DANO Pendygrasse

odds and ends from an unusual life

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Rip Curl Pro in Tofino

Hi friends,

Just got back from the Rip Curl Pro Surf contest in Tofino on Vancouver Island. This is the first time I’ve been to this event and it was fun to finally attend an event that I’d heard so much about. There is a real sense of community in the Canadian surf scene and it’s nice to see how they support each other. The family dynasties are readily apparent too.

Check out some of my photos from the trip and then the video we made at the bottom.


wake for me
wet ride
everyone stops at cathedral grove at least once
remembering another time
Pete won.
Dalby shooting Noah
bargain on the way home
big gnome



Hey friends,

Well, it’s been a long time hasn’t it? To say that my life has been going through changes would be an understatement! Without going into too much detail, last spring, after several challenging years, my personal life unravelled. It took a little time to put the pieces back together, but that’s what I’ve been up to over the last 12 months.

So if you’ve been following closely you may have seen some of my posts over at bneeth. I’ve been documenting the photographic transition I’ve been going through. Spoiler alert; there’s a happy ending, but you’ll have to follow along for a few more episodes before we get there.

Also I’ve been really active on Instagram lately. Check it out or add me @ dspphoto. As always, you can check out where my head is at on Flickr.

I’ve mostly been busy with Monster Energy though, and that’s why my blog has been so quiet.

There is a really cool personal portrait project on the horizon and I’m looking forward to showing you some of the results. More and more it’s the kind of thing I want to be shooting. Well, that and the “walking around” shots. Here’s one now.



Back in BC. Out of the frying pan...

Hi friends,

Well life certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it wants to get good and busy on you, does it? 2 weeks ago I was sneaking a quick last dive in on the Cordelia Banks in Roatan, a week later I was looking at a contract with Monster Energy Canada, and a few days later I’m on a plane to spend the week with some of the best wakeboarders in the world on a 100 foot long houseboat. Ok... Meanwhile I am still trying to catch up with all the interesting opportunities that have arisen from the Cordelia Banks photos, which has been surprising but fantastic.

Here are a couple highlights from the week. I don’t shoot wake on the regular so I was trying to bring something different to it than what I see in the magazines. I didn’t come close to trying all the things I had in mind. Next time. The wakeboarders sure know how to have a good time. There were lots of late nights and fun stories. Having your own Chef and Mixologist doesn’t hurt either...

Next, I’m catching up at home for a bit and then trying to sneak a day of flyfishing in before Crankworx and Monster Energy week at the Camp of Champions. Doesn’t look like life will be slowing down anytime soon...



supplies, part one.
supplies, part two.
das boat.
Gettin’ warmed up. Shane Bonifay.
Craven along for the ride, doin his best impression of Huck Finn.
Waterslide action.
Henshaw goes off the top rope.
Shane, method style.
Splashing about.
Mel and Tom watching Bob.
Mel getting some.
Bob spinnin’ and flyin’.
Shawn Watson.
Parties are always better when Darryl is on board.
Henshaw again.
Balzer with a little balance beam over a creek.
Balzer on the wake skate at dusk.
Sonni on the tow boat.
Shane staying warm.
Dusty air to body jar on the rail.
Shane’s method.
Nicest guy you ever wanna meet, Tom on the last morning.
Balzer watches Dusty’s pass.
Balzer sneaks one last run in on the wakeskate.
The man, the myth, James Balzer.

Shooting the Honduran President

Hi friends,

A couple days ago I found out that the President of Honduras was coming to Roatan to participate in a shark release. It turns out that it was part of the PR push for the announcement that Honduras has declared all of its territorial waters a shark sanctuary. Nice stuff, hard to police in this country, but nice nonetheless.

So Nic from the Roatan Marine Park asked if I would shoot the release and of course I said yes. Members from the RMP and the Shark Legacy Project worked to put together the event and the sharks were transported from the pen where they have been captive for several years, onto a boat, and out to west bay.

There was surprisingly little security for the event considering the recent political climate in Honduras and after bobbing around waiting for an hour or so, a boat from AKR pulled up and there was President Porforio Lobo Sosa a few feet away. Next came the important task of waving to the press and talking to the researchers and conservationists. The President certainly seemed engaged by the process. Then it was time to release the sharks. The first one was lifted out of the holding pool with a cradle and released. He immediately swam to the wall and disappeared into the deep. The second, bigger shark did a couple laps of the reef crest before heading to deeper water.

It was all very interesting to watch and shoot photos of. I understand that there are several more captive nurse sharks on Roatan, and hopefully this will set some kind of precedent to release the rest of them. Coincidentally, we’ve been seeing a lot of nurse sharks on dives lately, several this past week. Not sure what that means but I hope it’s good.

One week till home friends. One week. tomorrow we’re trying to go to the Cordelia Banks, a reef of staghorn coral like nowhere else in the Caribbean, and a hot target for protection. Stay tuned.

Enjoy the photos from the release.


Sharks awaiting release on the boat. Giacomo, Ian, Doug and Christy standing by.
The President waves to the press.
The press.
The first shark in the sling
The first shark is away. If Marine Park Nic’s back wasn’t so big, you’d see it.
Oh, there it is...
President Lobo supervises the second release.
The second shark is away!

The Show: a snowboarding event. Part one and two.

Hi Friends.

Just finished up with “The Show: a snowboarding event” here in Whistler. As part of the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, The Show is the biggest event of the year for us at Monster Energy Canada. It’s been my baby since conception and it’s nice to get through it with some really good events and breaking some new ground.

Here are the first two parts of the Video Webisodes. In the past I’ve hired a crew of videographers and an editor to put together our videos, but this year we brought in a production company. Hope you like em.

Still a couple more to come so stay tuned.


episode one

episode two

On tour with Korn

Hi friends,

One of the fun things about working with Monster Energy in Canada is that weird opportunities come up all the time. 6 weeks ago or so I was asked if I would come along on the Music as a Weapon tour for the Canadian leg. The tour is headlined by Korn and Disturbed with Stillwell opening. Now I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Korn, I remember thinking “got the life?” was a pretty good track back in the day, but I never bought an album or anything. Disturbed isn’t even on my radar to be honest. The fans seem to love them but I’m not a fan. It’s like a campy version of the classic metal I like. Iron Maiden on broadway. Really nice guys though.

Korn however, have 100% won me over. I’m the kind of guy who prides himself on having an open mind so I was excited to shoot some photos of big time rock bands, live out of a bus for a week, and get a little insight into tour life but I didn’t expect to be so affected by the music. At this point I shoot my photos (photogs typically shoot the first three songs from the pit) and when I’m done, I’m there for the whole damn show. Munky is a totally engaging human on stage and Fieldy holds down stage right. And then there is Jonathan, a man who seems so totally possessed by the lyrics he sings, it’s like he’s reliving every torn heart and frayed nerve every time he sings. He holds nothing back and finishes the set ready to collapse every night. It’s as if he opens the sores to all his damage every single times he takes the stage, and that kind of energy is nothing to ignore. I’ve seen a lot of really good, really emotional shows, but his psychic bloodletting on a daily basis is almost beyond my comprehension.

Ok, enough about that. I’ll go see these guys anytime I’m in the same town as them. It’s real. And now I’m out of the closet.

Here are some of my favourite shots from tour. We finish up with Halifax tonight and then fly home tomorrow. “The Show” starts next. Are you ready?


(I’m watermarking all this crap because people tend to grab it a lot. Sorry if it annoys you.)


Jonathan Davis. Ottawa.
Munky. Ottawa.

Jonathan Davis at the Toronto show.
Fieldy and Spider from Stillwell.
Munky in Toronto
Wuv from Stillwell. Quebec City show.
Jonathan Davis in Quebec City.
Fieldy in Quebec City.
Jonathan Davis in St. John.
Munky. St. John.
Ray. St. John.
Fieldy. St. John.

A quick lap of the Know? Show.

Grabbed Dingo in the Monster Energy truck yesterday morning and headed over to the Know?Show at the Vancouver Convention Center. He woke up in New York and by the end of the day was in Utah. Jebus, that’s some travel day. Danny came in later, just as Dingo was heading back to the airport.

Lots of good stuff going on at the Know?Show. Jamie Lynn, Peter Line and Muska sightings were keeping people on their toes. I spent about 4 hours running into people and having some meetings. Here are some of the folks I had a chance to talk to.

