In November of 2013 I had the chance to summit Mt Whitney along with three other dudes. What a great trip. This is only my second mountaineering experience and it was sure fun... looking back at least. To be honest it had its moments of pain and "I hate my life" thoughts. This included the worst headache of my life, no sleep the night before summiting, and the bruising/loss of a toenail on the downhill. Would I do it again? In a second. The beauty and adventure of climbing a mountain is unmatched. I love it.
I put some of my timelapses together to music. I wanted to do something different with a Dubstep feel. Then Lindsey Stirling's music caught my ear with her beautiful violin and a hint of Dubstep. Let me know what you think.
Climbing season has officially started! Why? Because this morning was my first time out on the face since winter. Sounds like a good way to gauge these things right? So I thought in celebration of the season starting we would give away some sweet posters! Who wouldn't want to have a poster of D. Sanchez hanging on there wall? Here's the deal: The first 20 people to do the two things mentioned below get their choice of a desktop screensaver or 18x24 poster.
1) Sign Up For EmailUpdates- lick the link here and sign up for the latest photography tips and insider news about FOP.
2) Share On Social Media- hare this post on your favorite social media site by retweeting this on Twitter, sharing this blog on Facebook or even a pin on Pinterest.
o it's that simple. I'll be contacting the first twenty participants by email when the dust settles. I hope this inspires us all to get "on the wall" this season.
We are super excited to show off our new branding! Matt Briner cooked up a sweet website banner and logo badge. We also rolled out a fresh website and a short film. As you can see Frandsen Outdoor Photography is focused on the niche market of outdoor and adventure photography and video. This includes business promos, showcasing outdoor products, and athlete portraits just to name a few. Be sure to subscribe to our email list for the latest updates by FOP.
The team and I made it back from our winter excusion in one piece. With just enough challenge to make it interesting but smiles on our faces apon return the trip was a great success. We were abruptly catapulted into the holidays soon after returning and so here we stand. The video is in process and I can't wait to get the edit finished to share with all of you. In the meantime you can enjoy a still frame from one of the night timelapses that we did.
The trip had it's fair share of work. Day 1 consisted of driving a couple of hours to the trailhead. Once there we started our slow and steady journey of 8 miles to the destination- Morris Meadows. Usually a lush marsh/meadow, it was a large snowfield with many pools of frozen water this time of year. It was a bit of a challenge to keep the boots out of the shin-deep pools. Once in camp we were busy till nightfall setting up and attempting a fire. It was more difficult than we anticipated getting the fire hot. The moisture proved very challenging. With the very short December days we were in bed by 7pm. The sleeping bags proved warmer than any fire we had.
Day 2 consisted of some morning video shots followed by a quick breakfast. We then prepared for the day hike we had planned. We ended up doing a short 2 mile hike furthur up the valley to access some more beautiful vistas. The weather faired well. We had very little wind on the trip and the snow held off until our hike out on the last day. Our second attempt at a fire on the last night was much better. We were very intentional about getting dry fuel. It was nice to warm the feet by the fire this time.
Day 3 was packing up camp. I don't like to waste any time getting home on the last day. You need to leave time if anything goes wrong. Lucky for us everything went as planned. The truck got us home safely as the snow picked up. It ended up snowing all that day. We got out just in time before the weather got ugly.
Now we are back at home-base and the video editing begins. I look forward to sharing the video of the trip here soon!
Entry #2: At this point in the prep of our winter adventure we gathered our team, called in gear, nailed down a location, and now the gear is rolling in. It's just silly to own all of the things required to go on a trip like this into the freezing cold. So we beg, borrow, and steal what we need. Lining up the gear was the most difficult part of prepping for this trip. That is just the backpacking part. We needed zero degree sleeping bags, winter layers, crampons, tent, gloves, hand warmers and half the food from Wal-mart... I could go on. Did I say food? Lot's of food.
