Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sectionals explained for Dummies

This link is an adequate explaination on reading sectionasl http://www.paradrenalin.com/sharedfiles/Reading%20sectional%20Charts.pdf

and this link will get you a .KLM file you can download and open in Google Earth with sectional overlays:

meeting tonight, see yesterday's post More after the jump...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Flying access meeting

Pilot get together to discuss ideas about how to secure access for the flying community at Ben's Crow Inn/ Cobb's Knob ridge soaring site. Go.

Tuesday March 16
5:30 p.m.

Hyde Park Pub
1501 North 13th Street
Boise, ID 83702
United States
(208) 336-9260

What I hope happens at this meeting:

- that we can identify 2 people that we all mutually respect to act as our point pilots

- that those 2 individuals have the most access-issue experience of the group - (preferably with free flight access experience)

- that some of us (myself included) can put aside certain personal opinions and ideas that could hurt us as a whole

- that there is enough beer on tap More after the jump...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Boise City now owns The Crow ridge soaring site!

Boise's Crow Inn ridge soaring site is now owned by the city of Boise! http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/idaho/news.newsmain/article/1/0/1621597/Local.News/Boise.Buys.Hammer.Flat Not to be developed into houses and strip malls


Aaron Beck Now that it is publicly owned and not slated for development do we pilots continue the status quo or should we look into options through the foundation for free flight? Utah pilots? People with experience? Ideas?
6 minutes ago · More after the jump...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New activities

I've been looking for new activities to take up this wintrt since I won't be able to ski, kite, or fly. Follow the link to see different ideas that I'm mulling over while I'm sitting around in my sling.

I might not push it and go for the railing walk too soon:

Seems exciting, but even so, parenting still doesn't seem like something I really want to do:

"I don't think the definition of a sport necessarily has to be based on athletic prowess it could also be just enduring a very long amount of time..."

More after the jump...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Alfred Palmer's 4x5 Kodachromes

While reading back issues of the now defunct PhotoShelter blog, Shoot! The Blog, I followed a link that took me to Shorpy (the 100 year old photo blog) and their gallery of now public domain images shot on 4x5 Kodachrome by Alfred Palmer. The Office of War Information (OWI) commissioned photographers like Mr. Palmer to produce ducumentary/propaganda material during WWII. Images produced by the OWI are archived at the Library of Congress along with the better known Farm Security Administration (FSA) images produced by the legendary Dorthea Lange, Walker Evans, and others.

4x5 Kodachromes. Beautiful I do think. And look at the use of directional lighting, these guys really actually had to understand lighting ratios and expsure - no chimping with the lcd screen as with digital.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

passionate and inspired words

do it, for gods sake. don't give in to your fear, don't give into the rationalizations of your mind, listen to your soul; your soul will guide you, always. leave your safe shore and go explore, bring your kids and wife with you if you have to, bring a friend or two or go by yourself. No one makes it big in their own hometown.
- Martin Prihoda


And here is the rest of it.

More after the jump...

80's VHS dating

Can you imagine? I thought internet dating was bad.


More after the jump...

We don't pay for expenses

Caution: crude laguage

i’ll do it….

Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it. More after the jump...


Wouldn't it be cool to draw a circle on google earth or a map, then type "kayaks" and have every image of kayaks within that circle appear? As far as I know we can't do that yet, but from a business standpoint I want to be ready for the day when geographically dynamic images searches are available.

Read on to learn more about geotagging and the tools necessary to add it to a photography workflow.

How cool would it be if someone could come to my web-site, type in the search term "bike" then draw a circle on a map and come up with all my images of bikes that were shot within that circle?
Or better yet, from a photo-editor or photo researcher's standpoint, how convenient would it be for them to do a google search for "horse" then draw a circle on a specific area of Nevada and have all the horse images from the geotagging savy photographers show up on a search?
What if you could right click an image and have an option "reveal shoot location in google maps"? Maybe I'm kidding myself, maybe outside of GE or telling your friends about your last great adventure, knowing exactly where you shot an image will never be commercially useful.
I think it will be valuable one day.