Serfas, once again.
Andrew Hicks is one of my oldest friends, and I never see him anymore.
Jesse Fox. Thumbs up.
Jeff Keenan.
Dingo takes a load off at the Grenade booth.
Endeavor’s Max Jenke was in a good mood.
and Rob Dow was excited to show off his new ideas in board design.
Sat down with Mikey Scott from DC. Cool things coming soon.
TJ Schneider is awesome.
Danny Kass releases some stress with a squishy grenade.
Jason “JD” Demers was in fine form. Had the Muska in the house signing stuff.
Daryl Trinidad is awesome.
Photographer Geoff Andruik wants to show you his package.
A brief Romain de Marchi encounter.
JF Pelchat has some cool things in the works these days.
Dustin Craven shows off his signature glove.
Benji Ritchie was also there.
The inimitable smile of Chris Dufficy.
Travis Williams in a reflective mood.
I think Danny just comes to Canada for the Ceasars. And to embarrass Libby.
Dickson Li hard at work. No seriously. Not at an event, at work. I know, I’m surprised too.

Chainsaw, cut wood.

One more of Rob and his chainsaw.


And what they do together:


Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival 2010

It’s sunny and warm in Whistler today and the place is packed. I’ve been working on the Grenade Games all year and now we’re only a couple days away. I got into town Friday and within 15 minutes had an adult Monster bevy in hand and was getting settled. Danny and Dingo and the boys made it into town before me so we hooked up for some dinner, few more drinks and lots of stories and catching up. Being that I’m old, my liver wasn’t really keeping up and pretty soon I lost the battle. I found myself in Sushi Village (again) catching up with old friends and warming up with some sake. I think you see where this is going.

As the restaurant was closing I grabbed my coat and headed for the door, almost made it out too, but just then my friend
Gribbon dragged me back inside and a giant dumbo sized bottle was placed on the table. Don’t really recall how the rest of the night went but I spent Saturday a complete write-off watching Mantracker in the hotel room.

The Telus Whistler Ski and Snowboard Festival is back my friends, and whether you’re celebrating a great winter or just happy it’s over, there is no better place to be this week than Whistler, British Columbia.

Tomorrow’s weather is looking a little grim but it should get better as the week goes on. Come on up and play.

I came up with this new thing

So last year at the Grenade Games we did a damn good job of showing everyone out in the snowboard industry how much fun we were having. It was a ton of work and by the end we were justifiably proud. In the months that followed, people emulated our strategy and even our style and I thought it was al very flattering. It also highlighted something that I thought was missing and that was interaction for all the people that couldn't make it to the event. Sure they could watch, but I wanted them to feel more involved.


To give the masses some control from far away, I decided to do something new. Partly based on the fact that every single day kids are uploading short videos that they've made from their local hills or from their trips, I decided to provide all of our raw clips from the Grenade Games every day and let people edit their own remixed version of our daily videos. Every day we'll highlight our favourite, or the funniest, or whatever, and at the end we'll award prizes from Grenade for the best video.

I decided to call it Remote Control, cuz you know, people get to have some control, from remote places...

Give it a look and tune in between the 20th and 25th of April to watch what happens.


Monster, Nike, Olympics, History, Keynotes...just a normal couple weeks.

What a crazy couple of weeks.

It goes without saying, but during the Olympics the eyes of the world were on Vancouver. There was so much going on that it was almost impossible to keep track, so here is a little wrap-up of the projects I was involved with.

I worked with Monster to put on a series of parties at Grouse Mountain, the highlight of which was Live Transmission. It took place the night of the Men's halfpipe contest and featured Mixologist Darryl McDonald from Port Restaurant in Toronto creating adult beverages from behind a custom ice bar, and Chicago MC Kid Sister who blew everyone away with her set.

Over on Mt. Seymour, I was working with Nike 6.0 to document the installation of their "Greatest Hits" park. The idea was to give locals a place that they could hit up some really iconic urban jibs in one setting. the 6.0 crew did an amazing job on recreating a version of the Quebec Red Ledge a few weeks ago, and then smack dab in the middle of the Olympics they unleashed a perfect replica of the infamous Burlington double set that has been featured in shred flicks for years. With the video I set out to do an opening segment that could be mistaken for a true urban setup, and then reveal it to be part of the greatest hits park. Since a couple Olympians dropped by we had a ton of issues with clearance, but eventually it got done and released. I like the opening. We did a ski and a snowboard edit, here is the ski edit.

I spoke a bit here about the Aries 2010 project that I was involved with, that took place right in the middle of all the Olympic madness as well. Here is a shot from Trevor Graves, and the video of the project. I can't say enough about being able to speak at this event, the people involved are just so top notch and the idea behind it is overdue. Thanks Trevor for thinking of me.


I also managed to sneak in some actual Olympics. In fact, I was somehow lucky enough to attend the single biggest hockey game of my lifetime, the Canada vs. USA gold medal game. I've never been so consumed with a sporting event. As someone who came a little late to hockey fan-dom, I have certainly embraced it now. There are some shots on my flickr, and here are a couple to tease you.

Team Canada sings the anthem
crosby waves the flag

And now it's on to the Grenade Games. You'll start seeing more from me on that by the end of the week. Stay tuned...

The Nike and Nemo Aries 2010 project

A few months back my old friend Trevor Graves from Nemo asked me to be involved with a project that he was putting together. It's called Aries2010 and it is a time capsule to chronicle historical artifacts from the progression of snowboarding. At first he just asked me to submit some photography, which of course I was happy to do, but as the date of the opening reception came closer he asked if I would be a keynote speaker with Legend Terry Kidwell. That was an easy decision despite the fact that I've been underwater with other projects in the run-up to the Olympics.

As I walked in the door last night I began to understand the scope of what Trevor had undertaken. He spent months talking to many of the players and original characters from snowboarding and collecting many of the most significant bits and pieces of detritus from our culture. There are more memories in that room than you can imagine including many prototypes of influential boards, boots and bindings. Obviously it's not all going to fit into the Aries capsule, but everything has been documented and will be included as well as some select items.

I was honored to say a few words and show a quick slideshow that did its best to shed some light on my perspective of the history of Canadian snowboarding, but I was most honored to be able to introduce Terry Kidwell. His influence on snowboarding can't be understated. He was a critical participant in the design of the first kicktail that ushered in the concept of riding both ways on a board, and then he took that design to the hills and basically invented freestyle snowboarding. Terry never made a fortune from his snowboard career so he's auctioning some of the most photographed boards in the history of snowboarding. A semi-tragedy that is all too common with athletes in young sports. I know he appreciated the turnout last night and young shredders and pros alike were literally lining up to shake his hand and let him know how big a deal he is to them. I saw more than one person stand speechless in front of him.

Here are some photos, I wish I had more time too shoot but I was kept busy most of the night. The whole set is on Flickr. My pal Mark Gribbon shot the photo wall all night and you can see those shots here. If you can get your hands on the Aries book, it is a remarkable document and will be going in my permanent collection. (Right next to Out West, which I gave out quite a bit last night too) If you are in Vancouver before the 19th you pretty much have to go down to the Boardroom and check this out. the closing reception is on Friday and the always entertaining Ken Ach will be speaking.

Trevor's "misty cam". Many photogs in the mid 90's would have given a digit to see this little number.
Trevor and Ken Achenbach in front of the actual capsule.
Shaun Palmer's infamous gold victory suit.
Ken Ach checks out the Kidwell quiver. The best snowboard shots of the 80's were taken on these boards.
John Kamitakahara is a long time Vancouver snowboarder, photographer and unintentional archivist. He was stoked to meet Kidwell.
Annie Boulanger is Rider of the year. What you know bout dat?
Terry talks to a rapt audience.
Former SBC editor and current Push.ca editor Matt Houghton with legend Chris Nicholls.
Kidwell and Kevin Sansalone compare notes.


Nike 6.0 greatest hits.

One of the things I've been working on lately is a park installation at Mt. Seymour for Nike 6.0. The idea is to take iconic urban features and build them in one place. In an Olympic year, a lot of kids find themselves either unable or uninterested in participating in any of the Olympic shenanigans so this whole thing is for them. By the time the "Greatest Hits" park is done you will be able to go up Seymour and ride facsimiles of three legendary spots that have seen a lot of coverage in ski and snowboard media over the years.

