Tagged: Oregon

Racers battle the dry dusty trails at Skibowl during round three of the NW Cup. More photos and race report at Pinkbike here.

Kole Wetherell boosting his downhill bike over the thunder at Skibowl.

Brett Carels racing through the woods during the 2015 NW Cup round three.

Declan Ervin jumping big on the Cannonball trail at Skibowl, Mt. Hood.

Gavin Stanton leaning his mountain bike over and racing all in.

Luke Strobel flying by on his morning practice run at Mt. Hood Skibowl.


© 2015 Eric Ashley

The NW Cup heads to Ski Bowl during race number three. Check out the full write-up at Pinkbike here.

2014 NW Cup # 3 at Ski Bowl, Mt. Hood

Mountain Biking through the rocks at NW Cup number three

Race Run Crash During NW Cup # 3

Spectators at the Downhill NW Cup Race 2014

NW Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race
© 2014 Eric Ashley

This shoot with Cailey ended up being delayed several times due to conflicts and weather. Ultimately, I wanted to photograph in the orchard (see below) right at sunset for warm directional light. But by the time the shoot came together, the natural light wasn’t cooperating. The perfect opportunity to utilize something every photographer, who works with strobes, should have—the CTO gel.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a CTO gel, it is a thin see-thru sheet of orange plastic which will tone a daylight balanced light-source to tungsten. It can also be used to produce a very warm light. Which is how it was used for this shoot. If you look at third image below—what appears to be the sun is actually a CTO gel taped onto a strobe. With the proper feel of light in place we were ready to capture this Spring influenced shoot.

Special thank to Cailey for her excellent work modeling and thanks to Greg Fong for his help with the shoot.

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© 2011 Eric Ashley

Springbreak, the perfect time to get out of town travel a little and generally just have a good relaxed time. This year my family ended up going to Vegas while I was finishing up finals so it was looking bleak for travel plans. Until the Reeve’s family graciously invited Ashley and me to join them in Sunriver. We had a great time taking life easy and enjoying the amazing food Tamara cooked. On the more adventurous side we made an excursion to some local falls, and even played a little frigid-croquet amongst the patches of snow on the golf course at Sunriver (sorry, no pictures).

Dave and Tamara Reeves.

Photo by Nathan Reeves.

Maddy Reeves.

Nathan Reeves.

Photo by Ashley Ward.

© 2011 Eric Ashley

I had the great pleasure of attending The Flash Bus Tour 2011 by Joe McNally and David Hobby with friends Chris Rasmussen and Greg Fong in Portland, OR, in March. Getting a chance to learn from, and meet, two of the biggest names in small flash photography was phenomenal deal at $100. While I really enjoyed the examples of McNally’s body of work for big name clients like Sports Illustrated and National Geographic, I actually found that Hobby’s session was more informative to the photography process. I was struck by how humorous and engaging both Hobby and McNally were, and I’ve included a few of my favorite quotes from each.

“The miracle of small flash: it fits in you bag. But, you need five guys to help you.” — Joe McNally
“Some of my best friends use Canon.” | “It’s about lighting people and two inch tall plushies.” — David Hobby

McNally taught about TTL (Through the Lens) flash with a special focus on combining it with Pocket Wizards new wireless trigger system which is compatible with Nikon and Canon. TTL has a lot of potential and flexibility, especially in rapidly changing lighting situations. So far I haven’t had much occasion to implement TTL but I’ll likely give it a try in the near future.

Screen grab of McNally demonstrating his moves to the crowd.

The most valuable idea I took away from the presentation was Hobby’s approach to layering light. He begins by assessing the ambient light of a scene » controlling the ambient (deciding how the ambient will play a role in the final photo) » adding light via strobes. While this is a relatively simple approach—the best often are—Hobby stresses the importance of this approach when building light. By starting with a good foundation of ambient, adding fill, then the key, and finally accent you can achieve a refined light with a great deal of depth.

David Hobby posing with yours truly. Photo by Greg Fong.

“To have a problem you have to have a person in authority show up.” | “Digital giveth and digital taketh away.” — David Hobby
“Experiment. No pixels have to die.” | “I never met anybody I couldn’t over light.” — Joe McNally

Both McNally and Hobby stressed the importance of constantly working to better your craft and the essential need to shoot photos you love—not just what brings in the money. I really appreciated McNally’s suggestion to plan your week around the most interesting thing you could shoot over the next few days and then go do it. “Find something you can’t help but shoot, and it will help you through at lot,” explains McNally. Both presenter’s shared a lot of other tips and tricks that just added to what was already an extremely valuable experience.

Joe McNally takes a moment for a snapshot. Photo by Greg Fong.

Camera manufactures tell you with more megapixels, “your pictures will now be magnificent. No, they will be more highly detailed garbage.” — Joe McNally
“If your name was Hasselblad I had a great gift.” | “I’ve got a vision, and that vision is going to cost you $500.” — David Hobby.

© 2011 Eric Ashley

Ashley and I decided that since we were already in Portland it would be fun to compare the Chinese garden with the Japanese garden. The differences and similarities were quite interesting. The Japanese Garden was extremely manicured and manipulated, but still maintained a very organic feel through sparse architecture and open areas. The Chinese garden was very orderly based on flower beds and the prominent architecture and somehow felt more controlled. Both made strong use of symbolism, but the Japanese garden focused largely on the passage of time as explored through plant life and water flow, the Chinese garden made use of many caricatures and more tangible symbols. Both gardens are quite beautiful and well worth a visit.

Ashley Ward.

Photo by Ashley Ward.

Click panorama to view larger.

© 2011 Eric Ashley

As part of a cultural communications class, Ashley and I, traveled to the Portland Chinatown. Although we weren’t able to observe modern examples of Chinese culture, the Portland Chinese Garden offered an interesting look at the past as well as a beautiful display of landscaping and architecture. I highly recommend checking it out next time you are in Portland for its show of tranquil beauty and peace. Surprisingly few reminders of the city outside the walls encroached on our time spent in the garden. Make sure to check out the teahouse—I suggest the Lychee tea.

Photo by Ashley Ward.

Photo by Ashley Ward.

© 2011 Eric Ashley