Sunday, August 25, 2013

Loop The Lake 2013

A couple of weeks ago I took some photos at the 2013 edition of the Loop The Lake foot race from Windermere to Invermere.

Due to unforeseen circumstances I have been unable to finish processing all the photos as quickly as I usually do - I'm only about 1/3 of the way through them as I write this.

But keep an eye on my gallery as I'll be adding more photos in due course - I'm traveling next week, so hopefully sometime in September they'll all be up!

Images in Africa Wildlife Safaris & Photography workshops

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lakeview Event 2013 - Invermere, BC

Last Saturday was an adventure, to say the least, at the 2013 Lakeside Event in Invermere!

This annual gathering of flyers was gifted a gorgeous day by Mother Nature and, even early in the day, there was a large crowd on the beach by the lake to watch the pilots back to the valley where they aimed to hit a variety of targets.

Mt Swansea's peak is where the para-glider and hang glider pilots launched - and also where I took photos from. I preferred to be up there in the quiet, fresh air, rather than down in the valley where most other photographers would be shooting.

After about 30 minutes in a 4x4 grinding up the rough logging road, followed by at least 30 minutes (I wasn't counting, but that's what it felt like with my heavy two-camera-two-lens plus water and lunch backpack!) of uphill switch-back hiking, I made it up to the top and picked my spot.

I wasn't up there shooting as long as I'd have liked (read the whole story why), but I got a good collection of images, which are on view in my gallery.

I'm already looking forward to next year's event!

Images in Africa Wildlife Safaris & Photography workshops

Sunday, August 11, 2013

About the Perils of Photography!

We don't think about it too much, but outdoor action photography sometimes lead us into the path of danger! You know how it is ... that perfect angle, with good light, is usually captured from a precarious position. And, occasionally close to, or even in, the direct line of action.

It was a big day in our area, yesterday, with several large events. There were two that I wanted to shoot.

I made it to the Loop The Lake foot race early in the day. Here's a photo of the first group of runners passing by my shooting position. Its the only image I've processed so far - for reasons that will become clear shortly.

I picked a spot where there was good light and a decent background (free of telephone poles, cables, cars, houses, etc) - but the competitors were running uphill and therefore not exactly happy to see me pointing a camera at them! Apologies for that, guys, but you have to admit, the expressions of effort really reflect the challenge that you were facing! I will get the rest of the photos up this week.

After going home to download the files and reformat my card, I headed out to the Lakeside Event where paragliders and hang gliders launch from the top of Mt Swansea, and aim to land on targets on the beach at James Chabot Park beside Lake Windermere. I wanted to shoot from the launch site for a couple of reasons: (1) Most, if not all, people taking photos would be lakeside because it takes time and physical effort to get to the launch site, and (2) I much prefer being in the fresh air and quiet of the alpine environment over the crowds, noise and chaos of a "beach" event.

Long story short, the wind was a bit variable and, while I'd chosen a shooting position well to the side of the launch line, a "perfect storm" resulted in this series of events:

Paraglider taking advantage of a good gust - you can see the windsock in the background - in theory, he should've been moving diagonally away from me to launch into the wind:

A split second later an unexpected eddy changed his trajectory:

I don't remember taking the photo above, but I do remember a teeth-jarring blow to the back of my head (his knee hitting my skull - I must've already been ducking to give him more room to jump over me, but he stumbled) then the sickening sight of my camera in mid-flight and bouncing once on the scree slope. Then I was tumbling, landing face down on the gravel. I didn't feel a thing. I know this thought went through my head:

"How am I going to explain this to the insurance company?! The camera cannot have survived that!"

It took me a few seconds to get my breath back and stand up. Meanwhile, my camera took this photo during its leap down the mountainside, eventually coming to rest 30m+ away:

One of the event vollies kindly hiked down to retrieve the camera for me. This is what it looked like:

Unbelievably, it seems to still work just fine! After dusting it off (I didn't dare separate the lens from the body - still haven't!), I took this photo with it - Max and Katja launching:

I took a few more photos, but my left shoulder and ribs were stiffening up to the point where I was having difficulty lifting the camera. So I decided discretion was the better part of valour, and hiked down for my 4x4 lift back to my car (thanks, Dave!).

So, I didn't get nearly as many photos at the Lakeside Event as I'd have liked. Next year!

I am also missing a two-day equestrian event in the valley, which I'm really bummed about. But such is life. At least I'm in one piece (I think!) and my camera is, as far as I know, still fully operational.

I'll get both the Loop The Lake and the Lakeside Event's photos up as soon as I can!

Images in Africa Wildlife Safaris & Photography workshops

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Refreshed Website!

It has been a challenging few days! Smugmug, where I host my photo website, introduced a new platform last week.

Granted, they said we had as long as we wanted to switch over to a new format but that, eventually, they would put the hammer down and force a change. So, of course, I had to dive in!

"Intuitive" they said it was. Well, apparently I'm not intuitive! But I eventually figured most of it out ... and it was unveiled today, less than an hour ago!

Please visit and let me know what you think! They say it will work fine on any system - mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, PC or Mac or Other ...

Do you like the new look, or not?

Is it easy to navigate, or tricky?

Did it load quickly, or slowly?

Anything that I should add, or remove?

The biggest change I made was to remove all watermarks. If you find a gallery I missed that's still showing watermarks, please let me know so that I can fix that!

Onwards and upwards!

Images in Africa Wildlife Safaris & Photography workshops

Friday, August 2, 2013


Ah, Friday! Double-ah, because its a long weekend!

Went for a walk around the block this afternoon. On the way off our property, our bright red cherries caught my eye.

I believe these are "pin" cherries. They are very tart!

Haven't had my camera out for at least a week ... it felt good!

Images in Africa Wildlife Safaris & Photography workshops