We started with the Quebec's Red Ledge. It was made by the folks at snowpark solutions and installed on the 28th of January and then on Saturday the 30th was opened to the public. The Nike 6.0 version of the Red Ledge is a little smaller and a little less steep than the real thing, but it's been awesome to see people come out and take a swing at it. Here is Duff testing it out.


You can check all of Geoff Andruik's photos from the Red Ledge Jam here and the video that we made here.

The next event is coming up on February 20th. We're recreating the famous Burlington High rail but this time there will be no concessions on size. This thing is going to be Identical. Come check it out or sign up for the jam. We're going to have some very special guests there with all the heads in town for the Olympics.

Catch a glimpse of the real one here (especially ender shots) and here

Winter work sets in.

Now it can be told...

So I started to work with my old friends at Monster again last week. As longtime followers of the blog know, I've been doing all kinds of different media projects in the last few years as a way to keep myself challenged and to continue to add experiences to my list. After the success of the Grenade Games last spring, Monster was nice enough to have me back to work on through the Olympic year. Which brings me to this event. I'm afraid that I can't give anything away yet because details are being pounded out as we speak, but suffice it to say, for all the people who can't afford, or don't want to attend the Olympics, we're going to make sure that there is an event you can get stoked on at the same time.

Stay tuned for details, this one is going to be good.

Oh ya, and then I'll be working on Grenade Games 6 too. My liver hurts already.

Also. I've been taking pictures of the buildings on my walk to and from the Monster Office for a long time now. Eventually the plan is to have photos of every building on the west side of Main, from Alexander to the viaduct, in all sorts of different media (35mm film, digital, large format, paint, whatever) and line em all up on a white wall somewhere so you can experience my walk to work. I'm hoping to get it done some time in 2010. I've been posting a bunch of stuff on flickr lately too. Weird.

121, 123 Main Street. Vancouver, BC.
229, 231 Main Street. Vancouver, BC.

Back from Maui, on to the real world.

Back from my trip to Maui to celebrate my one year anniversary. We had a great 10 days in the sun and spent most of it underwater with our friends Gabe and Sarah. The highlight of the week, aside from the obvious milestone of the first year of marriage, was spending 15 minutes around 85 feet underwater with 30 foot long whale shark. This is the biggest fish in the ocean and for most of us, a once in a lifetime experience. Having spent a bunch of time in Utila, my wife T had snorkeled with Whale Sharks on numerous occasions, but to be deep underwater with one, and have it hang around, is rare and we are still amazed by our luck. I didn't have an underwater camera rig on this trip so you'll have to settle for the flickr group that was taken by our divemaster Joe. Thanks to Ed Robinson's dive operation, this is the second year we've done our boat dives with them and they are a solid operation with great people. We did around a dozen shore dives over the course of the week too, and we rented our tanks from B & B scuba in Kihei. They're a really great shop and nice people who took care of us last year and again this year.

For my scuba geek friends, you'll be stoked that we saw over a dozen different nudibranchs, some of which are unnamed and still unknown, eagle rays, more turtles than you could count, huge and tiny scorpionish, devil, leaf, and more, tons of frogfish, one of them even freeswimming, lots of whitetip sharks and some grey reef sharks, that I missed but everyone else saw, tons of different eels including dwarf, whitemouth, yellow margin, zebra and tiger moray, and just about every tropical fish you can imagine.

Here are some shots from the trip.


The "Sea Spirit", our trusty ride.
Kits on board.
Sunset from Wailea
Part of a beautiful drive on our way to a remote shore dive.
On our way to the Mala ramp shore dive.
Rays over the water, rays under the water.
Legendary Hawaiian diver Ed Robinson.

Tonight is the night

It's been about 18 months since Westbeach first came to me with the idea of writing a book for their 30 year anniversary. Even though the book has been shipped to a bunch of media outlets, the actual big boxes of books only got here on Wednesday, which is lucky considering that tonight is the party to celebrate the launch of "Out West". I'm looking forward to seeing so many of the people who have been involved as well as a bunch of old friends.

We're starting things off with a private dinner for the people who've made this happen, then off to the Red Bull lounge for a VIP mixer with a bunch of awesome people from Westbeach's history as well as Canadian snowboarding legends, and finally we end up at Fortune Soundclub, Vancouver's new hip spot to keep it going.

If you've been following the Westbeach Heritage project then you've probably seen the videos (here, here and here) and maybe you've flipped through the first chapter of the book online here, but you certainly haven't seen all these folks in one place at one time in the last 15 years. Old dogs and young shreds all mixing it up together. Awesome.




Bowman may even show. BOWMAN!
Nix is coming.
Anyone seen Alex Toporowski?
Of course Cartwright will be there.
Belzile? Check.


SBC Cover

I got an email from Sarah Conrad just before I went to bed the other night. You remember her, we talked about her back here in April. She dropped a line to say "thanks" for the shot we got published. I hadn't heard anything or seen anything so it came as a bit of a surprise to find that it was the cover of the Snowboard Canada Women's Annual.

It's always nice to get a cover shot but I especially like this one. I had a good feeling about her Japan to fakie as soon as we shot it which is probably why I wrote that blog. I got the pdf from John Scarth at SBC today but I still don't have the issue in my hands. Gribbon has three copies though so hopefully I'll get my greasy hands on one soon. Here it is.

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The book. It exists. And folks are talking.

Well! The advance copies of my book "Out West: Snowboarding, Westbeach and a new Canadian dream." have hit some media outlets and all I can say is wow! Great reviews. People are stoked. I'm stoked. Everybody's happy!

I want to talk more about it but I'm swamped in this edit right now. I have a lot of stuff I want to blog about so stay tuned for some recently published shots that I'm stoked of, some of my opinionated rants, and Way more pictures. Until then read the reviews:



Buy it!

I stole this photo from Transworld.


Yesterday was the last day of the catalog shoot I've been working on. We shot a little bit of bouldering around the base of the Squamish Chief, a huge chunk of granite that is a climbing mecca. Despite some problems in the morning, by sunset we were making some nice pictures. I wish I had another week in there, there is so much to shoot. Look forward to another job that has climbing involved, I have some great ideas.




So today was the Mountain Biking portion of the catalog shoot that I'm doing. It was really dark all day so we had to light everything and the priority for the brand is to show the clothes, so we weren't dealing with super gnar riding. Still it was really fun and Eric got to bust out a bit at the end.






Shot some paddlers on Friday. Here are some outtakes. Off to shoot some bikes today. Cheers.





Home. Finishing some things and starting some others.

"Whoa. Are you still here? Wow. Nice to see you. Me? I've been away. In Roatan, Honduras. Ya, there was a "coup". Big Earthquake too. How big? 7.1! I know, it was crazy. Well, between that and the swine flu scare the tourists pretty much stopped coming. Ya, that's why I'm on my way back to Vancouver. Just in time for the salmon in the rivers and the leaves to change colour. I'm hoping for an indian summer, I love Vancouver in September.

Pictures? Sure, I took some. Not as many as i would have liked, the divemaster training kept me from shooting much and then I started to work leading divers and couldn't take a camera along. Ya, it was a bit of a bummer, but I was happy for the chance to get some experience.

What now? Well I have a couple of interesting job offers and it's an Olympic year so there will be lots of things to shoot, but truthfully, I'm mostly just looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and catching up with friends. Yes, of course I'll start writing regularly again. Having reliable electricity and internet makes blogging a lot easier.

Well thanks, I'm glad to see you again too. Talk soon."




Thanks very much

I need to say some thank you's before I move on from the Grenade Games stuff and get back to our regular programming.

This was a new stage in my career, I went from simply being a photographer covering events to running a team of people to cover GG5. Before it started none of us had worked as a team, so to have been as successful as we were was a testament to hard work and good luck combined with a bunch of solid groundwork.

Jay Vaillancourt built and maintained our site with little direction and a healthy dose of self motivation. Jay takes what you think about Web geeks and throws it out the window. He is straight metal and an intimidating looking dude, but don't be afraid, he rolls with the punches (and drunk dudes knocking on his door at 3AM) and keeps everything running. Couldn't have done it without him. Thank you.

Damon Pyett from Coastal Riders is a freak of nature. He brought together a crew of fimers who, if they walked into a meeting you might laugh out of the place, but then you'd be an idiot. Jeff Keenan, Matt Standish, and Mike Fikowski worked their asses off shooting pretty much around the clock to get our edits up faster than people could believe. We set out to raise the bar and we did because of these guys. Thank you.

