DANO Pendygrasse

odds and ends from an unusual life

JF Pelchat. From Rev to Now.

I had a really good weekend in Whistler including a great first day of the season with some of my favourite people, followed by another memorable dinner at Sushi Village.

At dinner I had a good catch up with my old friend JF Pelchat. I met JF when I was working with Rev Snowboards back in its heyday and we went on to shoot a bunch of photos over the years and spent a bunch of time in and around Whistler. One of the best JF stories I ever heard though, took place in a sugar shack outside of Quebec City as JF told us all about growing up near the sugar shacks and his family history. The man certainly can hold your attention over a bowl of pea soup.

In any case, we got to talking about the first day we shot together, how we just went up Whistler Mountain and banged off a bunch of shots all day long, including a massive road gap. I still have no idea how we got away with this in bounds. Luckily most of my archives are in my parents basement in Whistler, so I went down and dug out a couple shots from that first day in 1995.

JF's new venture is NOW bindings. He's been working on the idea for YEARS and finally brought it to market recently. The bindings are the first real evolution of snowboard bindings in a long time and my friends who are riding them have said that once you ride them, you never want to go back. We'll see, I hope to give them a try soon.

Without further delay; JF Pelchat on Whistler Mountain in 1995.


The road gap.

blue hour city

Cool light in the city the other evening.


screaming at a wall.

Feeling a little Minor Threat this morning. Like screaming at a wall. Or maybe just staring in this case.



hand painted pepsi sign

Detail shot from a rainy morning shooting cornerstones and independent groceries in Vancouver. Hand painted Pepsi sign. Part of a large personal project.




Not much to say about this one. I guess "The Noodle Makers'" business didn't take off.




looking down

Homer St.


yellow tree and library

Autumn and the library.


imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Just playing around with colour today.


bike on Homer

Hi folks.

I love the light in the fall and winter. Such long rays. My old friend Ian Ruhter once said to me when he was visiting; "There something about the light up here, it's the best in the world." I agree.



Post no Bills - Vancouver

Ya, I love stuff like this. "Post No Bills" surrounded by the world of "Bills" from Cosby to Clinton, to Shakespeare to a billion.

Yaletown, Vancouver. October 2012.


Transition. Part Four: Finally found what I'm looking for.

This blog originally appeared on

Last blog I took you diving, but I still hadn’t found the small camera I was looking for. I’d reached the end of the road with what I could accomplish with the Canon G9 and its Canon successors weren’t moving in a direction that I liked. I needed more resolution and flexibility in a small package. Fortunately in the summer of 2009 Panasonic announced the GF1 micro four thirds camera and many of my questions were answered. The GF1 is a mirrorless system, so it’s small, but it has a large sensor so it makes good images. It was marginally bigger than the point and shoot, but the size was worth it.

It still took me 9 months to finally buy one because I’m pretty hesitant to buy the first generation of anything electronic, and in the meantime I did my research and realized that I was going to be able to adapt some really great glass to the GF1. I still own a Contax G2, but I never really liked the ergonomics of it and it fell out of rotation. The lenses I have for it however, can easily be adapted to the GF1. And suddenly I have a Zeiss 45mm f2 in my pocket…

Of course the lens that I’ve kept mounted 90% of the time is the Panasonic 20mm 1.7, a spectacular fast and sharp pancake lens that I bought the body with. I also bought a pricey 7-14mm f4 that hasn’t gotten a lot of use. It’s a good lens, but it’s so big that it sort of defeats the purpose of the small body.

So this has become my walkaround rig and has been for the last couple of years. I still go to the DSLR for when I have to shoot in the studio or action, but I was doing that way less at the time and started getting really interested in trying different styles.

In the process, I started to read up on street photography and tentatively went down that road. I find street photography to be really invasive, and as a result I’ve always kinda shied away from it. However, like just about everything in my life, when I find something intimidating, that’s all the more reason to give it a whirl.

The results of shooting people in the streets came slowly. I threw away hundreds of shots before I finally got one I liked. Slowly I got a few more, and became less intimidated by the process, but there were lots of shots I missed too. When a fight broke out literally on my shoes at the corner of Hastings and Main, my instinct was to walk the other way, not to pull out my camera. And when a guy collapsed and paramedics arrived to perform CPR on the street in front of the police station, I wasn’t pushing the EMTs out of the way to get the shot; I was more concerned that he was going to be ok. I guess I just don’t have the stones to be a crime reporter…

But urban spaces kept speaking to me and over the last few years I’ve put together a large body of work that speaks about the relationship between people and the city. As my thoughts about that relationship developed, so did the work and my photos became less abstract and more focused. As themes developed they recurred and I became more sure of my direction.

I still am fascinated by texture and patterns, and while I spend less time trying to “capture” people on the streets, I’m interested in relationships of scale and environmental interaction. Well, that and goofy pictures of the dog…

So in my first Bneeth column I told you about my creative existential crisis. It’s taken a few columns, but this is where I am today. I know myself as a photographer like I never did when I shot action sports exclusively, and I’ve let the work dictate the choices I’ve made. Interestingly, in the process I started to appreciate shooting action sports again. I don’t want to spend 7 months on a snowmobile again anytime soon, but I like to think the work I do now comes with a lot more skill and a far better eye.



Sidewalk diamonds. Vancouver.

Chinese Pharmacy. Chinatown.
Shopping. Sometimes a photo is about what you can’t see.
Breaktime. Hastings and Main.
Decisions. Paia, Maui.
Dead Sea Turtle. Wailea, Maui.
Open. Chinatown.
Sunday. Beach day in Roatan, Honduras
Prizes. PNE.
Lombard Tourists. San Francisco.
Framed. Vancouver.
Levels. Vancouver.
Letters. Vancouver Post Office.
Backside. Yaletown, Vancouver.
Josh. Vancouver.
Scoot. Gastown, Vancouver.

Sunday on the grass. Vancouver.

Transition. Part Three: Fuck it, I’m going swimming.

This blog was originally published on bneeth.com.

Around the time I became a convert to small cameras, I started scuba diving a lot. Obviously the two things would eventually meet and I’d get hooked on shooting underwater photos. I was torn because underwater photography is probably the most expensive form of photography I can think of, and it’s also incredibly difficult and prone to disaster. The thing about taking electronics a hundred feet underwater is that, well, they get flooded and ruined. A lot.

So this it how I found myself spending way more money on photography. I started off by getting a cheap housing for an Olympus Point and shoot that I had, and then moved onto a more expensive housing and strobe for the Canon G9. That was a really good rig to learn with and I managed to get some great shots with it. Eventually of course, I reached the end of the road and made the decision to house a DSLR.

What I learned with underwater photography is that it’s one of the most difficult environments to make an image, and when something spectacular is in front of you, you need a lot of really good tools to make sure you nail the shot. So small cameras didn’t last, but along the way I learned a lot.

Enjoy some shots from my underwater photo journey.


ps: click on the photos for larger versions.

A shot from the old Olympus with a grouper in front of a wreck.
Circling Horse-eye Jacks. Shot with the Canon G9. I loved this when I got it and still do. Sometimes the limitations of a camera help to make something unique.
One of the craziest looking fish you will ever meet; the toadfish. Shot with the Canon g9.
Breath hold shots with a camera rig can be tricky.
My friend Kat over the sandy bottom. Black and white is one way to deal with the deep blue hue of ambient light underwater.
Finally got a dslr housed, and the pictures dramatically improved. This is a giant barrel sponge on the edge of the reef wall in Belize.
When you startle a Caribbean octopus at night, it will either hide or make itself as big as possible. Night dive in Belize.
Macro of Coral. Repeating patterns are visually pleasing.
Classic underwater composition with a giant barrel sponge and diver.
20101222_d2x_maui_0040 2
I love moray eels. Whitemouth Moray from Maui.
Nudibranchs are essentially snails, without the shell. They are small and come in myriad colours and shapes and they mostly sit still so you can take their picture.
Balancing the flash with ambient, and then making the falloff reach an appropriate height on the mast made this one of the more challenging shots. Good thing the diver doesn’t look too goofy.

Transition. Part Two: Shoot something!

This blog was originally published on bneeth.com.

Well after some deliberation I had found myself a convert to small cameras, and as a result I had my trusted Canon g9 with me at all times. What I still hadn’t figured out though, was what I wanted to take pictures of. This started a long process that continues to this day. But the first step was to document my steps.

A few times a week I was walking from my apartment at the time, right by Vancouver’s skate plaza, down Main Street to Railtown where I was working. I started to notice the seasonal changes in the buildings along the way and decided that it would be a good project to shoot all the buildings between Georgia and Alexander Streets, in all the different seasons. So I set out to do it.

I shot and shot, and I got some photos that were really cool, but eventually I got bored. I realized that it was a good project, but it would have to be one that stretched for decades, not just months. Plus, I realized that I wanted to shoot different buildings with different formats and cameras. That’s ok, I keep working on it, I love to see how things change, but it’s not really the body of work that speaks to me the loudest.

I kept shooting my walking “commute” though, and started to get shots that I liked more. It seemed to come in waves, one day I would get two or three things that I liked, and then I’d go a week without getting anything. The difference between my life shooting action sports and now was that now it was completely up to me to make things happen. I couldn’t rely on a rider doing a massive air to do the work for me, I had to create something compelling out of the things around me. That didn’t always come easy.

I kept adding shots to projects that I’d been working on for years though. Building on ideas but adapting to the different environment. All of the things I shot in the mountains were still present in the city. There was still an abundance of texture, there was still interesting light, and now there certainly were far more colours. I found myself doing familiar things but with different subjects and through a lot of repetition and a dedication to taking photos every day, I started to develop a new style and as always happens, themes started to emerge.

And as I shot, I got to know the Canon G9 really well, learning its strengths and using them to my advantage. Having a really good macro available at any time had me crouching down on the street a lot. And the compression of the long lens with a pretty much infinite depth of field was fantastic. I started a whole new body of work of abstract reflections, some of which have become my favourite images. I added to a personal project that I had been picking away at for years that I call “little horizons”, essentially portrait oriented landscape shots that emphasize the sky. Interestingly I’ve seen a lot of photography like that in recent years, but I continue with it.

Even while all of this was happening though, something was still bothering me. The quality of the image was still not as good as I’d like. I could deal with noise at low ISO, but anything above 400 was too much. And I didn’t like the shape of the noise. It had me craving the good old days of film grain. So I pushed on, but knew in the back of my mind that I would have to find another camera soon. Until then, I was going to shoot that G9 into the ground. And next time, I’ll tell you about taking it underwater.


“119 Main Street.” Part of a project to shoot all of the buildings of Main St. between Alexander and Georgia.
Long September light makes for some nice shadows on the False Creek Seawall.
“False Creek” from the Little Horizons project.
Just a spectacular Vancouver sunset.
Masts. This is the first of the “Reflections” series.
Spectrum. Another from the “Reflections” series.
Crazy fall colours in Vancouver.
Fern. From my garden.
“Big OK” from Little Horizons.
Street scene from Stockholm, Sweden.

Transition. Part One: Now what?

This blog was originally published on bneeth.com.

The one thing I knew for sure when I stopped shooting photos of action sports was that I wasn’t going to stop taking photos. I simply couldn’t. As much as the creative life is like a cruel pendulum sometimes, with swings of deep dissatisfaction and swings that feel like brilliance, the one thing I knew for sure was that taking photos was no longer something that I had the option to do. I had grown to the point where if I went any length of time without shooting something good, a part of me started to feel off. It was akin to going a long time without sex. It doesn’t kill you, but it grinds away at your soul until you finally have to scratch that itch.

But suddenly I didn’t have a cover to shoot for. I didn’t have a crew of people to work with and I didn’t even know what the goal was. A “good photo” had just become a giant question mark. What was “good” at that point? What was I going to shoot now, and what for?

I had recently moved to Vancouver, close to Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside. Obviously there was no end of subject matter out there, I simply had to open my eyes and start to shoot things. I was doing work for a couple different companies at the time and I had essentially stopped driving. I would walk around false creek and the downtown core, or take my bike and I made a point to always have a camera with me. That was my first decision: What gear would I use?

The DSLR was out right away. Too big, too much weight, too much gear. I had hauled around a 40-pound pack for almost 20 years and I was looking forward to packing light. I pulled out my old Contax G2, a camera that I had always had high hopes for, but just never really enjoyed the ergonomics of. Nothing had changed. It still felt too big and I didn’t want to carry a bunch of lenses around. Plus it had that funky focus system that I didn’t like. What I did like was the lenses. But for now, it wasn’t worth it.

Luckily, right around this time The Canon G9 came out and for me, it answered a lot of questions. It had a lot of professional functionality in a pretty small body, with a zoon range that was really useful. I had found my “walking around” camera. At least for the time being. Some of the my favourite things about the G9 were the size, the macro, (which was, and is, pretty amazing actually) the zoom was good and I could haul in some fairly far-away scenes, and I could shove it in my pocket. I thought it was pretty durable, but before too long I learned about a fatal flaw.

The G9’s zoom lens isn’t sealed, and the act of it zooming and contracting causes dust to be sucked into the camera where it can find its way to the sensor. Once it’s there, there is now way to clean it. Eventually this would be part of the downfall of the G9 for me, but not for a couple years. Once I had a small inconspicuous camera that had decent image quality, I found myself shooting nonstop. What started as snapshots of friends and quick shots for reference, became more serious the more I used the G9.

