Les Hedquist aka Dad.
Just before the 'shit hit the fan' pandemic wise in early February. I finally got the opportunity (or maybe just made the opportunity) to get out of my winter hibernation, jump on a plane out to Montana with the sole purpose to hang out with my Dad for a few days. What an amazing fews days it was.
In all fairness, winter in the PNW doesn't hold a candle to winter in Montana. I mean in the PNW, some years its hard to even notice a seasonal change between Fall and Spring. That's just not the case in Montana. Winter needs to be spelled with capital letters, cause old man winter isn't messing around in Montana. At least for me, that was one of the great draws to shooting in full on winter mode, and Montana delivered.
Over the last several years, my Dad and I have shared our passions for photography. But often that has been limited to on phone or briefly within family outings. While my focus has largely been more on the Scenic mode and his more on the wildlife mode, the enthusiasm of the shoot we share is on par.
After 3 days, 30+ inches of snowfall, sub 30* temps, about 500+ miles later, nearly every SD card I owned was filled. Witnessing the true beauty of Montana in winter and all it brings was simply a magical experience and spending that time with my Dad was truly special.
From Sun up to Sun down we traveled around SE Montana and Wyoming chasing the light, the wildlife and everything in-between. The Wildlife was incredible; Mountain Goats, Moose, Eagles, Buffalo, Deer, Elk, Wolves and more. More than once we found ourselves eye to eye with animals at uncomfortably close distances. In fact, as were letting a herd of Buffalo cross the road in the Lamar Valley, a mother buffalo and her offspring decided to make a right turn down the road directly toward us, to the point I called uncle and jumped back into the truck! I could have spent another 3 weeks,or even 3 years more...I look forward to heading back next winter if not sooner.
My Dad might be the youngest 78yr old I've every known. He's fit, works out constantly. Has one of the largest social life I've seen and generally acts, walk, talks and does things men half his age. However as I write this, my Dad is preparing to undergo a very serious surgical procedure tomorrow morning. This is within the everything happening around the Coronavirus as well. I know he's in excellent hands with his doctors team, but hard not to worry regardless.
Lastly, I just want to thank my Dad for being able to see the forest thru the trees as it relates to me and all the unbelievable amount of grief I must have put him through over the years as a parent, guardian and father. Big Hug.
The Scout. Shortly after I met John on outing with allied friends, we got speaking. I quickly realized a kinship in philosophy, John approaches everything as a scouting mission and in doing so allows the shots to come to him. He's also very calculating in regards of weather, locations and all the finite details it takes to make a shoot happen, but all the while maintains the disposition of a scouting mission making it easy and relaxed to embrace whatever may catch his eye or fall into his lap! This mindset is so evident is the brilliance of his work.
John is originally from Maryland, but spent sometime in NE Pennsylvania and Texas before finally landing in the PNW. John says one of the biggest influences to move to this area (PNW), was as a kid growing up watching the all time classic 'goonies' and the allure of the D.B. Cooper mystery....I can't fault him for either of those myself.
I always think the best way to judge the character of man is to meet his dog. John travels the PNW in a grand style with a sprinter van and his constant companion 'Olive'; who is a Pitbull from which I'm not familiar. She is the sweetest, happiest dog I think I've met in a very longtime. She smiles and wags so hard I think she's about to fall over. But she is something else and clearly in the right hands with John.
On this particular outing with John; fair to say, regardless of all the technology at our fingertips regarding forecasting it was about as wrong as it gets. So we quickly checked off Plan A, B, and C...and went directly to Plan T! But what we missed in golden light and glorious sunsets we made up with conversation and scouting. While its arguable if any of us even got B roll footage that day. I did manage to catch a couple shots of John in action that were at least workable. However I did requested John send me some of his images from other times so you can witness just how incredible he is at this craft.
If you want to catch more of John, I encourage you to check out is Instagram @john_perhach_photo
Professional Animal. Just kidding, but if you were to meet Cody just walking down the street, he's got a pretty imposing presents. But thats just one smile away from being swept up by his charm, warmth and fun-loving personality.
I've had the pleasure of being on several adventures with Cody, and each one betters the previous. I don't know all the details yet of his past, but I do know that all his success professionally and otherwise has been undoubtably earned.
Cody is a full time professional photographer and a gifted digital artist Cody Keto Photography. From weddings, engagement, events, portrait, family or landscapes; Cody digs in and delivers amazing work for his clients. When he's not on the grind, if you're up early enough you can find him showing the ropes of landscape photography with his daughter (typically before school starts, out chasing a waterfall or two!).
The above shot is from a recent 4 day adventure with Cody and a few others, down on the Southern Oregon coast. I finally caught the moment I was looking for with him, as he immersed himself into the action. And although it took me some convincing, I was finally able to encourage Cody to submit one of his fantastic drone videos he was working on for this project!