In front of the camera and keeping busy behind the scenes as well, Joanna Majcherkiewicz, came into our team as a sort of floating media expert but quickly found her role. She was tireless, fearless, hilarious, and pro in the face of a daunting schedule and a generally crazy scene. I still can't pronounce her last name, but I sure know how to say thanks. Thank you.

Russell Dalby has been shooting events for Monster for a long time, but this time he truly upped his game. His shots from the Poker Final Table really stand out to me. The fact that he managed to stay mostly sober this whole week totally amazes me. Most of the photos you see on the web were taken by Russell and he deserves high praise. Thank you.

We also got some filming from Rob Picard although he wisely kept his distance from the mad media room most of the week. Thanks Rob.

The Canadian Monster team is the best group of people to work with in the game. They are patient, persistent and resilient. They also brought the soul back to an event that badly needed it. Anyone who doubts their commitment to making action sports a better place is way out of line. In it for the right reasons. Libby Everest is strength personified. She takes no shit, makes no excuses and is completely on point. Friend crush. Nelson Phillips is a visionary dude, make no mistake. He saw the writing on the wall for the TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival and set out to do nothing short of remake it. Mission accomplished. Thank you for getting me involved.

Dave Phillips and Paul Rak are the boots on the ground and I often think that they work harder than anyone. They also play harder. Honorable mention goes to Brad Broughton who was right there with them almost every step of the way. So were Amy Huddle and Lindy Thomson who made sure so many things were taken care of, and always with a smile. Thank you all.

I'm really impressed with Danny Kass and Kevin Casillo from Grenade. They decided to take the Grenade Games bigger and international this year, and they trusted us to do it up right. They were nothing but gracious and grateful and it made dealing with them and fulfilling their vision really painless. I've worked with so many prima donna pro snowboarders before, and to deal with someone who is at the top of the game but still does it for all the right reasons is truly encouraging. Kevin is like some kind of soul mate from across the continent. Instant friends, intelligent conversations way into the night, awesome. As the week wore on and I got stuck in the media world more, I didn't get to spend as much time with them, but still, we had a great week.

I've saved the best for last. Nobody put in more hours or worked harder than Clayton Larsen from Sandbox. He is the amazing editor that put together all the videos. He brought good ideas and great technical skill to the table, did revisions quickly and without complaint, and worked just an unbelievable amount. You can see that he has gained a ton of experience in the Sandbox camp, and he's clearly unflappable. Clayton man, you get the biggest THANK YOU of the week.

Around this time last year I was writing this. The most important line of that was "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."

What do you have to say? Did we do it?

Joanna M and Damon. Can I get you some sunscreen Damon? Joanna M photo.
Dalby always looks like this in photos.
Biggest Canucks fan ever? Possibly. Nelson Phillips is the captain of the ship. Don't kiss any pigs in Mexico.
Radical dude. Just ask his ass. My favourite grenerd Kevin Casillo and me at Sushi Village.
Libby and Jay at Sushi Village. Jay is the man.
Friends. Libby and me at the skate jam
And this drink means it's over. Oh wait, Danny just bought a round of shots? Oh shit.

Grenade Games day 5 and all the crazy video movies...

I'm poking my head out to say hi to everyone. The Grenade Games are a rolling ball of madness and destruction. The parties every night and the hilarious events are way beyond what my fragile soul was prepared for but I like to think I'm rallying to the cause. My liver hasn't taken this kind of abuse in years.

The halfpipe finals are on now, I'm uploading photos from the rock party last night that SBC and Monster threw. The video is going to be as hilarious as the Grenade Games opening night at sushi village video. You can see all of em here.

Wish me luck. In 48 hours it will all be over.

John, Scott and Mat rock out.
Aliens are real.
My favourite hair metal rocker of the week
The dancefloor was madness. Especially for Slayer, Angel of Death.

Monster Grenade Games 5 - Day 4 from monster dano on Vimeo.


Grenade Games updates

What an insane week this has been so far. This basically the first time I've had a second to pause and update here since I've been doing all my updates over at the Monster Site. (blog, galleries, video) The Grenade Games started off with a bang and they have been loads and loads of fun. The moguls are going on right now, and unfortunately we went from sunny slush yesterday to cold overnight, so it's hard as a rock up there. Luckily the weather is going to get back to warm and sunny soon.

Here is a video from the opening party. We're doing tons of posts so if you want to know what's happening in Whistler this week check it out. I'm a twittering little fool too, so if you need instant updates you can follow me @dspphoto.

Grenade Games 5 - Night 1 from monster dano on Vimeo.

I can't give you guys any promises about updates for the rest of the week so drop by the Monster site if you are into that sort of thing.


Grenade Games 5 is on

Registration day. Grenade Games 5 is on!


Westbeach Heritage video number one is alive!

The first of several videos for the Westbeach Heritage Project is up. It's essentially a teaser for what is to come. It's fun for me to see so much of the work that I've done over the last year put together in video form. We hired Lenny Rubenovitch to produce the series and I think he's done a really great job. Check it out:

The Heritage Teaser from Lenny Rubenovitch on Vimeo.

While you're in Whistler for the Grenade Games you should check out the "State of the Art" show at the Whistler Conference Center. Westbeach has a heritage display there featuring a bunch of my old shots and best of all, the Classic Westbeach video "Virus" is playing. Watch all the way through for one of the few video parts I ever had as a sponsored shredder. I laughed my ass off when I watched it there, it's been 15 years since I've seen it.

Speaking of the
Grenade Games, the riders are starting to show up already and Monster's takeover of the Adara hotel is almost complete. More green M's than you can shake a dead cat at. Come on up and check it out!


Sarah Conrad and Grenade Games

I was shooting with the WVSC today in the Blackcomb pipe and met our Canadian National Halfpipe Champion, Sarah Conrad. She's really nice and she threw down for my camera for awhile. Here is a sweet Japan to fakie. As we get closer to the Olympics I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more of her name.

Throws down...
and super pretty. This girl has a future.

We're charging into the Grenade Games now and soon I'll be blogging on a different site for he duration of the event. I'll post a link when it goes live.




Park photos from blackcomb, video.

Yesterday I shot photos in the Blackcomb Terrain Park. It was sunny, hot as heck and super, super fun. Mark Gribbon assisted, he's awesome. Rob Picard from the WVSC came along and shot video and then stayed up late putting it together. That was super nice of him and because of his hard work now you can watch a day at work with Dano. You'll have to wait for the photos until after Whistler/Blackcomb gets to see them.

Thanks to Dan Stubbs, Robjn Taylor and Mark Sollors who hiked a lot for me.

Enjoy Quicktime:

Or Youtube:


Brian Savard

Snowboarding is timeless.


Life Photos, Snowboarding, and other stuff.

Just after I started writing this blog I got a call fro the New Westminster police to tell me that my truck had been recovered, a week to the day since it was stolen from in front of my building. There is some damage but it looks like I will be getting it back. It remains to be seen how long that will take and what condition it will be in. Of course my sled is gone. I'm going to have to eat that loss and it completely sucks. If anybody is looking at a really good deal on a 2007 skidoo summit 600, please take a close look at the VIN and give me a call or drop me a line.

I shot a couple things over the weekend including the Showdown over the City and was going to show some photos but I suddenly don't care that much. Instead I'll show you this:

Life magazine is allowing bloggers and non-commercial web folks to use images from their archives free of charge, a very interesting move.


Sorry this took a whole day to get up. Better late than never.

Thank you very much to everyone who came out to my opening at the Blake Jorgenson Gallery on Saturday night. It was extremely well attended as was the party after at the Firerock. Special thanks go to Libby, Dave, Paul and Nelson from Monster. Scott Arkwell and Mat the Alien who kept the place rockin' all night long and longer, Holly and Joey at the gallery, Russell Dalby who shot photos at the party (you can see them here) and all the people who donated spinal cord research through Murray Siple and the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion. We raised around 500 dollars and I'm really stoked on that. I'll let you know the exact amount when I count it later tonight. I especially want to thank my wife T who has to put up with all the chaos in my life.