It took a few months until I had a good feel for the G9 and realized that it was capable of more than just snapshots. I started to look at things differently and for the first time in my life, began to develop an urban approach to photography. I had decided on my gear, now it was time to see if I could take a decent picture.

With a camera in my pocket, walking the dog became a chance to find a picture almost every day. And a small camera meant I would never hesitate to shoot
Testing the G9’s ability to stop action, even in the late evening light. Not bad.
Familiar sights that I’d normally never shoot became a new challenge. A “why not?” photo opportunity.
The G9 has a decent telephoto on it allowing me to compress scenes and find interesting scenes on a day to day basis.
It’s nice to have a little camera handy when you find yourself looking down from up high. The black and white conversions were nice too.


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.

Cordelia Banks.

Hello friends,

I’ve been back from Roatan for just a few days but life is moving incredibly quickly. It’s always like this when good things happen, they tend to happen in clusters and it’s all you can do just to keep up. I’m holding on for the ride!

When I was in the water waiting to shoot the shark release, I had some time with Ian Drysdale from healthyreefs.org and we spent it discussing the Cordelia Banks on the South side of Roatan. Recently discovered, the reef there is largely made up of staghorn coral which went through a disastrous decline due to disease in the 80’s. It’s in the crosshairs of the conservation movement because due to the healthy population of staghorn and its proximity to deep water currents, there is speculation that these reefs maybe be responsible for repopulating the staghorn population throughout the entire Caribbean. Impressive. The Cordelia Banks are a rich environment for fish as well. Grouper have been seen to use the area as a spawning aggregation site and the reef is an ideal nursery for juvenile fish.

Cordelia is also located less than a kilometre away from the Coxen Hole cruise ship dock, and about 7 kilometres from the new massive cruise ship facility at Mahogany Bay. 3 or 4 hundred times a year, thousand foot long cruise ships come within striking distance of this fragile ecosystem. There is evidence of boat strikes on the reef, but still they manage to flourish. Also, Coxen Hole is the largest population centre on the island and much of the pollution filters through the reef.

So Ian invited me to come dive Cordelia to get a sense of it for myself and shoot some photos. We’re going to try to get these out there and raise some awareness to help protect what could end up being a critical resource in the health of coral in the Caribbean. We had a small window one morning between high winds and conditions weren’t ideal, but I was lucky enough to get a look at this amazing ecosystem. Take a look.


One windy boat ride. Ian smiles while Nic from the Roatan Marine Park prepares his kit.
Ian inspects a small growth of staghorn.
This coral may be as little as two or three years old.
Fields of the stuff. A rare sight these days.
And a nursery for many fish species.
Most of the healthiest parts of the reef are in less than 10 feet of water.

Sharks, crabs, divers and more.

Hello friends,

Well I’m done leading dives and trying to focus on shooting photos for the rest of this trip. I have been trying out a variety of different techniques and getting more good results than bad, but admittedly, at this point in the trip, I’m not as far along as I’d like. Having said that, I always set pretty lofty goals and have high standards for myself and I probably wouldn’t be happy unless I came away from this trip with a cover shot.

We saw two different sharks today. I found the first one, just a little baby 3 foot nurse shark, and Mickey found a 5 footer or so on the next dive. Even though nurse sharks are pretty much completely non-threatening, it’s still cool to see them.

Enjoy the shots,


Kat checks out some tube sponges
And here she is again.
An Ocellated Box Crab (Calappa ocellata) hides from me in the sand on a night dive.
Lil nudi at night.
Kat found this gaudy clown crab, Biggest one I’ve ever seen.
What is this scorpionfish thinking? Bad spot dude, bad spot.
Yes, I have a favourite coral. This is it.
Toady the toadfish in a different hole at last. So glad I could see his tail.
Mickey inspects a different scorpionfish.
These nassau grouper are following us around every dive hoping for lionfish kills.
Mickey’s nurse shark
Really like what is going on with this hungry fireworm.

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!

Roatan update

Hi friends,

So I have passed the halfway mark of my trip. Now I start to try to cram in everything I haven’t done. This past week that has included no photos, hence no posting. Micky from Reef Gliders had the flu so I pitched in leading dives all week. Lots of diving, but no camera. I snuck in a day yesterday, I’ll lead a couple more today and then a night dive tonight. Looking forward to it.

Leading is a completely different dynamic than shooting. I’m more concerned with the divers in tow, navigation, air consumption and managing issues that come up, than I am with finding things. Still I managed to find a nurse shark and a couple eagle rays have graced us with their presence.

In any case, here are some shots that have come out of the last day, and a few from before.



Weird perspective green moray.
A crap shot, but at least it’s a NUDI! Black spotted nudibranch, whose spots are actually blue.
Found this guy yesterday. Red Ridged clinging crab. Mickey says he’s quite uncommon.
Come hither turtle.
A pair of white spotted filefish let me hang out with them.
fighting male parrot fish. Grrrr.

Don't call it a comeback. I've been here for years.

Hi friends,

Well last time we spoke, I had just finished a couple semi crap days and vented a bit. It has been pointed out the shots in the last blog were not terrible or out of focus, or whatever, and I guess that’s true. The thing is, when you shoot a bunch of shots, you tend to look at the group as a whole. “Was this day successful?” comes down to percentages. If 10% of my shots end up being A quality, then it’s a pretty good day. If 1% turn out, not so much. The previous blog just followed a couple of 1% days in a row. Still there are always standouts. But sometimes even they don’t match up to the picture I had in my mind, which is the only standard I ever really care about.

Yesterday I went back to the 10.5mm lens to see if I had been overhyping it in my mind, or if it really is that good. It really is. It’s also too wide for a lot of things. I saw a pipefish for instance (which happened to be beerfish on that dive) so I needed to get proof. The 10.5mm is not very well suited. It does, however, shoot fabulous reefscapes and divers, so that’s what I’ll be bringing you a lot of today.

After all this fisheye I’m ready for a good macro dive now, and it’s just started to rain so that’s probably going to happen.

Thanks to all the divers who put up with me underwater. Kraig, Colin, Mickey, Mel, Will, and even Kelly who doesn’t yet know what she’s in for. Especially Karen who is leaving and put up with many flashes.

Enjoy the shots.


dropping in.
Mickey in Kraig’s crack.
Suddenly a giant sponge lunged out and ate Kraig’s head.
Just a beautiful coral overhang.
Elkhorn coral in the shallows. Playing with Snell’s window.
This is ready for the cover of Lionfish Weekly magazine.
Mikey found a MASSIVE head of brain coral. Kelly swam by on her first dive here.
Will helps me get a shot. Thanks Will.


Hi Friends,

Well I guess we can’t always just charge forward. Sometimes you get caught in a soft spot and slide backwards. The last couple days have been that for me.

I’ve made some lens choice mistakes, which admittedly isn’t the biggest deal in the world, it’s the kind of thing that is hard to predict, how is the viz going to be? What will be available? Well for several dives in a row I simply took along a lens that was wrong for the job. Not wasted time, but not time well spent either.

Also, I overestimated the quality of the 12-24 and shot for 2 days without really checking the files. The result was that I have a lot of soft images. Also disappointing. I’ll be more careful now knowing the limitations of the lens. Those primes aren’t looking so bad now...

As with life, when it starts to suck, you gotta push through till the other side. Here are some highlights from some bad days.


craziest tips I’ve ever seen on a giant anemone.
another spotted moray. i like shooting em and i will keep shooting em.
the tiniest starfish i’ve ever seen. wrapped around coral polyps!
star in a cup
whitenose pipefish with his creepy red eyes. this was one of the most disappointing encounters. I back focused the best shot and am left with this.
hunting. Mickey called this a “target rich environment.”
Love these. They look completely black underwater and then you hit em with a strobe. Boom.
tried to get some shots with my friend Kathryn.
still getting a feel for directing people and getting what I want.
...so I’m playing with different ideas.
working on the sunball too. this one is ok.

New lens, new options.

WARNING: Photo geekery follows. Feel free to skip to the photos.

Hi friends,

A quick photo blog with some shots from the Nikon 12-24mm that I finally got underwater. I read bunch of stuff about it online and followed Dr. Mustard’s advice on the setup. The first thing I noticed was that out of the water I couldn’t get any sort of focus with the diopter so I took it out without it. It may be that it only focuses underwater so I’ll have to give that a try, I just don’t want to waste a dive on it right now. Especially because the results without it were quite good just with the 33mm extension. There is definitely some corner distortion at 12mm though.

It’s pretty nice to have the zoom. That’s my first impression. Having only used prime lenses on my new rig so far, the versatility was really nice. On the wide end it’s just slightly less wide than the 10.5 mm that I have (which to my eye is actually a more pleasing focal distance), and the 24 end allows me some chance to achieve good results with slightly smaller creatures. Turtles are a good size creature for it, but anything smaller would have to be sitting pretty still. The Grouper shot was about perfect in terms of size. I probably would have had to get too close with the 10.5mm or maybe even the 16mm and scared him off.

I also noticed that my strobes are probably not strong enough to get any real fill on a sunball shot, unless the subject is really, really close. Shooting at 1/250th and f16 or f22 seems to be crucial to beat the turquoise band and these Ikelite 160’s just don’t have the pop to make anything happen.

I don’t shoot divers enough, so I’m going to focus on that this trip. Luckily I have some willing (or at least convincible) victims to get in front of the camera. I need to work out more of the directions, but just having the chance to work with someone instead of trying to catch moments when a diver is in the right place, is really helpful. I would like some feedback.

I’ve also included some shots from another dive with some funny creatures for my critter nerd friends. All shot with the 60mm macro.



A turtle at 24mm.
Jen and a sea fan.
Jen and a barrel sponge.
Grouper getting a good cleaning. Must have been 30 gobies on him.
Me and Jen goofing around on the safety stop.
My, what blue rings and lovely lashes you have.
Just a tiny little Zebra Sole. Look at the grains of sand, they look like boulders! Well, maybe not.
Queer little critter, the goatee blennie. I’ve never seen one in Roatan before so this makes me happy. Look at the goatee on him!

Skoobing fotos.

Hi friends,

A few more shots. Had some equipment problems and the boats have been full so I’m not shooting as much as I’d like, but here are a couple to look at. My friend Alex asked me to call diving “Skoobing” because it sounds funny. I think that should be no problem.



lil shrimp.
spotted drum
pedersen’s cleaner shrimp

back in the water.

Hello friends,

Made it to Roatan in one piece. It’s hot, the bugs are bad and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Reunions are good and it’s great to be around friends all day. Got the rig underwater yesterday and put it through its paces. Didn’t see too much but it’s nice to just be getting it dialled in. That’s the plan this month, to shoot as much as possible underwater until the big new rig is second nature to use. Thanks to the crew at Reef Gliders who are taking good care of me.

Here are a few. They should get better as the summer goes on.


White wire coral shrimp. These guys are so hard to shoot.
Grouper gets a cleaning by some gobies.
Goldentail Moray eel.
Angelfish takes a turn.
Spotted Moray eel.
Giant hermit crab churning up a sandstorm.
Mantis shrimp peers out of a little crevice.

The lost shots. Part lucky 13.

Hi Friends,

Back again for part 13 (!) of The Lost Shots series. Today I’m bringing you a lucky 13 double shot of Devun Walsh from 2002. This was a nice little milkbird day we spent on Rainbow. In the early days of sledding in the mid 90’s Rainbow was one of our go to spots. There are a lot of features packed into a relatively small area and we had it all to ourselves for the most part. Later on as more crews discovered it, the small size of the area started to be a problem as there was too much competition for the same jumps.

On this day I managed to snag a good shot of Dev rooping with Blackcomb in the background. I used to always love that feeling of having a mountain to ourselves right across from the crowds. Dev was always known to have a super solid cab 5, but on this day he was mixing it up and working really hard on making it a switch fs 5, with perfect switch style. This sequence ran somewhere; Transworld I think.

I’m taking a little break from the Lost Shots for a bit. There is plenty left to scan but I’m going through some life transitions and I’m not going to have time for scanning for a bit. Off to Lake Louise tomorrow for an event called Ruckus in the Rockies. If you’re out there, say hi.




The lost shots. Part Twelve.

Hi friends,

While I’m waiting for the next video from The Show, I thought I’d bring you another gem from The Lost Shots series. This one is from 2002 and it features Eddie Wall. I didn’t get to shoot with Eddie very much at all, but we did have a couple productive days in Whistler. There was a pretty good frontside boardslide that ran and then there is this. We went to a zone that used to get a lot of traffic and Eddie found a line that I’ve never seen done before or since. The light was kinda milky which is probably why this never ran, but it’s a pretty sweet backside one on a gap that didn’t give up any easy angles.




The lost shots. Part Eleven.

Hi friends,

Just arrived in Whistler where it is still very much winter. The mountain looks beautiful, as if it were mid-february.

Today I’m bringing you another great JP walker shot from Calgary, Alberta in 2002. Early season we got the jump on things and went out with Calgary native TJ Schneider who took us around to some of his favourite street terrain. This sucker is known as “Old rusty” and JP took it apart with frontboards while TJ was all about the 50/50. My favourite angle of it ran in Snowboarder mag as a full spread. It was shot from behind with the sick sunset in full effect and JP’s style was perfect. I have no idea where that slide is either. Huggy?

More soon. See you at The Show.



The lost shots. Part ten.

