Inspired by the awesome storms that rage through the Coast Mountains each January, dumping feet upon feet of perfect powder onto Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the 2nd Annual Deep Winter Photo Challenge has blown into the village again. This grass-roots celebration of the storm season and the photographers who capture it will see Paul Morrison, last season’s “King of Storms” come back to defend his crown against: Dano Pendygrasse, Ian Coble, Bryan Ralph, Jordan Manley and Phil Tifo. Watch as these photographers present their slideshows capturing epic powder days, dramatic skies, inspiring scenery, stormy conditions, deep tree skiing, and the lifestyles characterized at Whistler Blackcomb.
We are cheering for our boy Dano Pendygrasse!!
Any conversation about photographers in Whistler quickly includes Dano Pendygrasse. In the 15 or so years since Dano started documenting the birth of the snowboard scene in Whistler, his name has become synonymous with excellence in snowboard photography.
Dano has been published around the world in dozens of publications, spent time as a staff shooter for both Transworld Snowboarding Magazine and Snowboarder Magazine before spending the last few years launching the successful Future Snowboarding Magazine in Southern California.
Now back in Whistler (after a three month detour in Honduras), Dano has refocused on his love of mountain photography and continues to challenge himself creatively to bring unique and timeless images into the world. He is currently digging deep into the vaults to bring selected works to the public for the first time.
Nemo traditional takes time off at the end of the year to let all the team players go snowboarding and do what they do. With the studio empty, it is a great time to take on the big project of updating the space. As most projects at Nemo this one also has a theme of inspiration. Voyeurism. The spark of inspiration was” Dirty Old Men”. However, voyeurism seems to cover that and then some. The nature of photography is voyeuristic as is invades our personal space and gives an outsider a look into the subject. The doors will have two way mirrored windows so on lookers can see what is going on in the studio but the crew in to the studio won’t know they are being observed. There is an obtrusive side to photography and instead of denying we choose to celebrate it. As the space is decked out, we will share more images.
Recently I had the opportunity to go on a week long solo photo mission
with Nike ACG and their athletes. We spent our time up at Timberline
for the riders to get on-hill testing for next years outerwear. Here in the
states we don’t see much of Nike ACG winter outerwear (with the
exception of the sweet ass jacket Nemo helped design!) all we get here
is generic granola gear. (is that safe to say on here?? hehe.) Not the
case in Europe, ACG is killing it with a wild line and a rad team of
all European riders.
true NW fashion it pissed rain like hell everyday, which made for loads
of feedback from athlete to developer on the gear. Alas, pissing rain
or not, we suited up, slapped high 5’s and dropped in. There were uber
exxtreme backies, races to the chairlift and endless shenanigans to
capture daily. It was great kicking it with everyone, learning cuss
words in French, making fun of Irwin the Dutch guy for being so damned
evil, being force fed bottle after bottle of wine at dinners and having
loads of fun with everyone else while taking care “da bizz”.
Big thanks to Trevor and Dona for helping out!
Word em up.
*** SUPER EXTRA BONUS STORY ***
ACG athlete Mirjam, producer Jimmy and I flew to Pendleton,OR to check out the wool factory.
Pendleton wool and Nike ACG did a collaboration and designed the native
american pattern you saw on some of the jackets and blanket. They
wanted to film Mirjam’s trip there and try to get some ski shots, but again
snow conditions were not in our favor, being that there was NO snow in
or out of town, so we just hit the factory. Peep it.
Leave it to the Euros to buy cowboy hats and wanna hit up the Indian casino. Gotta love it.
Thanks again to everyone involved!
We all met up at Panchos house to start setting up for the shoot around 8:00am, but there was a bit of confusion with the rental company. Seems they thought we were picking up the gear, and we thought they were delivering it. Luckily, Dona was on the ball and got them to drop off the stuff right to Panchos house in 45 minutes! Seems the driver was very familiar with the area, since one of Panchos neighbors, Lucas, is the head electrician on LOST and rents from him all the time. It didnt take us long to set up, and we were shooting Alex and Koa in our makeshift studio in Panchos garage. After breaking for lunch, we hit our first snag of the day…seems our next athlete (Yadin Nicols from Australia) left the island to follow an epic swell in California! After frantically calling the other athletes, we couldnt seem to find anyone else to shoot. Seems as if they were all “too busy” watching the finals of the Vans Triple Crown at Sunset beach. So we decided to shoot some cool water/texture shots instead.
Seems as if a huge storm ripped thru the island in the middle of the night, knocking out the power in all the North Shore. You would have thought Armageddon had hit! People were lined up outside Foodland (the only grocery store for miles) stocking up on beer. They were only letting people in 1 at a time and the line went thru the entire parking lot. We, being on a mission to shoot 4 athletes in one day, were not afraid! Coffee would have been nice, but nonetheless, we headed back to Panchos to keep shooting. Luckily the lights had plenty of battery power to get us thru the day. Like clockwork we shot Bobby, Kai, Pancho, and CJ and by the time we were done, we it was 6pm. We headed back to the hotel, and the only thing open for dinner was the buffet and it was quite crowded since most of the locals were there getting food as well. The power was finally restored, but it was late and we all headed for bed.
The weather seems to be getting better, but because the waves are also getting better, its hard tracking down the athletes. With most of the studio shots in the can, we are waiting to meet up with CJ and Pacho to shoot some lifestyle. Stay tuned!
My buddy, wake shooter and the STANDARD wake quarterly magazine editor, Josh Letchworth hit me up with an email the other day asking about some insight to shooting in the snow. In the spirit of knowledge sharing I have attached the context of the email in this post.
Herb Ritts is dead.
