Saturday, December 12, 2009

My first DSLR - Rebel XT

A little tribute to my first DSLR camera that I bought back in 2005 for my trip to Alaska. Canon Rebel XT, 8 Megapixels, came with a basic 18-55 mm lens but for me it was a really revolutionary camera coming from the film Rebel. After getting the 5d, it didn't get too much action and since my friend Marius needed a small camera for his project (shooting skydivers as he is an instructor in Florida), it found a new home.

Now the story gets interesting. Marius mounted it on a rig attached to his helmet, on a custom designed plate, side by side with a video camera. The set-up looked something like this:

It seemed to work just fine, until it didn't... After shooting some good exposures of his fellows skydivers having fun free falling, he opened his chute, the helmet came loose in a forward motion, he grabbed it with his hands but the cameras detached from the helmet, and down they went. Fast, tumbling, falling from approximately 3000 ft.

After landing safely a couple of minutes later, he went to the area where they must have been crashed, looking for the dead metal, plastic and glass carcasses. Less than half hour later, he found them in in a terrible condition, covered with grass, sand and mud. Don't try this at home, it's really not recommended. Think about the fine electronics and glass incorporated in those devices.

The video camera cracked open, dead, done deal. The Rebel took the fall a little better, just a crack in the left side of the plastic body. With a glimmer of hope, Marius presses the playback button:

Quelle surprise! The camera turns on, displays the last image taken, like nothing happened. Mental!
He cleaned it thoroughly, learned to live with the creaking sounds coming from the lens while zooming (sand inside) and kept shooting the resilient Rebel until this very present day.

I was shocked, amazed and happy to see a Canon product withstanding such an abuse. It might very well be a world height record for a camera taking a fall and surviving. Kudos for Canon!

Video added:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

E-Session Simina and Paul

It's been a while since my last post... shame on me. E-Session of Simina and Paul, our friends from Detroit.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rainier, revisited

Everytime I do a "revisited" blog, you know that something's coming up. It's summer, it's hot and therefore I need some time off, a retreat to a cooler environment and a bit of adventure. It's time to revisit Mt Rainier, elevation 14,411 ft (4,392 m), a volcano situated in the proximity of Seattle, Washington.

I'll team-up with Paul (been to Colorado together last year, awesome guy and a serious climber) and we'll try the Emmons-Winthrop Glacier Route. Weather forecast doesn't look bright, we can only hope for a window of opportunity and we'll give it a shot.

I'll be away from Monday, July 6th - Saturday, July 11th. No acces to internet, limited cell phone coverage, literally in the boonies. Here's a preview from two years ago, Camp Muir and Disappointment Cleaver Route.

Click on the pictures to see a sharper image, or follow the link to see the whole series:

The mighty Rainier

Sunrise over Little Tahoma

Surreal colors on the slopes of the mountain

Taking a break in the thin air

Tiny little climbers contemplating
the immense glacier looming above

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Silver Lake Michigan

The dunes at Silver Lake Michigan is one of those unique places that don't really reveal themselves until you get to see them personally. I expected some sand... I found real dunes, as in "a lot of sand". What I didn't expect was the omnious engine noise. Pick-up trucks, ATV-s, bikes, all kinds of shapes and colors. A celebration of american "happy motoring" way of life. It's ironic that after just a week,  General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, hitting hard the already depressed economy of the rust belt in general and of Michigan State in particular. 

Nevertheless, the weather was fine, we had a lot of fun and I came back with some nice sunburns and a few cool shots. Enjoy them at:

Playing with light

Going camping in Michigan during the Memorial Day week-end, I met the coolest indian guy ever, Henry. With good food and a lot of beer comes inspiration, so I got to do some experimenting playing with light...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter ascent to 4000m

The ridge connecting Cupid and Grizzly Peak

Looking south from Grizzly Peak. Thin air above 4000m


Nicest backdrop ever!

Alin climbing the north face of Grizzly Peak

After a noisy night spent in tent in a parking lot next to Co 6 (No overnight parking or camping permitted in Loveland Pass) we started climbing the ridge linking Loveland Pass and Torreys Peak, on the Continental Divide in the Front Range. Perfect weather (although windy at times), asolutely nobody up there, amazing visibility with mountain ranges everywhere you looked. A true alpine landscape captured with my Canon G10. Very happy with my latest aquisition, small, sturdy, capable camera. No more lugging big cameras on the mountains. Enjoy the rest of the pics here


Now, that's a slope! Hard to go back to Wisconsin after this


On the Continental Divide, snowmobil day

Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and Breckenridge in the background

CO 6 towards Loveland Pass

Our trip to Colorado was awesome. Couple of days snowboarding on the slopes of A-basin, one snowmobil race in Swan River Basin Area, climbing a 4000 m peak in the Front Range... Way to go!
Some shots from the A-Basin Ski Area, a remote place with just a few connoisseurs around during the week-days. See the whole album here

Friday, January 9, 2009


Looking through my old photographs taken with the Rebel, nostalgia has taken upon me... That damn place is so irrisistible for me that I decided to just jump into my car and go back. Not in the distant future, not in the spring, not next month. This Sunday. My brother, me and my camera. Some snowboarding and some mountaineering. Sleeping in a tent, cooking on a propane stove. Kicking steps with our crampons. Kicking ass on the slopes of Vail or Aspen. Ultimate fun, ultimate freedom. Stay tuned for some new shots, until then enjoy the old ones. Here they are...   

A friendly bird, possibly a Northern Shrike but I'm not sure 

Leadville, Colorado

Chris aka SeaPea, my mate from UK

Frozen moments...

Defreezing moments... Mezcal!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Utah Revisited

La Sal Mountains, Utah. The early spanish explorers
named this beautiful and remote range La Sal (Salt). 
The were convinced they were covered with salt as 
couldn't believe it was possible to have snow-capped
mountains in the middle of the dessert

Selective erosion sculptured these amazing cliffs

Balanced rock

Feel free to imagine what's the meaning of this

My dear friend Chris, practicing levitation

On January 1st 2006, on route to Las Vegas, Nevada coming from Colorado, we made a quick stop to visit Arches National Park. It was well worth it, the park became one of my favorite places on the face of Earth. Here's some images that I like, click on the link to see more. 

Photographs taken with a Canon Rebel XT and kit lens + a cheap Sigma 70-300 mm.