Just wrapped up another road trip, and like every one before, it was amazing for many different reasons. For me as a person and a photographer, there is nothing better than being out by myself on the road. The freedom and lack of influence by other people is the best. This one was a bit shorter than my usual coast to coast trip done this time of year. I drove out to Colorado and did quite a bit of shooting for various projects/reasons, as well as visiting friends to do some camping, mountain biking, and white water rafting. More from all of this soon.
During my time on the road one thing I've always got my eye out for is hoops. I don't really see an end to this project. It will probably be something I continue to shoot for the rest of my life. That being said, it's getting harder and harder to find hoops that I actually like. Over the past 4+ years, I've come across some amazing hoop scenes, which means the bar is now set pretty high. So unless I find something at least as good or better than the previous ones, then I'm not shooting it. These three are (in order) from Nebraska, Colorado, and India.
Silverton Mountain in Colorado is unlike any other place you can ski/ride in the U.S. Think of it as the exact opposite of Vail. First of all, just getting there is a commitment, as it's about a 6.5 hour drive from Denver. The last part of the drive titled "The Million Dollar Highway" is about as much fun as you can have on a mountain pass. Switchback after switchback, with very few if any guardrails, and long steep drops off the side. The town itself is the kind of place you can see having gun fights in the street back in the day. That kind of town. Drive about 15 minutes out the back of town, and there is a parking lot. Next to the parking lot is a trailer with skis/snowboards piled on it. Next to that is a 2 person chairlift and a yurt for a lodge. That's it. No bougie villages with people wearing fur boots while sipping on a Hot Toddy. Just friendly people that want to ride. And all those people are earning there turns, because that 2 seater lift only goes 3/4 of the way up. From there, your guide leads you on a hike up ardigeline to the place he chooses for you to drop in. And did I mention that they are only open Friday-Sunday? Which means the snow piles up all week, so you're always getting fresh turns. On top of that, the guides section off the mountain, to keep things fresh for the next two days. The terrain is steep and technical. And fun. If you're a serious skier, you should get to Silverton. I loved it so much and wasn't even in great skiing shape when we were there. It was only my second day riding for the year, and I was just finishing up a month long cross-country road trip. Hell of a cap, but definitely wish I was in better shape. Either way, it was a great time, and I can't wait to go back in March. Did a little bit of shooting while I was there too. Hard not to. On day two, the light was so good, I didn't have a choose. It was partly cloudy, so the sun was peaking in and out of clouds. Creating some surreal conditions. Silverton rocks.
Only about 6 months late on this post, so yeah. Trying to chip away at the piles of images gathering dust on my hard drives from the past year. These are from an incredible camping trip in the Colorado backcountry. Specifically in the backcountry of Yampa. A very small and very remote town that is only frequented by locals, and those lucky enough to know about it. Our "campsite" was about a 5 mile hike from the car. So not crazy, but certainly enough to get far away from everything. Mojo was with me on this one, and he had a blast to say the least. We got in a lot of fishing and a lot of eating. One thing the Yampa backcountry is famous for is the "Devil's Causeway" (seen below). It's part of a trail with a narrow strip of rock with very immediate and very long drops on both sides. If you fall, you're down. Walking up to it doesn't seem that bad, but once you're there, it gets in your head a little. I saw one kid completely freeze while trying to cross it.
If you live in Boulder, Colorado, then chances are you spend some time outdoors. It's a town that's just as famous for being active, as it is for marijuana. Which seems kind of contradictory, but whatever. I've been a fan of Boulder (and the rest of Colorado) for a long time now. So on my last visit, I made it a point to shoot some trail running. Red Rocks Trail is a cool spot with a great backdrop for this type of thing. The shoot was a lot of fun despite having one Elinchrom strobe shit out on us about 3 minutes in. Luckily, I also had some brand new Broncolor gear that I was testing. Huge fan of it, by the way. Looking like the Elinchrom's will be taking a backseat. These first three images were lit with strobes. The last one is all natural light. All shot on the Nikon D810.
One of my favorite things to do on the road is make portraits of people that I randomly come across. This is Larry. He's a farmer in Blanca, Colorado. Which is a place you've probably never heard of. Neither had I, until driving through it last week. There isn't much to be said for it, but quite the opposite for Larry. Really jolly guy, and proud owner of that mustache since September 8, 1971. "The day I got my shipping papers to go state-side". Saw him out of the corner of my eye while passing his farm, and knew a portrait had to be made. Really gladded I stopped.
Nikon D810 with Nikon 17-35mm lens. Lit with a Broncolor Move Pack and MobiLED Flash Head.