A field for GPS coordinates exists in the EXIF metadata field - a standard format for digital photography. Incredibly, the field is most often left empty - even by most professional photographers. There are a few reasons for this, the first is that right now there seems to be little value attached to the information, and secondly the information doesn't appear automatically when the image is created and it is too much extra work to add the information.

Geotagging - the process of inserting GPS data and coordinates into the metadata fields of digital images - seems to have limited value for most professional photographers. As with most processes that involve full and detailed disclosure, geotagging appears to offer the most benefit to the client or end user.

Standardized and accurate geotagging could preclude a stock photographer from adding a misleading description such as "Man releases trout on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho's Frank Church River of no Return Wilderness" to a generic image of a fish and a net with no visual context. By looking at metadata a client might recognize a stock photographer trying to pull one over on them, or a customer or end user might more readilly recognize a corporate add trying to portray themselves as something they are not.
I wonder if standardized geotagging could help create a need for the creation of more original imagery? At the very least geotagging would confirm the claims of an honest stock photographer, and we don't know what technologies have yet to be invented that might exploit this information in ways we can't imagine.

The more immediate reason why the GPS field is often left blank is that geotagging seems like too much extra work. It is logical to assume that someday all our cameras will be gps equipped (the recently released Nikon Coolpix 6000 is the first) and all sorts of data will be written the moment the shutter is released. As of now we are forced to pack around and learn how to use either a traditional gps unit or a photographer specific "geotagging unit," then download and handle the gps data, and finally use third party software to write the coordinates to each image. What a freaking pain. There are already to many steps in most photographers' work flow. Add one more step? Plus, it sounds like something a geeky HP engineer would do after skimming the Craigslist personals on a Saturday morning.

Or Birddog when he is high on narcotics.

In short, geotagging works like this:
1) to the second set your camera's clock to your gps clock
2) turn on and carry gps with tracklog intervals set to 5 seconds or less as you shoot
3) download gps tracklog and photos to computer
4) use 3rd party software that looks at the synched time data to match each image to gps coordinates

While flickr. google, picassa and now even iPhoto '09 offer labor intensive manuel map based solutions there are two approaches that make sense for volume geotagging. The first approach is to use pretty much any normal gps unit to create track logs, then employ third party software to sync up the time stamps, coordinates, and individual images.
The second approach is to buy a photographer specific "geotagging unit," then use included or third party software to sync images and tracklogs.
Either way, it is one more thing the photographer has to pack, travel and shoot with, more batteries to purchase, change and throw away, more software to learn and integrate into a work flow. Oh, boy I can't wait until gps units are included in Canon cameras. In the mean time Adobe engineers should include an "integrate .gpx tracklog on import" option in the import dialogue box of the next Adobe PhotoShop Lightroom update.

As of now, we got what we got.

The advantages to a photographer specific "geotagging unit" over a standard gps unit may include the following:
-long battery life
-relatively affordable
-nothing to learn, a dummy assistant can hit an on/off switch
-remains with camera gear at all times - you'll never forget if you left it in your car, with your flying kit, in your fishing/hunting gear, on your bike, who you lent it to,
-anything else?

Here are a few photographer specific geotagging units:
Royaltek RBT-2300
Holux M-241
Amod AGL3080
GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr CD111
Qstarz BT-Q1000X
Eye-Fi Pro - this is a cf card that detects local wi-fi connections to automativally geocode your images as you shoot! Super cool if you only take photos at starbucks, the mall, or the airport. Gag me now.

Until I decide which unit to go with I will make do with the Garmin GPSmap 76s gps unit that I fly with and third party software of which there are many options:
GeoSetter seems to be the most talked about on forums, but it is a windows-based program so that doesn't work for me.
In true Google form Google offers a free open sourced version called gpicsync which I overlooked before, but will try.
$30 HoudahGeo

I downloaded and tried out two pieces of software today. Jeffrey’s “GPS-Support” Geoencoding Plugin for Lightroom promised to integrate into my regular LR workflow. It was easy to use, install and it included some cool info like speed and bearing (which, come to think of it is useless unles you were to duct tape your GPS unit to your camera).
Unfortunately, the Geoencoding Plugin writes metadata as a shadow, and the data appears a made up data field - not the EXIF GPS data field. I exported a test with Jeffrey's "include shadow on export" option turned on but the GPS data was useless outside of Lightroom. So much for seamless workflow integration.

