Friday, January 16, 2015

Love it when a Plan comes together!

Several years ago I took a trip down from Kalispell towards Salt Lake City and went through Yellowstone, it was late in the season, cold and the park was getting ready to shut down for the winter, I swore then that I needed to come back to this wonderful place and record my adventures with my camera.

Last year I applied for a summer job at Yellowstone as a fishing guide or tour boat guide and all the positions were filled by returning people, which says something for wanting to work there, if people keep returning it must be good! I really wanted to spend last summer there, but it just did not work out. I accepted the position at Lake Powell and we all know that did not work out as planned, instead I had to punt too late to find anything and had a wonderful summer in Kalispell, Montana and some great adventures with my good friend Jim Flinchbaugh!!

My plan for this year was to return to Yes Bay for one more season, however, I had some concerns about another FULL season at the Lodge...and always on the search for different and unique opportunities kept looking. Well, it is the decision time of the year to finalize plans for the upcoming summer. With 99% of the guides returning to Alaska and some major changes going on up there, it was questionable whether there would be a spot.

I dug through some old emails from last year and contacted the person back at Yellowstone, in hopes to contact early enough to hopefully land a spot there as a fishing guide. Yesterday I had a great phone interview and last evening got an email with an offer for a position and I have accepted!

SUMMER 2015 will be in YELLOWSTONE!!!

I will be running a fishing boat on Yellowstone Lake and I am really excited about the opportunity to see a new area and fish for different species and enjoy my summer in a wonderful National Park and put some serious miles on my new camera and lens on the wildlife that abounds there!

There are buffalo! These are pictures from my brief visit in 2012!

I expect traffic jams as this park is heavily visited!

Spending more time at the beautiful Mammoth Hot Springs!

And I intend to Capture Old Faithful many, many times...and plenty of big animal wildlife with my new lens!

So my Spring Schedule is set and it looks something like this!

1. Remain here in 29 Palms until late March - very early April.
2. Depart here and enjoy a leisurely trip to Salt Lake City
3. Park the camper and fly to Ohio for my Gallery showing at 9 Muses Art Gallery in Ohio on the 24th of April - enjoy the opening then head back to Salt Lake and get the truck and trailer.
4. Quick trip in the truck and trailer to Kalispell and put the trailer to bed for the summer.
5. Pack the truck up with fishing gear and stuff to live for the summer in the dorms in Yellowstone and arrive there in early-May!

Stay tuned for more details and a great summer! And my Ohio friends better plan to have their asses at 9 Muses on the 24th of April for the opening!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Update January 8, 2015 - Living Desert Zoo Palm Springs and THE BREACH!

Time for an update, especially after the wonderful day I had yesterday - Road Trip to Palm Springs!

I bought a ticket to my good friend Mark Titus's documentary film titled The Breach, which as he describes it, is a Love Story with Salmon. Mark is a very close friend of Yes Bay Lodge, he worked most of his 20's at the Lodge as a Fishing Guide, he was the head guide and stayed at the Lodge year round for a couple years, after that he returned to his home in the Seattle area and started August Island Pictures and began his career as a film maker. Mark is the guy who put together out promotional film for the Lodge and he has done tons of Corporate work for clients like Microsoft and many others.

Several years ago he embarked on a quest to document the decline of Wild Salmon and search out the cause. This path led him on a multi year adventure and it is documented in his latest film which had its North American debut here at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. THE BREACH!

My trip to Palm Springs to see the film got me thinking it may be the perfect opportunity to visit the Living Desert and put a few miles on my new lens and show what it was designed to do!

So I got up early and loaded up the truck and drove 70 miles to the Living Desert - spent a couple hours putting some miles on the camera! It is a wonderful place and I certainly could have spent more time there, but did not want to miss the film premier, so left just after noon and headed to the Palm Canyon Theater!

I decided to make the most use of my new lens and the EC-20 tele-extender more on that in a minute! First, the details again on the lens, cause it is the finest piece of glass I have ever used or owned.

The Lens!

For my photography friends - here are the details and an explanation of my system. I specifically chose Olympus when I went digital because the format is what is known as 4/3 and is the only system which was designed from the ground up as a digital system, it has several unique advantages - my primary reason was the sensor size yields a doubling effect - which means - a normal lens for 35mm film cameras is a 50mm lens, on Olympus 4/3rds it is 25mm, which means telephoto lenses can be smaller and yield a much longer "reach". In the example of my new lens it is a 150mm or the equivalent of a 300mm lens in 35mm format! It also happens to be an F-2 lens so very good in low light as it captures a bunch of light. With the addition of a tele-extender which effectively doubles the focal length or Reach the 150 becomes a 300mm F-4 (you lose some light with the addition of the tele-extender. But this would compare with a 600mm lens in a 35mm world, which is a ton of reach and this lens being fast to begin with adding the extender has NO detrimental affect on the image quality. That's enough for the techies....suffice it to say it is an amazing piece of glassand one I am now proud to own and I prmise to make good use of it!

What it does!

This guy was a long way away so I added the doubler!

This is without the doubler!

I love these birds and they really show the clarity of this lens and the reach with the doubler!

I have only found one "down-side" to this lens - with the extender on it becomes very heavy and difficult to hand hold and get clear pictures - but I have found using my monopod solves the problem nicely and enables me to steady the lens for some amazing shots, with great detail and smooth creamy out of focus backgrounds!

Back to The Breach - fish farming, dams and pollution are hindering the wild runs of salmon - if there is NO MARKET for farm raised salmon then the business will die. So my friends DON'T BUY FARM RAISED SALMON! And STOP PEBBLE MINE! Demand your stores and restaurants only serve Wild Caught Salmon!

Wal-Mart has a contract with several Alaska Fish processing companies and sells WILD CAUGHT SALMON - buy your friggin salmon from them and make sure it says WILD CAUGHT! Even if you are not a fan of Wal-Mart - do not buy farm raised salmon from anyone!!!

The Breach is going on a 15 city tour - if it is shown in your area make sure you go see it and support my friend Mark Titus, but more importantly support Wild Caught Salmon!

Stay tuned for more updates and thanks for following along on my life's adventures. I will be posting some email links in the near future to write your congressman and representatives to Stop Pebble Mine and other causes to support Wild Salmon! Eliminate Genetically altered salmon and stop fish farming!

It is my Cause, not a new one but a reinforced effort!!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!