Archive for March, 2009

Portland LumberJax v. San Jose Stealth

2009.03.29 - LumberJax v. San Jose Stealth

2009.03.29 - LumberJax v. San Jose Stealth

2009.03.29 - LumberJax v. San Jose Stealth

Tonights game was more of the same from a photographer’s perspective:  Shoot warm ups, read through stat sheets, shoot game, go home and process.  It was an unusual 3pm Sunday game so getting everything done early and not working until 2:00 in the morning was refreshing.

The LumberJax lost tonight, and luckily, that was the worst thing that happened.  During warmups, a lacrosse ball nailed the wall right next to my head–and more importantly, right next to my camera.  I was less than two inches from losing $2500 worth of camera gear.  Luke Forget and Bruce Alexander stopped dead in their tracks and were amazed that I didn’t get smashed.

I could stay off of the floor during warm-ups, but getting close to the players and not having to shoot through the glass is too good to pass up.  I bet I wouldn’t feel the same way if my camera body and Canon 70-200mm F2.8L IS lens were destroyed.

Firkin Fest 2009

Firkin Fest 2009

Firkin Fest 2009

Firkin Fest 2009

It’s not all coincidence that I’m able to mix beer and photography.  It takes careful planning: 1) Find an event, 2) See if someone needs photos for the event, 3) If you can budget in time to photograph and attend the event, even better!  It doesn’t always work out that way, but when it does, it’s great for both you and the client.

Well, the upside for me is pretty self-explanatory: free event.  The upside for the client is that the more I’m involved in the event, the better I can understand what it’s all about–and then translate that into photography.  The perspective of an attendee and photographer can tell two different stories.  It is the job of the photographer to not only capture the spirit of the festival through the eyes of the attendees, but also capture unique angles, subjects, and action that require much more than a casual eye.

For this year’s Firkin Fest, I took photos for the Oregon Brewer’s Guild.  The festival was split into two three hour sessions.  I attended the first session as a photographer and the second as a patron.  But, as a photographer, even when I’m not on duty, I usually carry around my equipment.  So, it’s usually safe to say that whatever label I’m under at any given moment (patron, attendee, employee, student, staff), you can always append /photographer to the end.  Today, the energy was very different at the second session and about half of the final photos ended up coming from the then, when I was supposed to be off the clock.

Portland Breweries

Portland Breweries

Portland Breweries

Portland Breweries

In the middle of 2008, I started a project to shoot all of the breweries in Portland.  Photography and beer, how could it get any better?  Well, despite some hot temperatures, slippery floors, and sticky mash, it was a great experience.

I got to meet all of the brewers in town, talk about their brewing styles, and compare brewing equipment.  While the process is the same, the breweries are vastly different, ranging from 3 barrel systems to 500 barrel systems.  There’s a also a big difference in the physical interaction with the beer: some are very automated, while many others still require the art of the mash paddle.

I don’t want to spoil too much here, as I have a plan for a book in the works that will fill in all of the details.  What I can say is that Portland has a great brewing community and fantastic beers.  From Lagers to Russian Imperial Stouts, fresh beer to barrel aged beer, every beer lover can find exceptional beer around every corner in Portland.

March PDX Snow

2009.03.09 -- PDX Snow

2009.03.09 -- PDX Snow

More snow in Portland today!  My photography appointment for the day canceled, so I spent some quality time with the dog–and the television.  I worked all weekend, so I deserved the day off.  From about 7:30am until 1:00pm, it snowed, rained, sleeted, and hailed.  It kept repeating those various precipitation, but in no particular order.

I guess I’m in the minority in Portland, but I love the snow and always welcome more.  Even Otto likes it.  Despite it’s lack of flavor, he loves to eat it.

And run in it.

And stare at it.