Highlights of the night for me were seeing unexpected old friends like Don Schwartz and Scott Murray as well as JF Pelchat, Shin Campos (who brought his two week old daughter Cora!), David Aubry, Stu and Abby who managed to show even though we didn't think they could make it, Gerhard Gross, Michelle and Ryan from Whistler/Blackcomb
and lots of photogs like John Scarth from SBC, Phil Tifo, Mark Gribbon, Eric Berger, and Jeff Patterson who narrowly avoided a huge avalanche earlier in the day.

Damon from Coastal Riders was there with a ton of the Party Snake kids and they kept the management worried, Gnarcore was in the place too, with Brockelbank having the most fun of anyone grilling Murray about his old snowboard movies and Rouleau sporting a trainwreck of a haircut.

Good times had by all, lots of telegrams and roses from folks who couldn't make it, and I even managed to get up the mountain to shoot a couple photos and ride all day Sunday. The show runs till April 15th so drop by and take a look.

Nelson, Libby, Paul and Dave. The Monster crew. "New rule: shiny backgrounds" Russell Dalby photo.
I carried this thing around till it was heavy and full of money. Russell Dalby photo.
Jim Barnum showed up sporting an original shirt from the first Westbeach classic at Cypress in 1989! Still neon after all these years.
This was the last shot I took in the Gallery after it opened. Then it got busy and I started shmoozing...

Showtime at last.

Well folks, today is the day. I'm just finishing up the final details for the opening party tonight and getting ready for the good times. Thanks so much to the folks at Monster Energy who are supporting this exhibit and Holly at the Blake Jorgenson Gallery who has been burning the candle on both ends and still made time to hang all the photos with me yesterday. All I can say is, I wish I had more space. I would love to show about three times as many photos as I'm finally able to, but that's the deal.

We're going to try to help my friend Murray Siple raise some money for spinal cord research tonight so please bring at least a twoonie to throw in the jar or go here if you can't make it. I know that we're really close to being able to treat injuries like Mur's and every little bit helps. That way, when you see him walking through the village in a few years you can take a tiny little bit of pride that you helped make that happen. This isn't a question of "if" anymore, just a question of "when" and the sooner it happens the sooner the life of Mur and thousands of others will improve.

Ok, I have to go sign a bunch of prints. Check out some more of the coverage here, here, and even here.


Hard times for young photographers

I mentor a few young photographers and more and more, I'm hearing how tough it is to break into the photo world. This isn't news and it isn't surprising, but this post today on A Photo Editor really drove it home. Today I feel lucky to have some solid clients and diverse interests.

I used to tell anyone who asked that snowboard photography was the best job in the world, and at times it can be, but the truth of the matter is that to make it, you have to get published, and the magazines in the snowboard world are in a state of semi-panic as their page counts drop and their corporate bosses tighten the belts. They are forced to do more with less, and since there is little money to develop the web, it becomes underfunded, even though it is clearly the future of media.

Young photographers have always been taken advantage of and it's hard to say no to someone when you are hungry, but these days it's not even like the rates are too low, it's more like there are no rates. I wouldn't mind so much, because everyone can just say no to a bad deal and walk away, but when editors at magazines bully young photographers into giving away their shots for free with threats of blackballing them, things have gone too far.

The stage is set for the demise of paper magazines. At the very least we will see the herd thinned down to one or two titles in snowboarding. Evolution is coming to the shred media and it will come, like all good things, from the bottom up. Behind closed doors, photographers, designers and writers are already planning the next step. We'll soon see the day where publishing bullies are left impotent at the helm of a media ship that has sailed. Then they will have to take a long hard look at how they have treated their young peers.

I've never believed in the theory of stepping on heads to get ahead. I think that today more than ever, the idea of coopetition makes more sense. Also, the idea that poor young photographers should be funding multi-million dollar publishing conglomerates is just abhorrent. I hope that young shooters will stand up for themselves and not get bullied into giving away their shots for free. There is a time and a place for that, but it's called charity, not career. And you magazine editors flexing on these new kids should be ashamed. Especially the ones who were photographers first. This is straight out of Orwell's Animal Farm. Power corrupts eh boys?

"How to start a Home-Based Photography Business"


Hey folks,

On March 21st I'll be having an opening at the Blake Jorgenson Gallery in Whistler. I've decided on most of the photos I'm showing, but wanted to leave a spot open for you guys. Take a minute and look through the galleries and leave a comment or shoot me an email and let me know what you think should be included or what shouldn't. We're keeping it to winter shots, and mostly action. If you remember a shot that you always loved and isn't up here at www.danopendygrasse.com let me know and maybe we'll bring it back for you.

Thanks for all the support. I love that so many of you are visiting this website and following the blog.



Protect our Winters

Over the holidays I donated some photos to a collab between Origin Design and POW (Protect our Winter), the environmental charity promoted by Jeremy Jones. I like working with the people at Origin, they are extremely professional and in the action sports industry, that's a refreshing change.

I'm an opinionated guy but I don't preach often. I feel like unless you are a perfect example, it's very hard to tell anyone else what to think or do. I'm pretty far from perfect. I use transit, I walk and bike, I recycle, I try to get my food from local sources, but I also take planes to far off places several times a year, drive a 2 stroke snowmobile (although less and less), and I'm sure that if someone took a good hard look at my life they could find a lot of ways that I could live a better, more environmentally responsible life.

So I donated some photos to people who are working harder at it than I am. If you have time, take a look at what they are doing, maybe you will find something
worthwhile there.



Cal B.C. becomes Westbeach

Westbeach grew out of Canada's fascination with California and everything it represented. If Chip had decided to sell shorts with an Eastern European theme we wouldn't be talking today.

Here are some things from the archives. First is an article clippped out of the Calgary Herald from Chip's personal stash from about 1983 or 84.


Next is one of Chip's early business cards.


And finally an old sticker. This sticker is significant because it is a snapshot of the moment in time when Cal B.C. became Westbeach. It's cool to see the single surfer logo that preceded the "three surfers" that everyone knows. Also, Westbeach was never really known for its involvement in skating despite having sold the product for years so it's cool to see the "Westbeach Skate Lounge".


Finally, here is an excerpt from the book that talks about some of those times. Enjoy:

As the kids started to pick up on snowboarding, the retailers inevitably followed—even if they were a little skeptical about the new sport at first. Scott Sibley worked with Chip for Dome petroleum and he also had a business selling sailboats in Vancouver. He was the first to sell Chip’s shorts in BC and as they became more popular his business changed from sailboats to surf and skateboard brands. He and his partner Richard Mellon had a little pink house on 4th Ave. that they called Cal B.C. and they eventually formed a partnership with Chip and the store became Westbeach. Scott remembers his first impressions of snowboarding:

It was so good for us, because all the young guys [were] coming into the store going, “Oh, have you heard of snowboarding?”—you know, bringing input to us—and we’re going, “Oh, really?!” There was a kid called Kelly Alm and he was just on us like crazy about this new thing called snowboarding. He brought in this—it was the Burton with the medical-hose bindings and all of this stuff—and he goes, “Check this out!” And you look at it and you go, “Are you serious?” But, you know, that was my first discussion about snowboarding. And it comes through a kid.

Of course, once Westbeach started to carry boards, things really started to pick up steam. I asked early Westbeach team rider Paul Culling about discovering snowboarding and the role that the shops played in the sport’s development:

I went to Cal BC, which was a little pink house [on 4th Avenue in Vancouver]. It was a California-inspired clothing store, and then downstairs in the basement there was a skate shop, so we used to go over there. It was probably just a matter of hearing that there was a shop in Vancouver that sold some kind of snowboard…When you were a kid and you were skateboarding, you would take the bus clear across to—I mean it—two hours to go to a skate shop, not even if you had any money, [but] just to stare at the new decks on the wall, right? And that’s the kind of feeling of this passion that you have, and you want to go in and you want to talk to somebody else. Back then if you were to see somebody else on a snowboard, anybody to do with snowboarding, you would immediately just talk because you wanted to share experiences—“Where have you gone? What have you done? What are you riding?”—because it was all so new. I mean, everything was new.

In 1987 Cal BC officially became the Westbeach Surf Company, and the store moved out of the little pink house and into the spot that would be the center of the Westbeach brand for more than twenty years: 1723 West 4th Ave.

- From the soon to be published "Out West: Snowboarding, Westbeach and a new Canadian dream"

Mountain Photographer, Portrait Photographer, Snowboard Photographer...