I stared across the table at Dona and I scrambled through my head to remember where and if I had even heard that. My first reaction was “No Way”. The 90s was filled with his imagery and I never remember him being an old guy per say. Tragically in 2002 on Dec 26th he passed on.
The conversation was about classy sexy imagery. Nude photography as an art form and differentiating plastic boobs and low budget porn was critical to the thinking. This brainstorm about photographers and their unique approaches to the subject lead to Herb’s “Wicked Game” video with Helena Christensen. He had clean lines and was able to keep the subject strong in all the work he presented. The film and the camera nor any technical wizardry was Herb’s signature to the work. You could feel that all his subjects were somehow emotional connected to Herb and in this creation process a trust was built. This sincerity became part of the strong lines and clean lighting to be a signature.
The memory of his work today was a testament to the work he created, His untimely death in many ways has immortalized the work.
In the 1970s there wasn’t a character bigger than EVEL KNIEVEL! The news of his passing on Nov 30th will be like asking me where I was on 9/11. Where do I begin? He has been called the God Father of Action Sports! Evel shut up and put up even when he knew he would get hurt or killed! In the end, inspired a whole generation to live in the warmth of the sun and never compromise your dreams and goals! As a 7-year-old kid on a BMX bike, I tried stunts I never would have thought about on my own. Landed some, came up short on many. Evel got up ever time. The quote that comes to mind after the jump in Wimbly was “a man is never a failure unless he refuses to get back up”. This guy was all broken and still had the guts to belt out words to live by. That was the mojo that made Evel headline news today, not the pills and rap video. The country was coming out of the Vietnam era and the national pride was bruised. Evel’s inspiration reminded the nation what made it great. I remember this interview with Evel where he had this amazing quote, Teddy Roosevelt said it originally and Evel put his spin on it:
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Evel Knievel/ Teddy Roosevelt
It’s funny how the reporters missed the real spark/ inspiration that made EVEL a legend. They talked about the recent stuff like Kanye West and the medication for the injuries. It was the showman ship ladies and gentleman. Before Tony Roberts did his motivational speeches it was EVEL, before Tony Hawk boosted his 900, it was EVEL, before rock stars knew how to party, it was EVEL, before the WWE had a stage, and again, it was EVEL!
Why is it that when we find a mentor or inspiration person they let us down in the end? Power corrupts and EVEL was no angel. I’ve hear first hand stories of how rude, mean and scitzo the guy really was. I scratch my head and wonder how we as a society reward these mean spirited, hypocritical people. A conclusion is that guys like Evel did what ever they pleased and had no apologies or remorse. They showed us how we could live the life we dream. Do you want to live in the grey twilight?
There is a tipping point in a young person’s life where they get asked by their uncle “what do you want to do when you grow up”? What a retarded question to ask a 10 year old. At 10 I would challenge you to remember if you even knew what you ones own father did for a living let alone what I was going to be.
As an amateur anthropologist, my mind wanders and wonders about what it is in our brains that makes us be unique individuals. Today I sit here and add an entry to this journal and at the same time there were so many forks in the road that molded my life path. In the states we open up social introduction with the standard, what do you do for a living question and doing so limit what we get to know about this person. This job title follows us and somehow defines us. Today I sit before you and say that I am a photographer. I also wonder why that happens?
In those “Wonder Years” (ages 10 -14_ when we have learned 80% of what we will need and use in our adult life and how we channel that knowledge to a career path is the secret to happiness.
David Graves. In 1970s this man went to work on a factory line at Bristol Meyers and support his young family. I was the oldest of three. In those days it wasn’t that children were seen and not heard, it was more that my father was seen and seldom spoke. Of course he spoke when he needed to discipline but the Mr. Mom fuzziness of the modern father were not crafted into my father’s skills. Mom would remind us how hard my Dad would work to support the family. I must have been about twelve or so and somehow in the context of what I was doing with my Dad he gave me some advise. What ever you do in life be sure you like what do. You’re committed to working 8 hours for a company each day, a minimum of 40 hours a week and your going to spend more time working than being with your family, then you had better like what you’re doing. Don’t worry about the money because even if you have the money you’re going to be miserable. The Rockefellers put their pants on one leg at a time and I cant say they are any happier than you or I. It stuck and it wasn’t till many years later when I worked the line with my Dad, did I understand that he was trying to save me from the fate that his life had taken. Did he really like fixing the bottlenecks on this pill bottler that his advise was to be like him or was he helping steer me not to be like him and just punch a clock to pay the bills?
The schools at the time would test students to see if there were career paths that made sense. I wasn’t a slouch student and had good grades. They tested me and advised me that I would be a good architect or engineer. The career planner got me into a job-shadowing program at Crouse Hines; if you have seen a traffic signal then you have seen one of their products. For the times it was an advance idea, job shadowing. However, by the second day I was ready to put a gun to my head. These guys were so boring and the work was so mechanical I knew the engineer life wasn’t for me. In hindsight the experience was life changing in that at the rip age of 15 I knew what I didn’t want to do in life!
The fork in the road had me down a new path. College plans were being made and in y immediate family no one had ever gone to college. I was to be the first one. I had some engineering option is the city (NYC) and then I dawned on me. I wanted to go into commercial arts. The program at the time was advertising arts and production and it wasn’t al liberal artsy and hard to see a career path. It had real world jobs that were tied to the craft of the arts. Perfect. Dad, I am going to college to get a degree in design. To my Fathers credit, the first big fork in the road was taken. College introduced me to the world of typography, photography, design, illustration and a new field, computer arts. The use of my brain to fore sees images manifested into photography quickly. I had no real intentions of having the job description of photographer but as the photography chemicals pickled my senses, the transition happened.