On the video end of things I called in a few items including: camera slider, video head, Zfinder, and extra batteries. I also bought several items that were important to cover: more memory cards, rain cover for camera, more batteries!, tripod leveling base, and whatever else I forgot. The kit traveling with me on this trip includes: Nikon D90, D7000, tripod, ZoomH4n, 12-24 2.8 lens, 24-70 2.8, and a handful of other miscilanious items.
With a week and a half of preperation, borrowing backpacking gear, lining up the video kit and a week of not going to bed before 1AM, the work just begins. Call time in the morning is 6am, then off to the Trintiy Alps with a low of 10 degrees. I'll see you on the other side.
This is my first in a series of posts on shooting video in the backcountry. The purpose of this series is to bring you along my journey of a winter video shoot. My goal is to reveal the ins and outs of planning, preparing, and executing not only a video shoot but also a video shoot in the wilderness with harsh conditions at hand. The level of preparation that goes into something like this is high. Winter backpacking is very gear intensive. Throw a large handful of camera equipment on top of that and you immediately have a logistical nightmare.
I am by no means an expert in this area. I have much to learn but my hope is that I can help some out there who are considering these kinds of trips. Or maybe just entertain you as you come along for the ride. Let’s get into it.
Entry #1: After deciding to go into the mountains to shoot some video I sent out my feelers and gathered my team. This time my good friends Jonathan “lumberjack” Welin and Daniel “IceAxe” Sanchez gave me the thumbs up (yes I just made those nicknames up). These are guys I trust who are competent in the woods. It was crucial in this case to have a team for the video shots we want to come away with. This also allows me to haul mainly camera gear up the mountain while allowing the guys to haul the essentials like: tent, stove, etc.
With a team nailed down it was time to focus on gathering gear. Lists are your friend here. I have a backpacking list and a camera gear list. Let me first talk about backpacking in the winter. Don’t screw this up! The right gear is of critical importance while backpacking in the winter. We are expecting lows of 20 degrees on this trip but preparing for zero degree lows. With those temperatures comes a set of gear that each person needs. Sleeping bag, proper clothing, gloves, etc. Since it is unrealistic for each person to own every piece of equipment it was time to beg, borrow, or steal (I mean rent) gear. So the gathering begins.
The camera gear is a little harder to borrow. I have my core set of equipment that will come along with me and then made a list of all the items I was missing to pull off this shoot. From there I purchased some and rented others. Rentals included things like a slider, video head, extra camera batteries, etc. Things that I can’t afford to own right now or I just won’t use all the time (like extra camera batteries). One of the things about shooting in the cold is that batteries do not operate properly. You must always keep a set warm in your jacket and swap them out regularly.
Next time I will go into a little more detail on the gear involved.
It was a nice crisp morning this last saturday. The cold didn't keep the runners away though. They all came out to the first ever Clikapudi Trail Race on Lake Shasta. This is the first of many, organized by Shasta Trail Runs. There is something about "race day" that is just electrifying. Everyone is stoked to be in the outdoors sharing a passion. You can tell everyone really feeds off of this excitement. As a photographer it is really fun to capture all that excitement and share it with others. If you are at all interested in running or even considering it, check out the upcoming races. It's a blast.
Today was a good day. There is something about exploring backroads that excites me. The wonder of "where will this take me?" never gets old. I have the fortunite opportunity to location scout sometimes. These days allow me to go places I have never been or explore places more in depth. Today I was on an access road by Wiskeytown Lake here in northern California that stretched for miles. Almost ran out of fuel. Yep, it was long.
I've had the fortunate opportunity to go rock climbing more and more in the last couple of months with some good friends that are much better at the sport than I. Here are a few shots from our latest adventure (check out the timelapse at the end of the post too!) :
Would you agree that it's the "firsts" that we remember the most? It's not everyday that one has a first. Today I did. It was my first time climbing! (with the exception of bouldering) This has been a long time coming and I'm not exactly proud to admit it but you have got to start somewhere. So let me encourage anyone else out there who has been longing for that first adventure. Go get that first under your belt. It feels good!
