“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
― Dean Karnazes
It’s been a busy few months, with September just as busy as August and finally now, mid October, life is starting ease up a little at a time. Between the start of August and the first week of October I was on hand for running events in Whistler, Squamish, Vancouver, West Vancouver, Buntzen Lake and Surrey, BC. With the exception of the Surrey marathon I shot all of these events including two first time events, the Eastside 10km and the Spirit of the Shore Half Marathon.
Between shooting races I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few new clients, and take care of some longer standing collaborations and there a couple exciting things left in store for this fall. At the end of August a project on which I was a collaborator was offered to the world in the form of a crowd funding campaign to self publish a cook book. Authored by my friend Hana Dethlefsen and featuring her recipes of Japanese home cooking the Let’s Cooking Indiegogo campaign doubled her funding goals. Let’s Cooking is on it’s way to a publication run and I can’t wait to have a finished copy to share. In a couple more weeks I will be excited to share another project announcement more than a year in the making.
From 5 Peaks Trail Series on Blackcomb
From the inaugural Eastside 10km
From the Inaugural Spirit of the Shore Half Marathon
“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
The Meet Your Maker 50 is now a few weeks in the rear view mirror but I keep coming back to the same few images shot in the hour before gun time. I keep coming back to these images because they are unlike any images that I have shot before. It wasn’t my first shoot with my new Nikon D800, it was my second, but it was the first in the challenging conditions offered by a shoot that started at 4am and took me from the valley floor to the alpine high above Whistler Village and back again. I shot into the darkness and into the sun and with the review of each frame I felt stronger and more confident as a photographer.
My feelings about equipment are well known in my circle. The gear debate is for gear fetishists and those more concerned about cameras and technology than photography and content. Whenever I over hear another photographer going on about the latest tech and how they can’t live without it, I respond with a reflexive roll of the eyes. Some of the most iconic images in the history of photography were made long before built in light meters, autofocus and certainly before pixels forever changed the medium. I believe my camera bag is a toolbox and my cameras are tools, the right lens and the right camera can help you get the shot, but no amount of tech will compensate for a photographers sole reliance on it. The difference for me, that Sunday in Whistler, was that the D800 did a better job at capturing what I felt and saw better than any camera I’ve used before.
Since Labour day weekend in Whistler with MYM I’ve completed several shoots and projects including commercial products, packaged goods, running and corporate head shots. It’s been a very busy six weeks and despite my above comments, the D800 feels like a game changer. I feel like it’s made me a better photographer, and although that may say more about my strengths as a photographer than it does about the quality of the Nikon, I am excited that it’s so good at helping me capture subjects the way I see them.
MYM was my second Ultra Marathon shoot in as many months, as you may recall from an earlier post the Squamish 50. Shooting an Ultra maybe one of the hardest things I’ve had to shoot. Without commenting on what I haven’t shot, I will say that Ultras take planning and prep from what you have in your bag, to where on course you’ll shoot, to what you power yourself with. I have a tendency to favour gear and bag prep over making sure I have what I need to survive these long, long days. Do: Take more water than you think you’ll need. Don’t: forget extra batteries, memory cards and sunscreen.
Winter is here. While the snow is blowing and falling in delicious inches in Whistler, Vancouver is wrapped in a shroud of grey. It’s wet, cold and unappealing to be outside, which is difficult for a city like Vancouver which relishes the outside spaces that surround it. It’s the second week of January and I am already thinking and planning for the spring/summer and fall event seasons. I photograph events, although if you pin me down I will tell you that I don’t really see myself as an event photographer, rather a sports photographer who happens to shoot events and I am lucky to have a few clients who invite me to shoot their events the way I see them.
While summer hung around the south coast long into October, it’s cold comfort now. Every few weeks I sneak away into the archive to look at photos from last summer, to imagine the summer sun and being outside in shorts and tshirts. I started September in Whistler with the inaugural Meet Your Maker 50, a 50 Mile Trail Ultra & Relay. I’m looking forward to being back in Whistler soon which may involve snowshoeing and getting out into the cold, but in the back of my head I will be thinking about summer, just as in summer there is always a part of me that waits anxiously for the first snow in the mountains. Here are a few pictures from Labour Day weekend on Blackcomb Mountain and the Meet Your Maker 50.