Hi friends,

Well The Show is just days away and I’m busy as hell. I like being busy, keeps my mind off the bad things.

Here is another shot from the Lost Shots series. If you’re just tuning in, you can read about that here. Today I’m bringing you one of the best snowboarders I ever saw. I met Mikko Sjoblom when he was just a lil pipsqueak from Talma. Never ridden much more than a couple hundred vertical meters in his life. Next thing you know, he’s thrown in with the best riders in the world, dragged up into the backcountry on a sled, landing in POWDER for the first time. It was a whirlwind. He was so talented. I don’t speak any Finnish so our communication at first was a little slow, but I ended up spending a bunch of time with him and came to look froward to his goofy little smile.

Mikko had a big crash that shook a bunch of us and for awhile it wasn’t looking so good. I’m glad that he’s doing well now. With stories like Kevin Pearce’s getting so much media attention these days it’s shining a lot of light on the dangers of head injuries, but Kevin and Mikko are both great examples of overcoming them.

Here’s Mikko in 2000 at Mt. Hood with a huge truck driver Mctwist.


2000_hood_mikko 2

More lost shots.

Hi friends.

Back from tour and digging back into the big box of lost slides. Watching Tiger charge the last 9 of the Masters right now so I’ll keep it short. (edit: wow, what a crazy back 9!)

Here is a nice portrait of Mike Page. Such a handsome young man. When he had his big accident I went to see him in the hospital and I wanted to bring him a really good gift. I knew he’d be spending a bunch of time in there and most of it lying in bed, so I wanted something he could do with his hands. I got in touch with all the team guys and asked if everyone would pitch in on a nice gift if I bought it and they all agreed, so I went and bought him an Epiphone Les Paul with a little practice amp that he could plug headphones into and not bug the whole hospital.

To this day not one of the guys on the team kicked in for the guitar. Jerks.



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.

The lost shots. Part Nine.

Hi friends,

Today I thought I was bringing you another long lost cover shot but when I looked more closely I noticed that it’s slightly different than the cover of Bjorn Leines that ran on Snowboarder Magazine. It’s most likely the frame before.

This shot was at Mammoth Mountain and Bjorn was doing a tow-in behind a snowmobile, 50-50 up the far rail and air over to frontboard the down rail. It was pretty sick business. Now if I could only find the slide that was the cover image...




The lost shots. Part eight.

Hi friends.

Slept on the bus from Toronto to Quebec City last night. Getting used to road sleeping but I have sea legs today.

Part 8 in the Lost Shots series and if you’ve been paying attention there is really only one person left; Jeremy Jones. What can you say about a career like Jeremy has had? I met him when I worked with Rev snowboards so far back in the day, and he was good then. It’s like, a hundred years later and he’s still charging. he’s known for his rail charging aptitude, but he has always had it in the backcountry too.

In the year 2000 it seemed like everyone was pushing the frontside cork and Jeremy was at the front of the line. Here he is coming straight outta the sun in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia.



The lost shots. Part seven.

Hi friends,

Just a quick one today. Tour is hectic.

Peter Line is the force behind Forum and during those years became a friend. I used to wake up some mornings and find him curled up on the couch having driven up to Whistler on a whim. Despite the credit he gets in snowboarding, I still think his impact is grossly underrated. He innovated more freestyle moves than anyone before or since. Always conscious of style, he could even make a fuck up look amazing. He got pitched on this alley oop back 5 and assumed the superman position. I call it the ooperman.

Pete is still riding and when he feels like it, he can bust out and school almost anyone.

Hi Pedro.



The lost shots. Part six.

Hi friends,

I’m on tour for the next week or so but I’ll try to keep putting more shots from The Lost Shots series every day. Our bus has internet so it should be ok. If you want to follow the tour blog you can find it here.

Today I’m bringing you a shot of good ‘ol Mike Page from Grouse Mountain in Vancouver. This jump had so much pop on it, it was sending people so high. Still, with all the trees it was hard to separate the riders from the background. I think that this shot worked out well but I don’t think it ever ran anywhere.




The lost shots. Part five.

Hi friends,

Today I’m bringing you the first of many great shots of Bjorn Leines. Always the unsung hero of the Forum days, while many people on the crew spent as much time crafting their image as they did their riding, Bjorn never really bought into all that hype. He just kept doing the riding that challenged him, even when everyone around him thought he was crazy and out of step. (Ya, of course that was a Minor Threat reference.)

This is a belated birthday card to an old friend that I don’t see anymore, despite the fact that he is filming 2 hours away with my brother right now. Keep on bringing it BJ, you never stopped inspiring.



The lost shots. Part four.

Hi friends,

Part four in the Lost Shots series. Today I’m stoked to bring you this shot of Joni Malmi from 2000. I didn’t do a ton of work with Malmi over the years, but when I did I knew he to be one of the most tenacious riders in the game. He literally would try a trick 50 times until he either nailed, got broken off, or ran out of time in the day. Most of the time we shot together was in the backcountry around Whistler, but this day found him in the pipe at Windell’s summer camp in Mount Hood.

Now matter how you slice it, this is a big assed air to fakie. I’ve been loving the crazy velvia colours going through these shots, but in the altitude at hood, the sky goes almost black with the rich saturation.

More to come.



The lost shots. Part three

Hi friends,

Part three of the lost shots is from Grouse Mountain here in Vancouver. This was from the Wildcat Challenge in the spring of 2001. On this day Duff shot his ender shot for
True Life and we shot a bunch of other stuff as well. I always liked this sequence of his gap to frontboard but compared to the 450 on/off, it was a little overshadowed.

I had a beer or two with Duff a week or two ago. He’s finishing up his training to be a firefighter. Still as awesome as ever. Big grins for the win.



The lost shots. Part two.

Hi friends,

Tough times over here in Danoland today. I’m raising my head for a second just to keep this series going. If you aren’t sure what series I’m talking about you can read about it

This shot of Devun Walsh was a
cover of Snowboarder Magazine in September of 2002. At this point the Hurley gap has only been hit once before, by Devun and Chris Dufficy (more Duff stuff coming soon...), and only in the spring with less than ideal snowpack. The first time was just a guinea pig session, each one of the did a straight air and called it a day, but this time Devun came ready to charge. His Backside 3 took the size level up yet again. The next trip he did a cab 5.

I never thought I’d see this photo again.


The lost shots. Part one.

Hi Friends,

As some of you know, I worked as a staff photographer for Four Star Distribution for a few years at the beginning of the 2000’s. My job was to shoot the Forum, Four Square and Special Blend teams in the era when the brands were at their pinnacle. The years that I worked there produced some classic snowboard films including Shakedown and True Life.

Around the time my contract ended, many of the people I worked with left the brand and because of some internal miscommunication, or possibly lack of communication, the status of my photos came into question. Nobody knew the extent of Forum’s usage rights and as a result, nobody wanted to be responsible for returning my images. This went on for quite some time and through a ton of company restructuring until finally Forum was sold to Burton.

Fast forward several more years and a bunch of failed attempts at getting my photos back and one day the right guy did the right thing and less than a week later three massive boxes of literally thousands of images shows up at my house. In those pages are some of the best shots from my snowboard career, and a significant part of snowboarding history.

I’m going to do some scanning and show you some of them as I get time. We’ll start with a frame from a sequence of JP Walker’s cab cork 5 over the Brandywine 1080 gap from
True Life. This was heavy then and still holds up exactly 10 years later.


Snowboard photo blog again

Hi Friends,

Just a photo and a short story for you today. I had a bunch of simultaneous archive requests this week so I ended up digging in. As usual I pulled out about twice as much as was asked for because every time I start to open up the archive I get lost in it. I still can’t get over how much there is in there. Thousands of photos that I may spend the rest of my life slowly digitizing.

Since KY ran off to live in the tropics people seem to have forgotten how heavy a character he was in the snowboard world. Style for miles and power to spare. One of my all time favourites.

On this day in 1997 we were lucky enough to be doing some heli laps. I liked all the texture on the slope over there and asked him to just go as fast as possible and draw a big line across it. He was going about a million miles an hour at this point.


Maui blog

Hi friends.

So as you who follow me on flickr, twitter or facebook know, I’m just back from Maui again. It gets harder to leave every time. Having said that, it was one of those trips where my priorities were pretty low on the list, lots of family and friends things on the schedule so I didn’t dive as much as I would have liked and didn’t shoot as much either. I did however, relax a lot and read a lot which are things that are sorely lacking in my day to day life. Favourite book of the trip was Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

I’m continuing down a road in my travel photos that I’m finding deeply satisfying. Experiments that started in Sweden are developing into rules and themes that I feel very connected and sure about. I think that one of the things that hangs over the head of creative people sometimes is the “is this valid?” question. It’s hard to answer and if you need someone else to pat you on the head and tell you that it is, you can find yourself corrupted from your intentions by the desire to get more pats on the head. I’ve found that in the last couple years I’ve been liberated from a lot of habits born from shooting almost entirely with an editorial goal in mind. In the end, I’ve come to a place where personal satisfaction is then only validation I require.

I added to three different personal groups of work this trip as well as all the underwater stuff, which I’ll get to in a second. Until then, here are some impressions of Maui above water. If you click any of them they should open in my photoshelter gallery.

Baldwin Park in Paia. An outtake from my “fields of play” series.
People react to a dead sea turtle.
Big beach
Christmas day.
Private property. An outtake from my “semi-natural states/coast” project.
Who wants to go fishing?
Palm tree from the couch.
Makawao plant.
Ok, ok. One more stupid sunset.

Then we got underwater. We did some shore dives and also did some boat dives with Ed Robinson’s and B&B Scuba. If you’ve dived with either of them you know that they are both great operations. We did most of our dives at Molokini, which always provides the chance of great encounters and one dive on the St. Anthony’s wreck which I love. I should have spent more time on the surface though. It was a very short dive.

In terms of shooting, I was rusty which drives me bonkers, so hard to push yourself when you have to relearn things every time. In the end though it came together. I was shooting a single strobe, which, when it comes to balance (both underwater and in terms of lighting) was challenging. Eventually I did push my macro forward a bit, the wide angle suffered from the single strobe but I actually don’t buy into the school of thought - that is so prevalent - that says everything needs to be super evenly and completely lit. I actually think it’s a real cop out way to shoot.

So, lots of nudibranchs, no whale sharks this time. We saw a fair amount of white tip reef sharks, heard a lot of whales and saw a variety of new creatures. No boardshorts for me this time though. The water was 75 and I was in a 3/2 wetsuit. My Roatan friends have permission to laugh now.

Enjoy the set.


Waves crash over Molokini back wall.
Blue dragon nudi.
And another one.
White mouth Moray.
These guys are called Guard crabs.
More back wall.
Trembling nudibranch at Mala boat ramp.
A pair of Imperial Nudibranchs
Fried egg nudi.
This is a painted frogfish at 5 graves.
White margin nudi
Gold lace Nudi. Ooooooo, pretty.
This is a coral. An oval mushroom coral actually.
I thought this was a dragon wrasse but it’s actually a juvenile razor wrasse.
These fellas are everywhere.
This was new to me. Scaly slipper lobster.
And then home...

This week.

Hi friends,

Here’s a little update of what’s going on in my world in the second week of December, 2010.

I’m back with Monster Energy Canada working on media and events for the winter season. The big event at the 2011 Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival will be all new this year and I’m pretty excited to be building up something that will stoke everyone out. Details to come in the new year.

In case you missed it, I’ve been the guest editor of VancouverIsAwesome.com’s Daily Flickr photo for the last 3 months. It’s been very cool to see some of the great photos that come out of Vancouver and taken as a whole, the collection is pretty amazing. It would make a great coffee table book actually. I’m coming to the end of my stint with them since winter work is getting busy, but the passing of the torch will bring a new set of eyes to the process, which is good. VIA is currently raising funds, they are a great organization and if you’ve enjoyed any of their city coverage it would be nice if you could donate. I’ll continue to be involved with them in any way I can so stay tuned for some new ideas in 2011.

I finally caved and made a “Dano Pendygrasse Photography” facebook page that is separate from my personal page. It will take awhile to migrate people across but I’m going to keep the photo stuff on the photo page and the personal stuff on the personal. Right now I have about 1500 friends on my personal page and 150 on the photo page which is about completely backwards, but hey...

We were in Whistler for Mat the Alien’s birthday this week. A bit of a bender at Sushi Village and then on to Maxx Fish. It’s been awhile since I went underground in Whis. It’s dangerous.

Work continues on the Paul Brunes Young Heart Foundation. After we lost Paul last spring there was much discussion about how to make a difference in the lives of people with heart rhythm disorders. This partnership with UBC and VGH is trying to put into place resources for professionals who work in the field. Precious little is done for young people with heart disorders and many go undiagnosed. For people like us, the first sign of a problem could be the last, and if you are young, you can easily slip through the cracks. Please consider a donation or join the Cause page.

I’ve done some reorganizing of my Photoshelter account. I still haven’t used this site up to its potential. It is an incredible resource and I wish I could have all my photos up there. I keep plugging away at it but for now it’s incomplete. It sneaks a little revenue into my life too, so that’s nice. Check it.

I’ve been throwing a lot of my day to day shots on Flickr lately. I like that I can only ever have 200 shots at a time up there so I’m always weeding out some of the least successful ones and the best ones stay. You can add me as a friend on there if that’s your thing. Here are a couple of my favourites from the last little while.







