Last summer we hosted 19 product designers, merchandisers, and category managers from Levi Strauss in San Francisco and showed them Colorado. We toured them through our backyard and put together 3 days of trending, biking, focus groups, partying, and kart racing.
Levis came to us because they wanted to get their finger on the pulse of the fixed gear and commuter bike movement in an authentic way that couldn’t be done with traditional consumer research. They chose Denver and Boulder (as opposed to NYC, San Fran, or LA) because the scene is still young and developing organically in Colorado.
The fruits of the research have finally hit the market. Utility waistband for U-lock, stretch fabric, reinforced fabrics, sanitized brand technology, 3m reflectivity and nanosphere technology. Find out what all that means here.
Warning: This post may be a bit drier if you’re not interested in photography with some nerdy details and how-to’s for surviving a medium size international catalogue shoot. We also posted a short travelogue of the trip here if that’s of more interest.
There is a ton that goes into successfully executing a location shoot of this scale. We’ve been lucky enough to both shoot and produce photoshoots all over the world and over the next few weeks we will do a series of posts based on the New Zealand shoot highlighting what we’ve learned throughout the years.
Part 1: Packing and Travel
Part 2: Lighting
Part 3: Digital Remote Workflow
Part 4: Planning and Logistics
Our second big catalog shoot with Spyder is in bag. We captured 10,000+ images over the course of 10 days with 5 athletes at 3 resorts.
The trip started with the ambitious attempt to lug 440lbs of ski, camera and lighting gear into 2 ski bags, 3 pelican cases, and 2 Dakine roller bags. We made it though DIA with a manageable extra baggage fee of $300. We don’t say it often but… Thanks United! Once in NZ things didn’t go quite as smoothly. Two pelicans and a camera bag were confiscated and we ended up walking all around the Aukland airport grounds trying not to get hit by cars by looking the wrong way crossing roads and searching for the Customs office.
We were honored with the opportunity to beta test the new Pocketwizard FlexTT5 Nikon System and wanted to write this post on a few of our findings. The product is on the market and available to consumers now and they’re definitely worth checking out. This is not a full review, plenty of those already exist, just a highlight of a few things we loved about them.
We tested for two weeks on a Spyder shoot in Portillo, Chile (check out it out here) and have been shooting the system non-stop since we got it in our hands. The FlexTT5 system is working great and there is a ton of exciting technology that’s changing what we can do with off-camera flashes.
We’ve had an amazing relationship with Red Bull throughout the years that has crossed almost every category of our competencies. We’ve been a part of the Red Bull Media House team for almost 5 years and have shot a huge variety of athletes, events, and musicians.
We put this slideshow together as a quick tour through our years of shooting everything Red Bull. It was a challenge, as curation always is, sorting through the tens of thousands of frames. We edited and re-edited, feeling that one shot or a whole shoot was more worthwhile than another. In the end, photography is subjective and almost certainly there is someone who would be more or less happy at either end of our vacillations. There is a ton we left out but we feel it landed on comfortable length and selection. We’d love to hear your feed back.
Enjoy [at full screen]
This winter we purchased a 40″ archival printer from Digital Arts Aspen and it’s been sitting for way too long. This past week we finally fired her up and printed 4 canvas prints as part of a Battery621 event celebrating Chris Davenport’s Everest Summit and successful ski of the Lhoste Face. 2 Photos are from Davenport’s camera on Everest and 2 are from Mike Arzt and Ian Fohrman of Davenport in Portillo Chile.
We built the internal frames out of poplar wood in our shop and headed over to the Like Minded Productions home studio finishing work to learn how to stretch and wrap the canvas. These guys are super pro and I would recommend them any day for your art production needs.
We auctioned off the prints at the party with all proceeds going to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. It was Dav’s choice of charity and makes us all feel like we are racking up a bit of backcountry karma by cutting the check. It’s a service we use on an almost daily basis during the winter and it feels good to give back.
We’re also beyond excited to have the new art making capability in house!
We just returned to Denver from a quick trip to Mammoth Lakes to shoot lifestyle with Julia Mancuso, TJ Lanning, and Jake Zamansky. The photos were primarily for European marketing materials and the brief was simple product-focused naturally lit photography.
Due to our car full of dead cell phones and an unfortunate and unnecessary detour sign we ended up getting the scenic tour of Tahoe’s surrounding area en route to Mammoth. Though the drive took close to 3 hours more than it should have, we traveled through some amazing landscapes and found several questionable ways to entertain ourselves on the road (photos below).