A year ago I joined writer and author Steve Friedman at Hiker Heaven, an “angel” rest stop at mile 454 on the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail. The assignment: create beautifully real portraits of the hikers coming through and capture the feel of this unique rest stop on the PCT. Hiker Heaven is legendary on the trail. Thru-hikers arrive to hot showers, soft cots, laundry service, shared kitchen, boxes and boxes of gear and clothing to swap, bikes to check out, laptops for check-ins and a general ambience to enjoy a “zero day” or two or three before heading back into the mountains. Run by Donna Saufley and her husband Jeff in the small town of Agua Dulce at the base of the San Gabriel mountains and at the beginning of the long climb into the Sierras, this angel stop sadly closed it’s doors for this 2015 season. Donna and Jeff are hiking the trail themselves this year – and giving Hiker Heaven a break. Possibly it grew too successful? Was it creating a bottleneck on the increasingly popular PCT? Just this past year the number of hikers increased 50%, many spurred on by Reese Witherspoon in the movie Wild.Whatever the future holds for Donna and Jeff and the army of volunteers that supported all hikers, no questions asked, I feel lucky and honored to have spent days with this motley crew of amazing people: teachers, students, drop-outs, doctors – all walks of life walking a hell of a long way. Check out the June 2015 issue of Backpacker magazine for over 60 of my photographs and a very well written story by Steve…
The goal for this trip was simple: One great act of compassion, one epic adventure. Today is the release of the trailer and in months to come the web series will be released. We had such fun with this inspirational project!
In their words: “One year to the day, Ecuadorian earth clung to our clothing, our shovels hauled mounds of black dirt from deep trenches and we worked side by side with the men, women and children of Gulahuayco to complete a clean water system for their village. With fingers crossed, we turned the nozzle to see if all of our hard work had paid off.
All of this was the ending of an amazing journey that started with an attempt to climb one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. That’s just how us Gypsies roll :-)”
A set of 19 stills, a photo essay, is on my site here: Ecuador Clean Water.
PDN (Photo District News) has a short set of my B&W images from this year’s SB Triathlon as their “Photo of the Day”. PDN, an award winning magazine for the professional photo industry, started this series four years ago inspired by Boston.com’s The Big Picture.
Out this week in a doctors office near you and on digital media for WebMD Magazine: a centerfold double spread of advertising Creative Director Bruce Taylor. Looks pretty good for sixty years old! Bruce was great to work with, we found a quiet section of Venice Beach and the November skies gave us some nice cloudscapes and texture – we stayed for the dramatic sunset. Here’s the tear sheet and you can also find WebMD online.
And here’s a shot behind-the-scenes with Bruce and my assistant – last fall’s intern Megan Winkley (newly engaged and soon to graduate from Brooks Institute):
Here’s a quick look at some images with the very talented dancer Kaita yesterday – continuing the FallingWater series I began 15 months ago. Warm water, of course!
Anna started today, here from Germany for the winter months. While reviewing some lighting scenarios we ended up playing with grids on the strobes, looking at light quality with and without the grids (which allow great control over the light spill and falloff).
As I pulled the 15 degree grid off the strobe I tried shooting through it with the camera and was pleasantly surprised…always learning.