I've had a lot of feedback to a recent article I wrote for Snowboard Canada Magazine. The funny thing about my career as a photographer is that it came out of my desire to be a writer. In the end I'm doing both but I've met so many good writers over the years that I can't take that side of my career as seriously as the photography.

In any case, SBC had been asking me to write something for their "RANT" column for a long time and I had been trying to avoid it because as I get more experience I realize that I don't want to invest in negative energy and would rather keep it positive. They persisted and one day one I was feeling particularly snarky I pounded out 750 words or so for the column. Now when I write something for a magazine, I do it so that it will be an excuse to run one of my photos. That's a dirty little secret in our world, if you can write, you'll get published more. That's all there is to it.

Anyhoo, the article came out and John Scarth used his own shot to illustrate it. Irony.

Here is the article in case you missed it:

Keep it to yourself.
For a long time now I’ve been known as an opinionated guy. Part of the punk rock chip on my shoulder still survives from my teens and as much as I mellow with age, there is a bitter cynic lurking just below the surface. I don’t really let that guy out much anymore. I’ve come to realize that when you invest in the negative energy, all you get is negative results.
But sometimes things just Piss. Me. Off.
I’m working on a book right now, and it’s about the history of our sport, and about the Westbeach company. It’s been really interesting to dig into the vaults and get to know where we came from a bit more. I mean, I lived it, but I was also a teenager and some of those years are a little blurry. So I’m looking at the pictures and stories with fresh eyes and let me tell you something - our history is something to be proud of.
But then somewhere along the line things changed. In the late 90’s there was a lot of consolidation of brands. Little guys either banded together with bigger guys, or they went out of business. Ski companies smelled money and moved in. People with real money, like
Trump money, started looking at snowboarding like it was the next big, great investment. Some of them bought in too.
So what pisses me off? The culture that killed the Westbeach Classic pisses me off. It was the best snowboard event in Canada. Some people think it was the best event in the world. And it went away. Why did it go away? Because Westbeach got bought, sold, cut up into pieces, and eventually two groups of people who had nothing to do with the original company, snowboarding, or the heritage of the sport, and only cared about bottom lines, signed an absolutely horrendous contract and pulled the bloody pumping heart out of the company. And they didn’t even know that they were doing irreparable damage to Canadian snowboarding. Didn’t even care. It pisses me off that they were ever even
allowed to be in a position to make decisions that affected our sport and our future. Of course they are going to do the wrong thing, they have no vested interest in the sport. So how in the world did venture capitalists and corporations get control of our future? We gave it to them.
When a company reaches a certain size, it becomes too expensive for them to keep doing business without outside money. Outside money doesn’t just grow on trees so when you get big enough and want to take it to the next level, chances are you will have to make a deal with the devil. Lots of snowboard companies made these deals to try to grow into a bigger company, but take a look around the landscape of Canadian snowboard history and you will see it littered with the bodies of companies that couldn’t make it work. Storm, Treeline, Rev, Or:g, Limited, Luxury, to name a few, and that’s just some of the board companies that come to mind.  So why am I mad? Am I some sort of class warrior socialist hero? No. I’m not that guy. But I am patriotic, and even more, I’m a snowboarder who cares about the future of Canadian snowboarding.
We need more Canadian snowboard brands. And we need companies that can say no to a bad deal and manage their growth. Anyone can go buy snowboarding culture at the mall every day, and instead of being a reflection of the people who live it, these days it’s just being force fed to them. I don’t want focus group tested colour ways. I don’t want 5 companies selling the same red and black striped jacket year after year. What I do want is individuals to make things that are unique. I want for them to get noticed for that, maybe get a little credit for that, and not get ripped off by some multi-national corporation. I want regional diversity. I want the people I meet on the road to look different from the people I meet at home. I want arrogant heroes and unapologetic badass locals. I want them to invent trends, grow them, and then when they're ready - unleash their culture on the clones.
Mostly I want riders to care enough to buy something local, something Canadian or even better I want you all to quit fucking buying “cool” at the mall and start making it yourself.
- dano

A photographer and sometimes social commentator, dano has been called both unapologetic and arrogant.
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Recent Work, Westbeach Heritage book, Grenade Games 5.

It has been pointed out to me that I should maybe showcase some of the things I've been up to lately. As you can see from the last blog, my last year has been really busy as well as really diverse in terms of the projects that I've taken on. I'm still waiting to get the hard copy of Whistler/Blackcomb's media kit to see the portraits I shot for it, but I'll show you some of the other things going on.

Go here to see the Westbeach Heritage blog. We'll be leaking bits and pieces from the book in the next six months as we lead up to the publication, as well as some things that didn't make the book that are super interesting.

Of course I'm
charging hard on my new project with Monster Energy and Grenade to bring the Grenade Games to Whistler for the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival. I'm really impressed that after voicing what a lot of people were thinking last year, that the TWSSF has taken an active stance to make a better festival and let me be a part of it. It's very much a "put up or shut up" situation and I've turned my focus to this for the season. Join the Facebook group here for updates.

I've had a bunch of work getting published in the last month or so too. Here is some of it that I like best:

The word "legend" makes me feel old. Snowboard Canada Mag.
Landvik rules. I'm glad Anon picked this shot.
Devun Walsh's interview in Frequency Mag is pretty great. It's a good issue and you all should pick it up.

Several steps

My life is getting torn in several directions lately. It's exciting to do new things and have new challenges, and it's also difficult to let other things wait.

Yesterday was the beginning of the media campaign to promote Grenade Games 5, this spring and it went very much according to plan. As the days move on we'll be bringing more information out and continuing to work to make sure that the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler is the best it has been in years.

On the other hand, the winter in BC has being very difficult and isn't cooperating in the making of snowboard photos. I find that to be frustrating. C'est la vie. Life moves on. Mine continues to be very, very interesting and unusual. As I shoot more and more in my neighbourhood, I am starting to really "see". Themes start to become obvious and I spend more time developing the ones that speak loudest to me. This is a long process and It's very interesting. The best part about it is that as you live longer, the things you see change. How you see changes. What is important to you personally and photographically change. This means I'm often dismissive of some of my past work as I move past it, and also some things from my past that didn't resonate with me immediately grow on me over time. My work evolves even after it's in the can.

As my snowboard photography suffers in a bad season, I become a better photographer.

Here are a couple shots from this week.

s canoe
dog run
casino bird


Back from a quick three days and two nights in Vegas. The SIA trade show is going to be in Denver next year so this is the end of a long stint of industry debauchery that is some people's yearly highlight. My mission was to spread the word about the Grenade Games coming to Whistler for the WSSF in April and generally show my face around and connect with folks. It was pretty successful, although it is definitely impossible to do everything you set out to at SIA. To all the folks I missed, sorry bout that, come to WSSF and I'll buy you a drink.

My overall impression of the snowboard industry is that it is remarkably optimistic and full of piss and vinegar despite the whole economy. Booths were full, stuff looked good, people were smiling and the general feeling I got from people was "what crisis?" All in all, it's nice to feel optimistic when the world seems so dreadful every day. There is really extensive coverage on boardistan and matt's blog and of course from our friends at Transworld Business so if you are interested in pictures of all the new stuff and whatnot, you should check them out.

the view from the palms' playboy bar or whatever.
Lana flips out. It's a noisy mess, i know, but she's rad so there you go.
dalby wins the g9 wars.

Speaking of optimism, this came over my blog reader today ( via pixsylated. thanks) and I thought I'd share it with you. It's a really simple concept that just works so well that it makes you stop and take a second look. Seriously cool.

Have an optimistic day.




On my way to Vegas. My 7:55 AM flight, that I got up at somewhere just after 5 to get to on time, was cancelled and I was rebooked on a flight at 11:50. That would have been ok I guess, but I got to spend over an hour on the tarmac too! Something about frozen toilets.

Here is a picture of Mathieu Crepel on a suspension bridge.


So much new stuff

There is so much going on these days I can barely take it. Exciting times in Danoland for sure. I've taken a new job which I will expand on in the next week or so, I'm getting down to the final phases of the Westbeach book and some of the people who have seen the rough layout are tripping, so that is encouraging. Getting set for Vegas next week, kinda last minute decision to go, due in large part to the new job. I feel really lucky to be in a position to have work, so many photographers are struggling this season and I'm finding that being versatile and able to do more than just click a shutter is helping me a lot. My relentless curiosity, as much as it drives my girl nits sometimes, is definitely an asset to my work.