Free December Wallpaper

Hi again friends,

As per new normal, it’s the beginning of the month so here is my offering to you. It’s a free wallpaper with a handy built in calendar! Amazing!

We’ve been pretty lucky to be blessed with a lot of early season snow around these parts so many of you have been up in the mountains seeing some winter landscapes. This photo has particular meaning for me as I took it on boxing day a couple years ago on a day with my brother-in-law Paul. It was our first day sledding together and we had an amazing time doing some avalanche drills, taking photos, and just goofing around on our snowmobiles.

After we lost Paul this year I really started to cherish the shots from that day. Now you can too. In fact, this would make a pretty nice print for Christmas. Drop me a line if you are interested.

Click the link to download Large Medium Ipad


Never seen Craig Kelly photo.

Hi friends,

Here is a photo of Craig Kelly that nobody has ever seen. It’s part of a sequence where he does one of his classic slash and drop laybacks. Awesome stuff. It never found a home in a magazine and I just found it in the archives while looking for some other stuff. Enjoy.



All about pacing.

Warning: Lots of words about inspiration and creativity. Photo “gear geeks” may want to skip over to DP Review or something.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about process. Most of the photographer blogs I see are about really basic photo concepts or gear, and neither one of them are particularly interesting to me. It’s true that 98% of the photo questions I get relate to the basics, and gear, but I’ve answered most of those questions so many times that I barely even think before reciting the standard answers.

The thing that has been interesting to me lately is pacing.
Pacing is rarely discussed by photographers but is one of the most important aspects to what we do. When I speak about pacing, I’m talking about the speed at which I take photos. It may be the least discussed things in photography because it isn’t gear, subject matter, lighting or any of the things we see as the prime considerations of image making. But it relates to everything.

When we first pick up a camera we tend to snap away at everything that is interesting. Occasionally something ends up looking good but mostly we’re left with throwaway photos because we haven’t put enough thought into our subject matter, composition or technique. Soon we learn about exposure, composition and maybe some aspects of style and our pace slows down. We consider our subject more. We think through our exposures. We might even try to capture some preconceived idea.

As our technique gets polished and exposure becomes second nature, we may be able to translate our vision into the frame more quickly, so at this point we’re more likely to spend more time with subjects, making more exposures, trying out all our little tricks on the same subject to see how many different looks we can get, what works and what doesn’t.

Up until now, the pace of our work has evolved organically. We shoot at the speed that is necessary. If something is happening quickly, we speed up. If we have time, we take as much as we need. This makes sense and works well. But I wanted to try something new.

Here is where I decided to insert something new into my process. I wanted to see how imposing a specific pace and sticking with it would affect my photography. In my work I try to convey an impression of whatever it is that I’m shooting that is honest, portrays the subject accurately, but brings something of myself to the scene and hopefully shows the viewer something they’ve never seen before, even if the subject is very familiar to them.

This blog is mostly about chasing my wife and dog around.

Sweden was the perfect place to start. I had a lot of time in the same place, without many obligations, and it was a good mix of familiar and foreign. I started slow, which is close to my normal speed. Early one morning I went out to the docks, set a boundary of where I wanted to shoot, and set out to take some pictures. To ensure that I slowed down, I deliberately saved the coffee until after I was done…

So I looked at things for longer than I otherwise might have. I shot things that initially seemed boring. After staring at them for long enough though, I started to see more to them. Shapes revealed themselves. I got closer - patterns emerged. I stuck to the slow pace. I shot. Then I went for breakfast.

The photos were ok. Some were good. I think that there were more throwaway shots in the mix than usual though. And maybe more cliché looking shots.
I suspect that given the time to think, maybe I think too much.

So next I was going for a walk with my wife and her stepbrother. They weren’t taking photos. We didn’t have an agenda though, and they were patient with me. Still, I decided to keep the pace quick. Find a shot, make one or maybe two frames at the most and keep moving. Shoot quickly and don’t make them wait. If I couldn’t get the shot in two frames, so be it.

Late summer bathers. Kladeshölmen, Sweden.

Quickly I fell into a rhythm. I’d walk, scan, stop, shoot, and then hustle to catch up. Walk, scan, shoot, repeat. I spent less time looking at my LCD. I trusted my exposures. I went with my first impression of framing and composition, spent around 10 seconds total on every shot, and I kept up.

When I first went through the photos a couple interesting things happened. First, I threw out less than I expected to. There was more quality right off the bat, and there were less “practice frames”. Second, I saw a real “look” that sometimes my work can lack. There were repeated themes. There was cohesiveness. At the risk at sounding pretentious, there was honesty. Third, the shots grew on me as time went on. More and more frames started to feel like real winners, like very definite representations of the place and time. I felt like I was on to something.

This photo has nothing to do with the text. Or does it?!

I continued the experiment when I got home, again, on a walk with the wife and dog, this time speeding the pace even more. I walked quickly, scanned, shot and tried not to get left behind. In a few moments I realized that this end of the spectrum wasn’t working for me. Walking at a fast pace made me lose contact with the things I want to shoot and I lost the insight into the subject matter.

So what am I taking away from all this? Well I guess it’s simple. Whatever it takes to get my mind out of the mix when shooting is probably a good thing if I want to shoot honest photos. The lessons I learned from that one photowalk in Sweden have stuck with me and the results have triggered a focus and direction that I can easily access either through replicating the pace, or reviewing the original shots to find that “feeling” again.

This is big picture stuff. It’s much easier to write about gear or the rule of thirds, but vision and creativity can be far more intangible and valuable. As I was finishing up this little piece, I was reading my regular blog roundup and
Rachel Hulin had a transcription of an interview with Edward Burtynsky whose work I admire. Interestingly he touched on some of the things I’ve been talking about, but I like his next step which is to return to the site and continue to shoot and experiment. If you’re working editorially on a limited timeframe there isn’t always time to go back and photograph scenes like he does, but it makes a ton of sense and I’m interested to revisit some of my shots with film and try out different formats at different times.

If you have something to add to the conversation, please do so in the comments.


Frame one of two, taken in 12 seconds while walking quickly...

A week in Belize with Sun Dancer 2

Hello friends,

I’m just back from a week in Belize aboard a fantastic liveaboard dive boat called the Sun Dancer 2. The flagship of the Dancer fleet, the Sun Dancer 2 runs out of Belize City and spends the week hopping from site to site along the mesoamerican barrier reef and exploring some really pristine reef systems, much of them protected and part of a UNESCO world heritage site.


Close friends of mine will know that we’ve had a tragic year and this week away was very much what we needed at the end of an emotionally exhaustive stretch. This trip would have already been great, but that fact that the captain and hostess are Simon and Andrina made it even better.

I spent a week diving these waters in 2006 and was looking forward to getting another look at the reef. It’s very similar to what I know in Roatan, but it gets less traffic and has some creatures that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. I can’t recommend these guys enough, they are so quick to take care of every need, the food is great, and some of the best diving in the Caribbean is right under your bunk.

I finally housed one of my Nikons after years of messing around with point and shoot cameras underwater. It’s bigger and heavier, but it does the job a hundred times better.

Here are some shots.


Captain Simon. Hold his nose and air comes out of his ear...


Some really nice staghorn coral.


The spotted toadfish is endemic and found nowhere else. It took me until the last night to see him though!


First time I’ve ever seen a Spanish Dancer.


This funny little guy is called a Goatee blennie. Another first time creature for me, they are extremely reclusive and rare to find.


Fringe backed nudibranch. T found this guy and I spent a bunch of time with him.


This is the second Viper Moray I’ve ever seen and the first I’ve ever got a shot of.


Gorgeous little filefish.


Andrina underwater...


Andrina waiting on the stern.


Tiny little brittle star.


Reef Squid at night.


Octopus at night.


Pushing the limit of my 60mm macro.


Pedersen’s cleaner shrimp.


Horse eye jacks lived under the boat all the time.


T with an eagle ray.


Nice walls and fans.


Damn lionfish.


Cave full of silversides.








Night stingray.


I’m a fan of fans.


The housing gets a rest.


near miss

Hello friends.

Here’s a diptych for you. I’m calling it “near miss”.



Fishing trail

Went for a fish the other day. Didn’t do that well but it was a perfect day.


These are the two characters in one of the wallpapers this month.

False Creek life.

Guess the lighting on the last shot!





going back to the well

I’ve shot this building
many, many times. Some days I find it just mesmerizing, like a giant bug eye.



September Wallpaper -Canvas

Hi friends,

I was so stoked on the response to the free wallpaper calendar that we did this month that I decided to go ahead and offer it up as a 36x24 inch canvas! First of all I had to order one myself to make sure that it was going to be up to a high enough standard for all of you all. It looks even better than I imagined so I’m very proud to bring it to you now.

I made a sales page up HERE so take a look and remember, Christmas is coming soon!

Here is how it looks on my wall:


And this is the original image.


Vancouver photo on canvas. Leaves, trees, fall, forest, autumn, north vancouver, north shore, sale,

Some more.

When you get a new system you have to shoot a lot, just to get used to the ergonomics and functionality. Sometimes this creates crap, and sometimes it creates greatness.





Walkin around

Some photos from this morning. A really low tide in False Creek.


flower water
break time
coast line
piling on.
lost at sea?

best looking dumpster in town.

Busy weekend, not too much to say.



random shots

Hello friends,

Just going through some shots from the last few days and thought I should share. There was a super crazy sky here two nights ago and after looking at
this shot I pulled out a couple of mine. I came outside a little later and watched as the neon tones faded, there was so much crazy tone in the sky after.

the park


I took the Zeiss Sonnar 90mm out on a walk yesterday. Not much was going on so I was just trying to get really good focus, handheld. It worked out pretty well. I guess I’m getting more used to it. I think the EVF would help a lot because you aren’t holding the camera steady 20 cms from your face in mid air. But then, you have a bigger system.


Finally, the
Cirque left my hood this week. This one is from a lil ways back, some workers up on the top of the tent, taking a break. My wife pointed out this shot. She has a good eye.

Have a good day.



Switch: Canon G9 to Panasonic GF1

From Canon G9 to Panasonic GF1

warning: this blog contains photo geekery, pictures of flowers and real opinions.

I loved my Canon g9. I shot the hell out of that camera. In fact, I bought a spare, that’s how much I loved it. I walked around with it all the time, bought an underwater housing for it and found myself falling in love with photography again, largely as a result of having a very versatile and capable camera with me at all times.

After a couple years of non-stop use though, I started to see some of its limitations and when I started to see the reviews of the micro four thirds cameras, with their relatively large sensor and ability to use high quality lenses, I felt the very real pangs of camera envy growing.

I read review after review, dug out my old Contax G2 with its 45mm f2 and 90mm f2.8, read reviews of all the adapters, looked at shots and video clips and opinions on message boards…I obsessed. Then after I got home from Sweden this year, I pulled the trigger. I ordered the GF1 with the 20mm f1.7 and the 7-14 f4 from
“The Camera Store” in Calgary. I like supporting a small non-chain camera shop, and the fact that they support my friend Mark Gallup clinched it for me. The price was as good as I could find in Canada and from the time I hit the “buy” button until the time it was in my hands was about 4 days. My review of “The Camera Shop” is 10 out of 10.

So you get a new camera…what next? Charge the battery, read just enough of the manual to take a picture, and shoot the first thing you come across. I walked out on the deck, cranked the 20mm wide open and shot the garden. Then I shot the dog. Then I took some video. I’m sure you know this story. I worked my way through the ISO settings, shot inside and out, checked the close focus distance and started to download the shots to take a peek.

The 20mm, wide open at 1.7, 1/1600th ISO 100. Looks pretty good eh?
100% crop of the above image with no sharpening, noise reduction or whatever. Hmmm. Nice.
This is what my patio looks like with the 7-14 on 7mm, f4, 1/2000. Note the interesting distortion and fabulous teak patio furniture.

My computer didn’t recognize the rw2 files. I use CS3 and bridge. I like it, don’t try to convert me. I’m happy. I used to be able to download, rename, convert to .dng and add metadata all in one step, but obviously I was going to have to change my workflow. After some tinkering I figured out how to convert to .dng, and realized that for my needs, mpeg was going to be way easier to deal with than avhdc codec for video format. So now my downloading takes a little longer. The “Silkypix” included software has a smattering of followers and supporters so I downloaded it, but the UI turned me off. I might get there eventually, but I’m too impatient to learn a new system right now.

Eventually I ended up with the .dng files that my computer knew what to do with and I was ready to get started. And the files were good. First the 20mm lens. It’s sharp as shit. Wide open sharp, stopped down sharp, really good. It’s also fast, and that, combined with improved performance at higher ISO compared to the G9, makes this setup a killer in dim light. Which is good, because I’m not that enamoured with the GF1 onboard flash.

The 7-14 is not as fast, but it’s a really nice lens. It’s expensive though, and I probably should have thought about some longer lens options before I got something so specialized. I did however, have to shoot some house photos for a Real Estate listing the day after I got it, and found it to be pretty much the perfect lens for the job. No barrel distortion makes for a nice open room without the freakshow angles. I haven’t really done a ton of walking around with it yet, but I liked it for landscape and environment shots when I was

Shows the whole room without the crazy distortion of a fisheye.
I didn’t use this one for the listing, but I like the symmetry.