Anyway, the point of today was not to talk about me, it was to photograph the real climbing hero's pictured below. Daniel Sanchez and Billy Brown have been machining up these walls every week for the entire summer. It was very fun to watch and even more fun to photograph. Here are some of my favorites from this morning:
I just got back from an awesome vacation with my wife to Oregon. One of our destinations was the beautiful Crater Lake. I had been once before but had no complaints going back. It is a really phenominal landmark. If you have not been to the park it is a worthy destination. The following image was a panorama of part of the lake taken at sunset.
It is six separate images stitched together using Photoshop CS5. Shot on a Nikon D90 with a 24-70mm lens. 125th @f16, ISO 400.
This was a fun time working with my friends John and Erika for their engagement photos. I think they really sold it when it came to the "50's" feel we were going for. Great attire, great jeep, and great subjects made for a great shoot. You guys are hilarious by the way ;)
Last weekends backpacking trip came together on short notice. It started with me asking my faithful trail mate, my brother, if he wanted to go for a one night trip into the woods the coming weekend. This was on thursday. By friday we were purchasing maps, filling out campfire permits, and planning our route. We settled on a trip into the small Caribou Wilderness through Lassen National Park. Saturday morning we were up packing and hit the road. By 2pm we were leaving the car and on the trail. Lassen Park is littered with unique and varied terrain from the volcanic activity that has occurred there relatively recently. We walked past large "hills" of lava flows that had now hardened into black rock. We were only passing through this waist land, headed for the small wilderness area east of Lassen Park known as the Caribou Wilderness. We were initially intrigued by this area on a 7.5 minute topo map by the vast amount of small lakes scattered throughout. Without taking the time to do some research we concluded that this must be some sort of wetland. We were surprised to find out that this was far from the truth. It turns out that these small bodies of water were only "trapped" ponds surrounded by forest. Often the surrounding trees would be growing in the water itself. We concluded that their must be a hard layer of rock beneath preventing the water from soaking in.
Our final destination was the large and blue Triangle Lake. It was nothing special in terms of lakes, except when all you see is small brown lake after small brown lake for hours. It was at this lake that I was reminded: It's all about the light. Photographing that evening was decent but nothing spectacular. After shooting an all night timelapse of the stars (http://www.davidfrandsenphoto.com/photography-blog/2012/6/12/night-sky.html) I woke up to beautiful light and a layer of fog accross the lake. This made for great shooting conditions that I didn't think would come from the night before. Below is my favorite shot from the trip.
I've been diving into time-lapse lately and have been accumulating a few videos. It's time to throw them out there and start sharing them. Here is a video from a month ago I did on a fairly windy day. I stumbled on these great cactuses and of course had to attempt a time-lapse. (For larger screen click on the Vimeo button)
For those that are interested in behind the scenes videos, I shot one just for you. As you will see the time-lapse was shot with a Nikon D90 with a 24-70mm lens attached. The intervalometer was programmed to take a shot every 4 seconds. I shot the frames in RAW for more latitude during post-processing. Something I didn't mention in the video was my post processing workflow. The images were processed in Lightroom and deflickering was accomplished using LRtimelapse. This is a new workflow to me so I am still figuring it out but it seemed to work pretty good. I had some serious flickering before I ran it through LRtimelapse. Here is the BTS:
This is one of my favorite images from a recent backpacking trip to the Russian Wilderness in the Klamath Mountains. We caught a break in the weather during this January "winter." It's a very dry year. A local we ran into said "we should have ten feet of snow right now." I would love to return some day to see that! My brother served as my model/subject this trip as we explored the area that included frozen lakes and beautiful skylines.
I pulled up some images I did when I was in Portland this summer. I'm realizing how much I think I like to do street photography. Be ready to see more street photography coming out of this camp here soon! What kinds of photos do you like to take? Hit me up in the comments!
There has been talk of these amazing new mobile phones eventually eliminating the small camera market. I'm here to tell you it has Destroyed this market already in my mind. This was shot, edited, and posted on an iPhone. How cool is this.