light emerges from behind the trees. I hit the shutter. It’s been a long time since I’ve used my camera without expectation and it feels good. Really good. I continue firing, following dirt-jumpers as they bob up and down between the trees. I don’t worry about anything but exposure, composition and focus. I forget about the requirements of stock agencies. Snap, snap, snap in quick succession. Each frame is allowed to come out badly. Each frame is art.

Sherwood Forest Dirt Jumps, Highland MtB Park
Sending it over the gap!

Wall Ride, Sherwood Forest, Highland MtB Park.

Shredding Sherwood Forest, Highland Mtn. Bike Park.