Trout Fishing The Eastern Sierras – On The Fly

reading the waterThe great outdoors are a special place. Special was our overly used, cliché, yet incredibly appropriate word for so much of what we saw in the mountains. Being outdoors makes me happy and I do everything in my power to get out and stay out. The Eastern Sierras and the likes of the Upper Owens and Hot Creek rest at a comfortably dry altitude of 8,500 feet. The weather was hot and the arid climate sucked every bit of moisture from my skin it could find.

Jorge and I had been spontaneously planning (yes, I meant to say that) a fishing trip for the better part of a month. In May we almost pulled the trigger and darted North from Southern California, however, there was some remaining weather headed that way and we deemed snow and rain not the best intro to the Sierras. June rolled around and we blocked out a few days during the week to go camp and get some trout on the fly.

“Brah, chaaa we slayed the fish,” we joked often. Jorge is a photographer who grew up in Miami, surfed his whole life, lived in Hawaii, you name it. Now resides in Dana Point, just shy of 5 hours drive from the mountains. We both understood the humor in surfing, brah. Beach satire definitely helped pass the time in between fish on the end of my line. Jorge was indeed slaying it, both Rainbows and Browns. The learning curve in small trout streams and rivers was steep for me.

I’ve thrown the fly plenty in Jersey sweetwater, and tie my own saltwater flies (streamers, clousers and epoxy minnows). Something about a tiny nymph, a basic midge or the indicator tied above, that totally flipped my world of fishing around. I was used to tossing topwater to Largemouth in lakes and big wooden plugs to Stripers in the suds. This skinny water endeavor (at altitude no less) is a challenge accepted.
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Fly fishing Eastern Sierras in California along the Upper Owens RiverDry Flyfly fishing photographercastingmidgefishing californiariver landscape

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Photographing Il Mulino Prime – SoHo

There’s no place like it, New York City. Busy streets, an upfront attitude. Here people say what they mean, take it or leave it. I step foot into the Big Apple and my stomach is doing jumping jacks, in a good way! The kid inside me wants to scream, “Woah!” as I stare up in amazement. I gaze at this marvelous place in awe and greet each new corner with eyes wide. The graffiti, street fashion. Food and Impossible Project; it’s all here! Love at first sight. This is the pedestrian’s realm. Yellow taxis whiz by as I hump it on foot, my preferred method of travel.  A healthy dosing of the subway splashes your travels with humor and new perspectives.

Il Mulino asked me to photograph their newest menu at Il Mulino Prime, 331 West Broadway in SoHo. Shooting food is interesting and I’m honored to work with the restaurant. I admire the entire staff’s professionalism and Chef Mazza is a master of culinary arts. During college I was a barista at a coffee shop, a waiter in a Tapas restaurant, as well as a server at an upscale Italian eatery. I’ve come to be familiar with the food and service industry and have the utmost respect for those in the business. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and have a knack for observation; I’ve picked up what I could in each kitchen. Now I’m trusted to photograph beautiful, delicious food for an establishment who gets it. “Woah!”

To explain a bit of the technical process I photographed the entire lunch and dinner menu with the Canon 5d MK2 and 2 strobes with the help of my lighting assistant Charlie. The exteriors were photographed with a Tilt Shift Lens to allow for proper perspective which is incredibly important when shooting architecture. I’m very happy with the take (and even the out-takes), please feast your eyes below!

il mulinobarInterioril mulino prime   interiorphotographychef mazza Prime Porterhouse Prime Filet Mignon salmon    nyc food photographer   photography

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Life Rolls On – Wildwood NJ

I had the recent pleasure of covering a day of fun and sun in Wildwood NJ at the Life Rolls On “Get On Board Tour.” Life Rolls On is a non-profit founded by Jesse Billauer. After he sustained a spinal cord injury while surfing, Jesse made it his mission to reach out and help others. LRO’s mission is to raise awareness, educate, and provide support through funding of spinal cord injury research.

There was an incredible turnout of volunteers and surfers, with smiles all around. Though I was familiar with LRO, I hadn’t yet been to an event. I fell into a quiet thinking mode during the day as I recorded the pure joy of wave riding. I aimed to capture emotion in journalistic style with a focus on water photography. We couldn’t have had a better weather day and the waves were perfect sized. Teams of volunteers were paired with riders and it was a collaboration effort to get someone surfing. Boards available ranged from longboards to WaveJets. Riders were all ages, from children to adults.  To see a list of events and how you can participate please check out the Life Rolls On homepage.

