Saturday, June 16, 2012

Branch Out Bike Tour 2012

My first summer sporting event of 2012! It was great to get outside for a couple of hours, although I have to admit that the sunny warm weather that was forecast would've been nice, instead of the overcast, chilly stuff we got instead! I suppose we should just be grateful that it didn't rain.

The bike tour was a Branch Out Foundation event - the group raises funds for research of natural and holistic therapies for neurological disorders in hopes of finding a cure for the various complications of the nervous system.

This was a 100km bike tour - and a pretty serious way to kick off the road cycling season when you look at the hills (most people call them mountains!) involved - from Panorama Resort down to Invermere, along the valley highway to Fairmont Hot Springs, back to Invermere via Westside Road, then back up to Panorama! 
The Only Tandem In The Tour - Sweet!
As you can tell, there was a lot of fun to be had, along with the serious side of the event!

I situated myself between Panorama and Invermere in the hope to getting photos of all the participants while they were still having fun on the mostly-downhill portions, and before they started running out of gas when the serious uphill sections (that I know from experience exist around here) commenced the butt-kicking!

Cycling events like this are tough to photograph because of the way people bunch up - I know I missed a few people, but I got most, I think!

I've just started processing the photos and they'll be posted in my smugmug gallery as they're done, so check it out!

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Iao Valley & Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens

I'm finally getting caught up with photos from our visit to Maui, Hawaii, last month! More photos from this location are in the smugmug gallery.

Iao Needle
One of the very interesting locations on the island, full of local culture and lore interwoven with the flora and fauna of the island, the Iao Needle in the Iao Valley, and the Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens.

Apparently, it used to be a rite of passage for young men to climb the Needle, which is a lava remnant rising 1200ft from the valley floor (or 2250ft above sea level, which is a mere 20 minute drive away).

The heritage gardens incorporate many cultures' influences ... Hawaiian, American missionary, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, and Filipino ... it is a pity that it seems more than a little neglected ... and that gangsta wannabe's bring their "music" to this oasis to assault everyone else's quiet enjoyment of the peace of the valley.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Windsurfing on Maui

Photographing windsurfing on Maui, that is ... not actually doing it myself! (I'm terrified of surf and there's no way you'd ever catch me doing what these brave watermen and -women do!)

It is almost a month since the afternoon when I captured this action - I've finally finished editing all 750+ images from this session. If you know any of these sailors, or "their people", do send them to my smugmug gallery to have a look at their photos - most were taken May 10th.
Hawaii tends to be more of a globally-famous surfing destination ... at least, it was until the last few years when all sorts of ocean-based watersports and gained wild popularity! One of those is windsurfing (sail attached to surfboard, in case you don't know).
Ho'okipa, on Maui's north shore, just outside of the quaint town of Paia, on the road to Hana, is a world-renowned spot to watch some of the best in the business ... training, testing new equipment, youngsters improving their skills and measuring themselves against the more experienced sailors, etc. Strictly a place for boarders who know what they're doing - this part of the island is not the place to learn how to windsurf, or even to try to improve on flat-water skills!
I have been following a local photog who specializes in ocean windsurfing - in fact, he is a Ho'okipa specialist - to the point that he refers to his shooting station as The Office. The legendary Jimmie Hepp knows all the athletes, knows the weather and current patterns, knows the gear, and more than anything else, knows how to photograph the action! (He lives a few minutes' drive from the break, too ... could it get any better than that?!) I've stalked him on Facebook for a few years and, last month, was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet him - and spend a session shooting beside him! These photos are from that afternoon.

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