I'll give the Google software a go the next chance I get, but I might just use gpsphotolinker with a modified work flow for a while.

New workflow:
1) drag 'n drop/copy image files from card reader to folder on desktop
2) connect GPS to computer
3) import image files/folder into gpsphotolinker
4) use gpsphotolinker to access GPS and sync tracklog to images
5) import images to LR as normal

A screen capture of the GPSphotolinker interface

What I like about gpsphotolinker so far is that I don't have to download track logs separately - it can extract track logs from my gps, and it writes GPS and elevation data to the EXIF field as well as city, state, and country information to the IPTC fields. I exported a test file and the coordinates and elevation data were included in the exported file. Sweet.

In LR I can click on the GPS metadata field and a google maps page opens with the location marked on the map.

Makes me want to take a trip.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Break Emptiness

It is important to break up emptiness, to disrupt vacant spaces to, to give our visual foothold something solid to stand on.

As I studied this George Tice image today it was the broad and solid wood detailing on the wall that made this image work for me. Dad, what is this feature referred to as?

Also when I was in Telluride with Glenn Oakley I noticed a lot of the hotels and "cabins" utilize "stepped" mini roof lines that parallel the main roof line. Seems like they were used to break up the empty expanse of multi story exterior walls. Often times these min roof lines originated from a window on the side of the building. What are those features know as?

I've always appreciated wanes coating in a room, dormers in a roof, solid crown molding and blocky base board in rooms with elevated ceilings. Think about Susan Susanka's concept of dilineating different living spaces with something as simple as an exposed header or a change in the finish floor elevation. Emptiness and empty expanses must be broken. As visual creatures, as fragile humans we need something solid on which to ground ourselves. Other than the fact that they can't risk someone hurting themselves, I've never understood what good it does to put a lunatic in small, featureless, flat, white rooms. Seems like it would me more harmful than beneficial, creating a sense of panic, a sense of lost orientation and direction.

The empty canvas, the blinking cursor, an empty wall or ceiling, are all terrifying. We need visual, metaphorical, physical, ideological anchors from which we can send out skiffs, explore, create, then return to and lean on for support.

More after the jump...


I miss my Kiwi friends and need to go back as soon as I can.
More after the jump...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Get people to bug out, you know

More after the jump...

Remember what pays off:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.– Calvin Coolidge

seen on aphotoeditor.com More after the jump...
I've been keen on Dan Winter's portrait and photo illustrations for a while. It is clean and simple, tight, yet full of depth. Follow the jump for an interview with Dan.

"People aren't going to remember the things you do. They are going to remember how you made people feel. And uh, I've always tried to really adhere to that, try to be you know kind and gracious and appreciative."

More after the jump...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The New Economy

Chad Case and I just read WWGD by Jeff Jarvis so I found this Charlie Rose interview with Chris Anderson about his new book Free: the Future of a Radical Price interesting.

The Big Question: What is the pet for our penguin? More after the jump...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Upcoming Shoulder surgery

My CT showed that I have a Hill-Sachs lesion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill-Sachs_lesion) as well as a Bankart lesion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankart_lesion). Basically I have a divot in the ball of my shoulder and have fractured the anterior portion of my shoulder socket which hasn't healed on it's own. Dr. Michael Curtin (http://www.intermountainortho.com/physicians.php) will perform a Bristow-Latarjet procedure (http://www.shoulderdoc.co.uk/article.asp?article=912) on the 30th of Sept.

And here is the rest of it.
More after the jump...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Unexpected Image

In an effort to push myself this winter I want to start making images less of people doing things like paragliding or skiing and more in the direction of conveying ideas.

I'm probably the sort of person that would benefit from direction and structure so I'm going to try and give myself guidelines to follow. If you have ideas that you think would be interesting guide lines, send them along as well. There might be a series of different guidelines separate, distinct ideas/projects or all the guidelines might meld into a long string of guidelines that end in a single series of images with a single cohesive idea. I'm not sure yet.