Definitely go check out Cody's work or better yet reach out to him!
Cody Keto Photography or on Instagram and Facebook @codyketophotography.
*music credit for video; Alexander Nakarada 'The Great Battle'
I only recently became acquainted and got know Keith. In fact, I met Keith through www.wayfarecollective.org outing early this winter. Wayfare.collective has incredible diversity of world class talent and I'm honored to have the opportunity to meet, collaborate and go on the occasional outing with this group.
Keith is a creative professional and works with clients such as www.stashtea.com among other, be sure to check out www.wallach.design/. It was so cool to get the opportunity to get out and shoot with a creative talent such as Keith.
We made arrangements to head out to a place called White River Falls a few hours east of Portland, just catching a pause between snowstorms in the PNW. We had good expectations to catch the falls in a really unique setting and we were both pretty stoked for the adventure! But, as often is the case, things rapidly changed on our journey eastward and once we arrived at location quickly saw we had better make use of a new location. Most times traveling east you can bet on some clearer skies, we definitely got that. But unusually those clear skies came with a significant warm up as well. So our hopes of icicles and knee deep snow became melt off and mud. oh well! We decided to hit some backroads and got in some really fun creative shooting in the wide open back country.
As we began our return back to Portland we decided to drop in on Rowena Crest, an icon along Gorge. Keith made som quick work of the classics and grabbed this awesome sudo abstract of cake style layers!
One of the most distinguishing features about Keith besides his high energy and enthusiasm, is his World Class Beard. Seriously must have some ZZ Top heritage in there somewhere! Be sure to check out Keith's work on Instagram and give him a worthy follow @keithw3.
My first exposure to Jordan was when he doing a personal project of 365 images in 365 days, I just remember thinking how brutal that must be! Regardless Jordan completed it and I witnessed in awe.
Shortly afterward, I first got a chance to meet and shoot with Jordan on a crazy stormy day/night down on Cape Disappointment. I quickly learned Jordan was incredibly focused once behind the lens, like a technician carefully connecting all the elements to create the image he sees. Jordan dissects the landscape, moving first finding the anchor foreground and moving up into the subject (this is in direct contrast to me, as I'm always a top down process), so I find it fascinating to watch his process and try and learn that perspective.
When he's not behind the camera, there is always a big smile or eager discussion waiting to be had. Jordan is a student of the game much like myself, always looking to improve or work on area of his photography from in camera to post processing. I have found myself engaged many times with him on the nuances of processing, color correction, or techniques which I was welcome.
On a lazy Sunday Spring morning, my phone began to flash; it was Jordan 'hey man! its flowing let's go catch some waterfalls"! I quickly fired back "i'm in! where?!!!" After some discussion on location vs light we settled on Abiqua Falls. Now if you've never been to Abiqua, half the adventure is just getting to the trailhead haha! Definitely a must.
Shortly after the steep decent into the trailhead, we arrived near the falls, this Spring has been very intense as far precipitation and as such the falls (all of them) have been roaring. So we could hear the falls from the top of the trailhead, and the roars just became louder as we neared.
This first shot was literally me yelling up to Jordan to 'Freeze!' and click! Much like a scene in the city, very workmen like, with tools in hand and a backpack full of gear. Jordan is about to get to work with this stunning waterfall in sight.
The second shot is Jordan's carefully plotted the waterfall and foreground to bring together all the elements with his image. Although I didn't ask, I'm certain some focus stacking or exposure blending was had, or both!
Be sure to check out Jordan Instagram feed @jordaninglee_photography or if you want a real treat check out his other feed of music events @visualsuplex too. Also www.visualsuplex.com/
My first installment of the project, is none other than my good shooting bud Minhaz Sarker.
Min and I met at one of the first club meeting for Photo Club PDX, however we had known of each other in another circle too. Since then we have gone out on many adventures and while we do see and approach thing very differently at times, its always fun and interesting! And sometimes we actually take a half way decent shot along the way.
Min has traveled a good portion of the globe and carries with him vast insights into different places, cultures and environments. The added benefit is he has a great eye composition and knows what he's trying to get out of any particular image.
A few weeks ago, I suggested to Min to meet up me with on my way back from Eastern Washington for a late afternoon- evening shoot. A place I had one briefly visited, but often heard of just outside The Dalles, Oregon. The conditions were good, with some good cloud cover, spring was doing its thing so the grasses were green and flowers were blooming.
As you can see Min nailed this shoot of Mt. Hood! So many layers and contrasts. Just beautifully composed and edited. The other shot is me just catching him making sure 'he got it' in the moment!
Definitely go check out Minhaz and his amazing work...or just drop by and say Hi on Instragram @minhazrsarker