So one of the things I was most excited about with this camera was the ability to use some of the lenses from my old Contax G2. I read extensively about the pros and cons of all the adapters, and it sounds like some of them were evolving as I was reading, but I eventually settled on the Metabones because of its large focusing ring. (Bought on ebay, shipped from hong kong, took about ten days -ish)

After it finally arrived, I was back out on the patio, shooting the garden, checking out the specifics of the lenses and trying to get used to manual focus with and lcd and 90mm that is equivalent to 180mm on 35! Here is what I have to say about all that. Handheld is really hard with the 90mm. The GF1 helps you to manual focus by zooming in on the screen, and it’s really effective, except that when you are using such a long lens any minute movement from your hand translates to a drastic shake on the screen. Is it impossible? No, of course not, and I have used the 90mm quite a bit, but it is difficult. So I mentioned it. You could easily solve this problem with a tripod, but then you’re carrying a tripod. The 45mm was quite a bit easier to focus because of its shorter pull and it is a pretty amazing piece of glass. I leave the adapter on it most of the time.

Back out to the garden with the 45mm. OOOOooooooo!
100% crop. No processing.

The process of shooting slows down with the manual focus prime lenses, and for some this defeats the purpose of a small, high quality camera. I admit, when I’m out walking the dog with my wife and she’s just trucking away, I often have mere seconds to compose, focus and shoot before being left behind. In that situation the Zeiss lenses aren’t my go to choice.

No chance I’d be pulling out my DSLR in this situation. 20mm, 1.7, 1/25th with +2/3 stop exposure comp
I found the autofocus to be extremely fast and accurate, catching moments like this where the g9 would have lagged.

So here is the crux of the issue; when does your small camera become too big? That’s obviously different for everyone, but for the GF1 to be truly portable for ME, the 20mm is the lens I’m working with. When you start using the other lenses it becomes a whole different class of camera. And that’s not bad, because the quality is in a whole different class. But I miss the versatility of the G9’s zoom relative to its body size.

I went by the Monster office the other day and there was one of the MTB athletes in there. They needed a quick portrait for the website and I had my GF1 and 20mm. In 5 minutes, with ambient light, I had a shot I was happy with. To me, that tells the whole story. Could I have got it with the G9? Well sure, I mean, they’re all just cameras, but the quality of the image with the GF1 is better and I feel way more confidant pulling it out to get the job done.

This isn’t the shot, but you get the idea.

There have been lots of times when I have wished that I still had the G9 in my pocket, but so far I still reach for the GF1 when I’m walking out the door. I have lots of opinions and impressions, if I haven’t covered something that interests you, leave a comment.


GF1 Pros:

Image quality
Lens quality and variety.
Speed of operation

G9 Pros:

Camera size

Everyone loves sunsets
Long exposure with the GF1 balanced on a mossy rock and 2 sec. self timer. 1 sec, f22.
The 7-14 excels at this sort of thing.
Nice light in the woods.
Black and white? I hear the black and white mode that’s built in is nice. Haven’t tried it yet.

Fishing again. The Skagit.

Since moving to Vancouver my fishing has suffered. In Whistler I used to pop out to the lake several times a week, and hit up the rivers fairly often as well. Vancouver was intimidating. Where to go? How could I fish without going shoulder to shoulder with the crowds of tin-chucking meat harvesters? I don’t keep fish often, it’s a pain in the ass to clean, carry and care for them and the truth of the matter is, I’d rather fish for a big trout in a catch-and-release only stream than a million average trout in an overstocked put-and-take fishery. But that’s me, I don’t judge.

Last week I finally got out to the Skagit. To say that it’s “local” is a bit of a stretch, the drive is over 2 hours from downtown. In fact, I could probably get to the Birkenhead faster, but I’m looking for new water and the Skagit is that. Plus I went with Jon Cartwright and he’d spent a productive day there last year, pulling decent fish on the dry fly, so I wasn’t going in completely blind.

First of all, this is some beautiful water. Right now you can wade it everywhere, there are perfect deep holes, riffles, undercut banks and best of all, fish. Almost right away we started to see big silver flashes in the deeper water. Like, BIG flashes. That and lots of surface action. Then I started turning over rocks and what I found blew me away. Huge mayfly nymphs, massive cased caddis, and lots of stoneflies. Eventually I found one of the biggest I’ve ever seen, almost two inches long!

There were a few fishermen and women around but people moved frequently and we never felt crowded. The rainbows here are as cautious as they are plentiful. I found a noticeable difference in my luck when I switched up and fished 5x tippet after a relatively slow patch with 3x fished wet. We had luck on dark stone nymphs, not so much with the golden stones that had been recommended and all sorts of dries. At first we concentrated on elk hair caddis, but after we started to see more mays coming off, we moved to green, yellow and black humpies and had the most action. Really pretty rainbows between 12 and 14 inches were the order of the day.

Near the end of the day I got too curious about those big silver flashes and put a big black bead head leech on my sinking line, dropped it into a deep slow running hole and waited. A minute later as I slowly retrieved I felt a heavy weight. At first I thought I had bottom, then the bottom did a head shake and I knew I was into something better. I could tell pretty quickly that I was into a Dolly. He took a few sharp runs but mostly just bulldogged me and worked his way into the current whenever he could. On the 5 weight, he was a perfect fish. He measured out just over 18 inches when he finally gave up and showed off his vibrant peach-coloured spots and flashy sides. He was a little skinny, but clean. From the flashes I saw, I’m pretty sure that he was small to average, I’d wager there are some of his far bigger brothers in there too. But that’s for another day.

So I’ve got a little gem in my pocket now, I’ve seen some beautiful water, not too far from home, and am looking forward to learning more about this beautiful river.

First look
First fish on a black nymph
Jon tests the banks
A small stone nymph. The huge one I found was a little too active for a photo.
Jon releases a bow.
and casts for another one.
Under these rocks, lots of fish food.
The dolly.
Full length.
End of the day.

One from the road.

The tonal range and quality of the GF1 sensor is impressive. I’m planning a full review of all my impressions, good and bad, in the next day or two. Leaving Phoenix now and on my way back to YVR.


two old dudes, toy boat, hugging couple and a cute girl

4 photos





Annie Leibovitz Exhibit in Stockholm

Had a nice tourist day in Stockholm yesterday. Walked around, took the “hop on, hop off” boat, went to the Vasa Museum and saw the Annie Leibovitz Exhibition at the Fotografiska photography museum. More later. Gotta go do some shopping.


military cadets at the palace.
that dude.
this thing sat underwater for 333 years.
and now, some swedes.





Louise in Stockholm

Took the train to Stockholm yesterday. Had lunch with some family and then made our way around town. What a perfect town for walking or riding a bike. In fact, it’s one of the most bike friendly cities I’ve seen. Louise enjoyed being a tourist dog and wore herself out.

More Stockholm today.


tight streets of old city
perfect swedish bike guy
tight streets

Then we found this cafe with really great light across the street. Had a couple beers and shot some people. This is an awesome little set but I don’ have time to work on them right now. Here are a couple.



last day for a boat ride

Well, today was our last day here in Kladesholmen. We spent it out on the boat.

Tomorrow we are off to Stockholm. So there.


navigation cairn
swedish colours
no man is an island.

We had some rain yesterday.

we had some rain yesterday...


but then it cleared up


sweden + time on my hands = lots of photos.


tight real estate
somebody took a whiz here.
lichen covered rocks
catching rays whenever and wherever
the whole coast is covered in swim ladders. swim ladders to cold, cold water.

When a jumble of words become a sentence.

It’s interesting after being in a place for a few days how you start to get a better sense of it. At first on this trip I was shooting what I saw, but as I spend more time, I start to shoot how it feels here and as a result the shots become more honest. A style is developing and as it does, I search it out more. Shots from a few days ago already seem not to “get it”, which is to say that they no longer fit in with the narrative that I’ve developed in my head.

Kladesholmen was a fishing village forever when around 50 years ago some folks from Gothenburg started to buy little fishing huts as summer houses. Now there are very few fishermen lift and it is a community of vacationers and retirees. It maintains a bit of the feel of a fishing village, but it’s more like an homage than a true representation.

The maritime feel of this place is very real though. Most days include a boat trip, which is fine by me!

More soon.


ropes and floats. one of the last working fisherman here.
and his boat
Calm water early one morning
swimming hole at the park
fishing boy
tubby lil boat
floating hotel
lunch spot?
little dock
tiny harbour

more sweden

Some more shots from Sweden. Boat trips, walks and meals are the order of the day.


yellow house
fishing house
soccer pitch
we got a little rain
the land of white fences


A couple Sweden shots

I’m in Sweden for two weeks on a little Island called Kladesholmen. I’m taking lots of photos. Here are some now...







A shot from Cuba

In 2004 I went to Cuba. A week ago I scanned this photo for the first time. This is a typical day in Vinales. Enjoy.



Granville Island

The other day we took the aquabus down False Creek to Granville Island for breakfast. As it turns out, almost everyone who serves breakfast there stops serving it at 11 o’clock, so if you’re thinking of going for brunch, you might end up having lunch instead. We had blueberry crepes though and they were delicious. We also found out later that the food place in the net loft serves breakfast all day. So now you know. Here are some shots of things from Granville Island.

I’m in Sweden for a couple of weeks. I’ll put up some photos soon.


The aquabus arrives.
Sylvie is very excited about the aquabus!
crepes. mmmmmmm.
happy sausage. mmmmm.
stuffed peppers. mmmm.
fresh new potatoes. mmmm.
a big stack of cherries. mmmmmm.
prawns! mmmmmmm.
fresh salmon!
amazing looking tomatoes.

Craig in Black and White.

Here is a shot of Craig Kelly that nobody has ever seen. I like to think of him out there in the mellow pow fields doing long heelside carves.

Have a nice day.



Snowboard Photo Blog #a billion

I’m scanning again. Every time anyone asks me for an old shot and I have to go dig into the binders I get lost for days.

This was the end of the 2001 season. JP Walker had just about finished filming one of the best parts in snowboarding history and he wanted to smack it way over the fences. At this point rock rides didn’t happen. He did this one and set off a flurry of them over the next couple years. This was heavy. I remember stressing about the angle, I wanted to make sure that the entire length of the rock was in the frame. The sketchiest part of the whole thing was the runout though. He had to weave through the treeline at speed after landing.

The magazine morphed a sequence but nobody has ever seen the still photo.


Urban yoga circle

I passed a yoga circle on my walk yesterday. It looked like this:


That is all.


Sound System

I have cool friends. Stylish friends. Amazing and interesting friends that make me look like pretty much of a shlub in comparison.

The other day we went over to my friends Semele and Bruce's home for an afternoon cocktail before heading out for a sushi dinner. They have taken a typical vancouver box house and turned it into a beautful example of good design and impecable taste. When we got there some surfy acoustic bliss was coming out of this stereo record machine. Sounds as good as it looks and made for a perfect soundtrack for Sem's spur-of-the-moment blender drink creations.

Good times, good company, summer...real nice.



a boat.

In Roatan you spend a lot of time waiting for boats. Waiting for them to go out so you can dive, waiting for them to come in so you can strip off the gear and reload it, waiting for friends to come back, or waiting to go somewhere new. It's one of the realities of living on an island. Some of the boats have been working these waters for years and they wear their age like an old coat.

I walked past this old girl for a long time before one day, while waiting for a different boat, I decided to take a closer look.











Cirque de Soleil Kooza in Vancouver

So the last time that La Cirque de Soleil set up across the street from us, we looked at the tents for a month or six weeks or whatever and barely discussed going to the show. After it was gone we kinda slapped our heads and said "What the Hell were we thinking?"

La Cirque is back with a show called Kooza and this time we're not going to miss it dammit. However, our tickets aren't until we're back from sweden so I'll have to wait a few weeks. Until then, here is a review and some photos that I've taken in the last few days. The tents are so big and distinctive that they are hard to miss on our daily walks. I've yet to really get a shot that I like but will continue to snap away.


The inside of BC Place and the cirque tent and our building
In tents, Intense.
La Cirque with no Soleil.


Chainsaw, cut wood.

One more of Rob and his chainsaw.


And what they do together:


Hastings park for Wiener races

Yesterday was the second annual Hastings Park Wiener Dog races. Louise was a little young for them last year, but this year she was ready to go. After an extensive training program (4 days of running from one parent to the other in the park) she was ready to test her skills against some of the finest racing dachshunds on the planet. Or at least the 64 who bothered to sign up in time from Greater Vancouver.

Right out of the gate she was flying, until she noticed that there were 6 other dogs behind her, so she slowed to take a look at them all. That's right about the time that she noticed Max, a good looking chocolate dapple, making a break for the finish line. She hit the gas and almost caught him at the wire, but had to settle for second.

So Louise didn't advance to the final, but she did show a lot of promise and flat out speed. If she can focus next year, I think she might take it.

Our friend Nancy has a little video of the race. From her angle it looks like Weezy caught up and won. It was that close.


That is one good looking racing dog.
I took a t/s lens with me. (No I didn't).
In the gate and ready to rip.
So right here is where she got a little sidetracked. "Hey, what are all you guys doing back there?"
I was so excited that I stopped looking through the viewfinder and just let the camera rip. Focus/shmocus.
Actually, the sound of pounding hooves is really soothing.
I don't bet on the ponies.

The winning form of Joey. Two years running.
Next year Louise will have some training behind her and give him a run for his money. Or not, whatever she feels like...

Jumping through hoops for the Olympics.