I've been loosely working on a project for the last few years shooting portraits of the folks who work at dive shops. It's been cool to do something that is just for me and allows me to connect with new people outside the snow world. I put a small gallery up here, so if you have a minute take a look.

Seeya in Whistler or Vancouver or Vegas!



Heineken bottle. Police Yard, Vancouver.

Westbeach book

The cat is out of the bag.

So THAT is what I've been doing for the last six months!


heli dreams.

This is not where I am right now.


The grind, I'm back to it.

I just got back from Whistler this morning after a whirlwind tour. I had about a million things to get done up there including two shoots, and I think I got about 800 000 of them completed. The rest will have to wait till next trip. Highlights included some of the best wedding speeches I've ever heard, Sushi Village, summer shred (watch here for a Dano cameo), some family time ( I hauled rounds of firewood around for the old man), home cooking, quality time at the skatepark with old friend and legendary luddite Scotty (Vinyl Ritchie) Arkwell and Robby Picard of the WVSC, and working with some really great folks.

The best part by far was casting a dry line and watching a trout take my caddis pattern. I don't care that he was 8 inches long, and I don't care that my 15 year old waders are so leaky that I was soaked from the nipples down, because I was tossing flies like I never stopped, and man, I love me some fishing.

While I was gone Rob Haggart of the widely read blog "A Photo Editor" put out a posting with a listing of outdoor photographers. After a little bribe, he even included me.

So... good times in Whistler. It was cool to see Rich Carlson skate for a minute as well. Until he went to the medical clinic.


The end of the future

I've held off for a week talking about the demise of Future Snowboarding Magazine but it's sunday and I have a minute, and I've had some time to digest the news. I've spoken to most of the people there and although it was a huge shock, they are all moving forward - life goes on. That office was a really amazing place, it was full of some of the most interesting people I've met through snowboarding and it feels like beyond losing something we built, people are most disappointed that the "band" is getting broken up and won't get to play together anymore.

When FSM started, it was going to be the centerpiece of a group of action sports magazines, and Future US, the parent company, set up infrastructure to support that. The Solana Beach office was in a brand new building and was big enough to run several titles. That never happened, in fact the skateboard division, run by the incomparable Adam Sullivan never even became a viable division and was shut after the first season. When people read in the blogs that the reasons for closing FSM were financial, they assume that the magazine was failing, however that simply isn't the case. The magazine itself was growing again this year, it had new advertisers and bigger commitments from some of the existing advertisers. It was continuing to push forward with creative and interesting content and taken without the context of the action sports "group", could only be seen as a success. However...

Future US looked again at how much it would cost to build an entire action sports division, and decided they were no longer willing to spend that kind of money. Publishing is going through a transition right now, and you'd have to be blind not to see how precarious the magazine industry in general is. Money is getting pulled off the table every single day in favour of online, and other non traditional outlets and many people are waiting to see what the next big thing is going to be instead of investing in traditional print publications. Combine that with a really shaky world economy and you have the recipe for conservative decisions when it comes to expanding business.

Despite some incredibly challenging hurdles I was proud of what we did at FSM. The magazine wasn't for everyone, nothing is, but we worked really hard to put out something that was useful and entertaining and I would say that we accomplished that. We tried to subtly push the sport in directions that we wanted to see it go, and whether or not we accomplished that, I like what is going on in snowboarding now more than I did when we started FSM. We may never get credit for some of the changes, but if you look carefully at what trends emerged during the last three years, and look at the philosophy of our mag, you will find a lot of commonality.

So the public reaction has been interesting, a good friend of mine said to me this week "trust me, a magazine is never more popular than on the day it closes" and i guess we're seeing some of that. People have been very kind and generous in their assessment of Future's legacy, but I guess only time will tell how history views FSM. Somebody asked me this week "do you regret moving down there now that it's closed?" and I have to answer no. I worked with people who i will call friends for life, and I saw the other side of magazine production, which has made me a far better editorial photographer. It allowed me to have one of my most successful shooting seasons this past year, and I'm grateful for that.

It also made me trust big business less, which I didn't really think was possible, and I understand now how sometimes good people make really bad decisions, and how bad people are almost sociopathic in their lack of empathy for the humans surrounding them. Definitely the most tumultuous years of my life, I appreciate life now more. I'm a better photographer and a better person for having made that mag, and it all started in a shitty office in San Marcos looking like this:


I should note that I have been out of the office for just over a year, and was no longer privy to the day to day goings on of making FSM. I was still in close contact with the team though. My opinions are my own and if I've posted anything spurious, feel free to comment and correct me.


Checkin in.

Hi folks. Sorry it’s been so long, things have been busy around here negotiating and starting my new summer project. I’ve been hinting away at what it is for awhile, and you’ll all know soon, but for now I’ll give you this; it’s a book.

It’s been super rainy here for the last couple weeks and I haven’t been shooting much. Part of the process of the summer project is digging through the vaults and finding some old shots. Take a look and see if you can figure out what I’m up to…


Also, I've updated some shots in all the galleries and done some reorganizing of the site. A little less history and a little more recent stuff is up now. I need to do a big rebuild but with the new project that may be awhile, so for now I'm just grinding off the rough corners a bit.


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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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.


Waiting in the sun = never fun.

My crew for today did a pretty monster drive to get here and shoot in the sun. Unfortunately they didn't make it all the way. It's not a perfect day out there, but it's pretty nice, and I'm waiting. At least it gives me a little time to work on this last minute job that came up for this week. There is quite a bit to get organized in a short period of time so I'm doing a little scrambling. Well, to keep you occupied until then, here are some more G9 shots from around the hood last week.

Tinsletown. Watch your step.
The hood. Pretty stoked that I live here.Except that I'm in Whistler.
Flags and cranes around the Olympic village site.

Office Work comes calling

texture in the backcountry

So I've been back in the office due to some cloudy weather and it's been good to take care of some chores, get in touch with some people, and do some work on the site. Unfortunately I pretty much had to rebuild it after messing around with some things that I should never mess with...

Going through shots from the last month has been super fun and I've already had some people asking to get their hands on them. Patience will be rewarded. All shall be revealed in good time.

I always have my G9 with me and as a result I've been shooting tons of stuff on the street. Taken on their own, each shot has a short story, but when you see them develop over the course of a couple weeks they begin to show bigger themes. It's interesting. At least to me. I'll post a bunch next time.


Catching Up

What a crazy couple of weeks. Spent a really expensive week in Terrace, BC, with Standard Films, at Northern Escape Heli. We had one day that will be one of the best of the season, and a whole bunch that were much less productive. It was hard to come into a scene where they had just shot 9 out of 12 days and end up getting much less done, but that’s the nature of things.

Things I (re)learned on this trip:

- I can survive without a cell phone. (barely)
- Two is not the magic number when it comes to photographers.
- All is never what it seems.
- Talent isn’t always the most important thing.
- Helicopters are as cool as they are expensive.
- Sometimes a big dumb jump is a big dumb waste of time.

ejack is stoked on the snow

a big dumb jump to nowhere.

this is why

So I got home, had time for a deep breath, and dropped into some sled days with Absinthe films. The day before the sun came out my phone rang off the hook with people looking for a shooter. If only I could clone myself and work with everyone.

JP Solberg and
Romain de Marchi had spent a weather day out in the middle of nowhere, building a couple jumps, so when the sun came out we were ready to go. Not everything worked out, but one jump in particular was amazing.

this shot won't make the cut, but you can see what a lovely day we had.

Annie Boulanger and I did the commute in her truck every morning and she did a couple of lines that were really impressive. It is hard for a girl out there in testosterone land and Annie has proven herself over the years. She is no joke.

So now I’m processing and editing a million shots and watching the weather, planning the next attack. In the meantime T has made huge gains in the battle to make our apartment into a home. I love this place. I would be perfectly happy to shoot portraits on the
huge patio all spring long. Ya, right.

off the map

Last year, after multiple run-ins with bad luck and bad conditions, Travis Robb, Mark Landvik, Eric Jackson and I set out to find a new spot. We searched and searched, and eventually came upon a little miracle of geography that was perfectly made for snowboarding. Especially for shooting photos of snowboarding. We spend a few days "working the zone" before other obligations dragged us in different directions and although we put some great stuff on film, we had unfinished business.