Rambler Road Beachjesse billauerwildwood crestdocumenting Happy helping hands  longboard pure joy  smiles support system surfing wildwood they will surf again wave ridingLife Rolls On in Wildwood NJ

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Stone Ohana – Santa Cruz, California

A portion of my month long stay in California included spending some time in Santa Cruz. This part of Northern California is fast becoming my favorite area of the country. Friendly people, great coffee and excellent weather lends itself to an active, outdoor lifestyle. While in town to shoot some longboarding and work on an article about local shaper Source Surfboards, I stayed with father and son: John and Reilly Stone. I feel so lucky to be welcomed into their daily lives. These are a few of my favorite images I made while hanging with the Stone Family.

reilly stoneboard selection reilly stone polish john and reilly

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The Most Beautiful Drive of Your Life – Big Sur

California’s Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most epic destinations for any road tripper. Set amongst the coastal redwoods and marble cliffs, Big Sur is a sight. Even the most travel weathered explorer is compelled to stop and drink in the calming vistas.

After camping the Southwest the week prior (Mojave, Glen Canyon, Zion and Grand Canyon) I was off to Santa Cruz to shoot some surfing and film for a video profile about my work. A few days in SC provided ample opportunity to catch up with friends, find some new ones, and make some interesting images for a future magazine article. Verve Coffee is my go to spot in town in case you were wondering.

On my journey South I decided it appropriate to take the detour along California State Route 1 to see what I can see. I timed the drive in conjunction with the setting sun and was thrilled to be shooting in such dynamic lighting. Cell service was spotty and the only radio station that would tune was National Public Radio, very apropos. I cruised while listening to NPR report on the NSA and it’s spying techniques all the while my eyes drunk with beauty. A bit of my own surveillance turned up a mother whale with her calf amid a barking colony of seals, just 100 yards from the shore on which I stood. The rise and fall of these giant Grey’s made me feel relaxed. I watched them surface and visibly breathe the same air I was exhaling.

I would recommend visiting Big Sur, bring a tent or just drive through. Either way, come and see.

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New Jersey Sandbars

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Traveling on 35mm

Working with film seems such an extracurricular hobby within the photography realm. Though I shot a few rolls of film before immersing myself into the visual medium, I readily admit I’m a digital baby. I learned photography on Canon digi bodies and I’ve embraced our techsavy society. iPhone literacy is to be expected these days, so you can catch me on Instagram, Snap me your lunch or Tweet me an interesting article. The majority of my work is captured digitally. Though I have been hired occasionally to shoot film, I mostly use it for personal work.

But film though, where does it fit? It comes in rolls, not memory cards. After you make an image you cannot look at the back of the camera to see if you got it right. Rather than instant, it’s delayed gratification. You may wait a few weeks to see if the moment you sought, or the exposure you guessed, worked well. Shoot 36 frames, drop off for processing. Upon pickup you are presented with a gift: surprise. I always forget exactly what I shot in between the images I remember making. Meaning, there are always one or two frames I remember shooting vividly. But the moments I was privy to record on that same roll can often times be the instants worth recording.

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Spartan Race – Atlanta

Long time no update! Plenty going on the past few weeks and so much to bring you all up to speed on. Last weekend I had the pleasure of flying to Atlanta as a photographer for Reebok’s Spartan Race. In case you are unfamiliar, these races are a grueling obstacle course/run designed to promote teamwork and test your physical ability. I love traveling to shoot these events because they’re fun, outside and my access to make great images has no limits. There are so many inspiring people racing in these events such as paraplegic Michael Mills and triple amputee Todd Love. Also, when part of your job description includes photographing Alicia Keys how could you go wrong? Have a look at some of the images I made below.

spartan race reebok race michael mills alicia keys spartan alicia keys barbed wire todd love dog burpees muddy shower ATL_201403_RS_179 teamwork michael mills finish spartan race outdoor run mud pit rope rope climb spartan

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An Eldritch Blanket

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Fishing Ecuador

Traveling through South America it became apparent that fishing was a staple for many economies. Ecuador often smelled like fish, even in the mountains. It wasn’t until I saw an over sized pickup truck speeding down the highway leaking fish blood that I understood why most of the country’s main roads smelled like fresh catch. We stopped in a local fishing port during the morning haul. I asked the fisherman if I could tag along and make some photographs. harbor  fish blood ecuadorfish dump fisherman's portrait fallen fish fishing lifestyle Fregatidae fisherman  fisherman fishing ecuador fishing truckharbor

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