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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Antique Shoot

Here are a few proofs from my latest shoot as a photographer with Anna (the model) and Katie (the makeup artist)Katie has been going to makeup school for a while now; we just happen to be friends. We've been working on a few different series of beauty shots simply for porfolio building :)

Goggle Series:


Camera Series:



Anna's portflio and contact can be found at http://www.modelmayhem.com/1468995

Katie can be contacted by phone at 604-802-8794 or by email at katie94_94@hotmail.com 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Silty Shoes - Trekking 'The Little Grand Canyon"

Thirty kilometres, eleven river crossings, one campsite and approximately sixteen hours later we finally spotted the infamous PT cruiser. With tired feet, weak ankles, and a big sweaty backpack, we stumbled the last half mile towards the car. Daria, myself and our hired guide, Levi had just finished a three day hike in two.
Taken from the hood of the car
It all began in a dusty breakfast diner in Huntington, Utah. It was there that we eventually met up with Levi, a guide we had been talking to for a few weeks. Daria and I sat uncomfortably as outsiders as we sipped on coffee and ate our eggs. We waited for the mountain man we perceived our pen pal to be. At every ominous shadow that crossed the entry way, we would become silent, anxious to see who's stereotype or cliche character would be most accurate; he was neither the Brawny man, nor Elmer Fud. Although bearded, he was a fun-loving, 20-something year old guy with extensive outdoor experience and I think we got along just fine.

Trail Head to San Raphael
From there, we drove down a dirt road for several miles. The scenery was rather bland, including small rolling hills with nothing more than brown shrubbery and mildly red dirt. Where were all the spectacular 'red rocks' we kept hearing about? Just a few miles down this dirt road it would appear.

The Indiana Jones theme song blasted loudly over the car's sound system as we weaved our way down into the San Raphael Canyon.Red rocks, cotton wood trees, and cowboy glyphs were suddenly abundant. We dropped the PT cruiser off at our ending point, and drove a good while back to the trail head.

Loaded with such necessities as a tripod, camera gear, dehydrated rice and beans, a couple pairs of underwear and other changes of clothes, along with other camping goods, I felt ... loaded. With an additional 20lbs, we were off into the desert.

We weren't more than a mile or two in before we had our first of 11 river crossings. Levi guided the way using his hiking poles as gauges for depth, as the water was brown with silt. At first we daintily took off our shoes and socks, lifted our pant legs and prepared ourselves for the cold and wet. As we found our way to the next crossing, we performed our crossing ritual by dry bagging the camera, removing shoes and socks, and unbuckling our packs... followed by the crossing, removing the camera from the dry bag, removing most of the mud stuck to our feet, and replacing our shoes and socks. We happened to bump into the only other hikers we saw the trip during that crossing who then informed us of the other nine ahead of us. We soon scrapped the idea of the ritual and kept our soggy shoes on for the rest of the day.


Some crossings were shallow and swift, while others were lazy but deep. At one point we had to lift our packs right over our heads as the water crept up past our chests. These were actually the favorable crossings since the shallow waters were fast enough to sweep your feet right out from underneath you.

We wound our way through the canyon, with new landscape around every bend. Sheer cliffs framed the river beds,  while blossoming cacti and budding cottonwood trees complimented the otherwise baron rockfall. Similarly, the cold wind complimented the intense sun, as did the blue sky to the red rocks, and the native petroglyphs to the cowboy carvings ...

At camp, nearly half way, we slept under the stars. The moon rose over the ridge in the latest part of the evening, casting a glow so brilliant it rivaled the many thousand stars and won. Wrapped tightly in my mummy bag, I missed the sun rise; my drawstring was drawn so tight I saw only blackness and therefor slept in. By eight, we were packed and ready to go. Our last half took us through only dry trail as we wove our way parallel to the river.

My legs were thrashed from the spiny tamarix, my nose was slightly burnt, my ankles were soar from the excessively loaded backpack but the scenery itself really was worth it. Around each bend, new amazing rock formations kept us in awe. Our last leg around the final canyon bend seemed to last longer than the entire day. It was a relief to be back at the car where we had stashed a few much needed beers. Warm as they may have been, they were still refreshing...

San Raphael is also known as 'The Swell', or 'The Little Grand Canyon". Utah hasn't dubbed it a national park yet, and therefor you can still take your dogs here. Most dogs will be able to handle the river, but the whole trek is somewhat tiresome. There was a spring to fill up your water about half way, but make sure to look into it before you head out. Also, caballeros use this canyon to run cattle still, which allows for good paddy dodging. Levi, our guide was amazingly helpful. He can be found online at http://www.desertmountainguides.com . Beyond backpacking, he's also skilled in rock climbing, mountaineering, and canyoning. I'd highly recommend the guy if you are planning on traveling to this area of Utah. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Temperature Blues

“Damnit! It feels like my f@*king fingers are going to fall off!” I curse at Daria as we start to reassemble our tent.

"We need to get this tent set up. That storm is coming right at us”
“I’m cold and hungry … and I really think my fingers might fall off”



As the sun goes down, the temperature inside our tent drops to about -8; the matching sleeping bags we bought withstand about-7. Cocooned in our individual bags, cinched at the hood, we giggle at our predicament. Only a few more hours until the sun comes up we repeat to ourselves. This was our first night in the desert.


We’re parked at a campsite just off the highway in Huntington, Utah and the wind is blowing hard. Out across the eerily turquoise lake lies a thick black cloud creeping ever closer to our pitiful shelter. Even with the car acting as a wind block, the stakes in the hard ground don’t give us much confidence in the tent’s ability to stay grounded. We decide the only thing to do is to act as weights and try to get comfortable inside our woven walls. The wind howls around us, as the temperature starts to drop. Our bottle of wine and re-hydrated beans and rice are the only comforts we’ll have tonight.