All last year my friend Shin would disappear now and again for a secret project that he was working on. I didn't think too much about it until we started getting closer to the Olympics and the rumours started flying about a crazy ramp being built in BC place for the opening ceremonies. Right around that time I noticed that Shin was making a lot of trips to the city. And then My friend Johnny sorta disappeared from the twittershpere. Hmmm, something was going on.

Well secrets don't stay secret very long in the snowboard community, so by the time I attended the Opening Ceremony rehearsal I already knew that Shin and Johnny were going to be jumping through the Olympic Rings as part of the ceremony. What I didn't know was that the whole stunt would be preceded by a couple minutes of really well filmed freeriding shot last year, and that the jump was going to kick off the whole Olympics! Damn!

I wish I had a chance to see Shin hit the jump in the first rehearsal but it was amazing to watch Johnny stomp his indy on the sketchiest carpet and airbag landing. As the story now goes, the decision came down to a coin flip. I'm stoked to have known and shot these guys for years and glad that they had such a positive influence on the way snowboarding was portrayed to the world. Shin has said that the producers were really open to their input and made sure that snowboarders wouldn't be bummed on yet another misguided "hollywood" attempt at portraying us.

Here are some shots of the boys over the years.
lyall sckink1
Johnny Lyall on a Whistler kink rail
Johnny Lyall on a Whistler Backcountry booter.
Shin at Whistler last season
Shin Campos from the deep winter contest in 2008
Shin Campos on Whistler last season.

Deep Winter is back

Right now there are five photographers that are totally exhausted. They are competing this week, in the Deep Winter photo contest that Arc’Teryx and Whistler/Blackcomb have been putting on for the last several years. The idea behind this contest was to highlight the fact that some of the best riding that ever takes place in Whistler is during storm season, and the first week of January is a fairly safe bet for storms.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow the photographers head up the mountain and shoot enough photos to present a 3 to 5 minute slide show on Thursday night in front of 700 or so people. The rules state that you have to shoot in bounds and during regular operating hours. That essentially gives you less than 24 hours of total shooting time. Having done this contest twice, I can tell you that it is the most exhausting and exhilarating week of the season.

This week I’ll be judging the slideshows, so come out to the
Fairmont Whistler on Thursday night and watch the work of some of the best photographers in the business. Jordan Manley has won it twice, Paul Morrison has won it and I’m really looking forward to first time competitors Colin Adair and Nicholas Teichrob.

Here are some of my favourite shots from my two efforts and you can watch my second slideshow

Good luck out there guys.













Thinking of Kevin Pearce

Here is a shot from a few years ago of Kevin Pearce. Kevin was hurt riding halfpipe the other day and is in a Utah hospital as we speak. Head injuries are always scary but the best thing about them is that they can end up with no long term effects. Everyone is crossing their fingers for Kevin.

I only met him this day. He was quiet, shy, new to the media circus. Now, in the run-up to the 2010 Olympics, his crash makes the US national news.

Send him good vibes here or drop by the frends site. Snowboarding is a massive brotherhood and we're all thinking of this little brother today.



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.

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.





Putting summer behind me

I stumbled into a little catalog shoot this week. My friend Mark broke his hip pretending to be an 18 year old skater and rather than letting down his client he asked me to shoot it for him. It's very straightforward shooting and I'm a little disappointed that I won't be pushing any limits, but as always I intend to bring something special to the job and find a way to over deliver. All this comes a little quickly and going from sleepy third world living to hectic first world organizing is a definite switch of gears. Wish me luck.

Here is a little slideshow from my diving gallery on Photoshelter. Some of the shots are old but there are a bunch from this past summer. I'm closing the book on diving for now and moving on to the next thing. Well, at least until the end of October when we head to Maui...



scuba dive - Images by dano pendygrasse

Dr Sun Yat-Sen Gardens

I was ten minutes early for a meeting yesterday so I finally went into the Dr Sun Yat-Sen gardens by my house. The entrance is literally a block and a half from my front door and I've never been in. In ten minutes I managed to scratch the surface, but there are undoubtedly many more photos to be found here. I love Vancouver for its amazing diversity and the fact that there are little gems like this tucked away just about everywhere.

It's my wife's birthday. Give her some love.


Click any photo

I'm so sick of HDR, well balanced images. Let the highlights blow out you idiots.
It's hard not to shoot the cliche shots.
I love the f'ed up lines in this. Everything is going to be alright. Indeed.
WOOF! WOOF...er, I mean; Bark.

Back in Roatan

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been in Roatan for a week now, took about half that to get my bags, battled off the dreaded "roatan gut" for a few days and then got down to business. I'm doing my divemaster training with Reef Gliders and have started to wade through the thousands of pages of reading and tests, but still have managed to sneak in a few dives. I always like to shoot at El Aguila, it has lots of cool lines and as I learn how to shoot underwater better, it's a good baseline to judge myself against.

Yesterday on the first dive, I was shooting a photo of a turtle passing me by when I heard Barry banging away like mad on his tank trying to get my attention. Barry isn't really one to bang his tank a lot, so I figured something exciting was going on. As it turns out a big green Moray Eel had snuck up behind me and was biting my fin! Never had that happen before! When I got back to the shop and looked at my photos I saw him sneaking up on me in the background of this shot.

Sneaky Green Moray Eel and turtle.

Just blowing bubbles.

A diver on the wreck.

Goldentail Moray's are my favourite eel around here

And finally a flamingo tongue.

It's a little tough to keep up with the blog here, the power still goes out pretty much once a day, the internet is painfully slow and I am kept really busy with the DM course, but I'll try to get something up at least once a week, hopefully more. I'm going to try to get photos up here as often as I can too, so check it out if you like.



I'm coming!

I sleep till plane. 2 till this view. Port Royal or Salva is the hardest decision I'm making for awhile.



I'm going back to see these goofballs. Can't wait.


Moments in time - Matt Goodwill

After trying for years Matt Goodwill finally won the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom in 1999. Matt was seriously one of the most exciting snowboarders to watch, but very few people ever got to see him in his element. He was a monster in big mountains and his high speed Alaska attack predated Johan Oloffson's reshaping of big mountain riding by several years. Interestingly snowboarding doesn't seem to pay him much attention or give him much credit, but in my mind he was one of the people who really rewrote the rules about how to ride the steeps.

When he won the Banked Slalom it was as inevitable as it was awesome. He looked almost relieved to finally check it off the list. He raised the ceremonial drum that was the trophy that year, and let out a native Washingtonian whoop that everyone there felt in their soul.

A great moment in snowboarding's history for sure for Steven's Pass's favourite son.

I always loved this photo but it never had a home.



Photography, ah yes...

So as some of you know, I'm about to take a trip down south. I'm going back to Roatan to do my Divemaster training and hopefully see a little more of Central America. Soon my blog will be mostly turquoise and jungle green.

I'm not rich, so I can't just leave the apartment empty and pay the mortgage. This is unfortunate. I have some paintings on the wall that are very valuable to me and that I'm not particularly interested in leaving to the whim of fate, so they are getting stored. They are 7 panels and the arrangement left me with a bit of a dilemma; what do I use to replace them? I decided to make 7 shots from around the hood, all taken with the canon g9 and converted to black and white. Of course then I went ahead and made way too many and now I have to choose.

Can you guys help me by picking your favourite and least favourite. I know some of you don't like to make public comments, so it's ok to send me a note, or feel free to put your comment in at the bottom. All this stuff has been taken in the last year and a half walking around my neighbourhood.


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.





Earlier this week I drove to Whistler early one morning to shoot some park. You can watch a video of that day here. On the way up, past Squamish, in the Cheakamus canyon I was the 4th or 5th vehicle at an accident scene. As I dove up I saw the highway was blocked by a pickup truck that had been dumped on its cab. Two people were taking the driver out and then took her (I think) to the barrier where they were attending to her. She walked away from this.

Motorists attend to the victim of an early morning accident on Highway 99 north of Squamish, April 7, 2009.

She was taken care of and I was late, so after I saw that I couldn't be of any assistance I drove on. I called it in to Mountain FM, so if you were listening to the radio on Tuesday you might have heard Dano.

Drive safe.

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:


Quiksilver Showdown over the city

A couple shots from last Saturday at Grouse Mountain. Despite the fog I had a lot of fun shooting. Thanks to Jeff Silcock from Grouse for hooking me up.

I'm still really busy with too many projects and dealing with my truck. Sorry I don't have more to say today.

Grenade Games are coming soon and registration is open now right here. It's only open till the 8th so get on it!

This kid had sweet tailslides through the kink. He and his friend never stopped hitting it all day. I love it when kids are stoked on shredding.
seb toots won it
ridiculous style
Atsushi came third.
belzile at the end of the day in the skyride.

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.




I like this photo. Nothing more. Nothing less.


A black and white snowboarding photo. Of Mark Landvik. In the Kootenays.

There isn't a lot of demand in the snowboard media for photos that have an emotional depth. People focus on the "trick porn" a lot and although you may see lots of well executed portraits and "lifestyle" shots, they are more often than not staged, plain, soulless images made to emulate the photographers favourite technique instead of capture anything transcendent or intimate. That's fine, it's just snowboarding and there really is no need to aim high...

I've always liked photos that evoke a feeling, especially one of familiarity. I like when you can look at a shot and know what it feels like to be there, to feel the snow, the cold on your face, the wind. I like when a photographer stops wanking off with their technical ego and starts to pay more attention to what is going on in front of the camera. I guess I'm tired of seeing technically perfect and creatively anemic snowboard photos.


David Rouleau snowboards for my camera.

Dave Rouleau. Gap to frontboard. Whistler.


Vancouver Downtown Eastside.

Vancouver's downtown eastside is rough. I spend a lot of time walking down there and I've seen all sorts of madness from the bottom end of humanity. Drug abuse makes people into husks. One dimensional creatures with a simple agenda; get more, do more, by whatever means. Crime is rampant and the streets are full of characters that you don't want to meet in an alley after dark. I don't make eye contact often.

There is, however, a lot that I want to take pictures of. I've begun to get a little braver with the camera, and it comes out pretty much every day now, but I'm still not ready to take a picture of an addict in the middle of a psychotic speedball episode. It's not really what I'm interested in to be honest. It feels a little cheap to go looking for the truly depraved so that middle class folks can point at the pictures and say "that's the problem."


12 months

In the last 12 months I:

Got married.
Bought a condo.
Wrote a book.
Spent 20 (though not nearly enough) hours underwater.
Watched the magazine I helped start, end.
Sold photos to magazines and companies around the world.
Did the highest paying photo job I’ve ever done.
Was offered less than I ever have been for photos.
Took huge chances in my career.
Worked on a deeply satisfying personal project.
Worked too hard, but not smart enough.
Lost my priorities.
Found them again.
Fell further in love.
Started to put the pieces together.
Was humiliated.
Was proud.
Was intimidated.
Got over it.
Rode a bus.
Rode a bike.
Rode a boat.
Rode a helicopter.
Rode a snowboard.
Rode a plane.
Rode a (sky)train.
Rode a snowmobile.

Sometimes I have absolutely no idea how I make it through the years. My life astonishes me.

Wind. Olympic Village. Vancouver.

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


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.


the fog

Vancouver is setting a record for the longest stretch of fog ever. I mean, I heard that anyway. It might be true, maybe not. This was taken at noon. (That also may not be true.)




It's been 6 years since we lost Craig Kelly. I called him "Snowboarding's last great leader" a few years ago when the documentary "Let it ride" came out and I think it holds true. Volumes have been written about Craig's influence so I won't go too deep into it. I'll let his riding do the talking. I wear a "remember Craig Kelly" button riding every day.


Roatan dive photos - Photoshelter gallery

Check out some shots from diving in Roatan, Honduras.


Mark Landvik


Brian Savard

Brian Savard was one of the hardest working shredders in the game for awhile and despite never having ridden for one of the big "star maker" brands in snowboarding, he still managed to become one of the biggest names in the late 90's.

This photo ran on the cover of Snowboarder Magazine in 1999 and is an all-time favourite of mine. I've shot this cliff a few times with Brian and also with Shin Campos. It's in bounds on Whistler Mountain and rarely sees much action because it's really hard to get on top of. We called it "tree cliff" because there is a tree in the landing that both Brian and Shin have hit.

In an era where we are seeing more and more weak riding in the media (tail blocks, tiny "urban cliffs", and weak backcountry booters), I miss the power of riders like Brian. Of course there are still lots of them out there, but increasingly they are pushed aside in favour of over-strobed "filler" shots. The rise of this kind of photography corresponds with the strobist culture that is prevalent with young shooters. They tend to prioritize their technical (pocket) wizardry in front of the skill of their riders. With the increase in blogs and websites as the culture-defining media outlets and their lack of buyout budget, we see lots of b and c grade photography being paraded around as legitimate. Unfortunately this trend has trickled upwards and traditional paper mags have been persuaded to believe that if a photo has enough gelled strobes lighting it, the riding can be just about anything.

I disagree. I think we are on the verge of a point where people will stop picking up magazines that continue to pass off this cheesy faux snowboarding and see it for what it is. A charade.



I've been following the VBS.tv series "Powder and Rails" since it started earlier this year and although the episodes are short and they come out erratically, it's fun to watch my youth being given the documentary treatment.