To kick things off here are the first three guidelines for the first image we make together:

The image must:
1) Identify a simple and central message to communicate.
2) illustrate what is counterintuitive and unexpected about that message
3) have a sense of mystery in the sense that it provides a question without an obvious answer

So here is my first image idea, following these guide lines: A homeless bum opening and peering into a BFI dumpster in a grimy dirty back ally only to find a white linen table and an elaborate Chef Mortimer style meal laid out before him.

The image of a fancy smancy meal all in a garbage can jumped into my head during a brainstorming session about things that seemed counterintuitive, it further developed into the image of a bum looking into a trash heap and finding a full meal. In my head the image fills requirements 2 and 3, but I don't yet know what the central message is that I'm trying to communicate. Leave a comment and help me figure that out.

I hadn't thought much about the Chef Mortimer name I used until now that I'm going back and reading this post. Hmm... it was a complete accident that I offered up that image alongside his name. Maybe somewhere in the intersection of that image and his name is the answer to guideline #1.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment, write me an email, FB me. Do you have a set of guidelines to follow when trying to come up with a new image? Do you have an image idea that would fill the three guidelines above? Do you have the answer to how my image idea and guideline #1 work together?

More after the jump...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aug. 26 Rocky Trip

First post in a long while.

And here is the rest of it.

More after the jump...

Monday, August 24, 2009

My river/photographer friend Teresa Tamura recently lent me her copy of "the ongoing moment" by Geoff Dyer. The next couple posts will most likely be reflections and observations as I make my way through the book. If you are in Missoula Mt. this fall be sure and visit Teresa's show on the Minidoka Internment camps, titled "Minidoka Memories."

"Explaining her working methods (Dorothea) Lange commented that there are 'people who are garrulous and wear their heart on their sleeve and tell you everything, that's one kind of person; but the fellow who's hiding behind a tree, and hoping you don't see him, is the fellow you'd better find out about.' The most eloquent testimony, in other words, may come from those most reluctant to give it."

And here is the rest of it.
More after the jump...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pu Er Tea-drinking in Big Sky Country

When Todd Jackson's wife Tao Ling receives her green card (hopefully by this fall) the couple plans to open a tea import and yoga studio in Big Sky Mt.  Click for more photos.

More after the jump...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another evening at the crow

I had invited the Ybarrondos and Justin out for an evening at the Crow. They were game, but conditions were building from 4 until 6:30 so I decided to have them wait for a more promising evening. Parawaiting is not much fun. After much waiting I did end up with a very short sunset flight around 8:30.

After a near flawless first run with the new camera angle at Melba ridge last week I struggled this evening to get the camera to fly straight. I think a longer retrieve string will solve the problem. Here is the only picture that sort of worked from the evening:

Sunset over the Boise River, smooth, light, steady lift band tonight.

My timing was a little off on the spiral landing. I left a big skid mark in the green spring grass.

More after the jump...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shoshone for Monster

Nic held onto his motivation to complete a spring desert trip with his new boat despite having to push through his 21,583rd cold of the season. Thanks Nic for putting together a fun trip.

I had forgotten how incredibly mind blowing and beautiful..., er, uh, I mean don't ever do the Jarbridge Bruneau River system in southern Idaho! It is dirty, small, log infested, has a brutal portage, the canyon is so narrow that you come home with a kink in your neck from looking up, it is chock full of buzz worms, you won't see any bald eagles or turkey vultures, there are absolutely no good side canyons to hike, you won't see any sheep, it is all flat water, and there is no good wood to burn. Why would you want to do a dirty desert river anyway? Stay home and watch a reality t.v. show, that's what I should have done.


Just outside the Mtn. Home (Sullen Creek?) bombing range Shannon made us get out of the car to check out a post rain-storm desert rainbow.

I would like to do a 3 boat trip next time. More people, more fun, plus it would be nice to have some photos with some boats in them to lend a little perspective and illustrate just how amazing our otherworldly Mini-Grand Canyon of Idaho really is.

More after the jump...