26Jan

My image on the cover of "Running on Empty"

Finally received my copy of Running On Empty by ultramarathoner Marshall Ulrich- can’t wait to read it.  

For the cover, they used an image I captured of Marshall running in Death Valley National Park– a slow exposure with flash at dusk as the full moon rose over the sweltering California desert in mid July, temperatures well over 115°F.  When I shot this image, Marshall was roughly 20-25 miles into his epic record-setting pace of running 151 miles in 33 hours.


I photographed Marshall three times running in the Badwater 146, an amazing ultramarathon race from the lowest point in the 48 states (-282 feet below sea level, Badwater, Death Valley National Park) to the highest point in the lower 48 (14,505 feet above sea level, Mt Whitney, Sequoia National Park).  The race is run in mid-July when temperatures are at their hottest – the three years I covered the event, at 6pm, the start of the race, temperatures were recorded at 118°F, 121°F, and 126°F (note- temperatures are measured in shade or underground).  I didn’t think the human body was capable of completing a race like this, but a few dozen men and women proved it was possible.  


The year I shot this image, Marshall had a near death experience mid way through the race, and in talking to him as we hiked up the last 12 mile section toward the summit of Mt. Whitney, he described some of the hallucinations he was having as in came in and out of reality.  Most people think these athletes are out to kill themselves, but that is far from their goal – from my understanding, it’s about pushing their own limits, and finding a peace in that challenge.


I got to know Marshall over the years, covering him again in a few adventure races such as the Eco-Challenge.  I can truly say he’s a kind, caring, humble person who’s performed some of the most amazing feats of running by any human being – someone who should be a household name but isn’t – at least not yet.  This book covers the 52 days he ran across the United States – over 3000 miles, at the age of 57 – 52 days in a row that is- unbelievable.


Marshall live in Colorado and continues to run at the age of 62.  If you are into running or just looking for a good read, check his book out: http://marshallulrich.com/runningonempty.htm


On a side note, another great running book to consider is Martin Dugard’s To Be a Runnerhttp://www.martindugard.com/.  I traveled with Marty around the world a number of times covering some adventure races- he wrote about the events and I photographed them.  Another good guy as well as an experienced author.



23Sep

Google Earth is the best, true that, double true!

Last week, while on my way to a Seattle Mariner game at Safeco Field, I was walking through downtown Seattle with a friend who pointed out the tallest building in Washington.  “It use to be the tallest building west of the Mississippi”, he stated.  Moving close to the front facade, I pointed my wide-angle lens up toward the sky and captured this image- we were trying to make the first pitch of the ball game, so I didn’t spend much time trying to find out more about the location, however I knew I could license the image to a publication or two at a later time, or turn it over to my stock agency to do the same.


Off we went and I didn’t think much about the image until it showed up on my computer in Adobe Bridge (Photoshop’s media manager for imagery and RAW digital files).  Opening the graphic shot, I came to like it more and realized I hadn’t gathered enough information for a solid caption.  Off to Google Earth an jammin’ free Mac/PC application that let’s you go anywhere on Earth- one of those scary I-hope-the-terrorists-don’t-get-into-this programs allowing you to fly over mountains, view any landscape at any angle and elevation, and navigate through cities past three-dimensional buildings.  It’s addicting for sure. 

So I typed in Seattle and in a few seconds found my original location of this photo- through links and information on the building I was able to gather all the facts and figures I needed.  

The Columbia Center, the building on the right (along Fourth & Fifth Avenues and Cherry & Columbia Streets) is the tallest skyscraper in the downtown Seattle skyline at 937 feet.  It is also the 19th tallest in the US- constructed in 1982 and completed in 1985. The building on the left is the Seattle Municipal Tower

, 62 stories high, completed in 1990 (designed by Bassetti Architects).

I hadn’t played around enough with the 3D city views in Google Earth and was so amazed by it, I decided to see if I could recreate the view I captured in this virtual globe platform. Sure enough, after a little finageling, I was able to get it pretty close- I’d say close enough.

Wow.  Our world in real-time, available for so many educational functions including a travel photographer gathering caption info for his commercial business.

02Aug

Bay Nature magazine

Check out one of my most recent magazine covers on Bay Nature magazine, shot on Angel Island State Park in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Area here in Northern California. It’s a beautiful small island with wonderful views of San Francisco, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate, the East Bay as well as the Bay Bridge. There are wonderful hiking trails around the island and you can best access it from Tiburon (a beautiful town 45 minutes north of San Francisco, near Sausalito).

If you’re interested in the magazine, here’s their site: http://www.baynature.com/
And if you want to learn more about the park: Angel Island State Park

rock on homies


09Jan

My almost cover on Rangefinder magazine- Dec 2007


Rangefinder magazine ran a nice piece on “the Ones that GOT AWAY- a look at some recent ALMOST COVERS” – my shot of the pier at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park almost made the May ’07 cover.

Ya win some, ya lose some- it’s part of the deal as a commercial travel photographer in a very competitive industry….argh.


15Nov

Via magazine cover

Just wanted to share my Via magazine cover in their November/ December 2007 issue.  Via is the magazine for AAA (Automobile Association of America), one of the biggest travel magazines in the US (2-5 million circulation depending on the edition), but many aren’t as familiar with it since it’s not on newsstands.


I shot this image last September at dusk, using my medium format Fuji 680 III camera, at the Treebones Resort along the Big Sur coast (just north of the Hearst Castle by about 30 minutes).  These structures are called “Yurts” and are circular canvas tent-style cabins, rustic but very comfortable (with heaters, porches, windows and beds). I waited ’til after sunset when the ambient light of dusk balanced with the interior lights from the Yurts.  Using a wide-angle lens and a two-stop graduated neutral density filter, I set my f-stop to a small aperture around f/32 and clicked the shutter (probably around 2 to 4 seconds) using film- then created a high-resolution scan to turn it into a digital file.

The Treebones is a great place to get away from it all and watch Whales migrate up and down the California coast.  They also have offer wonderful dinner menu with great cooks.  Call 877-4-BIGSUR for reservations.