This week there have been a couple of episodes on one of my favourite riders ever, Jeff Brushie. When Jeff was still a teenager he came out to Whistler and lived at the end of a dead end hallway in our house. He was super stoked on riding and was content to make himself a little bed in the corner, live on next to nothing and ride every day, all summer long. When I started shooting pictures in 1991 he was one of the first guys I shot and over the years I got to shoot with him quite a few times.

Brush was the kind of rider who set the bar for style. If he changed how he did a trick, the very next day half a dozen pros would do the trick his new way. I guess some would call that a compliment. Jeff had pop back when hardly anybody did and he was always crowding the top of my frame.

Style is harder to put your finger on these days and maybe as a result there is less emphasis put on it in snowboarding. I think that is a shame. Brush will always be the king of style.

Blackcomb, Summer 1991.
Blackcomb, Summer 1992.
Squaw Valley, 1993.

Snowmass, 1994
Westbeach Classic. Whistler, 1996.


Hey folks,

Today I'm posting up one on my best-known and favourite photos. When I shot this photo of Lukas Huffman in 2003, this jump (known as 'perfect jump' because of its natural perfection for jumping) had become pretty blown out and was a one trick pony in terms of angles. I was completely sick of shooting it because there is such an obvious angle that has been shot to death, but not many others. This day I was determined to get something different.

I watched Luke's shadow pay across the snow in the foreground and set out to capture it. I had to beg the rest of the crew not to mess up the snow in the foreground zone with tracks, so someone threw the last bit of their sandwich in there just to mess with me. You can see it there on the left. My friends rule...

When I shot this I had never seen another snowboard shot that looked like it and I was really, really happy with the result. It has run in Magazines a bunch of times and I recently sold a print of it. I love this shot.

Ok, on a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to throw a shoutout to the good folks at Yobeat.com who have been making fun of snowboarding for over a decade.


Snowboard Photo blog v2: part 7 Chris Wimbles

Well folks, it looks like Whistler has pushed forward their opening day to tomorrow, so this will be the final episode of Snowboard Photo Blog: Version 2. It's been fun, I hope you guys have seen some stuff you liked. Now that it is shooting season again you'll start to see some fresh shots up in here!

Today we have Chris Wimbles from December last year. I had a shot of Wimbles in the Frequency photo book recently and in the caption I spoke a bit about how he is a real working professional. Never cracked the Shaun White status, but gets out there and works his ass off to get published all season long. I respect that. A Working Class hero is something to be.

Have good shredding folks.



click photo

Snowboard Photo blog v2: part 6 Eric Jackson

Hey Folks,

Welcome to a brand new week and more shred photos. Thursday is opening day on Whistler, so this will be the last week of Snowboard Photo Blog until I have new shots to share. It was my birthday yesterday and tons of people did cool things to make me happy, which is nice. I'm older, no wiser, and still doing what I do best. Taking pictures of snowboarders.

Here is Eric Jackson again. "But you just showed him on Friday" you say. Well yes I did, but so what. This is one of my favourite shots from last year so I'm showing Eric again.

Have a great day out there. I'm going to write a chapter for the book.

click photo

Snowboard Photo blog v2: part 5 Eric Jackson

Facebook tells me that it is my friend Eric Jackson's birthday today. My favourite kid and a great snowboarder, Ejack keeps me stoked and keeps me laughing when we shoot together. He is everything I like about snowboarding these days; he is a young progressive rider but he takes on the whole mountain instead of just getting stuck in the park. Luckily he has had some great mentors like Mark Landvik and Mads Jonsson, not to mention his brother John. I like taking pictures of Ejack.

Happy birthday buddy, can't wait to get out to the secret spot with you again. It's your year to slaughter.

Here is a double shot of Ejack.


Snowboard Photo blog v2: part 4 Benji Ritchie

I spent a couple days shooting photos of Benji Ritchie, Gabe Taylor last winter while the were filming for the Grenade Films "the boned age". This is the kind of shot that makes me want to go riding, and winter is just around the corner so I hope it makes you want to as well. I hope you have been enjoying the Snowboard Photo Blog. I'll keep it up on weekdays right up till it's time to ride!

click photo

Snowboard Photo blog v2: part 3 Romain de Marchi

Good morning shred dogs, Welcome to Part 3 of the Snowboard Photo Blog: Part 2.

I'd like to welcome all the portrait photographers out there today. Whaddup face shooters.

Today we have a shot of our friend Romain de Marchi from the Absinthe Films' movie "Ready". I spent some time with Paul Watt last year and we had some good days out in the backcountry and also up in Revelstoke.

click photo

Snowboard Photo blog v2: part 2

Good morning friends,

Welcome to day two of version 2 of Snowboard Photo Blog. I'll keep this up right up till opening day so that you all can get as stoked to snowboard as I am.

Our victim today is Mads Jonsson, world record holder and also one hell of a nice guy. He's funny, he's scando, and he's really, really good. This shot was taken during filming for Standard Films' "Aesthetica" this past season, at Northern Escape Heli near Terrace, BC.


mads jonsson, snowboard, dano pendygrasse

click the photo


I'm having a really hard time transitioning from the warm water and beaches of Maui to the grey cold of Vancouver. It's that time of year that is always really challenging, too early to snowboard, but already cold and wet. Roatan is sounding better all the time. Reef Gliders is moving and I can't wait to check out the new shop. I miss my friends down there and the fun times. Shooting diving photos underwater again in Maui has got me all amped on that again. It's a shame that it is so bloody expensive to get into and a tough place to sell photos. I figure it will take about another season before I have some really good underwater stuff. Not that I'm not happy with some of the things that I get down there, but I'm not as consistent as I am shooting people, or snow or whatever.

Ok, time to write a chapter for the book.


A box full of magazines

I just found a box full of magazines. Some of my covers from over the years. Unfortunately they are mostly older and a bunch are missing, but still, it's cool to see some of my old snowboard photos. Chris Dufficy, Devun Walsh, Jf Pelchat, Bjorn Leines, Shaun Palmer, Dionne Delesalle, Brian Savard, Marc Morriset, Mark Landvik, Shin Campos and a bunch more. When I get the rest of my archives gathered together I'll try to make a comprehensive gallery.



Devun Walsh Photo

As long as I've been a snowboard photographer, there have always been certain riders who have stood above their peers. Taking photos of Devun Walsh has always been easy. He's a hard working dude and he loves being out in the snow. I was pulling shots today for an upcoming interview with Devun and couldn't help throwing one out there to you guys. I have hundreds of pictures of Devun and over time I hope to get them all scanned so that I can share them. Thanks Dev.

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Mathieu Crepel

I added a function on photoshelter so that people can download copies for a couple bucks for personal use. Someone asked and it took me, like a month to get around to it...

Mathieu Crepel has epic style. He's French (like France French) and he's cool and here he is over Vancouver.


vintage snowboard photo (no way dano...really?)

I'm pretty sure that this is 1997 but sometimes magazines used to remount your slides and you'd lose all your labels, so I don't really know. I had a total epiphany on scanning today and I had to put something up. I have been hating on my slides because the scans don't feel as cool as the transparency, but today that shifted. That is good and bad. Good because everything will look better from now on, worse because I will probably have to go back and redo a bunch of things. Boo.

I started an Agency for Snowboard photos on Photoshelter. It's a really cool deal where photographers can group together to promote themselves and their work. If you want to play, let me know. The only thing I don't like is that the resizing is automated and some shots look bad. Anyway, check it. If you know what I can do to make the galleries look like the originals, drop me a line.


blue girl

Me: I need a picture of someone feeling blue.

LG: I've been crying all night.

Me: Perfect...


The Descendents

So busy with work and wedding. Sorry I don't have much to say. Well, I actually have tons to say and no time to say it.

Drink coffee.


It used to be a cover

This was once a cover of Snowboarder Magazine. They sent me a great package of history this week to help me with the book. Thanks Pat.

I'm off for my "stag" which means I'm going to fish for two days with some friends. And that is all I have to say about that. Have a great weekend.


Another friend.

This is a shot of my buddy Rob. We met in high school and became fast friends. When I moved to Whistler after high school, Rob did too and we stayed together for the first couple months. When I got interested in Fly fishing, I did it with Rob and we spent days and days on the Birkenhead River tossing out flies and learning how to fool the exceptionally wily Birkenhead rainbow trout. Eventually we knew that river as good as anyone, and Rob became a guide while I chose to keep fishing as a hobby.

As much as we did just about everything together, I never followed Rob into the water when he got into scuba diving. He braved the cold BC waters and was even considering doing his dive master. I didn't understand the appeal at all and left it to him. Fast forward 20 years and I'm completely enamored with diving and he must be laughing. He's coming to Maui for the wedding and after all these years I'm finally going to get to dive with my oldest friend. Amazing.

Robbie's dog Sedge was our faithful companion on all our fishing trips and when he finally passed on earlier this year it was a very sad day. He liked to lick trout while you were trying to release them. He thought they were like funny wiggly sticks put on earth just for him to chase. He was a good fishin dog.


A misty morning in Northern California.

When I lived in California, I used to do the drive up and down I5 between Leucadia and Vancouver 4 or 6 times a year. In the almost 3 years that I lived there i watched the gas costs for that trip go from about 280 dollars to over 400. Gas has gone up 50% since then and I'm not missing that expense. I liked the drive though. I liked 22 hours of no computers and no office. I liked the anticipation of getting home and the feeling of excitement I got as I left Southern California.

I really start to feel like I've left California when I climb out of the plains, into the pine forests and see Mt. Shasta right by Yreka. I usually end up staying the night there unless I've made good time and press on into Oregon.

One morning, I woke up early in Yreka, eager to hit the road and get back to BC before dinner. I wasn't five minutes out of town when I found myself on the side of the road taking in this beautiful scene. The sun was rising and the hazy valley floor was cast in a warm light while mist came off a small farmer's pond. Shasta lurked back there in the distance.

I made three frames and drove north.

You can buy this photo here. And if you do, I'll go and buy another print from Will Steacy who has hit a hard stretch with a shitty landlord. I already bought one, but some of you out there could help me to help him. Pass it on...


Snowboard Photo Blog: part 13

Lucky 13! Ok this has been fun, but I'm done for now. I need to get back to long winded rants and shots from walking the dog around the neighbourhood...

We've had some luck getting magazines interested in some of these shots in the last few weeks, and traffic has been up, so I'll call this experiment a success. Give me a little break on the shred shots and then I'll come back with a new series. I have something good planned. Until then, subscribe to my feed or check back and I promise to keep it interesting around here.

Here is Gaetan Chanut in the Coast Mountains.


Snowboard Photo Blog: part 12

Hi everyone. Here is a shot that is going to run in Japan but nobody in Europe or North America has chosen it yet. Even though it's not how I typically shoot, the thing I love about this shot is
how Shin's head is plowing a perfect wake through his spray. So cool what you can do on dark early winter days with a strobe.

This shot is from the deep winter photo contest in January. Jordan Manley won it and he has been having a hell of a season already with some sweet covers. We're big fans of his work and his character.

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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 11

HI folks, fans, and freaks. Sorry about missing the photo blog yesterday, all that snow got me excited and between that a bunch of interviews and design work, and a sick pooch, well I just didn't get around to it. I know you'll forgive me.

Here we go again for Tuesday. Here is what happens when Mads doesn't get enough coffee and has do ride 55 degree faces before 8 AM. Please, please, don't try this at home.

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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 10

TGIF eh? Am I right? Or what...

Here is Gabe Taylor enjoying an afternoon booter in the Coast Mountains. Now I have to go walk the dog.


Snowboard Photo Blog: part 9

Busy day today. No time to chat.

If this doesn't make you want to go snowboarding, I don't think we're going to be friends...

Romain De Marchi from Absinthe Films shoot. Coast Mountains, British Columbia.
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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 8

Hello my friends and welcome to part 8 of my series on photos from last year that have not yet found a home in a magazine. Ok, this one is going a little off script because it has, in fact been chosen to run in a magazine. In Japan. But come on, this is one of my favourite shots of the season! Mark Landvik has one of the best methods in the business, the terrain is a little slice of heaven, what's not to like? Transworld? Snowboarder? Snowboard? Frequency... I'm looking at you.

Hell, you can even make a print of it right here if you want.

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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 7

Hello everyone. Welcome to day 7 of my "shred pictures that have not yet been bought by a magazine" series. But first; good news this morning from our good friend Andy Blumberg at EXPN. Andy and I have been talking about doing a snowboarding/fishing trip for years, ever since we were both at Transworld. I swear to god it's going to happen one of these days. So pop on over and check out the coverage.

Todays shot is Sammy Luebke somewhere in the Kootenay Mountains of Southeastern BC. Sammy stepped in for an injured Ejack this past winter and brought so good style and humour to my winter. Thanks Sammy.

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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 6

Good Morning my happy friends, and welcome to week two of Snowboard Photo Blog. Today we have a mellow hippy pow scenic of Shin Campos at the end of the day in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Just a nice little shot with no home to ease into the week with.

Thanks to everyone who sent comments and suggestions about the Archive that I wrote about on the weekend. I'm hoping that when the book project is done that I will be able to get the majority of my favourite work up there. Until then, if there is something you want to see, let me know.

Have a good week. Check back often for new shots, or you can just subscribe to my feed.


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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 5

Another shot today for your Friday entertainment. This is a shot of Benji Ritchie from a couple days I spent shooting with the Grenade Films crew for their upcoming film "The boned age". We had a couple of really great days in an area called Seagram's in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Benji is a hard worker and a good guy.