We're back in our spot. It has set up differently this year, different in a good way. Sammy Luebke is along for the ride this time and he's having a ball riding the best pillows on the planet. The level of riding has jumped through the roof this year. While we were happy linking transitions with big straight airs last year, this year tricks are getting thrown in the most insane places. I'm totally exhausted and I have so much to take care of at home, but for now, I'm in the middle of an amazing dream and I'm going to hit snooze for just a couple more days.


Back in BC

I'm back in BC after a really short trip to Baker. Although we didn't end up getting what we went for, we did manage to get a whole bunch of other stuff. I got to do a few turns on Baker in between shots which is always nice, and met Nick, Nate and Sammy. I also got to see some good old friends, Sean Sullivan! Ranquet, Barrett, Temple, Shaun McKay, John Laing, Pat McCarthy (who is looking good, and riding after the accident)

All in all, it was a nice trip if a little too short. Washington is beautiful


Washington Shenanigans

Today was fun. I'm in Washington shooting with Mark Landvik and Travis Robb from Standard Films


Preparation is half the battle

Anyone who has followed my career at all knows all about my slideshow curse. In short, I've never done a slideshow that I didn't fuck up.

It all started with the Pro Photographer Showdown way back in 1800 or something. We were still using slide projectors, so that gives you an idea. I had literally never done a slideshow before and I spent days and days going through my stock to come up with 80 shots. It had to be 80, because that is two trays of slides. The slides alternate from one projector to the other. It all seems very logical, however, I was nervous and I set the order of slides to go from one tray and then the next. The result was the second half of my slideshow was intermingled with the first. It was chaos and it looked like shit. Did I mention that there were 500 people there including my family? Uh huh.

Fast forward to last year and the first ever Deep Winter contest. I did a ton of research and test slideshows and was pretty confident that I had the curse licked. At 4 PM I marched into MY place, where the show was taking place, to do my dry run. As soon as I saw the first shot I knew I was screwed. The resolution was way too low and the photos were totally pixelated. I tried to re-export the show at a higher resolution with no luck at all. At about 5 PM we decided we had to rebuild the whole show from scratch, in a program I had never used. The show was at 8.

Even though we managed to throw something together, when we tried to play it there were some technical problems and the sound would cut out after the first slide. The audience was very patient...

Anyway, I'm doing the Deep Winter contest again in a week and I have been stressing about everything. I have done dry runs a dozen times, made slideshows from scratch in an hour, run into a ton of little problems and fixed them so now I am ready. Right? We'll see. The thing about having a curse is that you can never predict how it will screw you...

Here is a shot from sledding on boxing day. My brother-in-law Paul took it with my camera. I like sledding.



The day before Christmas

Today was gorgeous.20071224_whis_scenic0018

New jobs

One of the cool things about being a photographer is that you never know what kind of work you’re going to end up doing. When the phone rings, I tend to say “yes” first, and then figure out what it is that I said “yes” to…

Recently some dudes I know launched a new venture called Whistler Creek Productions
( http://whistlercreekproductions.com )and asked me to be a part of it. It is a collective, which is to say, they run it, but everyone has input. We had a “coming out” party in Whistler during the Whistler Film Festival and it was hugely successful, I set up a “photo booth” where people could press a button and take their own photo. It was cold outside but people got into it and the photos were Hilarious http://whistlercreekproductions.com/img/coming-out/coming-out.html

So anyway, I get a call to do a plate shot for a commercial. Of course I say yes. The director is Randy Krallman ( http://www.smugglersite.com/01/directors/player.html?cat=1 )who has done some really cool stuff including the amazing “Still free” (http://www.stillfree.com/) piece for Marc Ecko. Interestingly enough, he’s really down with the shred dog scene, spent time in SLC and we have mutual friends. He knows my work from snowboarding, I know his culture stuff. Cool bro. Etc.

So ya, the job. We drive around Vancouver on a stunningly beautiful day to shoot a little piece of forest for a background in a beer commercial. For real. That’s the job. It’s actually surprisingly difficult to find the exactly right looking piece of forest, but still, I mean, drive out into the middle of nowhere on a 13 thousand dollar snowmobile, in the freezing cold, banging your shit around, hoping that some snowboarder will land something, or drive around in a nice SUV with really friendly cats talking about how nice of a day it is…

-danoPendygrasse snowboard photography, snowboarding photos, photographs of snowboarders, shred photographers, snowboard photographer, snow photographers, pictures of snowboarding, pictures of snowboarders, photos of snowboards, photos of snowboarding. Daniel Stephen Pendygrasse, DSP Photography.

Whistler Creek Productions

Some friends of mine have been hard at work launching a production company over the past 6 months or so. It is finally up and running and that is good enough reason to have a party. It all takes place during the Whistler Film Festival as most of the clients are from the film industry.

There was a live auction where prints from Gallup, Andruik, Patterson and a whole slew of other photogs got sold off.

I set up a "photo booth" thingy so that anyone could put on some gear from the wardrobe rack and go outside to snap a portrait. You can see my pocket wizard in most of the photos as that's how the thing was triggered. It was cold as shit outside but people still got into it. If you look closely you'll see such photo legends as Eric Berger, Mark Gallup, Russell Dalby, Shred legends like Shin Campos (co-owner of WCP), Wes Makepeace, Rube Goldberg, and cine dudes like Travis Robb from Standard films, Murray Siple (who showed and extended teaser for his current documentary "Carts of Darkness", Anthony Vitale, My brother Garry, shit it was just chock full of heavy cats.

Anyway, check it all out at
Pendygrasse snowboard photography, snowboarding photos, photographs of snowboarders, shred photographers, snowboard photographer, snow photographers, pictures of snowboarding, pictures of snowboarders, photos of snowboards, photos of snowboarding. Daniel Stephen Pendygrasse, DSP Photography.

dust in the wind

a blog about self service scanner repair.


Hi there and welcome to my world. Www.danopendygrasse.com is a work in progress, so some days it might be all slow and weird as I am uploading and learning new stuff. Please be patient.

If you have any questions, shoot me an email and I'll do my best to answer you.

I'll update with new galleries and new photos often, if there is something you'd like to see, let me know.


Pendygrasse snowboard photography, snowboarding photos, photographs of snowboarders, shred photographers, snowboard photographer, snow photographers, pictures of snowboarding, pictures of snowboarders, photos of snowboards, photos of snowboarding. Daniel Stephen Pendygrasse, DSP Photography.

end of the line

There is only one day per year when I can say “that’s it” and be done with a whole Volume of Magazines. There is only one day when I can turn my attention away from the job of making pages and towards the job of making photos.

That day is today.

The magazine is done and now I have about four months to go out there in the world and live the snowboarding life before we start the whole crazy thing up again. We got a presentation from our head of circulation today and we are successful. That feels good. It feels good to know this thing can stand on it’s own two feet and walk. We made something and that’s cool.

So now it’s time for SIA in Vegas and then out into the world. First stop, Canada. 10 days with Travis Robb and Standard Films. Can’t wait.

See ya in the mountains.

The gift of time

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to sit down and write. Life has been throwing me one thing after another lately. I overbooked my Holiday’s to the point where I didn’t even feel like they happened, dropped straight into a photo contest and woke up on a plane to the east coast. Now I’m back in San Diego, putting the final touches on our last issue of the year, and I have a chance to take a deep breath. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; “life is long and interesting”.

I know I missed about three quarters of the people I wanted to see when I was home. I’m sorry. (One day you’ll forgive me goodze&hellipWinking I’m looking forward to spending lots and lots of time making it up to all of my friends. I can’t wait to spend hours over a good bottle of wine and a meal explaining why I have felt the need to be gone for the last couple years. I can’t wait to offer up a weekend trip away up to the interior to make up for all those summer weeks I missed. I’m just dying to sit around the dinner table with all of you and listening to all the crazy stories of times I missed. I’ll sit back and smile and imagine all the fun you had, and pretend I was there.

Most of all I can’t wait to give all of you a present. It’s the best thing I have to offer and I have only recently realized how valuable it is. It’s a bit selfish, because it’s the kind of present that I get as much out of as you all will. It’s sorta like when Homer got Marge the bowling ball. Anyway, the present is time. Soon I’ll have the time to give all you that I haven’t been able to. I’m dying to have time for my friends again.