DANO Pendygrasse

odds and ends from an unusual life

it's hip to be square

I'm not sure why, but I always like square format landscapes. The more spare, the better. I'm almost done with my edit and I'm into all the details shots, the things that aren't action and aren't portraits, a lot of these are more creative, some are landscapes, and some are not. They generally don't find a home in the magazines I submit to but inevitably become my favourites.

Here is one I like and wanted to share.

This light lasted seconds. Clouds were racing over the sky and the light was changing so fast. I turned and saw the lines here and the light changing. I shot quickly.

The Edit.

Once every year, in the Spring, I find a quiet place and do my edit. I look at every photo that I have shot over the course of the winter and determine which ones will go to the magazines and which ones will be banished to the archive hard drive.

The last few years, with making
the magazine, my edit process was very different, I simply pulled the things that I knew we needed and didn’t really spend much time with my stock. There is a relationship that I have with my photos and it evolves over time, things that I initially like fall out of favour, and things that didn’t grab me right off the bat start to grow on me. Sometimes I completely overlook shots that end up being my favourites.

Of all the covers I have had, I only thought one was a cover shot when I shot it. Everything else either snuck up on my later, or the photo editor saw something that I didn’t. This knowledge makes it really hard to throw things out, because everybody likes different things, and everybody sees different things in photos.

I’m not sure where I started, maybe around 10 thousand images, but my first cut was to 1500, and then I cut again and again until I got to 200 action shots. It may be a little loose, but I have to take into account the “you never know” factor. Of course that doesn’t count the portraits, lifestyle and scenic shots…

Now I’m taking RAW files and working them into the final image that I want to present. This is another huge process and you can’t rush it. After 20 images or so I stop having the same critical eye and I have to walk away for a while.

So that’s where I am today. Here is a photo of Eric Jackson from a few days ago.

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Meltdown and rebirth.

Sometimes I get in so deep with all the things that need to be done, that I stop taking pleasure in anything. I’m literally checking things off a “to do” list from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. That’s when I usually end up exhausted, on a couch, feeling like death warmed over and wondering what the hell is going on.

The other day we shot a really long day, and despite the crazy weather, I managed to get some really good action, as well as some other interesting stuff. (more on that in a second)

So in this long day, I was mostly cold, didn’t eat or drink enough, and when I finally got home after midnight, couldn’t sleep. I woke up the next day feeling like I had been run over and couldn’t do anything. I just sat there, unable to find motivation for even the simplest task. So I threw in the towel and called it a recovery day. Just what the doctor ordered.

The next day I woke up and had a whole new attitude. I spent all day
building, which I enjoy anyway, but I took an enormous amount of pleasure in simple things. I slowed down my life a bit, hit the reset button, and started to like doing everything.

It’s not easy to stay positive when I feel overwhelmed by work or whatever, and lately, with all the bad weather that this spring has brought, I’ve been pretty frustrated with the job part of my job. The shooting part is a
welcome relief, but the work part is getting less and less rewarding. When that balance gets out of whack and there isn’t enough creative and too much office, I’m ready for a change.

Anyway, this is a long ramble that essentially says; take a day off, reassess, and try to find pleasure in the process. The exciting and rewarding parts of life can seem few and far between, so for now, I’m looking for more fulfillment in the mundane.

And now for a shot from the other night. After setting up our shoot, the fog rolled in and shut us down for a while. Walking around the lights that were set up for the film I saw my shadow projected onto the fog bank. It was pretty cool so I shot it for a while. Then I used it to do some cool portraits with Mathieu Crepel. But you’ll have to wait for those.



We waited in the clouds for hours yesterday. When the sun finally peaked through, it had mostly left the jump we were set up on. Ejack hit it anyway, went way, way too far, and punched his board. I'm pretty sure he kneed himself in the eye too. Here he is describing the crash...


Cornice Season

It's cornice season out there folks. Be careful...

Click the photo for your BC forecast.


wrong, wrong, wrong.

disclaimer: it's 10 till 2 and I've just arrived home,

an email aimed me here, and what I found made me choke on my perrier as I tried to understand how anyone who knew anything about culture or the life of ANYONE under the age of 70 could, with a straight face, write this piece of shit*:

"Big Air
Riders and skiers are the new constellations, when they turn shooting stars and light up the night at the big-on-awe Big Air. Join the 15,000-strong star-gazing crowd, as the best pro skiers and riders launch overhead to the thumping beats of live music. The pros lay it all on the line to own the night sky."


As I grew up, I watched as the super successful Westbeach Contest, that filled empty Whistler beds every spring, was co-opted and became the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. I watched as the once respectable contest was taken over by new sponsors and became a backdrop for the expanded "cultural" events, and then diminished into a regional affair that drew more local media than international credibility, and I could see why. I knew that the future was worse, but this year just seems so, so much worse. As far as I can tell, the title sponsor of the halfpipe event is a vodka brand.


I wonder why the Ski and snowboard industry has run, not walked, away from this event.

Does anyone that is involved in the promotion of this event even ski or snowboard anymore? Did any of you actually grow up in the culture of the mountains? The WSSF has always been a marketing push to fill beds in the shoulder season, that's no secret or surprise. And there is nothing wrong with that, but at some point the success of the peripheral events overshadowed the reason we are all here in the first place, and the "festival" pissed on its roots in favour of a MTV/Mountain Dew/LCD spew fest that has little to do with anything but self perpetuation and narcissism.

I'm sick to death of the shitty shit. I'll say what every real snowboarder is thinking: Bring back the Westbeach Contest. Put the snowboard back into the "ski and snowboard festival". I challenge the organizers of the WSSF to make this festival into a legitimate part of the contest scene, and to bring us back some credibility, not just the hotel visits.

It's as simple as this: If the best snowboarders in the world aren't here for the contest next year, you've failed.

*ok so as bad as that was, the deeper I looked into the site, the worse the fucking generic, marketing buzzword, nothing-speak
got. Someone got paid a bunch of money to sound like they were young and hip. My guess is that they are either a) a 56 year old junior college drop-out who claims to be "still really down with the youth". b) Socially isolated, borderline personalities with anxiety disorders. c) Editors from Ski Magazine. d) all of the above