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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 4

And you thought the beat slowed down? TURN IT UP! Part 4 of my series of unloved, homeless photos from this past season.

Standard Films + Mark Landvik + Helicopters = One of my favourite things.

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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 3

Hello and welcome to part three of me showing photos from last winter that have yet to find homes in any publication. This particular shot is from the Deep Winter Photo Contest that takes place in January on Whistler and Blackcomb. The idea is that you shoot photos for three days and then make a slideshow and present it on the fourth. To put it bluntly, our team got burned this year. I still have people asking me how we got so ripped off and the answer is, I have no idea, but my team of Dave Short and Shin Campos, with help from Mark Gribbon and Rob Picard, put together a great little slide show. I think the dark mood that I was trying to evoke with the song was maybe a little too "down" for the judges. Dunno. Regardless, this shot of Shin Campos was the last shot in the slideshow.

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Snowboard Photo Blog: part 2

Continuing with a long tradition (started yesterday), here is a shot from somewhere deep in the Coast Mountains of Romain de Marchi, from an Absinthe Films shoot. Bad news for my friend Romain, he and longtime sponsor Burton parted ways recently, not long after he had a kid. Bummer. I guess things are tough all over.

Dear magazine photo eds, wouldn't this shot look great in your magazine?

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Snowboard Photo Blog

I've been quite busy so I decided to share some of my favourite shots from last winter. I'll keep doing this over the next little while, whenever I can't find the time to show you anything new. The book project is coming down to a very busy two months so I probably won't be shooting anything that I can show off for the foreseeable future. Let's hope this will hold you over.

Also, I recently received email from a gentleman in Finland who informed me that my website "sucks", especially my blog. So I apologize to all of my friends, readers and clients for not having more time to make a non-sucking website. I promise that when this project is done I'll commit a month to making a website with a lower amount of suck. But for now, you'll just have to enjoy the one that sucks. Thanks.

Oh ya, these are all photos that the magazines haven't decided to run.

Sammy Luebke at Mt. Baker. Such good snow. Such good style.
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Blue skies and happy days.


Sorry about that last rant. Things were a little dark at that point. In the old days that might have sent me off on a week long bender but now I just blog, shrug, and move on.

Here are some photos to look at and think about all things non-governmental.


happy clouds
happy forest

Back to the good stuff

My good friend Alex Warburton got married on the weekend in Victoria. The weather held out for him on Saturday and it was spectacular. Sunday morning brought the rains and on the ferry ride home I got lost in all the great colours and textures of the boat. It felt like a really good time for a little photo essay. One of these photos is my favourite. Can you guess which one?

pull this lever
lifeboat icon
rainy windows
boat. wake.
Bc feels like this more often than not. Arriving back in Tsawwassen.
from one boat to another

more new stuff from the past

I was doing an interview yesterday and the subject donated a bunch of materials to the book project that I'm working on. There in the midst of all this stuff was a single slide in a page, with no label or marking and the picture was of me.

I think this shot was taken in 1991 and I think it's at Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. I could be wrong on both accounts. I have no idea who took it and my friend doesn't even remember how he got it. So, for the second time in as many weeks, and at the risk of making this into some kind of history blog, here is what your faithful protagonist looked like while doing a method 17 years ago. Dig the colourful Westbeach gear...


If you took this photo or know who did, please get in touch with me. I'm off till Monday, have a great weekend.
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Dog days of summer

More shots from the hood.

Not to much to say about these. Folks have told me they like the photo updates so they will keep coming. I like the fact that I am shooting things that have no home and no expectation of sales. My entire career I've been making pictures with the exclusive purpose of sales, but with my group of "walking around town" shots, I never think, never try to make something commercial, just click away at things that look cool to me for whatever reason, and that's all I need. They're probably the most honest pictures I take. They aren't challenging or groundbreaking, but if you look long enough, you'll learn everything there is to know about me.

I think you will notice a theme
trash chute and construction
great f'n shapes, reflections, and light
that balloon is so crooked
bald dude taking a morning break.

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.


What do salad dressing and feminism have in common?

The other day I was walking to a meeting in Gastown when I passed an interesting little shrine on a bench.

Feminist author Marilyn French's three volume tome "From Eve to Dawn" took over 15 years to write, but has been criticized for playing fast and loose with the facts in its 1700 pages.

Kraft's Calorie Wise Thousand Island dressing hits you with just 20 Calories per serving and is versatile and delicious.

But what are they doing sitting together on a bench watching soccer practice?


More shots from the hood

This week I have a couple of shooting gigs, which will be a nice change from what I've been doing. Lately I've been up to my eyes with the book project and with selling shots from the winter, and while both of those things are going really well, it's just not the same as shooting photos. In fact, the only time I'm shooting at all these past weeks is walking the dog around the hood.

I still love my Canon g9 for this kind of thing, it's so small and portable and durable too.

Here are some shots of my hood:

Cirque du soleil is across the street all summer
One of those cool buildings that gets really thin and one end. This one is called Hotel Europe.
Lone dude on the soccer field. Looks like the turf needs some work
Taking a break.
Sailing is hard
I love what old glass does.
The dominion building and victory square.

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The summer. It is come.

As the summer finally hits in all its glory, I am swamped with work. I am convinced though, that I live in the best place in the world. My fascination with Vancouver's old buildings continues, while new ones pop up all over the place.

Here are some shots of the world around me. More coming soon. I love the Canon g9 more every day.

She casts a long shadow for a short dawg.
Pixelated clouds
these colours were making my eyes hurt.

evening glow

nice new shapes

July second

My patriotism spilled over into a whole 'nother Day!




reconnecting with old friends is the best. me and Jon Stewart used to ride for Crazy Banana in the 80's...

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.


Greg Heisler workshop superpost

I just wrapped up a week-long photo workshop with Greg Heisler. Vancouver Photo Workshops put it on, and even though I've been shooting for over 15 years, it was my first ever workshop. 6 weeks ago I had no idea that Vancouver even HAD photo workshops let alone with photographers of the stature of Mr. Heisler. If you aren't from the photo world and don't know his resume, suffice it to say that he is a very heavy cat, and is probably amassed one of the most impressive bodies of work in all of portraiture, and certainly of the last 3 decades. He currently has 74 covers of Time Magazine as well as countless other photos in just about any magazine you can think of. So there.

Greg explains photography to the class: "First, get a camera. Now, make a masterpiece! This shit is easy."

One of the added bonuses of this week was the timely visit of Jay Maisel to Vancouver. He also happened to be doing a workshop, so we shared lunch one day, and he and Greg did a talk on the first night to a packed house. Jay is in the enviable part of his career where he can pretty much just stroll around and make photos of whatever he feels like. Being a master has its benefits.

Greg listens while Jay tells it like it is: "No you asshole, you're wrong!"

The workshop took place at the Ironworks studios in Gastown, an old industrial building with fantastic bricks and beams and skylights, all the things that make us nerd photographers happy when we are looking for backgrounds. There were a dozen or so people participating and besides Scott Serfas (who signed up minutes after I told him about the course a few days before it started) and I coming from a similar background, the other photographers were a diverse and interesting bunch. We had everything from the seasoned Newspaper photographer from Seattle, to the photoshop wizard from Vancouver Island, to the San Francisco stock photographer and many more. All in all a varied and talented group.

Of course I won't go into the details of the course, but it was really great to have 5 days to listen to a veteran explain his work, his process and many techniques as well. After a few days of conversation it's easy to forget that the man cracking jokes in front of you has shot so many hugely influential and interesting people. His humility and attention to detail are an indication of where his success comes from. At the end of the day he is a guy who loves making great pictures, and being that everyone in the class felt the same way, it made for some great conversation.

Thanks to Marc Koegel who is the director of the Vancouver Photo Workshops, his little venture in Vancouver is a huge asset to us locals and as it grows I look forward to attending many more classes. Now if I can just scrounge up enough dough to do the Gorman one...

Here are some shots from the week:
A little lecture at the Ironworks
"No Scott you have it all wrong..." Wait, I think he's winking at you!
Explain to me "the light."
Um, I think it might be infected
The ever pensive Mr. Heisler.

A change and some rain

So I have to change the address of my blog, and I'm going to be doing that over the next couple days, so for all you millions of people who have your rss feeds directed to this web address, please check back in a day or two and re-subscribe to the new address. I've been putting off doing this for awhile, but as I get to know more about all this web nonsense, I can see that I'm going to be a bit phooked if I don't change now.

So how is the weather in Vancouver?




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.


Winter is over?

I keep hearing it's Spring. I suppose there is some evidence to support that; The US Open is this weekend in Vermont, flowers are blooming, the bums are moving from the heating grates back to the beach in Socal, but around these parts I'm going to have to say that winter has not given up just yet. We just spent two of the deepest days of the season shooting. Everyone was blown away by the quantity and quality of snow and it took the better par of the first day just to reach the alpine.

Overnight it snowed again and the forecast is for even more. Here is just one shot of a couple of amazing days. Chris Wimbles moving around some of the white stuff.


g9 stuff

As promised, some g9 stuff:

shopping is hard

our front yard. (it's a parking lot for now)/ wind vane chimney.

sled drop parking lot.

Solberg and a sunset.


my g9 weighs a ton

So I was in the park at Blackcomb this week, taking care of some contract shots, and in the process had a little time to mess around. Everyone knows I'm a Nikon guy, but my point and shoot is a Canon g9. It's a great little camera and you can read all about it here or wherever you like to get your online info. So in between laps of my riders, I had my g9 out, you can set it all manually so it's a really flexible tool. So much so that I decided to see how it would hold up against the dSLR and 70-200VR glass.

Is this photo from the Nikon or the G9?


Well of course it's from the point and shoot. But it's pretty amazing that a 500 dollar camera can match angle and composition with a 7 thousand dollar rig and not really be that far off. I'm still getting used to the g9 but I have no doubt that I will have lots of photos published from it in the next 12 months...maybe even some action.


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.


On the road

I am on the road with Standard Films right now. Over the long drive, Travis and I talked about all sorts of things, one of the themes that comes up frequently with us is creativity, inspiration, and how our lives are affected by the ebbs and flows of the creative cycle. One thing that always seems to kill creativity, is working from home. When you are home you are trapped in your normal routine and held hostage by the mundane. Chores and bills and social obligations all draw energy away from the creative process.

Hit the road though, and all that is behind you. You see new things, and you see regular things in a new light. It is guaranteed to kickstart my inner art guy.

I'm missing out on so much at home right now, but at least if I have to miss that, I can be happy about taking good pictures.

I shot this while were driving so it's not really one of the good pictures...


Washington Shenanigans

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


Words of encouragment

thanks trevor!

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



This is the view from my house. All week I have been watching it snow and snow. I've been riding a lot too, having some really good days with some really good people.

When I was living in California and working in the office, people would ask me what I missed about Canada and I would always say, the time from opening day until Christmas. That's when the storms hit and the crowds are still small, when the pressure to shoot hasn't gotten too hectic yet and I get to ride my ass off. Well after the mountain opened we had a couple weeks where the snow where it didn't snow and I started to question the whole Early season myth that I had been building in my head. Luckily the snow came and just in time. I feel like I have gotten my legs back now and I am ready to dive into shooting now. I've gotten it out of my system once again. It was worth it.


House Cleaning

Well here is a little blog entry just to talk about the updates to the site. It's mostly cosmetic, but there are some additions. New bio page, new link page. Other than that there is just better organization than before.

I've been riding a lot and my legs are sore. That's a good thing. Christmas week means I have to finish off shopping stuff, which I've never been good at, but this year I am a little ahead of the curve compared to past seasons.

I'm picking photos for the upcoming Gallery show. It's a huge process but it's cool to sort through old stock. I also have to choose images for a photo contest and teach myself how to use this new slideshow software that I bought. The "deep winter" photo contest is coming up in a couple weeks and I have to be able to make a slideshow on the fly.

Oh ya, and I decided to start adding pictures to my blog posts too, because Owen's blog is way more interesting than mine. This one is from the deep winter contest last year. It's me riding down lower insanity (!!!) on Whistler:


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.

dust in the wind

a blog about self service scanner repair.

parking lot gold

Driving home from California this past December, I stopped in Roseville, or Rosedale or some other “Rose” town in Southern Oregon, to meet Colin and Livi for breakfast. It was a gloomy day and within the next several hours I would encounter some of the fiercest driving conditions I’d ever seen, torrential rain of biblical proportions.

We stopped at one of those “family restaurant” type places that are everywhere out there on the interstates. As I got out of the truck, a fleck of colour on the pavement caught my eye.

Remember back in school, picture day? Remember how you would choose the package of pictures you wanted and when they came, you would cut out the wallet sized ones and write something on the back and share them with your friends. It became a big deal if you got that certain girl’s picture and if she wrote something flirty on it you would read it several times over the next week to try to distill new meaning from it. Maybe that was just me.

So I glance down to see one of those pictures, a girl, ground into the dirt and the wet of the parking lot. I didn’t think too much of it, but while we were eating it sat there in my mind and I mentioned it to Colin and Livi. I decided I would have to take a picture of the picture, so after breakfast, there I am in the rain, down in the wet dirt trying to take this picture. I wonder what the story is behind that picture. I wonder how she ended up discarded in the parking lot of some generic freeway diner.

As I was pulling away, shaking the rain out of my hair, Colin phoned my cell. “Hey man, did you take a picture of that picture?” Yup. I did.